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But we digress. Getting back to the 32LXD700, it's worth quickly detailing the most important elements of the V-Real 2 processing aside from the 1080p stuff, since this will potentially be the thing that most helps the 32LXD700 stand out from an increasingly competitive LCD crowd.

For starters, there's an ‘Intelligent Scene Controller' which reduces the output of the panel's backlight during dark scenes to create a superior black level response. Actually, similar technology to this can now be found on most rival LCD TVs (usually under the name of Dynamic Contrast'), but the Panasonic's claimed contrast ratio of 8500:1 suggests that maybe Panny's take on things is more impressive than most.

Advanced 3D colour management, meanwhile, is on a mission to automatically optimise the tone of colours, especially where skin tones are concerned, and a ‘sub-pixel controller' helps the set produce smoother diagonal lines and greater sharpness by processing the image's red, green and blue elements individually rather than all together.

Last but certainly not least is 100Hz processing, which doubles the scanning rate of incoming 50Hz sources to combat LCD's traditional problems with blur and resolution loss when showing moving objects. On paper 100Hz is a winning concept, but we know from experience that if it's not done well it can actually make pictures look worse rather than better. Yes, we mean you, Sharp LC-32RD2E…



Happily the 32LXD700's 100Hz processing presents none of the problems found with Sharp's system. Which is to say, there are no discernible nasty side effects of the processing, such as shimmering and flickering edges or contour ‘echoes'. Admittedly, the effects of the 100Hz system aren't as immediately pronounced as those of the Sharp's RD2E sets, which make moving objects glide across the screen so perfectly that they actually look a bit unnatural and divorced from their backgrounds.

But at the same time there's no denying that anything with a bit of action and/or camera panning in it, be it a movie like Con Air on Blu-ray or a game like Bioshock on the Xbox 360, enjoys motion noticeably crisper and cleaner than that seen on non-100Hz TVs - including Panasonic's own 50Hz-only range. In other words, Panasonic seems to have more or less mastered the tricky balance between making 100Hz work and overcooking it.

Also a cut above the norm are the 32LXD700's colours. Few LCD TVs out there right now can produce such a fundamentally naturalistic palette, a fact which proves invaluable while watching all the relatively dark shots inside the Con Air plane. But while this naturalism is what sets the 32LXD700 apart from most rivals, the set can also do vibrant and phenomenally bright colours, as witnessed during the final scenes on the Vegas strip.

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