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While we might have expected at least some of the mentioned strengths to have come about from the introduction of 100Hz to the 32LZD85's pictures, though, it also appears to introduce a few unexpected further improvements, too. Colours, for instance, look slightly richer and more ‘solid' and standard definition pictures ‘upscale' to the screen's Full HD resolution more successfully.
Then there's the 32LZD85's impeccable sharpness and detailing, which seems notably increased over the 32LZD80 - presumably thanks to the lack on the 32LZD85 of the cheaper screen's gentle smearing problems.
The 32LZD85's pictures are so clear, in fact, that we really do believe you can appreciate the benefits of the TV's Full HD resolution - smoother colour blends, more fine detail, less video noise - when watching 1080-line HD sources despite the screen's relatively small 32in size.
Perhaps the most puzzling apparent improvement of all, though, is to the 32LZD85's black levels. For dark scenes really do seem less troubled by the common LCD ‘clouding' problem than they do on the 32LZD80, even though there's nothing obvious in the 32LZD85's processing that might suggest why this is so. Our best guess is that the extra vibrancy of the colours somehow makes the dark bits look darker. But as I say, that's just a guess, and a very uneducated one at that!
Really the only tiny negative point I could see about the 32LZD85's pictures, in fact, is an occasional flicker over one or two particularly high contrast edges - especially during camera pans. But if this is the only price that needs to be paid for all the good things 100Hz brings to the table, it's a bargain! And, when you can rely upon more power, clarity and range from its speakers than is common among the 32in LCD fraternity, there's even more reason for cheer.
Panasonic's 32LZD85 delivers on the great promise of the 32LZD80, making it easily the company's best LCD TV yet. In fact, the only rival set we've seen that even gives it a run for its money is the sublime Philips 32PFL9632D. Fingers crossed Panasonic can carry the same quality over to the upcoming 37in version. Watch this space…
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality
- Sound Quality