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Panasonic Viera TX-37LZD800 37in LCD TV
This 37 incher is the third new Panasonic LCD TV we've looked at in the past couple of weeks. And it's also - on paper at least - the highest specified. In fact, it's Panasonic's flagship LCD TV, for the brand still relies on plasma technology for anything larger than 37in.
The advantages of going the 37LZD800 route start to materialise as soon as you look at it, for it features a slightly cleaner, sharper appearance than the LZD80 and LZD85 ranges we've looked at before. This is down in part to a new Clear Panel design (exclusive to the 37LZD800) for the LCD screen that minimises reflections and apparently should help deliver sharper, crisper images.
There's a persuasive reason to step up to the 37LZD800 among its connections, too, in the shape of a fourth HDMI where Panasonic's lesser models only carry three. All four of the 37LZD800's HDMIs are built to the v1.3 specification and can accept 1080p/24fps inputs from Blu-ray players as well as Deep Color sources such as JVC's new HD5 and HD6 Everio camcorders.
Staying with the key factors that differentiate the 37LZD800 from the LZD85 models one step down the range, the 37LZD800 also boasts Panasonic's ‘Advanced Smart Sound' system, where separate tweeter and woofer units are employed in the side-mounted speaker housings to deliver potentially far greater range and clarity than you could hope to get out of the standard single-cone speaker designs employed in Panasonic's lesser models.
Wrapping the differences up (so far as we can tell!) is the introduction on the LZD800 of picture in picture facilities so that you can watch two AV sources at once. In terms of resolution and contrast, the 37LZD800 matches the LZD85 models point for point - no bad thing when that means it scores a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count and 10,000:1 claimed contrast ratio.
Inevitably this contrast ratio is dependent on a dynamic contrast system, where the backlight is dimmed during dark scenes to reduce LCD's ‘clouding' effect over dark parts of the picture. But since this dynamic contrast system is driven by Panasonic's consistently impressive V-Real Pro 3 image processing engine, we'd hope for richer, more stable results on the 37LZD800 than we might normally expect to see from the majority of similar systems on rival TVs.