Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Pros

  • Best LCD 3D performance yet
  • Excellent multimedia functionality
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Screen a bit small for maximum 3D impact
  • New panel design makes it expensive
  • Some contrast concerns

Review Price £544.90

Key Features: Edge LED lighting; Active 3D playback; New LCD panel design; Viera Connect online functionality; Extensive multimedia playback via DLNA, USB and SD

Manufacturer: Panasonic

Panasonic Viera TX-L32DT30B

3D TVs using LCD technology were conspicuously absent from 2010’s Panasonic TV range. A fact we rashly put down to a combination of Panasonic’s abiding preference for plasma technology, and the fact that Panasonic sticks mostly to relatively small screens with its LCD models.

According to Panasonic, though, the real reason it didn’t do a 3D LCD TV last year was that it didn’t feel its LCD screens were up to the job. Or perhaps it would be fairer to say it didn’t feel LCD technology full stop was up to the job - a position all too easy to agree with given how 2010’s 3D LCD TVs were all afflicted by the double ghosting noise known as crosstalk.

Here we are in 2011, though, with a 32in LCD TV from Panasonic, the TX-L32DT30B, that most definitely does 3D. So what’s changed?

A lot, actually. In fact, Panasonic has developed a completely revamped LCD display for its 3D models, using new technologies designed to reduce the L32DT30’s response time and thus reduce the usual crosstalk problems.


The main two innovations are a reduction in the ‘gap’ between the backlight and the screen, and the use of a new liquid crystal material that’s more fluid than its predecessor. The net result of these improvements is reckoned to be a 50 per cent reduction in the L32DT30‘s response time versus previous Panasonic LCD panels.

Also potentially key is the L32DT30’s use of a combination of a real 200Hz refresh rate and a scanning backlight - a combination that allows Panasonic to call its new 3D groundbreaker a 400Hz model.

While we’re on the subject of the L32DT30’s panel technology, it’s worth adding that it’s one of Panasonic’s IPS-Alpha designs, with their ability to be watched from a wider angle than normal ‘VA’ designs.

It’s tempting to go straight into looking at whether Panasonic’s 3D-friendly LCD panel improvements actually deliver on their promise. But we’d probably best stick with our normal order of doing things!

Which means forming an opinion about the L32DT30’s looks. Panasonic’s recent TV designs have been notoriously drab to be brutally honest, so it’s a relief to find the L32DT30 looking both slinky (it uses edge LED lighting, naturally) and even quite chic in its glossy, metallic finish offset by a dash of metallic trim.

Fans of ‘size zero’ TV models might take offence at the sight of a bulge along the back of the L32DT30’s bottom edge. But personally, we’re quite happy to see this, for it shows that the L32DT30 actually has proper box speakers. Bonus.

The DT30 range, comprising the L32DT30 and 37in L37DT30, is actually Panasonic’s flagship LCD range. So it’s not surprising to find it packing an excellent collection of jacks. Four HDMIs are on hand for your HD and 3D video sources, but more intriguing are an Ethernet port, three USBs and an SD card slot.

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