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Panasonic Viera TX-L32X10 32in LCD TV - Panasonic Viera TX-L32X10
With nothing else to detain me, then, I might as well get straight down to business with the L32X10's pictures. Which are best summed up as decent for the money, but certainly not state of the art.
Arguably their greatest - and in many ways most surprising - strength is how crisp HD pictures look. Yet another day spent in the company of the seemingly endless England/West Indies cricket tour shown in HD on Sky reveals visible cracks and bumps in the outfield that you just don't see with standard definition or lower-quality HD screens. This is particularly impressive considering that the screen is HD Ready rather than Full HD, and proves for the umpteenth time that Panasonic's core scaling processing is a cut above that of most other brands.
This processing leads to another strength too: really respectable standard definition pictures that look sharper, cleaner and more authentically colour toned than we commonly see with LCD TVs. Especially those at the £600 or less price point.
Of course, all this talk of sharpness wouldn't likely have taken place if I'd found myself ruing the absence of 100Hz processing as badly as I'd feared. But in fact the screen doesn't smear very severely at all, even without much processing help. Sure, the cricket ball loses SOME resolution as it races across the pitch, as does the picture generally during rapid camera pans. But the problem isn't severe by any means, and leaves the L32X10 a clear cut above the seriously smeary efforts that spoil so many of the budget brands sitting below it.
I also ultimately liked the L32X10's colour performance, despite initial reservations. These reservations come about from the fact that colour tones aren't as outrageously vibrant and aggressive as we've seen them on some rival - usually more expensive - TVs. But more extended viewing made me realise that while not spectacularly intense, colours are at least solid and mostly likeably natural in tone. Skin tones fare particularly well, with even standard definition ones looking detailed and largely free of the common ‘waxy' look. Only an occasional slightly muted and/or radioactive green tone lets the side down.
Yet another strength of the L32X10 concerns its viewing angle, for I found neither colour nor contrast to drop off as badly as expected when I started moving around the room.