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Panasonic Viera TX-L32X10 32in LCD TV - Panasonic Viera TX-L32X10
Turning to things I'm not so keen on in the L32X10's pictures, the first concerns its black level response. It's not actually bad, especially compared with much of the budget competition. But at the same time, dark scenes are still clearly affected by a degree of the tell-tale grey clouding problem, especially if there are any bright elements within a generally dark frame.
The L32X10 carries a dynamic contrast system that reduces the backlight output during dark scenes to boost black level depth. But as well as not being able to completely over-ride the greying problem as much as I'd like, the dynamic contrast tool also sometimes causes distracting ‘jumps' or shifts in the image's overall brightness level.
I also found the backlight level a little inconsistent, with a couple of areas around the screen's edges being slightly brighter than the rest of the picture. Before you get too alarmed by this, though, it's a subtle enough problem to be seldom noticeable during anything but the very darkest scenes. It's certainly nothing like as pronounced as it is on Sony's infamous W4500 TVs.
While the L32X10's pictures generally do a pretty bang up job of hiding its affordable nature, though, it fares less well sonically. Too much of the soundstage is crammed into a pretty limited mid-range, leaving things sounding slightly muffled and artificial when the going gets tough.
There's no great sense of depth or width to the soundstage either, meaning the audio experience doesn't really expand your experience beyond the confines of the screen's borders.
Despite a couple of significant flaws, the L32X10's pictures overall rate as good for the TV's price point. So if money's tight but you're just not prepared to put up with the general grubbiness witnessed with the spate of ultra-cheap ‘no-brand' LCD models we've looked at recently, the L32X10 is definitely worth at least an audition. Especially if you can partner it with some sort of external sound system.