Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B 37in Plasma TV - Panasonic Viera TX-P37X20B

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Heading into the P37X20B’s menus reveals one or two new menu items. There’s a Vivid Colour option, for a start, which basically does exactly what it says on the tin. Plus there’s an option mysteriously called C.A.T.S., which turns out to stand for Contrast Automatic Tracking System. Despite the fancy name, though, this is actually nothing more startling than one of those now-common tools where the TV automatically adjusts picture settings in response to the amount of ambient light in your room.

One final feature point to raise before getting into the P37X20B’s performance is that it doesn’t have Freesat or Freeview HD tuners - those only kick in at Panasonic’s new G20 plasma screen level. You just get standard def Freeview and analogue reception.

In action, the P37X20B is a solid enough effort, but not the heart-stopping budget maestro I’d been hoping for.

On the plus side, as I would expect, the P37X20B has excellent black levels by affordable flat TV standards. Dark scenes manage to get nearly as black as the TV’s inky bezel, with no grey clouding worth mentioning. What’s more, the darkness is superbly uniform, with none of the backlight inconsistencies I often see to some extent with LCD screens.

Also giving the P37X20B a big leg up over most budget 37in TVs is the effortlessness of its black level reproduction. By which I mean that since the plasma screen doesn’t have to dim the whole picture to produce a respectable black colour, dark scenes are able to retain plenty of shadow detail and avoid that crushed look so common with LCD rivals.

There’s still one further contrast benefit with the P37X20B too, namely that unlike the vast majority of LCD TVs, its pictures don’t lose contrast - or colour saturation - when watched from wide viewing angles. This makes the P37X20B a potentially perfect option for people with large families and small living rooms, where some poor soul inevitably ends up having to watch TV from a nasty angle.

Another considerable, plasma-generated P37X20B picture asset is its freedom from motion blur relative to LCD TVs. Panasonic is only too happy to boast on the box about the P37X20B’s 0.001ms response time (versus a bare minimum of 4ms on budget LCD TVs), and there really isn’t any sign at all of the blurring and resolution loss when showing moving objects that we’ve become accustomed to seeing with affordable LCD TVs.

HD pictures, meanwhile, look enjoyably detailed and crisp despite the screen not having a full HD resolution, proving the point I raised earlier that sometimes the quality of a screen’s processing and core electronics is more important to sharpness than hard resolution.

HD pictures also enjoy some generally very good colour toning that combines a surprisingly deft touch when portraying blends with some really believable hues. It’s especially good with HD skin tones versus cheap LCD TVs - particularly since the rather orangey undertone noted on some of last year’s cheap Panasonic’ plasmas has been reduced (though not totally removed).

Let’s make no bones about it: with a good HD source, the P37X20B’s pictures are capable of looking really very good indeed.

There are a number of reasons, though, why the P37X20B is only a good rather than a great entry level TV. Kicking off with the fact that despite carrying 100Hz processing, the P37X20B’s pictures are a little prone to judder.

Technology changes, and so sho

March 19, 2010, 12:56 am

So, one of the reasons Panasonic touts plasma at this size is that it's supposed to be more energy efficient than LCD.


How does this claim stack up?

Dusty M

March 20, 2010, 3:10 pm

Hi,I have had a 42px70 since jan07 and although it is not full hd I have to agree with john that when running bluray or my tosh hd player( yes I bought jusy b4 tosh dropped the bomb shell)the picture is fantastic also the black level is really good.But looking at the x10 range that is about to end I did think Panasonic had taken a step back in picture quality,does anybody else agree.

rabor

March 26, 2010, 6:26 am

To John Archer: You reviewed both TX-P37X20 & TH-37PX80, are you really saying Image Quality of the PX80 is better? PX80 > 9/10 vs X20 8/10..





I'm wondering since my defective PX80 is now in the process of being replaced by Panasonic for an X20. So, should I press them for a better deal? Or will I be fine? If the IQ is equal to the PX80's I'll be very happy. The TV is for the bedroom btw, where it's usually pretty dark.

Starfleet

May 12, 2010, 9:57 pm

Having bought the TX-P37X20B and played with it for the last few days...I'm impressed. I tend to agree with the main review but I would rate the sound 9 out of 10. The grahic equalizer, lacking on the previous plasma models makes a huge difference. There's plenty of bass, treble and other tone control. I run the surround sound mode with just the standard set speakers. It's brilliant and out classes many other expensive sets that I have been viewing and trying. The picture is stunning on Virgin Media cable SD mode, and HD is just superb! Freview is fine too. Everything about the set is easy to use with huge menu's to satify any setup demands you may have. In other words you can tweak till your hearts content and the results will be just what you want. Straight out of the box mine was setup really well by the factory. I've made almost no changes. Prior to buying this set I wanted a high end LCD full HD set...and I'm so glad I didn't get one. THIS IS MUCH BETTER FOR NEARLY EVERYONE'S NEEDS. And I'm fussy as hell!

Starfleet

May 14, 2010, 3:27 pm

Sorry...forgot to mention power useage and viewing angles in my brief review above. Can only say it uses less power than my old 32" Philips CRT widescreen which was rated at 205w if my memory serves me correctly. I haven't measured the actual power throughput, but the book says average 'power on' use for the TX-P37X20B is 115watt...maximum rated power use 190w. I suspect this will in reality be somewhere inbetween depending on how you set the TV up and where and how it's used ie: are the power saving features switched on, is CATS switched on (dims screen down as the room gets darker to avoid eye strain, using less power, and is incidentally a very good feature we have found) etc etc. The other point I must mention is the fabulour 'viewing angle free' design. Being a plasm, you can watch this set comfortably from any angle you wish without any noticeable loss of picture quality at all. NO LCD CAN MATCH IT! We have found it to be a terrific asset as my LG LCD set cannot be watched from anywhere but the direct frontal view to get the HD quality. It's rubbish from anywhere else (I'm not rubbishing LG sets...all makes of LCD are like that with just some a little better than others). Plasma's are brilliant and with much better screen life too than LCD. Hope this is helpful.

clemenzina

May 21, 2010, 4:32 pm

I was so disappointed to see this luke-warm review after the more enthusiastic review for the X10. Desperate to upgrade from Daewoo DUB2850 CRT (DTV) in time for the World Cup, but wary of LCD quality within my budget, I've been looking out for a bargain plasma to give me a STANDARD DEFINITION picture in which I can read the numbers on our boys' shirts and which is not garishly aimed at the gaming market. Panasonic have already brought out models with only one SCART socket *horror*.





Starfleet, you've encouraged me - in your opinion would the SD Freeview picture on this be a significant step up from medium-quality CRT? (I'm taking your word for it that I wouldn't need to buy a sound system to add on!) And can .avi movies be converted to play on the SD card?





:-x

Starfleet

August 16, 2010, 1:46 am

clemenzina, sorry for a late reply...haven't been about. Don't know if this is any help now but here goes. I found the SD picture on my new Plasma TX-P37X20B to be significantly better than my 32" CRT Philips set whether watching Freeview or Virgin Media Cable. It's also better than my LG Full HD LCD set in SD or Full HD. Quite a suprise. So I don't think the lower resolution on the Panny set is very significant at all and the original reviewers comment about this aspect is correct...it depends on the quality of the panel and the software driving it rather than just the screen res. It's great. In fact the picture on my Plasma set has just been getting better and better and it's not my imagination either. Get one!!

Mary1

February 4, 2011, 12:40 pm

I have just purchased this TV, unfortunatly I dont understand any of the jargon that has been written on the reviews, but I must say its a very nice TV, Picture is great, not to pleased with the sound as speakers are at the back, but with my little surround system has solved that problem. As this is now a discontinud line I got this Tv at a fantastic price.


If any body can help me tweak this TV in laymans terms please get in touch .

HerAbr

August 25, 2011, 11:22 pm

How to watch videos on your Panasonic TV with a SD card

Samples videos on your Panasonic TV with a SD card

download archive
http://www.filefactory.com/file/cac5623/n/PRIVATE.rar
, unrar
and put everything in the root of the sd card
Voila Enjoy

Samples videos on your Panasonic TV with a SD card download archive
http://www.filefactory.com/file/cd2bc22/n/KEN_BLOCK.GYMKHANA_TWO.zip,

unzip and put everything in the directory PRIVATE in the root of the sd card

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