The full HD resolution pixel count we mentioned, meanwhile, is joined by a pretty respectable looking native contrast ratio of 2000:1, where native means it’s achieved without the assistance of a dynamic backlight system that could dim the backlight when dark scenes are detected. But don’t worry, contrast fans; a dynamic contrast option is available if you don’t mind seeing the occasional brightness ‘leap’ during dark scenes.
The 100Hz engine does the usual trick of doubling PAL’s normal 50Hz scanning frequency, the idea being that producing twice as many image frames should help reduce LCD’s problems with losing resolution when showing moving objects.
The 37LX8E also keeps up with today’s LCD Joneses when it comes to format compatibility, handling the 1080p/24 mode now all the rage with the advent of Blu-ray.
Final bits and bobs worth a passing mention include a multi-level noise reduction tool, SRS TruSurround XT audio processing for a pseudo surround audio effect, and a Clear Voice mode designed to emphasise dialogue in a mix if it’s starting to get lost during action scenes. Overall it’s fair to say that the 37LX8E talks a respectable talk. And thankfully its walk isn’t too clumsy either!
Getting the bad news out of the way first, pictures suffer two key problems, the biggest being that they’re just not very sharp. Standard definition images have none of the aggressively detailed, crisp look seen on recent sets from, say, Sony, JVC and Philips, while even HD footage on the 37XL8E lacks the texture and crispness we’d expect to see on the best full HD TVs.
Also falling slightly short of the competition are the 37LX8E’s black levels. There’s a definite pall of greyness over really dark scenes, resulting in such scenes tending to lack a little shadow detailing so that they can sometimes feel short of depth. Having said that, while very dark shots can look grey, black elements within generally brighter pictures actually look strikingly good. Check out as an example Bond’s black silhouette during the opening credits of Casino Royale on Blu-ray. It really does look profoundly black against the riot of colours around it.