Picture quality cont'd
It’s also very pleasing to note how the image’s colour saturations and contrast don’t start to seriously deteriorate until you get to a noticeably wider viewing angle than is the case with non-IPS Alpha LCD TVs.
After the Panasonic L42ET5 suffered considerable input lag thanks to that set’s use at its heart of an LG-sourced panel, it’s good to find Panasonic’s home-grown L37E5 delivering a much more gamer-friendly - and consistent - input lag measurement of just 34ms.
When it comes to handling motion, the L37E5 is solid rather than great. There’s certainly evidence of resolution loss over motion, especially during fast camera pans - and this remains visible even if you use the fairly tame Clear Cinema processing option.
However, some degree of resolution loss is inevitable on a panel with a core 50Hz refresh rate, and actually the degree of motion softness on show here is seldom if ever seriously distracting. There’s no obvious ‘trailing’ or smearing behind moving objects either.
If the Panasonic L37E5 has a significant flaw, it’s that its HD pictures don’t look especially sharp. There’s certainly a tangible difference between standard def and HD, but there’s no denying that the L37E5’s HD pictures don’t seem spectacularly expressive of the tiny details that really make the very best HD pictures sing.
Some of this could be down to the minor motion issues noted earlier, but it doesn’t feel as if this is the only thing going on.
It has to be said, too, that the slightly soft feeling to pictures extends to standard definition images too. Though with standard definition there is an upside to this, in that the softness seems to hide the worst of the MPEG and mosquito noise issues generally associated with standard definition digital sources - especially those from the in-built (HD-capable) tuner.
A smaller issue we noted with pictures was a tendency for the previously-reviewed Panasonic L47E5’s dynamic contrast system to cause black levels to shift a little too noticeably with particular sorts of footage, such as the contrast-rich black and white ‘prologue’ to the Daniel Craig flick Casino Royale. Fortunately, really dramatic shifts are relatively rare, but still, it might have been nice if Panasonic had provided the option to turn the dynamic contrast system off.
Turning finally to the L37E5’s sound, it’s about average. Maybe a touch better than average. Its maximum volume levels are nothing to write home about, and there’s no great precision at the treble end of the spectrum or rumble at the bass end. But for all that, the mid-range seldom sounds compressed or harsh, meaning that even action movies aren’t uncomfortable to listen to.
While the Panasonic L37E5 in some ways merely whets our appetite for some of Panasonic’s incoming more high-end LCD and plasma TVs, it’s actually still a very likeable TV in its own right, delivering enough picture quality and features to thoroughly justify costing a bit more than your average bargain bucket 37in TV.