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Panasonic Viera TX-L32DT30B - 2D Picture and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

The panel design improvements instigated to improve the L32DT30’s 3D performance should also boost its 2D performance. And it’s certainly true that the L32DT30 delivers a clearly better 2D performance than last year’s edge LED Panasonic TVs. Motion looks crisper, provided at least you have the set’s Intelligent Frame Creation system set to its Mid level. Black levels look deeper at the same time that light parts of the picture look brighter. And colours look noticeably richer - or perhaps warmer would be a better way of putting it, fitting nicely with the sort of colour tones usually preferred by serious film buffs.

However, it’s not all sugar and spice. For while contrast is improved, dark scenes still look more grey and watered down than they do on some rival sets unless you activate the L32DT30’s Local Dimming system. But while this system dramatically improves black colours (albeit at the expense of a little shadow detail), it also causes a problem of its own in the shape of noticeable squares or rectangles of backlight inconsistency around bright objects when they appear against dark backgrounds.

The IFC system, too, while improving the L32DT30’s motion resolution considerably, can cause a few unwanted side effects. But we’d still recommend leaving it set to its mid level for the majority of the time.

Finishing things on an appropriately high note is the L32DT30’s audio. Those unusual full sized speakers more than justify their extra bulk with a soundstage that’s much more open, full-blooded, clear and dynamic than the puny thin efforts found on so many 32in TVs. Note to TV industry: If forced to decide between a few cm of extra depth on a TV and better sound, personally we’ll plump for the sound every time.

Verdict

The L32DT30 is nothing short of revelatory when it comes to 3D playback. The way it shows full HD active 3D material with scarcely a trace of the dreaded crosstalk interference proves without question that plasma isn’t the only viable 3D option. Of course, this is potentially a bit ironic given Panasonic’s passion for the plasma cause. But there you go.

It’s just a pity that the impact of Panasonic’s glorious 3D achievement is diminished by the small size of the screen it’s appearing on. And it’s a shame, too, that relatively few people will likely get to experience it on account of the L32DT30’s rather heavy price for a 32in set, especially once you’ve factored in 3D glasses.

But while these annoying ‘practical matters’ and a few contrast concerns might stop us from being able to award the L32DT30 the wholehearted recommendation its innovations probably deserve, this doesn’t diminish from the extent of its technical achievement.

Enigma

April 1, 2011, 5:55 am

I am NO longer going to believe 8/10 scores for Sound Quality - especially on April 1st. Ever since I noted some months ago that in this day-and-age SQ scores should not be 7/10 or below I am NOW beginning to see 8/10!!! NO NO NO NOT true scores.

Why the hell the 2D pic quality is 8/10 and while 3D score is 10/10?

Oh wait a minute this is some kind of a lame April Fools joke Review like the one about the ZX!! Also the ridiculous price is dead give away and the smallish bezel/screen frame for a Pani also is a dead give away.

Very funny. I give you 1/10 for an April Fools joke! ;-))

PS3½

April 1, 2011, 1:00 pm

Does less crosstalk make viewing on this set easier on the eye? I'm thinking of buying the 37in version.

betelgeus

April 2, 2011, 8:01 am

its quite east to break down enigma ,they are saying you cannot get a better 3d picture at the same price point on any telly regardless of dimensions also if you put all tellys at this price point into a test this scores higher than most but is not the highest,therefore value couldd be as high as 9.5 except you can buy something with slightl less pq yet double the size for the same price.

ConfitDuck

April 3, 2011, 2:35 pm

There's no mention at all in the review about the quality of the SD picture from the built in tuner. All this focus on 3D features for the tiny proportion of people who have 3D sources and nothing on what to many more people will be of major importance. For the record I've had a good look at this model in John Lewis and the Freeview picture was decidedly below par.

vivster

April 3, 2011, 10:33 pm

Supplier - Woolworths? Happy April's Fool TR ;-)

gdawg304

June 6, 2011, 8:31 pm

I was just scouting round for reviews of 32" TVs for my bedroom and this one sounds good. However, I clicked on all three of your 'Best Price' links which suggest it can be have for £514-£540 and they all go to TX-L32E30, not the DT30 which is apparently in the £800-£1000 region....error on your price comparison pages?

Ed

June 6, 2011, 8:47 pm

Not too sure. Just tried it now and it worked fine.

gdawg304

June 17, 2011, 5:40 pm

Really odd Ed, I just tried again myself and all the links are still pointing to the E30 for ~£500 - £650 ("Best Price £509 at Amazon")....price "As Reviewed" was £879 which seems more like it. Just even tried on my iPhone and still comes up with the E30 prices!

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