Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Review Price £544.90

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.

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