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Panasonic Viera TX-L32E3B - Short On Features, But A Promising Picture
In typical ‘entry level’ style, the L32E3B really is pretty short of features. The main picture menu’s only unusual bits are a colour booster and something called CATS, which actually turns out to just be a fancy name for what’s now a pretty bog-standard feature whereby the TV can adjust the picture’s brightness in response to the amount of ambient light in the room.
There’s a promising-looking ‘Advanced features’ sub-menu within the picture menus, but this seems to be a pretty pointless extra menu division given that it only contains two further features: the option to turn off or adjust the level of Panasonic’s Resolution Enhancer processing or turn on or off the screen’s overscanning. Woo. Not.
Happily things pick up as we start to actually watch the L32E3B. For rather to our surprise, it delivers pictures that are not only more appealing than those of the L42E3B, but better than those of many of its similarly priced rivals.
The most surprising improvement comes with the detailing and clarity of HD footage. You’d expect the smaller screen to struggle relative to the larger one when it comes to showing off HD’s extra clarity and detail, but in fact the opposite is true.
The L32E3B’s pictures also generally avoid the slightly noisy look experienced with the L42E3B at times. Clearly some of this improvement could simply be down to the smaller screen not making noise issues so obvious, but this doesn’t explain the full extent of the improvement.
The L32E3B’s use of an IPS Alpha panel delivers a boost in viewing angle terms over the L42E3B too, as well as a palpable improvement in response time terms. However, there are limits to this. For while the extent of the response time improvement means that HD pictures look cleaner and crisper, there’s undoubtedly still some quite obvious motion blur on show while watching standard definition (Panasonic quotes 300 lines of Moving Picture Resolution). As with many edge LED TVs we test, the blurring reduces once the set has warmed up, but it’s still clearly visible during ordinary TV viewing even after the TV has been on for a good few hours.
Getting back to the good news, the L32E3B’s colours are really nice; subtle with their blends, reasonably punchy without being OTT, and best of all based on a nice, warm tone that fits very comfortably with the sort of look we aim for when calibrating TVs for movie viewing.