Within the attractive, well-organised onscreen menus, meanwhile, the most interesting features on offer are a noise reduction tool, a colour management tool that tries to automatically optimise colour settings based on a continual assessment of the incoming video signal, a virtual surround mode (complete with the facility to tell the TV how far your speakers are from your wall), and the option to deactivate all overscanning.
Obviously this latter feature is not as important on a ‘mere’ HD Ready TV as it would be on a full HD set. After all, the UK doesn’t have any 1,366 x 768 sources, only 1,920 x 1,080 ones, and so HD images will have to be scaled to the TV’s lower resolution regardless of whether overscanning is set on or off.
The final background information on the 32LXD85 concerns its V-Real Pro 3 image processing. This is the same system we’ve seen delivering such exemplary results on other new Panasonic TVs, with its emphasis on reducing video noise, improving colours and sharpness, and boosting black level response.
In fact, thanks to the dual efforts of V-Real Pro 3 and a built-in automatic backlight adjustment that can dim the picture’s brightness during dark scenes, the 32LXD85 claims a very respectable contrast ratio of 10,000:1.
In assessing the 32LXD85’s picture quality, the best place to start in this reviewer’s humble opinion is by seeing how much we miss the full HD resolution found on the 32LZD85. And the answer is, not as much as we’d feared or even expected.
Regular readers will know that I’m currently obsessed with Sky HD’s remarkably high quality recent broadcast of ”The Italian Job” (the 1969 version, obviously), and I was really pleasantly surprised by how much of this broadcast’s stunning sharpness and detail the 32LXD85 manages to deliver.
You can still appreciate the difference in the weaves of Charlie Croker’s sharp but slightly cheap linen suit versus the shiny Italian quality of the Mafia boss as the latter threatens to kill Charlie and his crew on a mountain road. And the gorgeous scenery around this scene still looks effortlessly ‘HD’ in detail and depth, as do the later aerial shots looking down on Turin.
Particularly impressive is the cleanliness of the V-Real processing’s scaling. For I could see scarcely a trace of any of the colour fizz, dot crawl or edge noise that can accompany the rescaling process. The only time I could really see a difference between the HD Ready 32LXD85 and full HD 32LZD85 was during a few medium range and long distance shots, when faces and clothes definitely didn’t look quite as detailed as with the full HD model.