Unfortunately, despite sporting a snazzy Freesat HD tuner, the TX-32LZD81 lacks a couple of the high end features seen on the TX-32LZD85. The most prominent omission is Panasonic’s generally impressive 100Hz processing, and the Motion Focus Technology that goes along with it. The combination of these two featured ensured that the TX-32LZD85 turned in a sterling performance when it came to maintaining the resolution of moving objects, like players on a football pitch, or the football itself for that matter. It’s somewhat unfortunate that this TV, that lends itself to watching ITV footie in glorious high definition, lacks the technology to ensure totally smooth motion. That’s not to say that the TX-32LZD81 handles motion badly, just that the addition of 100Hz processing and Motion Focus Technology would have made it that bit better. I guess what I’m saying is that I would have liked to have seen all the features of the TX-32LZD85, coupled with a Freesat HD tuner – but I guess that would have pushed the cost up a fair bit.
Talking of price, there seems to be quite a wide range on offer from online retailers, although I managed to track down one store selling the TX-32LZD81 for £740 including VAT and delivery. That’s quite a bargain compared to some of the other prices out there, and also represents good value considering what you’re getting for your money. Given its size, many will consider the TX-32LZD81 as a second TV, and will probably already have Sky installed, thus making it easy to hook up the Freesat HD tuner. Then with Sky HD in one room and Freesat HD in the other, you really will have the best of both worlds.
Having Freesat HD built into a TV makes sense, it’s that simple. It allows you to watch HD content without the need to invest in any other hardware, and that in itself is reason enough to want one. Add to that the fact that the only way you can watch ITV HD at present is through Freesat, and many football fans will be keen to sign up straight away.
When you take Freesat HD out of the equation, this is still a pretty good all round 32in LCD TV, and I can’t imagine too many people being disappointed with its performance. However, I still would have liked to see Panasonic’s 100Hz processing included in the feature list, as well as Motion Focus Technology. Even without those two components though, it would be churlish to not give this TV a full 10 for features, since no other 32in TV exists with a built-in high definition tuner (at least not in the UK). Ultimately, Panasonic has produced yet another great all rounder.
Score in detail
Image Quality 8
Sound Quality 8