All is not perfect, however. For during dark scenes the 37LXD85 suffers a little with a familiar LCD problem: slightly washed out black levels. As ”Sweeney Todd” arrives at night on a boat at the start of the film, for instance, the blackness of his clothing, hair and the general city backdrop all look slightly greyed over and short of shadow detailing. What’s more, I also detected one or two slight flickers in the picture, usually following edits in the film, which I suspect might be down to the machinations of the 37LXD85’s dynamic contrast system.
To be fair, these black level and dynamic contrast issues aren’t at all bad versus many LCD rivals. Indeed, the general performance level is rather good. But set against the superb black level response and stability of the 37PX80, the 37LXD85’s problems simply can’t be ignored.
Sonically the 37LXD85 is a decent enough effort. Certainly there’s more bass and clarity than we’ve heard on previous generations of Panasonic’s entry-level flat TVs. But oddly I didn’t feel that the soundstage the 37LXD85 created was quite as engaging as that of its smaller, 32in 32LXD85 sibling – possibly simply because it doesn’t seem to have increased in scale to match the bigger screen size, and thus can sound a little too small to partner the 37in pictures.
There’s no doubt whatsoever that the 37LXD85 is a likeable, even good LCD TV. But with no Full HD resolution to push its cause, it suffers in comparison with Panasonic’s own entry-level 37in plasma offering, the TH-37PX80. Especially when you think that this plasma model can now be found online for as much as £150 less than the 37LXD85’s £725 asking price.