The image’s sharpness owes much, too, to the L32D28’s excellent motion handling. The screen’s native response time seems impressively low, and this, in conjunction with the latest iteration of Panasonic’s increasingly excellent Intelligent Frame Creation (IFC) system, really does leave motion looking ultra fluid and ultra crisp.
We’d warn you away from leaving the IFC mode set higher than its mid level, for the Max one can occasionally generate a few processing side effects with really fast-moving material. But so long as you follow this simple tip, you’ll probably finding yourself completely forgetting for most of the time that you’re watching an LCD screen, so clean is the motion presentation.
The L32D28’s colours are really very good too: Vibrant, rich, dynamic, but also, crucially, subtle. Such tricky fare as skin tones thus appears without patchiness or banding, yet with enough shade and tone differentiation to ensure that faces don’t look waxy and flat like they can on lesser TVs.
One final plus point to mention is that the L32D28’s viewing angle seems slightly more forgiving than most LCD TVs. It’s still no match for a plasma screen, with greyness settling over blacks and other colours losing saturation from around 45 degrees and more. But this compares favourably with the mere 20-30 degrees of angle achievable with many LCD TVs, and the level of the drop off in colour, in particular, doesn’t seem as severe.
For most of the time, the L32D28’s pictures really are extremely good for a 32in TV, providing few if any reminders that this is Panasonic’s first commercial stab at edge LED technology. In a perfect world the backlight ‘seepage’ coming in from three or four sites along the screen’s edge during very dark scenes would be slightly less obvious, or perhaps more accurately, you wouldn’t have to reduce the image’s brightness quite so drastically to get rid of it.
Following on from this, some dark scenes look a touch lacking in shadow detail once they’ve been calibrated to reduce/remove the backlight seepage.
Continuing in a minor negative vein, we should also say that the L32D28’s sound is nothing to write home about, performing well on the detail front, but sounding harsh and thin when pushed hard, on account of it not producing anything significant at the bass end of the audio spectrum. And finally, the L32D28 is undeniably expensive by today’s 32in TV standards – a bit too expensive, in fact.
But it’s simply not fair to end a review of the L32D28 on a negative note, for despite its flaws, the fact remains that its pictures are some of the best the 32in TV world has to offer right now.
If you’re in the market for a premium performance 32in TV and have a reasonably plush bank account, the L32D28 is an impressive option you simply have to put near the top of your audition list.
In the end, its price feels at least £100 or so too expensive for a 32in TV for us to hand it the Recommended rating it deserves in so many ways. But of course, if you spot it being reduced in price in the months ahead, this objection will melt away.