Setting about calibrating the L32D28’s pictures, we were pleased to discover that it carries Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) endorsement. Activate the ISF option from the TV’s setup menu, and you’ll then be able to access an Advanced Settings sub-menu containing adjustments to the gain and cut-off of the red, green and blue colour elements, as well as five different gamma presets – including the most widely useful 2.2 one.
Obviously such fine-tuning tools are best used by an ISF engineer. But while we would agree that paying a certified ISF expert to come round is always worthwhile, we also believe most TrustedReviews readers could probably muster enough knowledge in conjunction with a simple TV set up aid like the HD Digital Video Essentials Blu-ray to have a stab at fine-tuning things for themselves.
Other more basic adjustments include a vivid colour processor, a multi-level noise reduction tool, and no less than eight unusually well-considered picture presets. These include a Game mode, a Photo mode (more brands should include one of these), and two ‘Professional’ modes intended for ISF use. Plus there are two separate Cinema modes: one designed to optimise the picture’s contrast performance for a dark room environment, and one that claims to produce a picture closer to the standards usually applied when mastering sources.
Before getting into the L32D28’s pictures, a quick word on Panasonic’s VieraCast system. It looks a little content-light at the moment compared with the latest online offerings from Sony and Philips, but it’s beautifully presented and extremely easy to use.
It’s quickly apparent as we settle down to watch the L32D28 that Panasonic has mostly hit the ground running with its edge LED debut.
For starters, its pictures are pleasingly punchy, thanks to the sort of impressively expansive contrast range we’re starting to expect more and more from LED TVs. Light scenes can look bright, colourful and dynamic, while dark scenes can look, well, dark, rather than washed out and grey.
We qualified both the above statements with ‘can’ only because some of the picture presets can change the ballpark rather a lot. For instance, the Cinema mode really does knock brightness levels down considerably, to a point where we’d say they’d only be engaging in a totally dark room. And the set’s black level response certainly reduces if you use the dynamic, normal or game settings.
If you opt to use one of the three picture presets mentioned above, we’d strongly recommend that you ‘tame’ the backlight/brightness quite a bit if you want to make the backlight inconsistencies tolerable.
Another strength of the L32D28’s picture is its sharpness. HD pictures look crisp, remarkably clean, and best of all extremely rich in detail. But standard definition pictures are no slouch either, with Panasonic’s new Resolution Enhancer feature repeating the successes its scored on other recent Panasonic models – provided you don’t set it to its highest level, at least.