What Hooked Us:
- To its advantage, the HDTV component is available at the full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.
- The perfect cinematic rendering of 24p signals is accomplished excellently.
- By comparison to other state-of-the-art televisions, when viewing the screen obliquely there is practically no visible reduction in contrast and the colors remain neutral.
Why We Grumbled:
- The default factory color settings are a little too cool when playing back black and white film content.
- Even after calibration, the colors are not quite perfect.
The Final Verdict:
The Panasonic TX-37 LZD 80 F is a very good all-rounder that is suitable for daily TV viewing and for home-cinema deployment. It is simple to use, generates a crystal clear and focused TV image, and perfectly renders HDTV films in “24p Cinematic Mode”.
Panasonic does not just build superb plasma televisions, but they are clearly quite competent at manufacturing good LCD sets: The latest TX-37 LZD 80 F model draws attention to itself through its fabulous feature set and moderate pricing.
Even though a larger screen would be more beneficial when it comes to HDTV, this Panasonic with its 37″ (94 cm) screen diagonal still packs in the full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution for perfect HDTV playback.
Here are some points of interest:
This modern full HD LCD display with its 1920 x 1080 pixels is viewable even from oblique angles without image degradation – an achievement that is not recognized in the majority of LCD flat-panel televisions.
The brightness may be reduced, but the color information and contrast remain consistent. A light sensor optimizes the picture intensity by regulating the backlight in “Eco” mode automatically according to the surrounding ambient illumination – the result is a perfectly lit picture in all lighting conditions.
The Panasonic has just standard components when considering the television’s tuner. Its elements for analog cable reception and DVB-T are nothing out of the ordinary in today’s high-tech world. Since the television set itself possesses just one antenna input, a commercially available adapter is required if wishing to receive from both cable TV and DVB-T sources simultaneously.
Three HDMI interfaces may be used to connect various switchable digital devices to the television, while analog components can take advantage of the Scart connector or YUV interface. Camcorders and co. can be interfaced quickly and easily through the side-mounted analog video input (composite or S-Video) – another delightful feature is the SD memory card reader, which is also available on this side panel. For the perfect “slide-show” evening, high resolution photos from a digital camcorder can be rendered in perfect HD quality completely free of PC intervention.
Channel-surfers will love this: The Panasonic is incredibly fast when it comes to changing the channel. The time taken for the next channel to appear on the screen in analog mode is just 1.5 seconds, and just 2 seconds are required for digital. The list of programmed channels is accompanied by the name of the broadcasting station – also for analog reception, which is something that is non-existent in many other sets.
Taking the edge off perfection for everyday routine is the missing button on the otherwise well laid out remote controller for springing back to the last viewed program. The controller itself is somewhat bulky, but it does have a meaningful layout with sensible captions, which are legible without having to turn to a magnifying glass.
On a more serious note: Some manufacturers ignore the relevance of having easy-to-read captions on their controllers – the main focus being placed on whether all functions are present. That the user is more baffled than supported by this approach seems to be of irrelevance.
The Panasonic designers have not just thought carefully about their remote controller, the screen menu is responsive, neatly arranged and the chosen fonts are clearly legible even from the customary couch position
TV and DVD Picture Quality
The more effort that is spent by the manufacturers in the preset department is generally rewarded later. The Panasonic delivers a crisp image starting with the “Cinema” preset, even if the sharpness setting has to be subdued a little to remove the very slight ghosting that it generates. News tickers, stock market prices and other marquee texts are surprisingly legible.
Even with the noise filter deactivated, fine details such as skin pores still come across a little too softly when in analog mode. The sharpness becomes more enhanced when viewing digital content (DVB-T), especially where motion and fast camera pans are present as the overscan can be bypassed creating an image with exceptional detail. This becomes very apparent when viewing sporting events – the grass in a football stadium, for example, retains its structure, and any jaggedness of the white pitch markings is rarely observable even if the camera pans across the field quickly.
This is equally applicable for the reception of signals from an external set-top box played back through the standard Scart RGB video input or HDMI (576i) interface. DVD playback of intricate scenes, such as the shot across the beach in chapter 5 of the movie “Six days, Seven Nights” is accompanied by barely noticeable and infrequent jaggedness on slanted edges, a sign perhaps that the de-interlacer is not functioning correctly. If the player is fitted with a good de-interlacer of its own, then video output should be in progressive mode anyway and not interlaced – the effect should then cease to exist.
HDTV Picture Quality
The Panasonic delivers a clean and pixel perfect image when viewing HDTV material from a set-top box in 1080i format or from a 1080p HD DVD/Blu-ray player. Both versions display images that are rich in detail, have perfect clarity and are practically indistinguishable between the two signal types.
As evident in the Blu-ray edition of the Bond movie “Casino Royale”, the de-interlacer works, with very few exceptions, impeccably at 1080i. Whereas the intricate crane scene in the first chapter of the film is masterfully executed, the horizontal stripes on the luxury yacht in the opening scenes of chapter 4 have a brief flicker effect.
Completely free of any kind of disturbance is the playback of 1080 signals – and even 24 Hz cinematic material is played back effortlessly and without judder for that perfect home-cinema experience. The TX-37 LZD 80 F is at home with 1080p signals – a feat that is not to be taken for granted. Compared with other equipment, the Panasonic displays the black and white opening credits of the agent adventure film with a slight violet cast.
The “Normal” color balance setting of the Japanese set is, at 8,800 Kelvin, a little too cool. However, this is the best setting since the preset “Warm” will produce an even worse and more disturbing pink coloration. It is real shame that the point is always missed when it comes to color neutrality.
Computer Operation and Sound Quality
Older computers with a VGA connector can interface to the flat-panel television directly, while more modern versions can take advantage of the set’s full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution through the digital HDMI interface. Detailed presentations, slide shows and film material are then particularly accessible to larger viewing audiences.
Commentators, newscasters and public speakers all have well defined audio signatures with clear high and mid-tone frequencies – at least the audio components are performing their duty. The Japanese set is missing bass for that perfect home cinema sound – hence, connecting an external AV receiver would be the desired solution.
Settings for the best home-theatre performance*
Viewing Mode: Cinema
Contrast: 16.7 cm
Brightness: 9.7 cm
Color: 13.7 cm
Color Balance: Normal
Sharpness: 4 cm
Picture Overscan: Off
Color Management: Off
* applied to realistic playback from HD DVD/Blu-ray material through the HDMI interface in a darkened environment. Manufacturing and HDMI playback device deviations could necessitate slight adjustment. The centimeter (cm) setting is for the length of the bar that appears in the menu.
Quick Points Summary
Crystal clear: The 37″ television from Panasonic displays superbly crisp images in television mode, and exceptionally brilliant results come from HDTV material.
Perfect for the modern slide show: Apart from the HDMI and analog inputs, the set has an SD-Card reader for accessing digital camera recordings that is easily accessible from the side.
Too cool for black and white: The color temperature is too high and emphasizes the blue end of the spectrum.
- S-Video : 2
- Input Video Formats : 576i/p, 720p, 1080i/p
Dimensions & Weight Details
- Dimensions & Weight Details : Panel with stand – 94.23 cm x 10.92 cm x 60.7 cm x 23 kg
Digital TV Tuner
- Digital TV Tuner : analog, DVB-T
Test Lab Data
- Color neutrality : 7
- Motion-errors : very good
- Picture-quality with HD-Signals : very good
- Picture-quality with DVDs : good
- Homogenity of picture : 86%
- Picturecropping (overscan) using HDM : I0%
- Brightness – maximum : 167 cd/m2
- Contrast – maximum : 863:1
- Black level : 0.19 cd/m2
- Brightness – average : 159.7 cd/m2
- Contrast – ANSI : 317:1
- Linearity errors on greyscale : 1.05%
- Composite video : 3
- HDMI : 3
- Digital Television Certification : HDTV
- Video Interface : HDMI, Scart, Component, VGA, S-Video, Composite
- Depth : 10.92 cm
- Width : 94.23 cm
- Weight : 23 kg
- Height : 60.7 cm
- Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep : 0.2 Watt
- Power Consumption Operational : 117 Watt
- Diagonal Size : 37″ – widescreen
- Image Aspect Ratio : 16:9
- Dynamic Contrast Ratio : 10000:1
- Resolution : 1920×1080
- Brightness : 167 cd/m2
- Image Contrast Ratio : 863:1