What Hooked Us:
- The LCD display is at the forefront of its class with its broad viewing angle.
- All the main features are catered for.
- Easy day-to-day operation.
Why We Grumbled:
- The Panasonic colors are not spot-on.
- There is some judder with 24p-format material.
The Final Verdict:
This Panasonic LCD really adds up to something when you consider its strong picture (even when viewed side-on), easy operation and practical feature-set. Its only irritating weakness is the rather average color reproduction.
This LCD from Panasonic comes in classic TV styling. Despite its 37″ (94 cm) screen diagonal, it is just as broad as many 42″ (106 cm) models. The side-mounted speakers are responsible for this, and most manufacturers these days mount them below the screen.
The expansive design might even be a bit on the large side to suit typical living room furniture. Nevertheless, the size of the casing allows for a pair of decently proportioned speakers, which should then deliver better sound.
In-Plane Switching Technology (IPS):
Panasonic has a two pronged attack strategy: For its larger screens, it concentrates exclusively on plasma technology, while at the same time, smaller LCD panels are being produced by the firm “IPS Alpha Technology” (IPS).
IPS is a joint venture between Panasonic, Hitachi and Toshiba and one of their screens is also hiding in this smaller screen model. IPS swears by In-Plane Switching, a special type of liquid crystal technology that promises a deep and colorful picture even from wide viewing angles. This Japanese offering also delivers a tantalizing full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). Both features are essential for high detail and good color accuracy.
The refined technology ultimately aims to increase the maximum contrast of the display. The ambient illumination is measured by the set’s built-in light sensor which can automatically regulate the intensity of the backlight. This should give the set a constant visual impression. There is also the option for the lights to adjust to the picture content, so that they turn down in darker scenes, giving a deeper black.
The efficient power supply unit is worthy of praise – in standby mode, it consumes a mere 0.3 Watts. Unfortunately though, when considering the millions of household devices around the world, it makes little difference if it uses 0.3 or 1 Watt – it is still a lot of wasted energy.
Tuner and Memory Card Slot:
For a screen of this size, full HD resolution is not necessarily standard, so more praise to Panasonic for including it in this model. The tuner receives both analog cable and DVB-T, but like many current models, it only has one antenna connection. Without an extra adapter, you cannot therefore combine cable and terrestrial digital broadcasts. A memory card slot is provided, allowing the TX-37 LZD 70 F to display digital photos from SD cards in high resolution.
2.5 Teletext (HiText):
Another fairly elite feature is the Level 2.5 Teletext (HiText), which (in Germany, at least) is only supported by the public broadcasting companies. This modernized form of Teletext is really rather good – more colors and more detailed graphics make the text more legible and pleasing to the eye than the earlier Teletext standards.
Computers can be connected via VGA, or using one of the two HDMI inputs. There are also two RGB-capable Scart sockets, a YUV input and a front-mounted S-video/composite/audio feed, for rapid hook-up up to camcorders or games consoles. All that is missing is a digital audio output, which most DVB-T ready sets do provide. This is only really a deciding factor if multichannel sound is eventually broadcast via DVB-T in the future.
Screen Menu and Remote Control:
Apart from a few trifling issues, the Panasonic handles like a dream. The manufacturers have given it a high-resolution, well-structured menu, which is easy to become familiarized with.
The bar-graph representations for picture quality adjustment would benefit from the inclusion of numerical values – this would allow for more accurate reproduction of any good settings found previously.
The buttons on the remote are excellently grouped, and the extra large buttons are very clearly labeled. If anything, the remote could have been a touch lighter and more compact, which would have made it sit a little more comfortably in the hand.
Clearly labeled and vertically arranged sockets:
The sockets on the back of the TV are also clearly labeled and are arranged vertically, so you can see them without spraining your neck. A number of other manufacturers put the connections horizontally on the underside of the unit – this keeps the cables out of the way if you want to wall-mount, but it is awkward to connect the unit up. It also means that the cables can fall out under their own weight – none of these problems occur with the TX-37 LZD 70 F.
The clear and comprehensive user’s manual is equally worthy of praise.
TV and DVD Picture Quality
In TV mode, and with the picture mode set to “Cinema”, the Panasonic makes a great first impression. There’s hardly any noise on analog cable TV signals, and the picture is decently crisp. With DVB-T signals, the picture is even a little better, in particular with relatively static pictures, such as panel debates. Picture cross-fades are not handled with the same confidence; and defects such as blockiness, which are inherent in DVB-T, become apparent. These result from the lower bandwidth compared to digital satellite (DVB-S) reception, so it is not Panasonic’s fault; this TV just exposes the shortcomings present in the broadcasting system.
The analog video inputs work very competently, giving a clean and sharp picture. A significantly better picture can be attained with a satellite receiver connected via Scart-RGB than with the built in DVB-T tuner.
Home-theater fans looking to tease every last ounce of detail from their DVDs, should consider investing in a good player with an HDMI output, and specifically one that can pre-scale the signal – a Denon DVD-1940, for example. With material supplied in either 1080i or 1080p format, this LCD gives you absolute detail. In “Six Days, Seven Nights” for example, as Harrison Ford struggles through imposing thunder clouds, the blocky noise we normally see on this DVD is not as strong on the TX-37 LZD 70 F. Generally, in fact, digital artifacts are better concealed than on other LCD sets.
Overall, the LCD panel does win us over. Color gradients are shown smoothly without the rough stepping effect commonly observed, and black is reproduced in perfect proportion – no brightening of edges or cloudy effects are to be seen. The IPS technology lives up to its word – brightness, contrast and color remain constant even with off-angle viewing. This is really a rarity for LCD screens, and deserves applause.
HDTV Picture Quality
Contrast and Contrast Range:
In terms of contrast, the Panasonic cannot, of course, compete with plasma technology, but for LCDs it really is up in the mix. The starry backdrop in the HD DVD “Apollo 13” looks dark and vivid, albeit with a slight violet cast. Although some of the stars are no larger than a pixel, they are clear and crisp on the TX-37 LZD 70 F.
Thanks to its content-dependent backlighting, a contrast ratio is achieved that is almost comparable to plasma technology. But, it is a different story in other situations. If both bright and dark elements are present in the picture, the electronics do not dim the backlight, so the contrast hardly improves.
The contrast range varies from just 450:1 (for a checker-board test-picture) all the way up to 2,500:1 (white screen followed immediately by a black one). The picture shows typical LCD strength in bright daylight, where incident light just seems to be swallowed up, and the high intensity makes for a brilliant picture.
Weak point color accuracy:
For example, the originally orange-colored crane in the opening sequence of “Casino Royale” looks more red than orange, and the turquoise sky and ocean are a bit too strongly colored. Black and white films such as “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” are slightly blue-green looking, and this gives a somewhat sterile picture. The same errors crop up time and again, but in all honesty, they are only really visible in direct comparison to a color-neutral studio monitor.
The Panasonic does accept video signals in the original movie frame rate of 24 Hz, but reformats them to 60 Hz internally. Hence, slight judder on the playing cards is noticeable in the opening titles of the Bond film, which should not occur with 24p playback.
Settings for the best home-theatre performance*
Picture Mode: Cinema
Contrast: 10 cm
Brightness: 9.8 cm
Color: 12 cm
Sharpness: 3.5 cm
Color Temperature: Warm
MPEG NR: 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 may necessitate slight adjustment. The centimeter (cm) setting refers to the length of the bar that appears in the menu.
Quick Points Summary
The Panasonic has a good list of features, but unfortunately the pedestal cannot be rotated.
Tidy: The connections are easily reached and are clearly labeled.
Passable: The color balance is slightly shifted towards violet.
Excellent: The Gamma response curve is accurately calibrated.
- S-Video : 2
- Input Video Formats : 576i/p, 720p, 1080i/p
Dimensions & Weight Details
- Dimensions & Weight Details : Panel with stand – 103.12 cm x 10.92 cm x 63.5 cm x 27 kg
Digital TV Tuner
- Digital TV Tuner : analog, DVB-T
Test Lab Data
- Color neutrality : 6
- Motion-errors : very good
- Picture-quality with DVDs : good
- Picture-quality with HD-Signals : good
- Homogenity of picture : 81%
- Picturecropping (overscan) using HDMI : 0%
- Brightness – maximum : 217 cd/m2
- Contrast – maximum : 2540:1
- Black level : 0.1 cd/m2
- Brightness – average : 205.7 cd/m2
- Contrast – ANSI : 439:1
- Linearity errors on greyscale : 0.26%
- HDMI : 2
- Composite video : 3
- Digital Television Certification : HDTV
- Video Interface : HDMI, Scart, Component, VGA, S-Video, Composite
- Height : 63.5 cm
- Width : 103.12 cm
- Weight : 27 kg
- Depth : 10.92 cm
- Power Consumption Operational : 113 Watt
- Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep : 1.1 Watt
- Diagonal Size : 37″ – widescreen
- Image Aspect Ratio : 16:9
- Resolution : 1920×1080
- Brightness : 217 cd/m2
- Image Contrast Ratio : 2540:1
- Dynamic Contrast Ratio : 8500:1
- YUV : 1
- VGA : 1