Top LCD TVs this Diwali
| by Siddharth Bhatia
It's the festive season again, so it's time to get out the playing cards and new clothes. It's also time to go shopping, and may I point out that LCD TVs are prime candidates? We have compiled a list of some worthy TVs, in all sizes. I would like to emphasize that this is not a comparison. Moreover, the prices mentioned are company prices, so you can expect to find better bargains at different retailers. Thanks to the cut-throat competition, we can expect some nice discounts.
This one is a S-IPS panel, different from Samsung's S-PVA style. These have the best viewing angles and are touted to have very fast response times. Two distinct colors make up the bezel: aluminum and glossy black. The metallic part is on the bottom panel, shaped as a downward pointing arch, while the rest of the bezel is rectangular. The bezel is broader than in any other 32-incher in the market.
The 16:9 32-inch screen has a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The back panel is quite bare, again with a different connection layout. The HDMI ports are separated, with HDMI 1 & 2 isolated in their own corner; with the rest of analog/low-def connection placed in an I/O window in the center of the back panel. Other TVs usually have the connections tucked away at the right hand corner.
Connections include only 2 HDMIs (one less than what I expected), and the side panel only has composite in, S-video and headphone out. Besides, there is a PC-in (VGA cable) and a couple more composite and component-ins. And yes, also an SD card slot for viewing JPEG photos.
The manual is more intuitive and illustrated than usual; it makes setting up and understanding the TV easier. The native PC resolution to use is 1024 x 768 while contrast is 10,000:1 which is not as high as some of today’s extravagant ratings, but that doesn't matter much.
This Panasonic stands out in the brightness/contrast department. It was actually as good as in their recent plasma that we reviewed, with good black levels and gray gradation, and this wasn't just subjective. On DisplayMate tests, there were 64 perfect levels of gray to black, and this came easily with some menu tweaks.
The contrast hits a sweet spot at the 73-75 level on the software menu, while the brightness hardly needs to be tweaked. There was no blooming at all around the edges at optimum contrast levels. The TV displayed colors brilliantly, though it should be kept in ‘standard mode’ preset, and the color setting should be ‘neutral’. There was no sign of color bleed or patchiness. This is a 100 Hz set, so motion is smooth.
The TX-32LX800 is not cheap, but then it's the festive season. Further, its performance puts it in the rarefied realm of excellence.
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