The TX-32LZD85, a mid-range model from Panasonic’s new LCD collection, packs a fearsome on-paper punch.
For starters, it’s got Full HD resolution, potentially adding an extra lovely level of purity to your 1080i/p HD gaming visuals.
Intriguingly, it’s also got 100Hz processing, whereby the normal PAL scanning rate of 50Hz is doubled to make motion look clearer and less blurred.
This should deliver really helpful results when viewing video, but has the potential to be more of hindrance with games. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
Panasonic's TV packs a punch
The Panasonic TX-32LZD85 also boasts motion focus technology for making moving objects look sharper, a special 24p film processing mode, and Panasonic’s V-Real engine for improving colours, detailing and so on.
You also get an improved dynamic backlight system for boosting black levels (the set’s contrast ratio is claimed to be a hearty 10,000:1) and a potentially energy-saving system that automatically adjusts the image based on the light levels in your room.
Connections are right on the money for a hardcore gaming machine too, including three HDMIs, all built to the v1.3 spec and all able to handle Deep Color – should the PS3 ever start delivering this picture- enhancing format.
Other highlights include a component video input (should you only have an original Xbox 360 rather than the HDMI-sporting Elite model), a dedicated PC port for laptop/desktop gaming, and an SD card slot for digital photo viewing.
The TX-32LZD85 proves to be a pretty exceptional handler of our Forza Motorsport test game.
For starters, images look phenomenally crisp and sharp, with plenty of fine detail and, superbly, absolutely no colour bleed or edge smearing as you swing your car’s back end around a tight bend.
In fact, in this motion-handling respect, it’s excellent, with the twin attack of the Motion Focus and 100Hz technologies really working wonders.
Colours, meanwhile, blaze off the screen, with radiantly fulsome saturations that make the cars look so good you feel you could just reach out and touch the metal.
Yet more good news comes with the black levels, which get way deeper than is common with LCD and help make dark gaming – and video – moments much more involving and credible.
In fact, in terms of the picture that ultimately appears on the screen, there’s really nothing to fault the TX-32LZD85 on – other than if you spin out, there’s a fractional flicker to edges as there’s a processing struggles to keep up.
However, the amount of video processing the TV employs does seem to cause a delay between what the console thinks you’re seeing and what the TV is actually showing.
The effect isn’t as pronounced as with some rivals, but it’s there nonetheless.
Superior to its LCD rivals?
Of course, the heavy processing power that causes a slight issue with gaming is manna from heaven for video. The TX-32LZD85 is every bit as sublime at showing standard and high definition material as its rivals.
While it may not be the purist gamer’s choice, once you add some exceptional video prowess to the nearly flawless gaming, as a TV/console all-rounder, the Panasonic TX-32LZD85 is the one to beat.