Panasonic TX-L37V20B review

LED TV with excellent HD credentials, but ultimately disappointing performance

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Panasonic tx l37v20e

Even if the TX-L37V20B wasn't a flagship LCD TV from one of the TV world's biggest brands, its pictures would disappoint.

There's one simple but unavoidable reason for this: backlight inconsistency; while watching predominantly dark scenes it's possible to make out areas of the picture that look brighter than the rest.

The TX- L37V20 is hardly unique in this respect, particularly among edge LED TVs, but the problem affects a few disturbingly large portions of the picture, and as such is more distracting than usual.

It is possible to reduce the aggressiveness/obviousness of the backlight issues if you take care to adjust the contrast and reduce brightness to around 35 per cent, but the point at which the backlight inconsistencies fade to the extent that a discerning eye will be happy with them leaves you with a picture that looks dull and, worse, is severely lacking in shadow detail.

Some other reviews of the L37V20 have suggested that the TrueCinema preset delivers an unusually good picture for an LCD TV and while this may be true in terms of colours and sharpness, the setting suffers extremely badly with backlight inconsistencies until you work your way around them.

The Cinema preset is probably the best starting point, but the bottom line is that no matter what mode you use, the backlight issues are never completely resolved.

This is a pity, because there's no doubt that the TX-L37V20B has got some potent picture tricks up its sleeve. HD pictures are ferociously sharp, for starters, especially when Blu-ray is the source, picking up every last detail from the best discs.

Crucially, the sharpness feels wholly natural, with none of the forced, gritty, edge-stressing nonsense produced by the circuitry of some rival sets.

Colours are frequently superb at time; post-calibration the set produces a really startlingly wide tonal range and proves remarkably adept at combining intense saturations with blend subtlety, even within single frames. Skin tones in particular have seldom – if ever – looked more credible on an LCD TV and for this Panasonic deserves hearty praise.

The TX-L37V20B also handles motion deftly. It's not as adept at spotting different video cadences as it perhaps should be for a flagship TV, but it handles judder nicely and the screen's fast response time irons out most motion blur.

You might even want to give Panasonic's IFC frame interpolation processing a go, for provided you don't set it beyond its lowest level of power, it definitely can reduce judder without producing too many distracting side effects. Some may not like the way it makes 'film' sources look more like video, but it's certainly not the total no-go area found with some motion processing engines.

The TX-L37V20 is also an above-average rescaler of standard-definition. The key to its success appears to be that it doesn't get too caught up with trying to make standard-def pictures look like HD in detail and sharpness terms, instead focusing adeptly on retaining colour tones and reducing noise.

The unusually wide viewing angle is apparent during everyday use and overall there's no question that the TX-L37V20 can produce pictures of mind-boggling quality. It's just a shame that this quality tends to slump during the sort of very dark sequences that find their way into almost any film at some point.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyViera
Brand NamePanasonic
Screen Size94 cm (37")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Analog TunerPAL, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)17.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption147 W
Standby Power Consumption290 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio2,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand633 mm
Width with Stand919 mm
Depth with Stand287 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Height591 mm
Width919 mm
Depth77 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, DTS, Surround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Child Lock, Picture and Text (PAT), Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture in Picture
Product ModelTX-L37V20
Product NameViera TX-L37V20 37" LED-LCD TV
Product LineViera
Manufacturer Part NumberTXL37V20B
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Panasonic brings you VIERA, a revolutionary line-up of 3DTV, Plasma, LED & LCD TV. The complete range of Viera TVs is fully compatible with the Going Digital Switchover.

Weight (Approximate)14.50 kg