Panasonic TX-32AS500 review

Impressive HD-ready LED telly with smart TV apps and Freeview HD

Panasonic TX-32AS500
Great Value

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As expected, the strengths of this Panasonic telly revolve around colour and contrast. There are some picture presets supplied; both dynamic and normal contain over-saturated colours and feature some unwanted artefacting, with true cinema's colours much too warm. I settled on the cinema setting and, using it as a base, took the edge off both the backlight and the brightness to create a thoroughly decent image.

Despite its use of a Full HD resolution panel, the detail apparent during Belgium vs Russia on Match of the Day Live on BBC One HD isn't all that impressive. The 1080i signal on this 720p panel ought to look more detailed than it does; instead we're left with a rather soft-looking image. That is, until I discovered the noise reduction and MPEG noise reduction options in the picture menus, both of which need to be switched off.

Panasonic TX-32AS500

You should adjust the presets to suit your preferences

Though various strengths are available, all seems to hamper ultimate clarity when watching HD channels from the Freeview HD tuner. Swap to Ice Giants on BBC Two HD and I did notice a modicum of judder during vertical camera pans, as well as a touch of motion blur, though neither are serious issues.

The clear highlight on the TX-32AS500 is contrast, with bold and well-saturated colours and good black levels, though the set doesn't help itself. The IPS panel is of decent quality, but contrast is at its best when both the contrast control setting (in advanced settings) and the ambient sensor (which dims the brightness slightly) are disengaged. The adaptive backlight control appeared to make little difference whether on or off.

Panasonic TX-32AS500

Out of all the presets cinema works best

Standard definition channels, meanwhile, are upscaled reasonably well. During Ice Giants in lower-res on BBC Two the softer image is mostly watchable, but during fast-moving scenes the judder and blur are more noticeable, as are ill-defined edges and mosquito noise that fizzes around the edges of anything that moves. Those noise reduction options don't help.

A spin of 12 Years A Slave on Blu-ray confirms the TX-32AS500's position as a fairly basic TV that's strengths are contrast and colour; it's a convincing and very clean image, but there's a lack of ultimate crispness. That, however, needn't be a criticism. For the growing number that now watches a diet mainly of HD TV, the TX-32AS500 is a reasonably accomplished performer.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),