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I was, frankly staggered to see that the Panasonic TX L32 X10B, 42 inch screen, LCD television set has garnered two five star reviews from previous dooyoo reviewers.
My parents bought this TV set in early 2010, and I've been unfortunate enough to have a lot of experience watching / using it when I've been visiting them. My dad's eyesight isn't as great as it used to be, and they like a big-screen telly these days - though they've have always had a bit of a penchant for extremely large, room-dominating televisions if the ones we had during my childhood were anything to go by. So this is just another in a long line of gigantic telly sets they've owned, really - but with the added advantage that, when they come replace it with an even bigger telly in a year or so - because it's flat-screen, they won't have the almighty headache of being elderley and trying to dispose of a gigantic, blocky cathode-ray-old-style telly that weighs ten-tonnes and they're not nearly able to lift, any more.
The Panasonic set has built-in Freeview, so there's no need for a separate Freeview receiver - although my folks have one of those very useful hard-disc recorders for Freeview, so they tend to watch it through that.
The TV is very thin in profile - only about three inches, and this, combined with its immense size as a fairly flat object means that if it didn't have some weight to it, it would probably end up being knocked off the telly table you've put it on (assuming it's not wall-mounted; you can of course buy a support so you can wall-mount it) whenever anyone went past it. The TV does however weigh 13kg, much of which I suspect is probably artificially heavy ballast. The stand it comes with is easily wide enough to support it (although it looks slightly too small, aesthetically, to me) . The telly comes with its own remote control of course, but is unusually slow to switch on - after you press the 'on' button (and you seem to have to hold this down for it to switch on) there's a noticeable, several second delay before anything happens to the set - a surprisingly long wait that inevitably makes you wonder if you've really turned the TV on or not. This is admittedly a small point, just one of those minor annoyances that would make everyday life just that little bit better for everyone if it could be dispensed with.
The speakers for the telly are one on each side of the main screen and seem to work quite adequately.
As with other digital TVs I've seen - and I spent some time shopping for one of my own not long ago - these sets have an annoying idiosyncrasy that reveals itself especially when the TV picture they're displaying shows any large areas of unchanging darkness (such as the background in a night scene). When this happens, something happens to the screen that makes you see little 'flocks' of squarish pixels flickering on and off in various shades of dark colours in front of the dark areas. If the isn't any movement or change in the picture in the darkened area, this can go on for several seconds at a time, and I find the effect quite distracting. The screen resolution doesn't seem to be great in that the flickering, squarish pixels you see appearing over the large dark / blank areas seem relatively large - maybe half a cm or more square, and the picture in general isn't what I'd call especially 'sharp' during everyday TV viewing. The exception to this is when you're watching one of the terrestrial TV channels that's being broadcast in high-definition through the built-in Freeview. In that case the picture is as sharp and clear as anything, but of course my folks don't usually use the built-in Freeview that came with the set, as they watch Freeview through their Freeview recorder. In any case at the moment, it's only a couple of the BBC stations and I think the main version of ITV that're being sent out like this.
While I thought this TV was adequate - but certainly nothing special - I should probably mention that if you look eg. at amazon.co.uk, the people reviewing it there for some reason all think very highly of it. I can only explain this apparent contradiction to myself by concluding that if you've spent well over £500 on a telly, you probably end up in an 'Emperor's New Clothes' sort of mindset wherein you somehow manage to delude yourself that it's the best thing ever, even if, in actuality, it's a bit of a lemon.
A big set like this will currently cost you about the £500 to £600 mark from eg. amazon.co.uk, where the product spec for it is as follows:
Wide viewing angle with IPS alpha panel
50,000:1 contrast with intelligent scene controller
Smart networking with VIERA link
VIERA image viewer (AVCHD/JPEG)
It's compatible with DVD players, Freeview boxes, and you can connect you games console / computer into the back of it etc. etc. etc. via the following connection ports it has in the back of it:
x2 SCART connectors
x3 HDMI slots (two at the back, one at the side)
x1 PC slot
After our 23" Samsung LCD losing its sound output, my father decided to buy a new TV, and he decided this was the best option. This Panasonic viera TV really is great. It was easy to install when we first plugged it in, if memory serves me correctly, I just plugged it in and it updated automatically! I use it with my xbox 360, my HD set top box. The remote is large, and easy to use, with many functions on it. It also makes it easy to switch between the TV and all the things connected to my tv.
Use with in built freeview
The tv works well with the inbuilt free view. The picture is fantastic, and the colours also look great. The sound is also good, and as I often found on our old TV, if the sound was turned up to loud, it seemed to vibrate the tv, making a horrible noise. There's none of that here. Crisp sound, and as loud as you want. There are a number of settings, such as the sound, the colour, the size, and other things. The guide on the freeview is good, and really easy to use, and find things.
Use with HD set top box
The best way I find to see the difference between HD and normal is when watching the football. I'll start watching the game on standard definition, and then remember we have HD, so I'll put it on, and even then I don't really notice the difference. But when I flip back, the standard definition looks all fuzzy, the colours look crap, and just the viewing experience isn't as pleasurable. You can't believe that's what you usually watch! The picture on HD is sharp, the colours bright and vibrant. The picture really is wonderful.
Use with xbox 360
Before we got this TV, I used my xbox on the Samsung 23" we had, without the HDMI cable. The picture was alright, but it was hard to distinguish between some colours, especially on one game I had, where there was a green and red line, and it was hard to see where they met because it was all fuzzy. So we got this Tv and it was pretty much the same, and then my dad bought an HDMI cable for it. The main difference I noticed was an increased sharpness and better colours, mostly visable on football games. The quality of the picture is definitely alot better with this TV and the 1080p feature.
Overall, this is the best TV in the house by far, and it really is great to watch.
The search for my first decent TV for my new apartment was a lengthy process that took months and involved multiple purchases!
I had initially purchased the LG 32LH2000 from Richer Sounds for £365 including their 5 year warranty. In case anyone is considering this model, it was great for gaming and produced a good picture. For freeview though... it was a different story and there appeared to be very little detail in the images and increasing the sharpness introduced numerous artefacts.
Not being happy with my purchase I looked at alternatives and that's when I came across this Panasonic L32X10B. I had heard some work colleagues mention that Panasonic were one of the best manufacturers to go with and a friend who does LCD repairs said that Panasonic are the brand he has to repair very infrequently so I hope this is good sign for the years to come ( I get the 5 year warranty on it just in case).
As far as this TV goes... it's fantastic! The freeview signal is very clear and I happened to find Life showing on BBC Three to really put it through it's paces. It passed with flying colours, which coincidently looked very natural.
The Which? guide mentioned an annoyance with adverts on the EPG (programme guide) but if they meant the box on the left, it's hardly anything that you'd even notice.
One of the aspects of the TV that I very much appreciated was the ability to view what was on across various channels both now and next by using the directional buttons and still having the programme I was currently watching on screen with the sound, similar to what you can do on Sky. This is on top of having the EPG for each channel or across a certain time period. It was a function I did not know about previously but now will never buy a TV without it.
I don't own a blu-ray player but in the shop they put on UP! via blu ray in the shop and it looked better than both a £499 LG and a £499 Samsung next to it, and they were both 1080p compared to this TV at 720p/1080i. The Transformers DVD that I played on it (I didn't' want to have to concentrate too much!) looked great too.
As for gaming, I have pretty good vision and I couldn't see any problems with the fast paced motion of COD MW2 or Halo 3 when hooked up to my Xbox 360 via HDMI.
Another useful function of this TV is it's phono output (red and white) instead of just a headphone socket like most LCD TVs. This means that it can easily be hooked up to an external amplifier for some loud and beefy sound! On that point, the sound from the internal speakers I thought was absolutely fine, better than I'd expect from an LCD TV.
As of yet I haven't' been able to find a fault with the Panasonic L32X10B and I haven't regretted upgrading from the 32LH2000 for a second!