Panasonic Viera TC-L32X30

9.0
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Reviewed by malikona (Currently owns)

This review is actually of the TC-L32C3, which is the same display panel but lacks the internet connectivity. So you'll notice I did not score the software, only the hardware. The only software relevant to the L32C3 however, the on-screen display controls etc., appear to be excellent.

I am definitely not a TV or HD video buff, but I do have pretty high standards for resolution, color accuracy, etc. I only had about $300 budgeted for a new TV, and I knew 32" was the size I was looking for. I researched the options pretty thoroughly, and I was most influenced by one person who was a bulk buyer of TVs for installation in hospitals and nursing homes. He has, he said, seen pretty much every 32" in this price range, and he thought this one was far-and-away the best. So I had Amazon ship me one overnight for just a hair over $300.

Physically the set is simple, attractive, and unassuming. Another family member just bought the Sony Bravia KDL-32BX310, a very similarly-spec'd set (without IPS however), which has a very slim and good-looking profile, trimmed in white on the back. While the TC-L32C3 is almost identical from the front, it is probably twice as thick and not very attractive from the back (ventilation grating, etc.). This is irrelevant to me, but I thought it was an interesting difference. (Maybe the IPS requires the box to be thicker?)

As for picture quality, I really can't imagine how an image could look sharper. If the 1080p version of this set (the U, E, & D series) is higher resolution, I doubt my eyes could discern it. The image is pixel-perfect to my eyes, with excellent viewing angles and a wide variety of customization options (with configurable presets). Audio quality, and especially volume, is also very good. I am not a TV-watcher (movies and Apple TV/iTunes streaming only, really) but I find myself making excuses to watch more things just so I can look at this display.

I personally don't like the super high-res, high frame rate style of video (that I call "Soap Opera Video") that you see sometimes on commercials and such. I prefer cinema-style video, if you know what I mean. So maybe that biases me against 1080p, 120Hz displays etc., but as far as I'm concerned paying more (often WAY more) for video that looks marginally better, at most - or just different, at least - doesn't make much sense. If there's a better TV out there for $300, I'd love to see it.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 9
  • Picture quality 10
  • Sound quality 8
  • Accessories, remote 9
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