Panasonic TC-32LX20

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Panasonic TC-32LX20

Pros

  • HDMI input, memory card slots

Cons

  • No PiP (picture in picture), no RGB calibration

Bottom Line

Advanced adjustment options and a generous array of presets augment middle-of-the-road picture-quality ratings, but ease-of-use issues and limited colour calibration tools prevent this model from ranking higher.

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Panasonic's TC-32LX20 was one of the first sets with an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) input, which receives video and audio signals through a single cable from another HDMI-enabled device, such as one of the newer set-top boxes or DVD players. This 32" model provides easy presets for video and audio modes and for aspect ratio. Advanced adjustments include gamma (for midtone brightness) and controls for making blacks darker and whites brighter. Unfortunately, you can't control individual red, green, and blue levels to perform basic calibration, and there's no picture-in-picture feature either. The set earned middling picture-quality scores on most of our tests, but it performed very well in the tests for brightness and contrast. In addition to the usual video and audio connectors on the back, this model provides several extra inputs in front for plugging in a camcorder, a video game console, or the like. You also get slots for viewing images stored on SD (Secure Digital) Cards or on PC Card-based media adapters. A pair of side-mounted two-way stereo speakers (10 watts each), a sound equaliser, and virtual surround sound can project concerts and soundtracks effectively in small rooms. The TC-32LX20's on-screen menu was frustrating at times, mostly because the finicky thumbpad on the universal remote often failed to respond to our selections. The documentation, which is satisfactory though a bit thin, lacks an index.

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