Panasonic Viera DT30 (TX-L32DT30B) review: Panasonic Viera DT30 (TX-L32DT30B)

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Typical Price: £880.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Excellent 3D performance; sharp 2D pictures; good Internet features; above-par sound quality.

The Bad Expensive; no 3D glasses included as standard.

The Bottom Line The 32-inch Panasonic Viera TX-L32DT30B LED TV is a revelation. It shows that LCD technology really can compete with plasma when it comes to producing clean and engaging 3D images. Unfortunately, it's very expensive.

8.3 Overall

Until recently, Panasonic had shied away from making 3D LCD TVs. The company claimed LCD panels suffered too much from image cross-talk, whereby ghosting appears around the edges of objects in 3D scenes. Instead, Panasonic focused its 3D endeavours on its well-received plasma screens.

Now Panasonic reckons it's cracked the cross-talk issue on LCD TVs, and the 32-inch, 1080p, LED-illuminated Viera TX-L32DT30B is the first fruit of these labours. We were impressed by the larger Viera TX-L37DT30B when we saw it earlier in the year, but can its smaller sibling justify its £880 price tag?

3D delights

The key to the TX-L32DT30B's enhanced 3D performance is a redesigned IPS Alpha panel that has a much faster response time than previous models. This has been achieved by pushing the LED backlight closer to the actual panel, and also by using a new type of liquid crystal in the panel itself.

Panasonic reckons these measures have increased the response time by around 50 per cent. On top of this, the set also offers 400Hz motion-processing technology. This is achieved by using a 200Hz refresh rate and then adding a scanning backlight.

As a result, the TV's 3D pictures are light years ahead of what we've seen from other LCD tellies so far. Panasonic has pretty much nailed it. The fast response time really has almost totally eliminated cross-talk and now puts LCD technology pretty much on a par with plasma when it comes to image quality.

In fact, LCD might actually be more desirable, due to the extra brightness afforded by the LED backlight. This really helps to negate the dimming effect of the active 3D glasses, as images retain much more brightness and punch than on most plasma TVs, which further enhances the impressive sense of depth when watching 3D material.

Unfortunately, the set doesn't come with any glasses, and they'll set you back around £100 each. Consequently, large families may find LG's passive 3D TVs to be a better deal, with compatible glasses costing around £2 each.

Divine 2D

The TV is an accomplished performer when it comes to 2D as well. The LED backlight helps pictures to look really bright and punchy, while colours look very warm and natural too.

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