For better or for worse, the obsession with 1080p is in full swing. Apparently, the punters are even starting to demand the necessary 1,920x1,080-pixel counts in TVs as small as 32 inches. Where there's a demand, TVs like Panasonic's new £800 Viera TX-32LZD85 will be only too happy to meet it.
The first thing you notice about the 32LZD85 is that it's cute. Not jaw-droppingly, eye-poppingly gorgeous, but certainly cute, chiefly thanks to a little whitish arc added along the bottom edge. It contrasts beautifully with the glossy black of the rest of the TV's bezel.
Dragging your eyes away to the TV's rear continues the good first impressions, as you discover an SD card slot for the direct playback of digital photos, and two of the three HDMI inputs, all built to the latest v1.3 specification for Panasonic's deep x.v.Colour and auto lip-synching compatibility. What's more, the HDMIs can take 1080p/24p feeds from Blu-ray players, with the TV then playing those pictures back using a dedicated 24p mode designed to offer greater purity and fluidity than you would see otherwise.
Significantly, the 32LZD85 carries two separate processing systems devoted to making motion look sharper with anything you watch: 100Hz and Motion Focus. Having watched the Champions League final on the set, we can confirm that these two systems do a cracking job. The players looked pin-sharp as they charged around, but crucially, this motion sharpness was achieved with precious little in the way of negative processing side effects. Excellent.
With no motion blur to detract from the picture's sharpness, we were also free to appreciate just how exceptionally crisp and detailed the 32LZD85 looks with high-definition material, bringing out every last pixel of the superbly 'HD' Blu-ray transfer of Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In fact, the 32LZD85's pictures are so sharp that they suggest 1080p resolutions can make a difference at the 32-inch screen size level after all.