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Panasonic's LCD can't measure up to its plasmas

CNET reviews the Panasonic TC-37LZ85 and finds it wanting compared with the company's plasma televisions.

Panasonic's 37-inch LCD turns out to be an average performer. CNET

We've always given relatively high marks to Panasonic's plasma TVs, but the company's least-expensive entrant in the 37-inch LCD arena this year, model TC-37LZ85, didn't quite measure up.

The main problem was this medium-screened LCD's less-accurate grayscale, which tinged the picture reddish even in its most-accurate color temperature preset. Compared with the 37-inch Vizio and Hitachi TVs we reviewed earlier, the TC-37LZ85 just didn't look as natural, especially in skin tones.

In other areas of performance, particularly black level and screen uniformity, the nonplasma performed quite well for an LCD. But compared with the company's least-expensive 42-inch plasma, model TH-42PX80U, the Panasonic LCD couldn't hold a candle in those areas. It's also worth mentioning that the company's 42-inch plasma actually costs a bit less than the 37-inch LCD. Granted one had 1080p resolution and the other doesn't, but at these screen sizes that doesn't matter for most viewers.

Read the full review of the Panasonic TC-37LZ85.

Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the Panasonic TC-37LZ85 in a completely dark room via the HDMI input with a 1080p, film-based source. Your settings may very depending on source, room conditions and personal preference. Check out the Picture settings and calibration FAQ for more information.

Picture menu
Picture mode: Cinema
Back Light: +28
Picture: +100
Brightness: +53
Color: +40
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0

Color temp: Warm
Color mgmt: Off
x.v.Color: Off
AI picture: Off

Advanced picture menu:
Video NR: Off
Black level: Light
HD size: Size 2

Panasonic Viera TC-37LZ85