* Prices may differ from that shown
We always fancied a Big Plasma TV but they were all still very expensive back in 2008.Christmas was looming large on the horizon with just a few months to go.Prices for this smallest size of Plasma TV 37" / 42" were all around £999 plus,alot more than our ancient now 10 year old Daewoo CRT we paid around £250 for on an impulse buy from Sainsburys.I struck it lucky,my local auction house was clearing out bankrupt stock and low and behold an LCD Panasonic TX-37LZD80 was on offer with no reserve!
This I think 37" is as big as LCD Tvs get and this was just perfect for us. It was of course an as new display model and I decided to go to £500,In fact I bought it for a shade under this including buyers premium.I got carried away and bought a 27" Sony Bravia LCD TV too!! The Panasonic has been 100% reliable the last 18months,gives best picture quality I have ever seen,just as good if not better than any plasma TV,black is true black,sharp quality high resolution pictures,3D sound and when we are ready perfect for HDTV.It has so many functions we do not use,but simple to set up using the hand set "Viera Link" it was easy even for a dummy like me without the instruction booklet! I give this a 10/10 rating,for picture quality and sound,it is Panasonic after all and reliability,again you can not beat the Japanese.
It has 2 scart connections AV1 ,AV2,3 HDMI connections,built in Freeview,SV connection,head phone point and ariel point,PC connection,digital sound connection and speaker connections if you want surround sound.Ideal for your all round home entertainment needs,gaming,music,TV and computer.
I am sure it will last for many years to come,so I have no regrets and neither will you for taking my advice.Prices have come down steadily so your target price should be sub £500 for brand new with manufacturers warranty.
Thanks for reading my review and I hope you found it interesting.If this has been useful to you and you take time to leave Your rating it will be appreciated and hope you will take a look at my other reviews sometime.I also leave reviews on the Ciao website about this and other items,many thanks!
The Panasonic Viera TX-37LZD80 is a nice addition to Panasonics LCD range, this LCD comes with all of the main features you shall need such as 1080p, 3 HDMI ports and 24p playback, the LCD also comes with some additional features such as an SD card slot so you can view all your photos on your TV. This LCD has a very contemporary, stylish, sleek design with a nice piano black finish, their is an LED on/off switch on the left side of the TV and on the right-hand side the are some keys hidden away this is also were you will locate the composite and S-Video inputs, the third HDMI port and the SD card slot. At the back of the TV you will find the usual connections such as 2 scarts, 2 HDMI, VGA and the component video-in. This also comes with BBE ViVA HD3D Sound this is a system designed to create a virtual surround sound which will improve the sound quality. The TV comes with Freeview and a eight-day EPG to check what programmes are comming on over the following days. The menus are really nicely layed out and are extremely easy to navigate through and read. The picture quality of the TV is really clear and detailed and the colour clarity of the TV is second to none. If you are looking for a reasonably priced LCD TV with great sharp visuals, out of this world sound quality and a easy on the eye design then this is the LCD for you.
I really like this TV but it does have some annoying features. I have have had it for a year now and there has been no problems at all. Out the box it was very easy to set up, you need the remote control to enter information about where you live, your language that you would like displayed and then it does an auto-tune.
After it tuned all the channels, I used the guide, it is okay but not brilliant. The reason I am saying this is because a significant proportion of the screen is taken up buy two large boxes on the left hand side which have the text "VIERA" in them. When I first got the TV these boxes were used for advertising but I am guessing that this venture was not really paying its way and now they just take up space stop you from seeing more scheduled programs on the guide.
The picture quality is vivid, sharp and fast motion events are perfect to view. The colour has good depth and resolution is great, I use it a lot for looking at photos and it does have a convenient SD card slot.
The sound quality of this television is very good and there is a setup routine to help you get the most out of it. I have an Apple Mac mini connected to this television via HDMI and it is used for Itunes and playing movies a great deal. If you are connecting a mac to it, with macos 10.5 (leopard) the screen was recognised straight away and it required very little tweeking to get a perfectly calibrated screen.
I did get a bit frustrated with it during a particularly annoying week of frequent freeview channel updates, this was because my custom channel lists were lost on every occasion. It was easy to redo the lists but none the less a pain to go through the process again and again.
In summary a great TV which would look great in any room but it does have a couple of annoying features.
After much procrastination and research, I finally got round to buying a new telly: a Panasonic TX-37LZD80. For the last five years I have been using home-cinema projectors and a 72" fold-away screen, rather than having a big ugly TV in the lounge. My latest Panasonic projector died after just over a year (see separate review) and Panasonic customer services were hopeless so I vowed never to buy anything made by Panasonic ever again. I intended to buy a 1080p projector, but I couldn't find anything suitable for my large lounge (most have a very narrow range of zoom lens, so you are restricted about where they can be located), so I reluctantly looked at smaller normal televisions instead, with the intention of having it far closer to the sofas than the big screen.
Theoretically a plasma or LCD TV should be better than a projector in terms of most measurable criteria: contrast ratio (in normal lighting conditions); sharpness; noise; reliability; running costs etc. but to get the home-cinema effect it is difficult to beat a projector, but we were going to have to compromise.
Plasma or LCD?
The next decision was whether to buy a plasma or LCD TV? When the technologies were quite new the viewing angles for plasma used to be better and LCD were more reliable and used less power, but had a tendency to leave a blur behind fast moving pictures. There is little distinction between them now, but the big deciding factor for me was that there are very few (if any?) 37" plasmas available with 1080p (Full High-definition resolution) After staring at many TVs from various angles in High-Street shops, several conversations with ignorant sales staff and much research on the internet I decided it had to be a Panasonic (despite my pledge) and the basic model is the TX-37LZD80. This has all the features I need without the extra cost of extras like Freesat receiver or a 100Hz screen (which reduces flicker on very large screens) and works very well with my existing surround system.
The screen resolution is "Full HD", the highest currently available for TV: 1080 lines, progressively scanned, which is twice the amount of data needed for 720p (720 lines progressive) or 1080i (interlaced) screens, five times as much as 480p (DVD) and ten times as much as 480i (old fashioned wide-screen format) It is therefore far better with bigger screens or close-up. In the shops the Panasonic did appear to be better or at least as good as everything else on display, although all Full HD screens seem to give excellent results with a 1080p source (e.g. blu-ray disc) Contrast is very good and the sharpness and resolution seems far better than my 720p ("HD ready") projector. The colours a far more vibrant than the projector and even my old Sony CRT TV although perhaps a little unnaturally so, but of course these can be turned down. There doesn't appear to be any problem with fast moving images, unlike early large LCD displays and I really can't fault the picture quality with a high-quality 1080p source. Unfortunately I frequently watch TV programmes on Freeview rather than blu-ray or any other HD source and this was a little disappointing in comparison. This is of course to be expected because Freeview only outputs 480 lines and the TV has to upscale the input to create all of that missing data. This is actually quite complicated and it does do a good job in many situations, with a good clean source, but with a poor source (e.g. I tested with a DVD of Not The Nine O'clock News recorded for TV about 25 years ago) the generated pixels are quite apparent i.e. "digital artifacts" sometimes appear and some images can look rather artificial and unnatural. The built-in Freeview tuner is slightly better than my Freeview PVR connected by RGB scart cable and both are better than the built-in analogue tuner. All are tolerable, but not a significant improvement over lower-resolution televisions. Good DVDs give a good clear result and cartoons seem to be particularly good as the upscaling algorithms have nice clean sharp lines and flat colours to work on, although still not as good as blu-ray.
This TV seems very well built and nicely finished with a smooth shiny almost piano-black finish on the front. It sits on a small low stand with 15 degrees of swivel for fine adjustment; a very simple uncluttered design.
I didn't bother listening to this TV before buying it, nor compare it with the competition because I have a good home cinema surround-sound system and five feet tall electrostatic speakers, but for normal TV I won't usually turn the full system on because the built in stereo speakers are really rather good. They lack bass, but are clear and detailed with more than enough power. For a good home cinema experience you will need more speakers for a proper surround-sound affect because the "Simulated Surround Sound" option from the two built-in speakers is not particularly impressive.
The set up is really easy: Simply plug it into the mains, and a coaxial aerial cable into the back and turn it on and the auto-setup tunes the digital and analogue tuners into all available channels. Then you are ready to watch TV. The remote control is large, but quite simple with all of the usual controls and a navigator button to move around the menus and TV guide both of which can be opened with appropriately named buttons. The guide lists all programmes currently on and in the near futures and is easy to read and navigate. If you can find anything worth watching in the huge number of channels click OK.
Screen size: 37" 16:9 ratio widescreen
HDTV: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressively scanned) frequency 50 Hz
Nicam Stereo speaks (20 Watts) and analogue stereo outputs sockets and digital audio out
Tuner: Analogue and digital (i.e. Freeview) built-in
HDMI inputs: 3
Scart sockets: 2
Svideo and composite inputs x 1
PC input x 1
This is an excellent, well-made Full HD TV. The only picture quality limitations are those inherent in the input formats I am using. To get full benefit from the TV you will need to use a good quality, preferably Full HD source. I paid £599 from Empire Direct although it was also available from Currys Digital for £729.
Also published on www.ciao.co.uk under the same name and on Squidoo:
I blasted the last of my student loan on this television in the recent sales and could not be happier with it. Its lead to a lot of late night gaming. The main reason that I purchased this televison was down to the fact that with the built in freeview box on offer was a real bonus when compared to the prices of other models. There were a number of other tv's in the same range including a 32" with full hd 1080 but after doing some research, theres not a great deal of point in having full hd in anything less than 35". Another factor was that for another £100 LG were offering a 40" but this had no other features and less connections. At present I have my stereo hooked up, my xbox 360, my dvd player and Wii. The built in freeview box hasn't got all of the freeview channels which was a little disapointing but for the price I really couldn't complain. The quality of the images are absolutley impeccable really show off the HD of the xbox.