capsule review

Panasonic TC-32LX20

At a Glance
  • Panasonic TC-32LX20 32

Panasonic TC-32LX20
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Panasonic's TC-32LX20 is one of the few sets here with an HDMI 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-inch 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 finished first in the group 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 equalizer, 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.

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

Richard Jantz

This story, "Panasonic TC-32LX20" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Panasonic TC-32LX20 32

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