capsule review

Panasonic TC-32LX60

At a Glance
  • Panasonic TC-32LX60 32

    TechHive Rating

    This solid performers is comfortable to use, but it lacks loudspeakers and a VGA input.

The Panasonic TC-32LX60 is an attractive LCD HDTV. Its stylish black-and-silver frame and swiveling stand distinguish it from more generic designs, and its good combination of ports, image quality, and price ($1200 as of 12/8/06) make it a good buy, overall.

In our image-quality tests, the TC-32LX60 performed well enough to earn it a rating of Good in all performance categories; however, the $999 Westinghouse LTV-32w6 is about $200 cheaper and earned the same performance score. Our review unit performed best in our high-definition, color quality, and TV detail tests--tying with the Westinghouse model for the top spot in the TV detail category.

The calibrated settings at which we test do not come close to producing the best picture. After tweaking color settings and sharpness just slightly, I got a razor-sharp image. I also found three useful image presets. Cinema mode is great for viewing DVDs and other high-defintion content; vivid mode is spectacular for gaming consoles; and standard mode is best for standard-definition programming.

Sound, however, was subpar at high volumes. During the racing scenes in Seabiscuit, the speakers caused an annoying sound when bass notes caused the TV's plastic housing to vibrate.

The TC-32LX60 has three sets of composite inputs, one of which is on the side of the panel for connecting devices like camcorders. But the provision of just one HDMI input and one set of component inputs may be insufficient for many setups. HDMI hasn't completely replaced component connections yet, so we think sets like this should have more more than one component connection, as such connections provide the second-highest quality of standardized input. (Dell's similarly priced W3207C, for example, has two component inputs.) I would also like to see a VGA or DVI connection for connecting to a PC. I do like the easy-access 1/8-inch headphones jack on the right-side panel of the TV and the built-in NTSC and ATSC tuners. The remote control is simple to use and contains a four-way directional clicker with an iPod-like wheel design.

While Panasonic's specifications claim a 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle, I found that the vertical viewing angle seems to be narrower than the horizontal viewing angle. Even when I sat to the far left or far right, I could still see a good, sharp picture. However, when the TV was higher or lower than eye level (for example, when I was standing), I found the picture quality dimmed and became slightly blurry. If you plan to mount this TV, I would recommend getting a wall mount that lets you tilt the screen.

At $1200 (as of 12/8/06), the Panasonic TC-32LX60 is a good compromise among the 32-inch LCD TVs we tested. The $999 Westinghouse LTV-32w6 performed similarly to the Panasonic, but it had even fewer ports. Other TVs cheaper than this Panasonic did not match up in performance. Neither did the comparably priced Dell W3207C, although the latter does offer an extra component connector.

This story, "Panasonic TC-32LX60" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    This solid performers is comfortable to use, but it lacks loudspeakers and a VGA input.

    Pros

    • Good balance of quality and features

    Cons

    • Sub-par sound
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