Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Panasonic's New TC-L37X1

panasonic TC-L37X1Panasonic’s new 37-inch TC-L37X1 LCD HDTV might have a convenient iPod docking station for simple browsing and playing of your iPod through the TV’s remote control, but the average contrast and mediocre picture size setting that for go image detailing are certainly a draw back.

The iPod dock is certainly a feature that drew me in to look closer at this TV. It is a separate module that connects to the TV through a mini USB port located at the back of the set. When you dock your iPod, the TV immediately launches to shortcuts to select stored music and video files. All of this is easily controlled through the TV’s remote control.

The TC-L37X1 also features several HD-compatible video inputs. It has three HDMI inputs, one component video port, and a VGA port that will support the screen’s 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution. The TV also includes an SD card slot that can be easily used for display a digital photo slideshow.

This HDTV has a 12,000:1 contrast ratio and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The biggest problem that has been discovered with this TV is it’s dark-room contrast. It features a fairly bright black level at .17 candela per square meter (cd/m²). Most great HDTV’s produce .03 cd/m² or less of a black level. In normal daylight though, the screen produces a bright picture that provides a very good picture contrast.

The TC-L37X1 itself has a slick, clean design. It features a glossy black bezel, rounded corners and smooth edges, and concealed bottom-firing speakers. The remote has large, easy to see buttons, and it’s design allows for a firm grip.

The Panasonic TC-L37X1 has its ups and its downs. Its up to you whether or not you think its worth it’s price tag of $799.95. It does feature the iPod dock and has a variety of HD-compatible video inputs, but the dark-room contrast issues certainly are something to take into consideration when shopping around for a new HDTV.

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