I have long been an admirer of Panasonic Plasma panels especially the latest 500 series HD Ready models. However, I was auditioning a number of LCD and Plasma displays today at my local Euronics centre and the results have surprised and disappointed me somewhat. The LCDs were the 32 Panasonic LX500, a Philips (cant remember model) the 32 Philips 9986 Ambilight, and the 37 Viera non HD PV50 (500 model not set up). All sets were using their own inbuilt Freeview tuner showing the Saturday afternoon movie Back to the Future. The LCDs were pretty impressive, sharp crisp pictures. Now dont get me wrong here as there was nothing bad to report with the PQ on the Viera Plasma, however, the picture lacked the sharpness and vibrancy of the LCD displays. I had a good play around with the settings but could not improve things the overall picture had a much softer feel to it. Can anyone explain why this should be as I really was puzzled. Could it be because it was the 50 model and not the latest 500 series which is I believe a better specified panel pixel wise. In summing up though I would say this, by far and away the best picture on show was the Philips 9986 Ambilight, for an SD transmission via Freeview the clarity was breathtaking even the wife could tell the difference.