Panasonic TX-L37G10 LCD HDTV Review

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<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20090608224023.jpg" align="right">Reviewed by Phil Hinton
The panel offers good uniformity and viewing angles, but it's Achilles heal is the lack of black level detail. If you're looking for a second set for the kitchen or bedroom where accuracy and critical viewing is not high on the list, it is certainly a TV to hunt down for a demo.
Read the full review...
 
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al catraz

Standard Member
Now I'm really confused! I've looked at this tv in store and to my eyes it stoods out from the other 37"-ers in terms of picture quality and is on my short-list to buy.
Whilst I appreciate there are lots of people who understand all the calibration and grey scales stuff and they probably wouldn't touch an LCD with a barge pole, but to me it's all a mystic science and is it really going to be visible to the average tv viewer (me!) who just wants a good tv to fall asleep in front of?;)
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Now I'm really confused! I've looked at this tv in store and to my eyes it stoods out from the other 37"-ers in terms of picture quality and is on my short-list to buy.
Whilst I appreciate there are lots of people who understand all the calibration and grey scales stuff and they probably wouldn't touch an LCD with a barge pole, but to me it's all a mystic science and is it really going to be visible to the average tv viewer (me!) who just wants a good tv to fall asleep in front of?;)

I wouldn't say it is mystic in anyway. Basically the charts tell you how the TV actually performs. There are tip links that explain what the terms used mean within the reviews to help out.

The only fault with this LCD was a weak black level that meant fine shadow detail was not present and the image looked flat in these circumstances. So watching a dark film where much of the action takes place in deep black surroundings, this TV struggles to display this level of black and detail. However, with other brighter material it is very good indeed (like the material you will see in a showroom with the TV pumping brightness and colour).

Remember that your living room will be darker than a high street show room and think about the type of material you are likely to watch more than others. If the answers are in a dim room and I like dark films like Terminator, then you have the knowledge now that although the TV can look good with bright materials, it is going to be slightly compromised with deep blacks and shadow detail. Now you can use that information to look closely at the TVs you are demoing and remember to think about where you are using that TV.

We are independant and not connected with any manufacturers or advertisers, so we can be completely honest with you in our appraisals of image quality, and you can be sure that we test to industry standards. We have no bias towards any technology and look only for the best TVs that produce the best images, plus we don't own any of the screens so have no bias. The TV can have all the bells and whistles, but if it struggles with producing images that can show you as close as possible to what was mastered for TV and film, it will not get a good score in our reviews. We don't have any outside forces to keep happy, we tell it as it is, so you as the reader get the full details.

Hope that helps. We will produce some content that explains the charts in an easy to understand manner soon for those struggling with them.
 
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Kalos Geros

Active Member
The gamma problem seems so severe and the measurements so unrealistically off (gamma of 3 - it's almost like the first LCD TVs of yesterday) I suspect a dud specimen - else, how could Panasonic make such a mistake? :D I have seen the TV in the shop and it never striked me as lacking depth (maybe a second look is due)...is there a possibilty that there was something wrong with your test unit?

Viewing angles are fantastic though! If i didn't know better, I would have mistaken it for a plasma in that regard...
 
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Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
The gamma problem seems so severe and the measurements so unrealistically off (gamma of 3 - it's almost like the first LCD TVs of yesterday) I suspect a dud specimen - else, how could Panasonic make such a mistake? :D I have seen the TV in the shop and it never striked me as lacking depth (maybe a second look is due)...is there a possibilty that there was something wrong with your test unit?

Viewing angles are fantastic though! If i didn't know better, I would have mistaken it for a plasma in that regard...

It's actually a brand new retail set, supplied by Direct TVs, not a review sample. The gamma is what it is here, it does vary on Normal mode, but of course so does the greyscale and colour points. The measurements are not unrealistic, indeed I have seen worse. It's noticable under 20 ire, the rest of the scale is around 2.8 to 2.5 as you move up. There is no way to change it, even when the greyscale is corrected. That is very much a design issue for Panasonic. Not a fault with the set.
 
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techniks

Active Member
Thanks for the detailed review, I was basing this review on whether I should stump up the cash for the V10 model. It looked stunning in the shop but now I'm not too sure. Do you have any plans to review this model? Also you mention that sets on the continent / US have backlight and extra callibration settings, do you think these could be applied to the UK models via a software upgrade if Panasonic decided to take note of reviews such as yours?
Cheers.
 

gebbel

Active Member
Having had this set for 5 weeks now, I am surprised at the not-so-complimentary review here. The major criticism in the review would appear to be poor black level detail. I, however, haven't found it to be so poor. In fact I have said in the past that it is much improved than my old Toshiba HD Ready set. People shopping for a new set and who are considering this model will no doubt now have second thoughts. I know I would. However, as a user, all I can say is that I find the picture quality on this set to be as good as any I have seen, and I have seen many.
While not discounting the observations of the review panel here, I can point to 2 other online review sites that are nothing but extremely complimentary. I guess no set will ever be universally praised.
 

ramdrive

Banned
I do not agree with your assessment of the black level, I have a 37S10 that uses the same panel and the black level is more then acceptable. I have come from a plasma to this set and it also has acceptable shadow detail and is only slightly lighter than the plasma. I will measure the gamma of my panel and report back. I will have to use HCFR as Calman will not let me use my DTP94 in the trial mode. I would probably buy it if I could test it properly!

You may have a dud unit!
 

al catraz

Standard Member
Hope that helps. We will produce some content that explains the charts in an easy to understand manner soon for those struggling with them.
thanks Phil - didn't mean to upset the experts by calling it a mystic science! Your translation into layman's terms has been very useful, and some guide to interpretation of the charts for people like me would be very useful.
 

Gregoo

Active Member
Like many members I read all that I can on the telly that takes my fancy.Magazines,internet reviews. You name it I would review them all to enable me to make my final decision. Well chaps I now admit your reviews are the one that makes my final decision easy.Why because I find your reviews informative well set out and easy to understand.Keep up the good work and lets have more reviews of this standard.
All the best Greg :thumbsup:
 

ramdrive

Banned
Hi Phil,

Did you measure the Gamma of 'Game' mode? I must admit I have calibrated this setting for normal viewing and the picture looks great, in essence you get the same image as 'Normal' without the active backlight dimming.

Colin
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Having had this set for 5 weeks now, I am surprised at the not-so-complimentary review here. The major criticism in the review would appear to be poor black level detail. I, however, haven't found it to be so poor. In fact I have said in the past that it is much improved than my old Toshiba HD Ready set. People shopping for a new set and who are considering this model will no doubt now have second thoughts. I know I would. However, as a user, all I can say is that I find the picture quality on this set to be as good as any I have seen, and I have seen many.
While not discounting the observations of the review panel here, I can point to 2 other online review sites that are nothing but extremely complimentary. I guess no set will ever be universally praised.

Let me point out that any TV sent for review is tested against Industry Standards. These lay down what image quality should be capable off to watch mastered footage and the displays are tested against this standard. There is only one other website in the UK which attempts to review to these standards. Every other review site or magazine in the UK review in very basic terms, like setting up the TV in Normal mode, adjust the basic controls to their preferred image quality and then give an assessment. There is no in-depth testing or measuring done by those sites or magazines, so what you get is an opinion piece based on nothing but personal preference. However, with your comments I quickly looked at other reviews and all bar two mention the black level being weak, and one assessment where they have taken measurements like us have a very similar conclusion.

We do things very differently here than the mainstream; we gather the data and add this to assessment of image quality in the best out of the box settings and see how close they are to the standards and then calibrated professionally to the standards. Why are standards important? Well they say what red should look like, what temp white should be etc. The producers of TV and Film content also master material to these standards. So, the display in question should be able to playback this material correctly and as intended to be seen. No subjective comments on what we think it should look like, but what the accepted standards say it should look like.

So our assessment of the weak black levels in this panel reviewed here, is backed up with data produced from our measurements and in comparison against a reference point we know we can trust for accuracy.

Now, almost every display we review will have slight niggles or parts where it doesn't perform quite as it should. Thats why we have the various badges we do and why the Reference badge is a very rare sight. Only the very best image quality to the standards will get the display a badge, and only those products with no obvious flaws whatsoever will achieve reference status.

There is no such thing as a perfect TV or display, but we assess them fairly and with standards in place that are repeatable. Sometimes our views will be different to those who have gone and bought a TV we cover, thats understandable for obvious reasons. However, our assessment is against image quality being to the standards, if you watch you TV in Normal or Game mode, you are as far away from hitting those types of images as you can get and if your happy then great. Remember we are looking for displays we can recommend for being able to reproduce film and TV content as close to perfect as possible, sometimes thats not what the consumer wants and will not follow what we do. Again thats fine, we understand some people just want a display that looks bright and colourful and are not fussed is its accurately playing back the material. It's why those 'other' reviews are still popular.

There is nothing faulty with this review set, I think our experience would have told us that straight awy had it been the case. Its widely acknowledged that the IPS-Alphas weak point is black reproduction and again, our data and assessment found this to be the case.

I was going to use screen grabs to show the difference between the Panny and our reference screen. However, this is completely unscientific and is open to isuues where exposures and lighting can affect what the camera picks up. (I think AVI once said auditioning a displays picture with screen grabs is like listening to a high end speaker system down the phone line). Our reviews are pointers for you to use when assessing a TV to buy and if you want a set that will produce content as it is supposed to be seen. It can only ever be that and you should use the reviews in that way only. Never base a buying decision on a review or forum comments only. You really need to assess the TV in the best conditions you can that replicate your environment. You may find that the slight issues we have highlighted in this or any other review are not that important, or at the end of the day they are acceptable to you. Only you can decide that by seeing the model in question and assessing it yourself, our reviews are only here to point you in the right direction and what you should be looking for when doing so. But you know we have assessed every single part of the display against stringent and repeatable tests. If we find a set is fantastic it will be based not just on our experience of seeing hundreds of displays a year, but backed up with tests and results that you can see and why we have reached the conclusions we have.

At the end of the day, the G10 is a solid LCD TV with many great attibutes under its belt, with the vast amount of material it will look good and get fairly accurate in terms of colour and greyscale. But for critical viewing the black levels were slightly weak and you can also see evidence of that in the measurements. However, it also has good screen uniformity and viewing angles. If Panasonic can fix the black level and detail and gives us calibration controls, I think they might be on to an LCD winner. We saw their prototype IPS panel in Amsterdam and it looks sublime, so if they release that in the future I don't think we will be having this conversation next year.

Thanks for all the comments and I hope you continue to enjoy the content produced.
 
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timbob60

Standard Member
Thanks for that review,I am not a connoisseur

of gamma's and the like but I know what I like to see and hear. Thats where I am dissapointed, as my choice is the Panny or the latest Samsung Led/Lcd. My criteria is Good sound without reverting to surround sound as this drives me mad when watching mainstream TV programmes.When I compared the sounds of both sets the Panny seemed much better from a base point of view. Would you agree and am I right to choose the Panny on the sound alone as I presume the picture on the Samsung Led is unbeatable.
Any comments welcome.
 

niapost

Standard Member
Thanks for all the information in your review. I'm really glad to have found this forum because I live in a rural area away from shops etc and it's not so easy to pick your next tv- so I find reviews very helpful. It would be just great to see all three pannys G10, G15 and V10 all in a row(can't afford Z). I understand that things move on -but when you hear about future developments that happen so quickly it puts you off a potential purchase. This G10 is the only one I've seen so far- and it looked good....but the G15 is out soon better sound connectivity etc but then there's the V series, flatter more contrast!!!
It's so confusing....should I just delay putting out my fantastic (top of the range few years ago) CRT to pasture or should I take the plunge and enjoy having this dilema again in a few years time!
cheers
nia:confused:
 

al catraz

Standard Member
Thanks for that review,I am not a connoisseur of gamma's and the like but I know what I like to see and hear. Thats where I am dissapointed, as my choice is the Panny or the latest Samsung Led/Lcd. My criteria is Good sound without reverting to surround sound as this drives me mad when watching mainstream TV programmes.When I compared the sounds of both sets the Panny seemed much better from a base point of view. Would you agree and am I right to choose the Panny on the sound alone as I presume the picture on the Samsung Led is unbeatable.
Any comments welcome.
I've just voted panny myself - avforums did a video review of the samsung led and I think i'd find auto dimming a bit of an issue:
http://www.avforums.com/forums/avfo...ideo-review-samsung-ue40b6000-led-lcd-tv.html
 

wko70

Standard Member
Thanks for the info. Can you indicate what difference in picture quality if any the V10 edition of this series might make?

Thanks.
 

al catraz

Standard Member
OK - so despite the above review that put me off for a while until Phil Hinton's reassurances that it wasn't that bad for the average viewer, I have bought this TV and have to say I am delighted with it.
I'm no expert (as you can see from earlier posts!) so this purchase was a bit scary not knowing my grey scales from my gammas, but I liked the design of the set and the missus was happy with the size (I wasn't allowed anything too big:nono:!?!).
Now, I know you experts are not going to like this and I apologise in advance for not using the right terminology, but I wanted to have a stab at calibration to get the best out of my TV.
My first step was to watch this excellent AVF video on calibration basics:
AVForums.tv video
Then, knowing my limitations (and apparently the set's limitations for adjustment by non experts) I looked round for something simple I could reasonably use to adjust the contrast, brightness, and colour better than just using my eyes and some guesswork.
My solution was to simply copy this picture onto an SD card and view it thru the SD card reader:
All Scales Step 8 photo - J. Vincent photos at pbase.com
I then adjusted the brightness (controls black levels) until I could only just see the difference between the darkest black boxes. I then adjusted the contrast (controls brightness of the whites) until I could only just see the difference between the 2 whitest boxes. I then adjusted the colour until I could still just see steps in the brightest colour bars. I then looked at a few face photos and decided to knock the colour up just a click or two.
My result gives me a great picture - probably not technically perfect, but good enough for me:)
Incidentally, I turned "sharpness" right down to zero (I read that in one of the forums somewhere), and colour balance is "normal".
Also, for those who worry about back light bleed and clouding issues, this set has absolutely none that I can see.
Hope this is useful to the many non-expert readers like me.
 
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S

Siesel

Guest
Hi Phil,

Thanks for the review.

I actually have à 37G10 "french" version, and did you know that our model have a gamma setting and some RGB settings (just gain, not offset) reachable by user menu, instead of using services menu.
By defaut, the setting is set to 2.2, and i put it in a 2.0 curve which may reduce the overall high gamma.

I' m very please to found review with measurmement (As i'm a metrologist :)) but with my poor eyes, it seems that the "cinema" view with "warm" CT trend to go to the red instead of blue like measured in your review.
Did you notice visually the high blue or is this only visible by scientific way ?
 

timbob60

Standard Member
Re Samsung LED

Guy at M&S tv dept tells me that Samsung have introduced a horizontal speaker attachment that fits along the bottom of the set and gives good sound.
Does anybody out there believe this????
 

al catraz

Standard Member
hi folks

For those of you with this TV, it may be worth remembering that the "N" button (next to "menu") on the remote will reset your picture and sound settings to the default which is a complete pain in the posterior. :mad:

If anyone finds a way of disabling this button, please let me know!
 

gebbel

Active Member
hi folks

For those of you with this TV, it may be worth remembering that the "N" button (next to "menu") on the remote will reset your picture and sound settings to the default which is a complete pain in the posterior. :mad:

If anyone finds a way of disabling this button, please let me know!

Never even noticed it myself! Just checked the manual. N stands for "Normalise". Don't think it's possible to disable it. I suppose the only way would be for you to get a Universal Remote. You could then choose what functions from the original remote you want to import.
 

al catraz

Standard Member
Never even noticed it myself! Just checked the manual. N stands for "Normalise". Don't think it's possible to disable it. I suppose the only way would be for you to get a Universal Remote. You could then choose what functions from the original remote you want to import.
yep - hit it by mistake yesterday and noticed the change in brightness/colour/etc so checked the settings and they were back to the originals as delivered.
I've got a panny dvd player and the remote can operate the tv too I think - I'll check it out - meanwhile, I'll just have to be careful now I know what it does (and keep the remote away from the missus :rotfl: !)
 

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