Panasonic TX-37LZD81 review

Barry de la Rosa
13 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



37in, Freesat, Freeview, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: , 3x HDMI

The TX-37LZD81 is the only TV here with a Freesat receiver, which can be used to pick up 140 digital TV and radio channels, including two HD channels from the BBC and ITV and all the Freeview channels.

You'll need a satellite dish, but there's no monthly charge. There are also Freeview and analogue tuners, so you'll get a reception no matter where you live. There's even an SDHC card reader for viewing photos and movies.

The TX-37LZD81 is a heavy TV. It's also the least environmentally friendly set here, drawing a whopping 23W in standby mode. You therefore may want to consider turning it off at the mains when you're not watching TV.

Setting up Freesat channels took less than 10 seconds. The menu warned us that scanning for Freeview and analogue would take up to six minutes, but the process completed in just over two minutes. The EPG is one of the most advanced here, offering the ability to filter both channels and programmes by type. Strangely, there are placeholders for two preview screens but neither showed a picture.

Image quality on Freesat HD content and via Blu-ray was good, with excellent contrast but slightly faded colours. The image-tweaking options in the menu are few but severe: Cinema was too dark and cold; Dynamic and Eco were too saturated; and only Normal mode preserved some degree of colour accuracy. The default sharpness level was too high, which made the image grainy, but motion tracking was reasonably smooth.

The TX-37LZD81 had problems with lower-quality image signals. Switching Blu-ray to 1080i made the image grainier, so we had to turn up digital noise reduction to compensate. A DVD signal at 576i was even worse, with ghosting and jagged aliasing on edges caused by upscaling.

Connecting to a PC via VGA or HDMI produced a fuzzy image that the digital noise reduction failed to improve. Connecting via VGA required a reboot of Windows, and the TX-37LZD81 only supported a desktop resolution of 1,360x768, which is terribly low for a 37in screen. HDMI was little better, managing only 1,440x900. There was ghosting on Windows text, and at these resolutions we wouldn't recommend the TX-37LZD81 for computer use.

While TX-37LZD81's image quality is good, it didn't cope well with any signals other than full HD. Freesat is a bonus, but since a standalone Freesat box will cost you less than £200, it appears less attractive. LG's 37LG5000 has better image quality, better support for DVD and PC signals, and costs almost £300 less.

Basic Specifications



Viewable size37in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
Contrast ratio10,000:1
Speakers2x 10W
Bezel (top/side/bottom)51mm/62mm/78mm
Screen depth96mm
Screen elevation135mm
Stand size (WxD)404x285mm


DVI inputs0
D-sub inputs1
HDMI inputs3
Component inputs1
S-Video input1
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/PDIF out, 1x stereo phono
Otherheadphone output, CI slot, SDHC slot, RJ45 LAN


Tuner typeFreesat, Freeview, analogue
EPG7 day


Power consumption standby23W
Power consumption on140W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year onsite