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If regular readers of this website are thinking they’ve accidentally stumbled away from TVs and into the PC monitor section, fear not: Acer is no longer just a PC company. As with a number of other traditionally PC brands (Evesham, BenQ, ViewSonic etc), Acer has seen the huge popularity of LCD TVs as a perfect opportunity for translating its LCD PC monitor experience into AV success. But with the demands of video on an LCD screen being very different to the demands of a PC, can Acer really compete with the more established AV brands?
Let’s start with our very first impressions, which find the AT3205 looking… different. It’s certainly not ugly, thanks to its glossy black and silver colour scheme, and boldly rounded edges. But with its ‘bolt on’ speakers and unusually large chassis, it’s also hardly in keeping with the diminutive, minimalist style currently favoured by the Sony and Panasonic’s of this world. Ultimately it kind of looks like some sort of cross between a PC and a TV – which is probably about right, given its heritage.
When it comes to connections, the AT3205 teaches some of the premium AV brands a thing or two. For starters, it sports an impressive two digital video inputs: one DVI flavoured, and one HDMI flavoured. And no, in case you were wondering, neither of these digital inputs is restricted to PC use; both can take a high definition video signal.
The AT3205 also shames many of the other TVs we’ve looked at so far in our epic World Cup countdown by providing three SCARTs, alongside an analogue PC jack, component video inputs, and a digital audio output.
If you’re wondering what the digital audio output’s for, it’s because the AT3205 carries a terrestrial digital TV tuner, and terrestrial digital TV broadcasts might one day start broadcasting Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. Soundtracks which, without the digital output, you wouldn’t be able to pipe out into a surround sound receiver.