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This tonal accuracy is, however, accompanied by the sort of brightness and colour vibrancy we would often associated with a PC display – and actually, for most of the time this seems more a positive than a negative. Contributing still further to the already enjoyably natural look of the AT3205’s picture is a general freedom from most kinds of video noise. Even the blocking often seen with weak digital broadcasts is well suppressed.
So why does our image quality mark only read ‘7’? First, black levels aren’t up there with the best rivals we’ve tested. So while dark parts of the picture look black enough to give ordinary daytime TV footage a reasonably punchy appearance, the more extreme contrast demands of your average film reveal a gentle grey pall over the darkest parts of the picture that obscures detail and in doing so robs the picture of depth.
Elsewhere the AT3205 doesn’t do quite such a sharp job of rendering all the fine detail in a high definition picture as more expensive LCD rivals, and occasionally LCD response time issues make motion look a touch blurred.
If, however, the AT3205 falls slightly short of the best ‘mainstream’ LCD TVs with its pictures, it humbles many of them sonically. Those bolt-on speakers may be chunky, but they justify their proportions with an exceptionally powerful performance containing loads of lovely bass, sweetly rounded and precise trebles, and the capacity to ‘go to 11’ when necessary.
Acer is to be congratulated on the AT3205. It has clearly gone out of its way to think about what a TV rather than a PC customer wants, and in doing so has delivered a TV which, while not perfect, is certainly better than you’ve any right to expect for £900.