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The new AT4220 LCD TV from Acer is quite possibly the silliest TV we’ve ever tested. But in a good way. A very good way, in fact. For even though it weighs in at a hefty 42in from screen corner to screen corner, it’s available for the insane sum of just £774.80. Which we believe makes the AT4220 emphatically the cheapest 42in TV solution we’ve ever tested. Surely, though, it’s not possible for such a crazily cheap TV to actually be any good, is it?
If you could judge a book by its cover, you wouldn’t expect much from the AT4220. A boring flat silvery trim sat around a dark grey screen frame with a finish that reeks of plastic is hardly the stuff of AV designer dreams.
Our first impressions leap significantly upwards, though, as we spot among the AT4220’s connections not one but two HDMI inputs – a forward-thinking touch of flexibility that a few rival TVs costing twice as much are still failing to provide. Even better, during our tests these HDMIs actually managed to show 1080p feeds from our resident Marantz DV9600 upscaling DVD player, a feature TVs costing north of £2k don’t routinely offer.
Further investigation reveals that the component video inputs the TV also sports can take 1080p too, making this one of the few TVs around able to show a 1080p output from the Xbox 360 console (and its optional HD DVD drive).
Elsewhere we find the usual complement of a PC input, composite video input and two Scarts. But the set is a couple of jacks short of a full pack, with no four-pin S-Video option, and no CAM slot that might indicate the presence of a digital tuner.
This missing CAM slot does indeed mean the TV does not have a digital tuner onboard. Still, while this is certainly a disappointment, the pragmatist in us is forced to reflect that however good the AT4220 turns out to be as a performer, something will have had to give somewhere on the features front to make a sub-£800 price possible.
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