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Cello C1973F IPOD 19in LCD/DVD/iPod TV review

John Archer

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

Given the frankly dire - though apparently slowly improving - financial state of the AV world right now, it takes some pretty serious cahones to launch a new home electronics brand into the UK. So let's give it up for Cello: a new name in town that far from just dipping its toe in UK waters is diving in headfirst with an array of actually quite innovative TVs.

One such innovator is the C1973F IPOD. As you can probably guess from this name, it's a 19in screen with a built-in iPod dock on its upper edge. But startlingly that's not the end of its story, for the TV also carries a built-in DVD player. In other words, it's potentially an ideal one-box solution for a second room where having piles of separate kit lying around just isn't practical.

Teenage children, in particular, will probably be seriously chuffed should they find such a utilitarian, gadget-friendly TV tucked under the Christmas tree come December.

The more observant among you may have noticed by now that although I said the C1973F is a Cello TV, the photographs show an apparent Soundwave brand name emblazoned under the screen. But don't worry; the Cello and Soundwave brands are actually one and the same. It's just that different outlets use the Soundwave name rather than Cello.

I have to say that using two brands like this maybe isn't the best way to establish Cello in the UK punters' consciousness, but there you go. I'm sure the people in charge have their reasons.

Getting back to the TV, while there seems to be no doubting the C1973F's practical credentials, we can't help but feel concerned about the set's performance standards given a) Cello's presumed lack of AV experience and b) the TV's lowly £287 price.

Aesthetically the C1973F IPOD is reasonably attractive for such an affordable machine. The black bezel is glossy, and the silver-trimmed curve along the bottom edge adds a touch of cuteness to proceedings. Eco-friendly folk will appreciate, too, the presence of a ‘full power down' button on the TV's bottom rear corner.

Cello initially doesn't seem to have compromised heavily on connections to hit the C1973F's price point, either. HDMI, S-Video, composite video, SCART and D-Sub VGA options are all available, and there's even a coaxial digital audio output so you can pipe digital sound from the built-in DVD player to an external multi-channel AV receiver.

The only disappointment with the set's connections is that they don't include a USB port or a component video input. I guess Cello could argue with some justification that having the iPod dock gives you a perfectly acceptable alternative to USB for getting multimedia files into the TV.

The lack of component video support, however, calls into question the TV's claim of HD Ready specification, since part of that spec requires the provision of a component video input.

In truth, it's unlikely many people - just old Xbox 360 owners, for the most part - would want to use a component feed anyway in these HDMI-driven days. And you may be able to get component feeds into the screen via a suitable adaptor and the VGA port. But if this is the case, it would have been appreciated if Cello could have included a relevant adaptor in the package.

PoisonJam

September 2, 2009, 5:26 pm

I have to disagree with this set being particularly cheap for a 19", non-big hitting brand TV, even if it does include an iPod doc and DVD player.





I think the price is too high for most parents to spend on a TV for their kid's Christmas present.

robjohn

September 2, 2009, 5:36 pm

Seems like a good concept but poor on execution. The Cello intrigues me because I am looking for something similar. I am one of those weird minority who chooses not to own a TV and so does not pay the license fee. We do like to watch DVDs in a family room. I have been using an old laptop hooked up to a monitor, but this has now died. Is there something like the Cello that is instant switch on, plays DVDs but is not legally a television? Or is it possible to hook up a DVD player to an external monitor? Advice welcome!

betelgeus

September 2, 2009, 6:07 pm

have you ever shopped in the real world mr archer? if you think £299 is reasonable for this set then i think not.





tesco have the same item under the technika brand for half the price and still cant ship them





http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.20...

PoisonJam

September 2, 2009, 6:55 pm

@Rob: If you get a monitor with an HDMI, component or composite input (though I'd avoid the latter for quality reasons) you can hook up any DVD player with the equivalent output. Your issue would be sound - you'd need either a monitor with speakers or you'd need to invest in a pair of PC speakers and connect them to the DVD player; the latter will certainly give you better sound if you get a decent pair.





Even supermarket DVD players have HDMI outputs these days. I believe you can effectively use any decent monitor though as long as it has a DVI input - just get an HDMI to DVI adapter.

robjohn

September 2, 2009, 9:12 pm

@Jordon. That's very helpful - I had no idea I could do this. On a quick scan I see e.g. a Proline HDMI for £35 and a ViewSonic 22" VX2260 HDMI for £123, so the package would be under £160 plus cable. I will shop around and try this combo. Thanks again.

DrDark

September 2, 2009, 9:17 pm

@Rob - following up on Jordan:





http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philip...





+





http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creati...





---


The player I can vouch for, the speakers I'm about to get. Can't comment on monitors, but I've got an Acer one for my PC which was cheap and has behaved itself very well. Doesn't have HDMI though so best to look up their newer models.

Hamish Campbell

September 3, 2009, 3:55 pm

@Rob: You'd better hope the UK doesn't go the way of Denmark. Here the license fee is now also in force if you have any device capable of playing tv....and nowadays that means any internet connected computer and I believe mobiles. So, assuming you are writing from home, you'd have to pay anyway.





Maybe they'll all see sense and scrap the system and incorporate it into normal income taxes, i.e. government pays, as New Zealand did some years ago. Crazy waste of money chasing up non-payers.

DrDark

September 3, 2009, 8:07 pm

As far as I'm aware, the licence fee in the UK applies to any device that can play 'Live' TV. Meaning that if you watch the live tv through iPlayer on your mobile phone or PC, you legally require a licence (not sure how easy this is to investigate and enforce though).


However, if you only watch catch-up TV (iPlayer, Channel4.com, etc.) you can remain unlicensed.

robjohn

September 3, 2009, 9:48 pm

@drdark @haim: drdark is correct for now at least. My Mac is only used for BBC iPlayer, which does not require a TV license. If I used a digital TV USB dongle then it would convert to a live TV device and I would need to pay the license fee. I'm not a TV fan anyway, and for the time being at least I don't pay for the 8 or so DAB radios I have scattered around the house, so am happy for my radio listening to be subsidised by the TV watching public (thanks guys!). Tomorrow my HDMI DVD player and monitor arrive from eBuyer, so let's hope they work together ok.

PoisonJam

September 4, 2009, 12:20 am

If the BBC would just advertise products (since we have to put up wither their own program advertising anyway) we wouldn't have to pay a lice3nce fee!

PoisonJam

September 4, 2009, 7:11 pm

@Rob - They will work together fine :) But did you get speakers? Your DVD player will have stereo out (red and white phono sockets) so your speakers/amplifier will need to have phono/AUX inputs. If not you can use a phono to 3.5mm (headphone) jack.

robjohn

September 5, 2009, 11:50 am

@JordanRussell: Thanks - the monitor has built in speakers and an audio out, and the HDMI delivers both video and sound I believe through the connection. Will test all when arrives today :)

robjohn

September 5, 2009, 10:33 pm

@JordonRussel et al: Thanks to all for the help advising me on a system to watch DVDs without paying a TV license. My Viewsonic VX2260WM 22" monitor and Samsung H-1080 DVD player are now hooked up and worked out of the box with no set up. Both were highly reviewed on the these hallowed pages (and TR was right - the monitor's speakers are truly awful, but I will upgrade to a good active set when funds permit). Picture quality and ease of use are both great. At the eBuyer checkout I picked up a Plexus HDMI cable for £5 (yes £5) and people tell me I should be spending up to £60 on a cable - is this correct? Will I really experience a WOW factor if I spend 12 times as much on a piece of wire?

PoisonJam

September 7, 2009, 6:31 pm

Stick with your £5 HDMI cable! Whether it makes a difference or not is highly debated but even if it is true your ~£200 set-up (no offence!) isn't going to justify the outlay.





Did try to warn you about the speakers ;) But at least you have sound out of the box. Glad it's all working fine for you :)

robjohn

September 9, 2009, 3:22 pm

@Jordon Russell - indeed I will, thanks. No offence taken, it is just a family room DVD set up, not an audiophile/videophile paradise :) My final addition - Creative Gigaworks T20 II arrived this morning from Dell to add some life to the audio side, and overall the system works nicely (and a whole load better than what I had before) and all I need now if time to watch some movies!

robjohn

September 23, 2009, 4:14 pm

Coda: You see from above I purchased a DVD player and monitor so that I could watch DVD's without owning a TV or other equipment capable of receiving live TV programmes.....today I get a demand from TV licensing for a TV license because John Lewis told them I bought "TV receiving equipment". Of course I only bought a DVD player which is totally incapable of receiving TV programmes....but I am now back to square one in my battle with TV licensing...to prove I do not own a TV. They went quiet for years and now I am back on their data base as an offender. John Lewis told me they have to report purchase of a DVD player as "TV receiving equipment". Maybe one day I will give up and buy a TV just to stop this hassle :(

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