As the last set in our current ‘credit crunch TV' series, Ferguson's F2620LVD makes for an intriguing finale. Partly because it's got a once-trustworthy brand name attached to it that most of you will actually have heard of before, and partly because despite costing just £350 for a 26in LCD TV, it's also got a DVD player built into its rear.
The set quickly plants our feet back on the ground with its design and build quality, though. For the finish is flimsy and plasticky, and it looks exactly like any number of other TVs found crowding the shelves of electronic superstores and supermarkets across the UK. In other words, it's a desperately dull black rectangle, no more, no less.
The F2620LVD's budget nature is, if anything, even more apparent in its connections, which include just a single HDMI and a single SCART when we'd normally expect to find at least two of each.
Still, if I'm reasonable about this, I guess Ferguson could argue that having a DVD player built into the F2620LVD reduces the need for a second HDMI input. Also, the set does manage to provide a D-Sub PC port, which is something commonly ‘forgotten' when putting together self-consciously cheap TVs. Plus there's a coaxial digital audio output for shipping Dolby Digital audio streams from DVDs to an external receiver.
Setting about actually using the F2620LVD quickly sets my nerves back on edge, though. For both the remote control and onscreen menus are pretty horrible. The remote is so lightweight and plasticky it would probably blow away in a gust of wind, and even though my remote arrived in a completely sealed new package, one of the buttons - the ‘up' menu navigator - wasn't working properly.
As for the onscreen menus, they're ugly with a capital U, as well as being unnecessarily small, making them quite tricky to read from any sort of distance.
With this in mind, it's actually quite a relief to find that the number of features on board the F2620LVD is extremely limited. Pretty much the only thing I found that runs beyond the standards found on any TV is a simple, multi-level noise reduction routine. Whoopee and, indeed, doo.