Having recently looked at a 32in Technika TV from Tescos and found it average but not disastrous, I'm genuinely intrigued to now have my hands on another Tesco model with a bigger screen and a name you might actually have heard of: Grundig.
The Grundig GU37BLKSE is, as its name suggests, a 37in model, distinguished in time-honoured supermarket fashion by its price: a seriously low £379.97. And given that once upon a time the Grundig name was frequently associated with some pretty decent Germanic electronic engineering in days gone by, you'll forgive me if I admit to a feeling of quiet optimism that at last I might have a genuinely great value budget set on my hands.
The face the GU37BLKSE presents to the world tries to look stylish, but ultimately doesn't quite pull it off. The glossy black bezel is a bit too straightforward, plasticky and prone to showing finger marks, even though an angled-back speaker grille along the bottom gives it a decently neat counterpoint.
The GU37BLKSE's connectivity is pretty much as I'd expect for such an inexpensive 37in LCD TV. Which means there are two HDMIs when I'd ideally like three, together with a single SCART, a component video input, a D-Sub PC port, and the usual S-Video and composite video fallbacks.
The first thing that kind of backs up my theory/hope that the GU37BLKSE might be a cut above the budget norm is its operating system. For this employs one of the most attractively presented onscreen menu arrangements I've seen, based around a rotating circle of icons at the top of the screen and some really clear and mostly well organised sub-menus that drop out of the bottom of whichever icon you've got selected. I'd have been impressed to find such a thoughtful system on a really high-end TV, never mind one as cheap as this Grundig.
The pity for the GU37BLKSE is that the extravagant elegance of its menus is not matched in the slightest by its remote control. This is a horribly plasticky effort with some of the most rubbery, nastily squidgy buttons I've ever come across. Its layout isn't the greatest either, with the volume up/down buttons being particularly irritating.