Summary

Our Score

6/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

Grundig GU37BLKSE 37in LCD TV - Grundig GU37BLKSE

Also a cut above the budget norm are the GU37BLKSE's black levels. With careful tweakage of the various backlight, contrast and brightness options, it's possible to get dark scenes looking much less blighted by greyness than I'd expected. There's a price to pay for this in the shape of some lost shadow detailing, which leaves dark corners feeling a little one-dimensional and empty. But this is less depressing than the typically extreme grey misting - something which itself can damage shadow detailing - witnessed on many budget TVs.

I should say, too, that dark scenes look impressively stable, with no really distracting brightness jumping even with all the TV's contrast and brightness auto adjustment tools called into play.

The GU37BLKSE sadly shatters - or at least slaps about - my dreams of a stunning high value TV, though, with its colours. Basically, even if you use the Vibrant Colour setting on its highest level, pictures look strangely washed out, with tones - especially skin tones - regularly slipping into looking slightly off-key.


Oddly, during some really bright, colourful scenes, the set's muted approach to colours can actually lead to images looking more ‘real' than they do on many LCD rivals. But ultimately it's the inconsistency that most sticks in your brain.

Another less troublesome problem of the GU37BLKSE is that its pictures tend to judder a bit, especially when showing 1080p/24 material. So I'd recommend leaving a Blu-ray player set to output 1080i if you end up owning the TV.

While the GU37BLKSE's pictures might outperform the TV's price in many ways, the same cannot be said of its sound. A really puny dynamic range makes the TV sound thin with even undemanding fair, especially as there's practically no bass at all, and a compressed mid-range is also quickly exposed during anything resembling an action movie scene. Trebles tend to be over-exaggerated too. In other words, the GU37BLKSE is definitely not music to my ears.

Verdict

Provided you have the means to run the GU37BLKSE alongside some kind of separate audio system, it can produce pictures which, while certainly far from perfect, are actually more watchable than those of many budget TVs. It's just a pity that its colour problems will probably be a problem too far for anyone discerning enough about AV quality to be reading this website.

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