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Today is a good day to be my back. Just for once I've been able to take a break from hoicking around the sort of monstrously large TVs that seem to be all the rage these days in favour of something you can easily tuck under your arm.
That ‘something' is the Humax LGB-19DTT: a 19in LCD TV which, despite its smallness and low £240 cost, boasts a built-in digital tuner and HD Ready specification. In other words, it has the potential to be a pretty much perfect option for a kitchen, study, bedroom or child's room. All that it needs to do to finish the job is perform well.
Considering how affordable it is, the 19DTT is rather good-looking by small TV standards. Its combination of a matt black bezel with a silver outer trim and shiny silver strip running along near the bottom edge resembles the current fashion among large LCD TVs right now, and is certainly a cut above the cheapo grey plastic adorned by many of its rivals. What's more, if you don't fancy the black version I tested, the set is also available in white or pink (!) versions at no extra cost.
In keeping with its HD Ready credentials, meanwhile, the 19DTT has got both HDMI and component video inputs - both really impressive discoveries on what's effectively a portable TV. Plus there's a PC port so that you can double the screen up as computer monitor, and support for more ‘old-school' fare in the shape of an RGB SCART, S-Video port and composite video input.
The good first impressions made so far merely grow with the discovery of a claimed 1,000:1 contrast ratio - easily the highest such figure we've yet seen from a small TV - and a surprisingly high resolution of 1,440 x 900 pixels.
Needless to say, this resolution means the 19DTT is built in a widescreen configuration rather than the ‘square' still adopted by many sub-20in TVs - a very sensible move when you've got a built-in digital tuner that receives most of its programmes in widescreen.
After first being impressed by the 19DTT's resolution, though, it suddenly struck me that it may not, after all, be quite so great as it first appears. For if you apply a quick bit of maths to 1,440 x 900, it turns out to deliver a native aspect ratio of 1.6:1 (or 16:10 widescreen) - which falls slightly short of the full 1.78:1 delivered by a true 16:9 widescreen TV or broadcast. Despite this, 16:10 widescreen is quite a common resolution on computer and notebook displays and is largely down to the fact that it's cheaper to manufacture.
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