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Loewe Connect 37 37in LCD TV - Loewe Connect 37
Having established the Connect 37's impressive multimedia credentials, we should really turn our attention to its equally unique looks. With convex side panels; a stunning finish available in High Gloss Black, High Gloss White or Matt Chrome Silver; ridiculously sleek and minimalist lines; and all manner of different but equally fancy mounting options, it truly is a sight to behold. And needless to say it's absolutely tailor-made for the style-conscious premium market it's aimed at.
Loewe has often told us that it wants to be perceived as the BMW of the TV world, and with the looks and sophistication of the Connect 37, it gets closer than ever before to making that dream a reality. Here's hoping it completes the job with a ‘cut-above' performance too.
Before we get into that, though, we've still got a number of pretty important other features to cover. For starters, for an extra £200 you can actually buy an optional version of the TV with a built in ‘DR+' 160GB hard disc recording system, complete with multiple picture quality options.
Then there's the TV's carriage of Loewe's impressive proprietary image processing system, Image+, designed to improve motion, detailing, noise levels, colours and contrast. Plus you get full support for Blu-ray's 24p picture format, and even a USB jack among the connections to support its multimedia pretensions even more.
All is not quite as we'd like on the connections side of things, however, for the set only provides a pretty paltry two HDMIs; hardly the sort of provision we'd expect of such an otherwise forward-thinking TV.
Wrapping the features up are a couple of slightly hit and miss specs. A ‘hit' is the screen's Full HD resolution. A potential miss is the claimed 5,000:1 contrast ratio, which looks slightly lame when compared with the figures of 30,000:1 and more now coming from other big brand LCD TVs. Of course, though, as ever we should point out that quoted contrast ratios are notoriously unreliable, so we won't put too much store in the 5,000:1 figure unless we see some black level problems during our tests.
Day to day use of the Connect 37 warrants a mention next because, frankly, it's a bit of a pain. The remote control is nice, and there's a really clever interactive onscreen instructions manual. But the layout of the onscreen menus is ridiculously convoluted and hard to figure your way round. I think the idea was that Loewe wanted the menus to cover as little of the screen as possible, but this has led to an absolute nightmare of tortuous, hidden-away sub-menus that had me cursing every time I had to go into them.