Review Price free/subscription
In listing all of the improvements the new Connect 42 brings to the table, it occurs to me that I've potentially skimmed over just what a meaty proposition it really is.
Maybe, then, now would be a good time for a summary. So: first, when all the evidence is in, the Connect 42 is arguably currently Europe's most multimedia savvy TV - especially once you add to all the file compatibility/Internet radio stuff the fact that it's got two USB ports, an Ethernet jack and even full built-in Wi-Fi. Aside from the stupid-money stuff Vivadi is still playing around with, the Philips' 9000 Series models are the only other TVs that can fairly claim to give the Connect 42 a run for its money in multimedia respects.
Next, the TV can also be a digital recorder, with its built-in HDD able to record broadcasts from the Freeview tuner in exactly the same picture and sound quality they were broadcast in. In fact, the level of recording flexibility on offer is sufficient to allow the TV to claim official 'Freeview+' status.
Third, the Connect 42 is unusually well positioned to become the hub of a wider home cinema installation, with matching audio options available, and the ability to link with and control other Loewe gear around a (presumably very posh!) house.
Finally, returning to a point I touched on earlier, the Connect 42 is about as close as the TV world gets to being a bespoke TV. You can get it, for instance, in high gloss black, high gloss white, or Chrome Silver finishes. Then you can choose to put it on a striking and varied selection of different floor stands or wall mounts besides the table-top stand I tested it with. And finally you can even decide to some extent what features the TV carries, with additional features being retrofittable as they come on stream or your needs change.
Optional features currently available include a Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound decoder module, an RS232 control module to aid the TV's integration into a wider system, twin satellite tuners (though these aren't currently compatible with Freesat), and a motorisation module for allowing you to control the TV's angle remotely.
As you might be starting to think from all this, the Connect 42 is hardly the easiest TV in the world to use. Especially as Loewe has chosen to cram its onscreen menus into a small section of the bottom of the screen. We understand why it's done this; it doesn't want to hide the picture while you're making your adjustments. But man, it doesn't half make for some convoluted menu/submenu navigation 'expeditions'.
Just as well, then, that part of the premium Loewe 'deal' is that the set will be professionally installed in your home for you as standard. Cool.