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Loewe Individual Compose 40 White 40in LCD TV - Loewe Individual Compose 40
Having tried to disarm the inevitable "it's too expensive" cries, though, Loewe doesn't exactly do me a favour by presenting just two HDMIs when I'd expect at least three on any TV these days, never mind one costing so much. Darn. Just as well there are one or two bits of good connection esoteria to improve my mood, such as digital audio inputs/outputs, a USB port and an RS-232 control port.
Thankfully, with one or two small exceptions, this rather dated feeling does not carry through into the White Compose 40's performance. In fact, the sound quality from the Sound Projector and subwoofer system is nothing short of jaw-dropping compared with the sort of sound you get with a 'normal' TV.
For starters, the subwoofer proves a really quite excellent bit of kit, delivering levels of controlled, deep, well-integrated, thoroughly refined bass that make even the best standard speaker systems sound as tinny as hell.
The Sound Projector, too, enjoys pretty much all the strengths of a straight Yamaha Sound Projector, which means that - shock, horror - you really do get a genuine sense of surround sound from it, without the muddy, indistinct, vocal-spoiling lack of precision so common with traditional pseudo-surround processes. If you push the Sound Projector really loud then yes, its sound can distort and sort of collapse in on itself. But most people's ears will have given up well before the TV has reached this sort of volume level!
Basically, the White Compose 40 system being reviewed here delivers the sort of sound heroics you might expect from a good separates system from a single, colour-matched speaker bar you can hang under your TV and a similarly colour-matched sub that could go behind a chair if you wanted it to. In other words, you get the quality of a separates system with none of the separates hassle, space wastage or aesthetic hassles. Outstanding.
The situation with pictures isn't quite so clear cut, since although good, the White Compose 40's pictures aren't as state of the art as its audio. The good points about the pictures kick off with some terrific colours. Graphics and animated fare looks extremely fulsomely saturated and bright, with no noise, no 'striping' of colour blends, and only the slightest trace of colour seepage when the set's portraying motion.
Talking of motion, the White Compose 40 also suffers relatively little from LCD's still-common motion blur problem, handling action movie scenes and sports footage really quite cleanly - even in standard definition.
You can, if you wish, make motion on the White Compose 40 look more fluid by calling in Loewe's 'DMM' Film Quality Improvement option. This works in tandem with the set's 100Hz engine, interpolating extra frames of picture information to make motion float by more smoothly. Unfortunately, I found that it caused edge flickering and shimmering around moving objects when asked to deal with really fast motion, so it's probably best left off for the majority of the time.