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The White Compose 40's pictures are likeably sharp, too. This is especially true with HD, as the set does a pretty much perfect job of producing all the lovely detailing associated with good HD sources, even perfectly judging the way the TV reveals the grain in Blu-ray sources. Clearly the set's Full HD resolution is coming in handy here, along with Loewe's generally impressive Image+ processing system.
Image+ comes to the fore even more with the TV's predominately good standard definition performance. You have to be careful to rein in the TV's contrast and brightness levels if you don't want standard definition noise to start being exaggerated. But, follow these basic precautions, and standard def pictures look decently stable and sharp.
In some ways the TV does nicely with black levels, too. With the TV's brightness setting again kept pretty low - around level six or even less - the set produces black colours that look only marginally affected by greyness. We're not talking about anything to get close to the extraordinary black level profundity of Sony's recently tested 55X4500 LED TV, but it's good enough to let you get involved in dark pictures that actually appear to have some real three-dimensional depth.
That said the White Compose 40's black levels are also the main reason we've only scored the TV an eight for picture. One problem is that they seem rather unstable, with the machinations of the set's dynamic backlight (the system which reduces the picture's brightness during dark scenes to boost black level response) being a touch sluggish and extreme, so that you're occasionally distracted by obvious brightness 'jumps'.
It also seemed to me that the screen's brightness wasn't completely uniform, with parts of the picture looking slightly brighter and greyer than others. This is possibly as a result of some very subtle backlight seepage, though obviously you'll only notice this when watching almost pitch black images.
To finish on a high note, though, I should briefly mention the DR+ recording quality. As anticipated, Freeview recordings really do look completely indistinguishable from the original broadcasts and you can't ask for much more than that. It's a pity, perhaps, that the DR+ system isn't built to Freeview + spec, so doesn't support one or two key features, such as Series Link, but it's still mightily impressive for a built-in recording system.
If you live on some sort of 'normal' wage, the white Loewe Compose 40 won't be for you for obvious bank balance reasons. And, if you're a die-hard AV enthusiast, the white Loewe Compose 40 probably won't be for you either, given that a) you'll probably have a separate ‘proper' surround sound system and b) its pictures aren't perfect. After all, you could instead get the talents of Sony's huge 55in 55X4500 LED TV and still have enough cash left to build a very healthy collection of Blu-rays.
But, if you're who Loewe wants you to be, namely a rather well to do sort with bags of disposable income and tastes which put artistic design, uncompromising build quality and freedom of choice above the last word in AV excellence, then the white Compose 40 is quite possibly a dream come true.
Scores In Detail
- Image Quality
- Sound Quality