German brand Loewe has had quite enough of today’s rampant TV price wars, thank you very much. The brand has recently announced that, like Pioneer, it’s going to consciously abandon trying to compete with the mainstream giants in favour of delivering premium products and a premium brand image with, of course, a premium price attached. Which is absolutely fine in principal; such premium brands have always existed in the hi-fi world, so why not the AV world too? The problem for Loewe is having the marketing muscle and more importantly the product quality to make Joe Public buy into the whole ‘premium’ idea.
Cue rather more pressure than usual on Loewe’s latest TV, the 37in Modus L 37. To be fair this LCD TV actually sits in the most affordable section of Loewe’s current product range, dubbed ‘Light’ by the brand’s marketeers. And so it’s not going to give us as definitive an idea of where Loewe’s premium plans might be taking it as one of the brand’s high-end TVs would. But at £1,699, it’s still hardly a bargain bucket 37in TV, so we certainly expect to see at least some signs of a real premium ethos at work.
Whether this applies to the TV’s aesthetics appears to be more a matter of individual taste than usual. For while I personally found the matt black finish (of the ‘anthracite’ version we tested; platinum is also available), minimalist fascia, subtle curves and robust build quality very easy on the eye, a few other folk who saw it found it actually rather bland, especially by Loewe’s own high-fashion standards. So we guess we’ll have to leave the final decision on the Modus L 37’s aesthetics down to you.
One thing we at TrustedReviews certainly all agreed on, though, is that the TV’s connectivity is just not good enough for £1,699, for one very simple reason: it only includes one HDMI socket. We were moaning about one HDMI not being enough well over a year ago, and it’s even less acceptable now. Grr.
But hang on, isn’t Loewe pretty much unique in the AV world for offering optional upgrades to its TVs, and for adding new connection and feature chassis to existing models over time? So maybe a twin-HDMI version of the Modus L 37 is at least in the pipeline? Er, apparently not. According to Loewe one HDMI is all the Modus L 37 is ever going to get.