The already epic scrap between LCD and plasma for the key 40-46in chunk of the flat TV market shows no sign of abating. Indeed, it looks set to actually kick up a gear in the run up to Christmas, as the key triumvirate in the plasma camp, Panasonic, Pioneer and Hitachi, are getting together to launch a new high-profile plasma charm offensive. Comprising in-store pamphlets and an ‘information’ website, the campaign isn’t exactly shy about extolling the virtues of plasma and, in fairly straight-talking terms, putting the boot into LCD.
All of which might, in an indirect way, partly explain the arrival of the Loewe Modus L 42. For, despite Loewe telling us some time ago in fairly categorical terms that it was only going to make LCD TVs from now on, the Modus L 42 is most definitely a plasma model. So maybe the continued market – and critical acclaim – for plasma TVs has persuaded the German brand to reconsider its LCD-only position.
Also significant, though, could be the Modus L 42’s £2145 price point. For while this might not be especially cheap by general plasma standards – Loewe is deliberately positioned, after all, as a ‘premium brand’ - compared with Loewe’s 40in-plus LCD models, it’s a bargain. So maybe Loewe felt the need to open its doors to a slightly less well-heeled market, and plasma was the only way to do it.
So much for the hypotheticals. Let’s get down to hard facts now and report that aesthetically the Modus is… OK. Its mostly ‘platinum’-coloured suit is reasonably stylish and there are just enough curves and softening touches to give it character. But it’s certainly not up there with the truly sumptuous lookers found almost everywhere else in Loewe’s range.
Trying to hook up our AV gear to the Modus L 42 immediately uncovers a problem, as the presence of just one HDMI makes it impossible to achieve simultaneous digital connection of both our Sky HD receiver and a Panasonic Blu-ray player we’re currently lucky enough to have our hands on. This perfectly proves the point we’ve been making for a while now, that one HDMI is no longer enough for any TV with serious home cinema ambitions.