Connectivity is solid, delivering the HD Ready essentials of HDMI and component video inputs, together with SCARTs and a PC input. But given the A26’s actually quite high price tag by 26in LCD standards, it’s perhaps a shame that the HDMI and SCARTs only number one and two respectively.
We mentioned HD Ready connectivity back there, and can confirm that the Xelos A26 completes its HD Ready ‘checklist’ with a suitably high native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and compatibility with 720p and 1080i HD signals. The burgeoning new 1080p format is, however, not on the menu.
Perhaps because of its German heritage and innovative chassis designs, Loewe has taken rather longer than most to ‘go digital’ with its TVs. But we’re pleased to report that the Xelos A26 does indeed carry a built-in Freeview tuner, and supports the 7-day electronic programme guide.
A search for other features is hampered by a rather dismal operating system. Presumably in a bid to stop onscreen menus covering too much of the screen, Loewe has gone for a horribly tortuous system featuring far too many submenus for comfort. Then, to make matters worse, you’re forced to navigate these menus via a horrendously fiddly rocker-style button on the remote.
Professional journos that we are, however, we gritted our teeth and wrestled with the TV’s controls until we’d managed to compile a pretty exhaustive list of what the Xelos A26 offers. At which point we noticed that the features list really isn’t especially long. In fact, aside from some fairly common noise reduction and motion controlling bits and bobs, the only thing that really warrants a mention is an inspired ‘interactive’ onscreen instruction manual, where you can call up helpful explanations on any TV feature you’ve got selected at the press of a single button on the remote.