There’s no doubt about it: rear projection has an image problem. Ask about down your local high street what people think about rear projection TVs, and nine times out of 10 they’ll recall with a shudder those hulking behemoths found in pubs in the late 1980s, with a picture quality so bad you often couldn’t tell which side was which during footie matches.
So we’re here today with Sagem’s latest 45in rear projection TV to resurrect the technology’s sullied reputation. For as we’re about to discover, things have come on a heck of a lot in the past 15 years or so.
For starters, compared with the grim, black, plasticky monsters of rear projection past, Sagem’s HD-D45H G4 T is an exercise in TV chic, blending a surprisingly slender, lacquered piano-black screen frame with a wonderfully bold silver, concave pedestal. What’s more, the design cunningly makes the TV look like it’s a flat panel set if you view it from the front.
Even when you get round the back you’ll probably be surprised at how little bulk the D45H packs. Sure, you couldn’t realistically wall mount it like you could an LCD or plasma. But it only sticks out around 37cm, making it comfortably less bulky than your average CRT TV.
While we’re concentrating on the TV’s rear, we might as well run through the abundance of connections to be found there. Especially pleasing is the provision of a pair of HDMI sockets – a rare future proofing touch that could, for instance, allow you to simultaneously connect two forthcoming HD sources like Sky’s HD receiver and an HD-DVD deck.
These are joined by component video inputs for analogue HD and progressive scan duties, plus three SCARTs (all of which, excellently, can take RGB signals); a 15-pin D-SUB PC jack; and even a multimedia card slot you can use for directly viewing digital photos on the TV’s king-sized screen.