You might reasonably expect a 32in LCD TV available for as little as £940 to be nothing more than, well, a 32in LCD TV. But for Sanyo’s CE-32LDY1, being a TV is merely the start of its talents. For it’s one of a very select few LCD TVs in the UK that also sports a built-in hard disk drive for recording TV programmes.
This HDD PVR system is no half-baked effort, either, with the available space running to an enormous 160GB – enough to hold around 37 hours of premium quality recordings or a whopping 180 hours of lower quality recordings. This should be enough to cope with a whole family’s recording needs, or allow you to archive many of your favourite movies or TV series to the HDD rather than videotape or DVD.
Other impressive PVR-related stuff includes chasing playback, automatic buffering of the channel you’re currently tuned to, the option to record one source while watching another, and multiple recording quality options depending on how much space on the HDD you’re happy for a recording to occupy.
Our next discovery on the 32LDY1 is a built-in digital tuner. This is a nice find on any TV, but its appeal doubles on the 32LDY1 since it means you can use the 7-day Freeview digital electronic programme guide to effortlessly set recordings for the PVR simply by highlighting a wanted programme on the TV listings. Sweet.
There is one niggle with the EPG, though, which is that Sanyo hasn’t bothered to put together an EPG menu that allows you to see programmes for every channel. Instead you’re limited to the listings for the channel you’re watching, meaning you can only look ahead to set a recording if you already know what channel your desired programme is appearing on.