As part of a vague sort of ‘credit crunch TV' theme I've got going on at the moment, I thought that today I'd peer into the murky world of the supermarket electrical departments. Places where prices are low and brands you've never heard of before are common.
The supermarket in question is Tesco. And the brand is Technika - certainly not a name I've come across before in the course of my 10 years or so as a reviewer of home entertainment technology.
So is Technika really just a fancy, vaguely Germanic name for what's ultimately a piece of total tat, or is its 32in LCD32-209 actually a hidden diamond among the budget rough?
The set isn't exactly going to bag any design awards, it has to be said. It's just a simple, flimsily built black rectangle - no more, no less. But that's really no more than we would have expected considering the LCD32-209 only costs £280. That price is, after all, just £10 more than the Goodmans LD2667D we looked at earlier in the week, and that model was only 26in, not 32in. In fact, I'm pretty confident that the LCD32-209 is the cheapest 32in TV I've ever tested.
With that in mind, the fact that it carries two HDMIs is actually quite pleasing - the poor old Goodmans could only manage one, don't forget. And that's not the end of the good connection news either, for the set also has both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, plus a subwoofer line-out alongside the expected SCARTs, composite video input, and component video input. The only bummer, connections-wise, is the absence of a D-Sub PC input for easy connection of an analogue PC.
Heading into the LCD32-209's onscreen menus, it's nice to find that they're organised, well presented and supremely legible - as well as containing one or two interesting features. These include a multi-level noise reduction processor, a film mode that tweaks the progressive scanning to suit film as opposed to video sources, an optional dynamic backlight system, and a Game mode that calls up a series of video settings Technika reckons will deliver the best results with console games.