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Loewe Connect 42 Media Full HD+100 DR+ 42in LCD TV - Loewe Connect 42 Media Full HD+100 DR+

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

In listing all of the improvements the new Connect 42 brings to the table, it occurs to me that I've potentially skimmed over just what a meaty proposition it really is.

Maybe, then, now would be a good time for a summary. So: first, when all the evidence is in, the Connect 42 is arguably currently Europe's most multimedia savvy TV - especially once you add to all the file compatibility/Internet radio stuff the fact that it's got two USB ports, an Ethernet jack and even full built-in Wi-Fi. Aside from the stupid-money stuff Vivadi is still playing around with, the Philips' 9000 Series models are the only other TVs that can fairly claim to give the Connect 42 a run for its money in multimedia respects.

Next, the TV can also be a digital recorder, with its built-in HDD able to record broadcasts from the Freeview tuner in exactly the same picture and sound quality they were broadcast in. In fact, the level of recording flexibility on offer is sufficient to allow the TV to claim official 'Freeview+' status.

Third, the Connect 42 is unusually well positioned to become the hub of a wider home cinema installation, with matching audio options available, and the ability to link with and control other Loewe gear around a (presumably very posh!) house.

Finally, returning to a point I touched on earlier, the Connect 42 is about as close as the TV world gets to being a bespoke TV. You can get it, for instance, in high gloss black, high gloss white, or Chrome Silver finishes. Then you can choose to put it on a striking and varied selection of different floor stands or wall mounts besides the table-top stand I tested it with. And finally you can even decide to some extent what features the TV carries, with additional features being retrofittable as they come on stream or your needs change.

Optional features currently available include a Dolby Digital/DTS surround sound decoder module, an RS232 control module to aid the TV's integration into a wider system, twin satellite tuners (though these aren't currently compatible with Freesat), and a motorisation module for allowing you to control the TV's angle remotely.

As you might be starting to think from all this, the Connect 42 is hardly the easiest TV in the world to use. Especially as Loewe has chosen to cram its onscreen menus into a small section of the bottom of the screen. We understand why it's done this; it doesn't want to hide the picture while you're making your adjustments. But man, it doesn't half make for some convoluted menu/submenu navigation 'expeditions'.

Just as well, then, that part of the premium Loewe 'deal' is that the set will be professionally installed in your home for you as standard. Cool.

jopey

November 25, 2009, 7:13 am

You've got to be kidding. 7/10 for value!? Last I checked it doesn't cost £2500 to get a "low/midrange quality' LCD TV installed and professionally calibrated. You could fly in THX service personal for that!


Sharp provide the panels for Loewe TV's. Given the low contrast ratio this one must have been plucked from the parts bin after Sharp left it there 18 months ago.


Also 10/10 for design..? "it doesn't half make for some convoluted menu/submenu navigation 'expeditions" .. doesn't sounds like good design to me. Honestly what moron would order one with that "monitor looking" table-top stand on it? You'd be starring at the reflection of you light fittings.. the other two make it look like it's been nicked from the local council's visitors centre foyer.


And actually, yes for £3000 you can get display perfect.. or at least a dam sight closer to it than this TV. The Panasonic 58Inch V10 is about the same price an awesome TV. So you'd have to be an idiot to buy this TV. I would automatically hate some one who brought one because, literally in this case, they have more money than sense.

xbrumster

November 25, 2009, 2:18 pm

never heard of the brand but Apple-ly expensive for sure

Techno22

November 25, 2009, 3:05 pm

Surprised to hear that someone would not have heard of this prestige brand.


They have been around for a long time and are well known for their beautiful designs and their top of the market prices.


Generally have a high visibility in the high streets.

Techno22

November 25, 2009, 3:09 pm

This is my second comment today, but I have to say that I think these excellent reviews are further enhanced by the sense of humour of the author.


Keep up the good work!

timple

November 25, 2009, 3:43 pm

I wonder why anyone would buy a tv at the moment with the market waiting for freeview HD receivers. Just the poor saps who haven't heard about it! "What the brand new telly I bought for Christmas is out of date by the Spring????" ;-)

Ripsnorter

November 25, 2009, 4:09 pm

Great review!





Loewe (German word for lion) is a superb brand and my girlfriend, who is a designer, had to be peeled off their sets with a crowbar at the last IFA. She wants one so badly. The only thing stopping us is the lack of a larger set (my wish) and the money (serves us right for being poor), because once you start adding extras and goodies the price moves rapidly upwards.

SRS

November 25, 2009, 4:34 pm

Professional cash burners would go straight for B&O's BeoVision 7-40 instead...

Chris Beach

November 25, 2009, 5:14 pm

There's no way a tv with a bright silver/white surround should get 10 for design.


It's also fairly chunky too. I would say 6 tops.

Chris 25

November 25, 2009, 7:46 pm

@timple:





I'm fed up of reading comments from people who think just because a set doesn't have one of the new freeview tuners it's now obsolete!





Personally I buy a tv based on one thing only (budget permitting of course!) and that's how good is the picture. I don't care what tuners it has, I don't care if it can stream a million file types from a usb drive.





I can add all this functionality later, albeit at an extra cost, but honestly how many people nowadays have an extra/external tuner for things like PVR functionality anyway.





Plus don't forget sets from manufacturers that have freesat built in as well, they already get HD material so are most certainly not 'out of date' :)

jingyeow

November 25, 2009, 8:04 pm

@Techno22, They actually don't have a noticeable high street presence in the Uk, mainly only being found in specialty stores. I've noticed that abroad, the brand has a massive reputation. In Singapore when I first saw Loewe televisions, my mouth dropped. The quality was astounding. I watched one of those loop tapes on the Loewe and it blew the other televisions nearby by other big names out the water.





The design of this particular Loewe isn't that attractive, but like stated in the review, the quality of the screen will be excellent. I wonder, If I start a savings account I may be able to afford a Loewe in a few years...At the moment, it's £400 HDTvs for me.

V.E

November 26, 2009, 4:38 am

I can declare an interest in I have a Loewe TV and boy does it hit the mark. I have the Connect 37 and my decision to purchase was predicated by my desire to turn my media collection of films and music into digital form. I wanted one device to allow me to play digital media and now I have it. Yes there are some limitations for example no mkv support which is a pain as that's a great format and although it can receive digital terrestrial tv it can't do so for the UK which is using DVB 2.





However my other half did make me laugh at when she asked why


I paying so much for a TV and I said I need it to do all sorts of stuff which she was completely scornful of bytheway. She now takes more advantage of it's abilities than I do watching all her chick flicks that have been converted and are available on our home network. Was it worth the cash? For me without doubt and I may well invest in more for the house. Trick to affording it is not to drink or smoke amazing how much cash you save when you don't!

ffrankmccaffery

November 26, 2009, 8:08 pm

Ive seen these sets on displays in huddersfield of all places and was mightily impressed when i walked in and allowed the store staff to put on a demonstration that almost did the trick of ensnaring me into buying it. Although an all in one setup isnt what i would buy myself had i such a budget - as a reader of this site thats taken for granted since most of us would go for the separates route. this is for those who want something thats not only excetionally built but also can sit comfortably alongside other furnishings in a room that far exceed the five figure mark.


You really have to go a store and take a demonstration like i did to fully appreciate the quality and the high regard that others have for this brand. From the solidity and clarity of the remote to the aircraft grade anti-glare and scratch-resistant screen to the elegantly and intelligently laid out menus and to the optional extras that allow a motorised stand. I could go on if i have to but id really suggest you try and sample it for yourself before drawing such easy conclusions

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