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

John Archer

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Reviewed:

1 of 10

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

Summary

Our Score:

8

And the prize for the longest TV name in the history of TV names, ever, goes to: the Loewe Connect 42 Media Full HD+ 100 DR+. In fact, it's such a long name that I'm not totally sure I've got all of its various bits in the right order. The cool thing about this name, though, is that it isn't just there to give journalists and shops nightmares. It's actually so ridiculously long because the TV it describes has, as we'll see, such a ridiculously long list of features...

Regular readers may remember that the Connect 42 (by which abbreviated name it shall henceforth be known!) is not actually the first TV we've seen from Loewe's Connect range; we saw a 37in model way back in 2008. However, we're not just featuring the 42in Connect today because it's 5in bigger.

As usual with Loewe product lines, the latest Connect TVs are really quite different to last year's models, since the German brand's general policy is to keep improving existing ranges rather than adopting the usual path of just introducing a whole new range every time there's a new technology in town.

Therefore my first - rather complicated - job in this review is to get to the bottom of exactly where the Connect 42 Circa November 2009 differs from the Connect 37 Circa June 2008.

The first change I spotted was an aesthetic one, as the table-top stand Loewe provided with our review sample is a much prettier chrome cross design than the slightly plain-jane one found on the original Connect TVs.

Not that you have to stick with this cross-style stand if you don't like it, though. For arguably the single most important feature of the Loewe Connect range - and most of Loewe's TVs, come to that - is the fact that you can actually choose how your Connect 42 looks and the features it carries. More on this in a moment when we've finished picking out the differences between today's and last year's Connect features.

Another key difference is that the Connect 42 manages three HDMIs versus the previous Connect models' really rather disappointing two. This makes the current Connect 42 much better equipped to be the central hub of a home entertainment installation.

As does the fact that Connect's already extreme multimedia talents - the things that inspire its Connect name, in fact - are boosted on the new Connect 42 by the addition of Internet Radio playback, and the introduction of much wider file type compatibility, including FLAC, WAV, DivX, XviD, AVI, H.264 video, AIFFWindows Media Audio, MP3, AAC (compressed and lossless), and WAV.

Given that finding and accessing multimedia files on the previous Connect could be a rather confusing business, it's also a relief to find that Loewe has improved the interface for the latest Connect's Media Player, making it more accessible and, crucially, allowing you to input text search data to make it quicker and easier to quickly find specific files within, say, your endless list of audio tracks.

Yet more improvements worthy of note include a free TWONKY account; the facility to update the TV's system software via the Internet rather than having to have a dealer do it for you; an application that lets you add Internet Radio favourite lists to your iPhone so that you can take the links with you wherever you roam; and finally (unless I've missed something, which I probably have), an increase in the amount of 'DR+' HDD recording space from 160GB to a very healthy 250GB.

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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