Home / TVs & Audio / TV / Loewe Individual 40 Compose (Slim) / Features and Picture Quality

Loewe Individual 40 Compose (Slim) - Features and Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Loewe Individual 40 Compose (Slim)

Summary

Our Score:

9

Turning to the Individual 40 Compose’s bulging spec sheet, there are a number of headline tricks to report. Perhaps the single most impressive of these is the presence of an integrated digital recorder. And this is no half-hearted ‘add-in’ like the 8GB effort built into some of Sharp’s recent TVs; this is a 250GB affair with an fully developed operating system and the ability to record - in HD or standard def - from the integrated digital tuners with no loss of quality.

The full HD pixel count, meanwhile, is powered by plenty of processing power, with the latest version of Loewe’s previously impressive Image+ picture engine being joined by 400Hz, for crisper, smoother motion handling.

The set’s edge LED lighting is reckoned to deliver a very promising 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, while also crucial to the Individual 40 Compose’s appeal are its extravagant multimedia talents. It’s able to connect to a DLNA PC, for a start, from which it can stream digital music, photo or film archives. The same sorts of files can also be played back from USB drives. Best of all, though, the Individual 40 can go online, allowing you to access more than 8,000 Internet Radio stations, as well as Video podcasts and ‘web TV’ channels.

Loewe announced at the recent IFA show that it had signed up with Sharp and Philips to share online platforms, which suggests that at some point open Internet access could come to Loewe’s TVs too.

We really liked the way Loewe’s online features were organised as well. The menus don’t look very flash compared with the graphics-heavy approach of some rivals, but the almost PC-like approach proves exceptionally efficient at organising and presenting the huge amount of content the system is capable of delivering.

Loewe bolsters its user-friendliness by including a genuinely helpful onscreen, interactive ‘instructions manual’. However, not everything about the Individual 40 Compose is a no-brainer. For we’re not big fans of the way the TV keeps all its onscreen menu options within a couple of collapsible, scrollable lines along the TV’s bottom edge. It makes finding and getting to pretty much any of the TV’s options a real chore.

There was one further glaring issue with our Individual 40 test sample, too: no Freeview HD tuner. However, thankfully this is going to be rectified before the end of the year. Phew.

Previous Loewe TVs we’ve seen have tended to be less appealing in performance terms than they are in design and feature terms. But the Individual 40 Compose puts this traditional failing right in no uncertain terms.

The single most significant improvement over past Loewe flat TVs comes with black level response. The set’s edge LED system delivers really deep, natural black colours, troubled by remarkably little of the grey clouding usually associated with LCD TVs. What’s more, provided you’re sensible with the set’s brightness and contrast settings, dark scenes are seldom blighted by signs of inconsistent backlight levels.

With dark scenes and dark parts of otherwise bright pictures also exhibiting clear signs of the subtle shadow detail often crushed out by lesser LCD TVs, Loewe is now up there with the best Sony and maybe even Philips have to offer on the edge LED contrast front.

Castalan

November 5, 2010, 7:44 pm

I think I have a spare kidney i don't need - couple that with whatever I can get for Mrs Castalan ... and maybe .. just maybe ;)

GoldenGuy

November 5, 2010, 9:26 pm

No real complaints from me. You said they were gonna sort out Freeview HD very soon which is more than Philips can promise. Absolutely gorgeous one-piece design. Cracking picture quality according to you guys. I suppose input lag is a concern but it makes up for that by being a TV that offers you solid sound (admittedly this goes way beyond, hence it'd be nice to see manufacturers just create CRT-volume speakers), so alas, a television that's actually a television and not just some jumped up PC monitor!





One question : does it come in 46 inches? Because, you know, obviously I can easily afford any version of this product - Big Fat Not!

Tim Sutton

November 5, 2010, 10:06 pm

@Castalan





I understand selling the spare kidney, but surely Mrs Castalan is 3D? This TV, nice as it is, would be a downgrade.

AlexMck

November 6, 2010, 2:30 am

I'm afraid, Mr Sutton, that you Just Don't Understand.

Ripsnorter

November 6, 2010, 3:19 pm

@Golden Guy.


I took a look at the Loewe website and it does come in larger sizes. You'll also be pleased to know that TR reviewed an, er, 'economy' specced model. There are some very entertaining ways to truly max out your and the wife's credit cards.

cristy hargreaves

November 10, 2010, 5:49 pm

The Individual Compose is available in 32/40/46 and 55" starting from £2695. Alternatively the Individual Selection (without glass filter screen) is the entry level alternative and shares most of the same features. Watch this space for the 3D-ready versions of Individual in Spring 2011 to rival Mrs Castalan!

kc3

November 11, 2010, 4:14 pm

I was in the market for one of these to connect to my NAS to play more stored DVD content, and for Freeview HD & FreeSat. As far as I know, the only other TV that can do this is a Panasonic. You'd think at this price point, the sales & support service would be good. After 6 phone calls to Germany (disconnected 4 times), I got asked to email my pre-sales questions. Was never replied to. Loewe UK telephone line doesn't give product information - you have to go to a dealer. At the flagship concession in Selfridges, the streaming demo didn't work ("something's up with the router, not the TV"). At Harrods they could only play avi clips from USB, couldn't specifically say that it would stream HD properly. At the Loewe "Gallerie", they didn't know either, but phoned someone who did. Some important things to note, if you're considering this TV:





1. Contrary to the review here, DLNA is NOT specifically supported - you need to install the rather bloated Twonky software.





2. Full HD is not supported by the hardware, only 720p





3. No support for mkv





4. Freeview HD will be a payable "upgrade" until February.





5. Despite there being another a "DVB-S upgrade" FreeSat also isn't supported (and won't be) "because of international regulations, we're a German company, you see". This means no FreeSat EPG





6. You can't upgrade the 250GB drive to use that as media storage.





7. You can buy a proprietary Loewe 500Gb external drive, but you can't record onto it





8. No optical audio in or out





9. Ethernet port is just 100Mbits!





10. Cannot use USB wifi adapator








With words like "fearsomely specified", "peerless bespoke flexibility", "bulging spec sheet" you'd expect that it would genuinely do things that few TVs can (but commonplace on any htpc). Much as I would like it to have been, this is not a replacement for my small, fanless HTPC.

comments powered by Disqus