It’s funny how things work out sometimes. One minute you can be working on one of the AV world’s most premium products - such as the recently reviewed Sim2 Nero 3D-1 projector - and the next you can find yourself faced with one of the season’s biggest potential bargains, such as the Logik L323CD11 we're looking at here.
The L323CD11’s proposition to the AV world is brazen, but likely to be no less popular for that. Quite simply, at just £379, it’s the cheapest 3D TV available in the UK. In fact, it’s so cheap for a 3D-capable 32in TV that it essentially establishes 3D as a ‘commodity’ for all rather than an enthusiast’s luxury. Especially as, incredibly, the L323CD11 ships with 10 pairs of 3D glassed included free.
This extreme glasses generosity is only possible, of course, because the L323CD11 uses LG’s ‘passive’ on-screen filter technology to deliver its 3D thrills. If it was an active 3D TV, getting 10 pairs of glasses could cost you anywhere between £600 and £1000! In other words, the Logik L323CD11 is in some ways the most blatant example yet of passive 3D’s significant financial and multiple-viewer advantages. Whether it does passive 3D’s reputation any favours on the picture quality front, though, remains to be seen.
The L323CD11 rather looks its money, aesthetically. Its bezel is unusually wide by today’s standards, and it’s rear end sticks out a country mile - a classic indication that the TV is using old-school CCFL lighting rather than the LED lighting systems now preferred by so many TVs.
The L323CD11’s connections are in some ways slightly better than you might expect. There are three HDMIs, for instance, capable of receiving 3D signals from suitable Blu-ray sources or a Sky HD box. Plus there’s a D-Sub PC port allowing the screen to double up as a computer monitor, as well as a single USB port capable of playing music, video and photo files.
It’s not all peaches and cream on the connections front, though. For the L323CD11 lacks an Ethernet port, which means it also lacks a Freeview HD tuner (since Ethernet ports are mandatory accompaniments for Freeview HD tuners).
To be fair, we wouldn’t by any means expect to find a Freeview HD tuner inside a ‘normal’ sub-£400 32in TV. But it still feels somehow odd to find technology as cutting edge as 3D playback on the L323CD11, but no Freeview HD tuner.
Obviously not having a LAN or integrated wi-fi also scuppers any hopes of Logik’s budget set supporting either Smart TV online features or file streaming from your PC. But really, hoping for such treats from such a cheap TV just wouldn’t be remotely realistic when that TV’s already set a new value standard by carrying passive 3D for peanuts.
The L323CD11’s lack of features beyond the passive 3D system continues into its onscreen menus, which are strikingly simplistic to look at and only really carry the bog-standard basics you’d expect to find on any TV.
Mind you, given that trying to get the remote to ‘talk’ to the TV is an absolute nightmare, it’s frankly just as well there aren’t too many reasons to have to delve into the menus.