Still,it’s not really the picture quality or the audio quality that makes this particular line so interesting. What does is a combination of connectivity and a built-in PVR. Loewe actually got on the networked TV bandwagon fairly early, launching its first Web-enabled sets some fifteen years ago, and the Connect line back in 2007. Since then the company’s MediaNet function has been improved, with a resigned user interface and access to a wider range of content.
Loewe, in conjunction with Sharp and Philips, is promoting sites and services based on CE-HTML, a superset of XHTML designed for larger TV screens, and while the current selection is inevitably dominated by rather Euro-centric content, Loewe demonstrated a version of iPlayer to us behind closed doors, and will be evaluating other UK video on demand and catch-up TV services as they emerge.
The built-in LAN interface also allows the TV to stream video, music and Internet radio to and from other DNLA compatible computers and servers in the home, enabling you to use the Connect LED’s built-in HDD recorder to stream a recorded programme to a second TV in the bedroom even while watching a different programme in the lounge. The really cool bit, however, is a service that Loewe calls ‘Follow Me’.
Pause a programme in the lounge and press the ‘follow me’ button on the remote, and the living room TV will go into standby. Switch on the TV upstairs and you can find the paused programme and start watching from exactly where you left off. The only thing to point out is that, while all this stuff is built on open standards, Loewe will only guarantee it working seamlessly with other Loewe TVs; only those with a sizable budget need apply. UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, but you know the old saying about “if you need to ask....”