Further investigation of the surprisingly attractive and usefully organised onscreen menus reveals, however, that the absent digital tuner is pretty symptomatic of a general dearth of tweaks. To give you some idea of just how limited your options are, really the only features of even passing interest we uncovered were a multi-level noise reduction system, and a few picture presets. Like, wow.
Mind you, given that the remote control is an exercise in unpleasantness, combining grim looks with a cheapo finish and stodgy, slow-acting buttons, it’s perhaps just as well there aren’t that many features for you to explore!
The AT4220’s key claimed specifications aren’t bad, with a fair-to-middling claimed contrast ratio of 1200:1 joining forces with a par-for-the-course 500cd/m2 brightness level and an HD Ready resolution of 1,366 x 768.
The AT4220 does still have two more nasty tricks up its sleeve though. First and worst, the set’s auto-tuning mode fails to remove poor quality ‘secondary’ tuned programmes from its listings, leaving you to have to do the job yourself. Then it fails to sort the channels into any sort of correct order for you. Such unhelpfulness should have gone out with the dodo, frankly.
The other operational glitch is the way the TV doesn’t want to automatically format pictures received via the HDMI inputs, leaving you to have to choose the correct aspect ratio yourself. Tedious.
The clenched teeth inspired by the dismal auto-tuning, HDMI issues and ropey remote do start to relax, though, as we finally check out the AT4220’s picture quality. For while it’s certainly not going to win any awards, it’s also far from the horror show we might have expected for around £775.
Kicking off the good stuff is some really very impressive sharpness during high definition viewing. The set delivers a great sense of the extra clarity and definition inherent to the HD format, helping HD pictures look more believable and solid in the process and making the HD efforts of many large-screen LCD TVs costing twice as much look soft and fluffy by comparison.