As far as the Hannspree’s controls are concerned, there is a full set of chromed buttons along the display’s right edge, invisible from the front and quite attractive regardless. These allow for volume, channel and input adjustments, and obviously call up and navigate the menu. However, though they look pretty, they’re not easy to operate, since being all the same shape doesn’t let you easily know which button you’re pressing and the finish makes them slippery.
Fortunately, you won’t need to bother with them as long as you have the rather nice remote to hand. It uses two AA batteries, has a consistent and logical layout and the rubber keys are large, well-shaped and comfortable — something that can be said for the remote as a whole. Again, it’s far better than you have any right to expect for the money, with the only real niggle being that there is only a single input-selection button, meaning you have to cycle through the whole lot every time.
Getting onto connectivity, however, we have our first sign of the Hannspree’s budget nature. Hidden around to the left of the television’s rear are some easily accessible connections consisting of dual SCARTS and an RF jack. On a Full HD TV, one would hope for at least one easily accessible high definition port, preferably HDMI, and it’s a pity Hannspree has decided to locate both HDMI ports at the back. Two HDMIs is also less than we’re used to seeing on a TV these days, but keep in mind that the same can be said of the HT09’s price tag.
Joining the HDMIs is a D-SUB PC connector and separate component input. There’s no sign of composite, but this is a blessing since it’s the lowest-quality connection out there, and if you really do need it, a simple and dirt-cheap SCART adapter will give you either this or the higher-quality S-Video.
Audio connectivity is another disappointment, with just twin phono inputs for the component source and a 3.5mm jack for PC audio. Moreover, the “ear phone” (sic) socket is located at the back with all the other ports, making it almost impossible to reach, while there are no digital audio outputs (or inputs) at all.
Fortunately, the speakers aren’t completely useless for a cheap TV such as this. As long as you’re listening to treble-focused music such as light classical tracks or even films not too heavy on explosions, they do a commendable job, creating sound that has some depth and detail. Importantly, they also do so at a volume that is adequate for a smaller room. But it’s not all a walk in the park. Sitting close to them, you can clearly hear pronounced rustling and background noise, and they distort quite badly at their highest volume. Worse still, when it comes to any intensive bass, the HT09 simply sounds like its audio is coming out of a tin can.