Other specifications of interest include a claimed contrast ratio of 4,500:1 made possible by a dynamic backlight system that dims the set’s brightness during dark scenes to boost black level response, and a connections panel which includes two HDMIs, a PC port, a digital audio throughput, and a USB input for digital photo viewing on top of all the more basic stuff you’d expect to find on any TV worthy of the name.
It has to be said that a third HDMI and some v1.3 HDMI compatibility (those on the Compose 40 are v1.2 affairs) might have been appreciated on a £3k 40in TV. But then maybe this is the price you have to pay for the amount of lead time needed to get a chassis/platform as flexible and unusual as the Loewe’s off the page and onto a production line.
Day-to-day use of the Compose 40 is not exactly a barrel of laughs. The remote control is thankfully a big improvement over the horror shows of many Loewe TVs past, but the onscreen menus are so obsessed with taking up as little screen space as possible that they require extremely unwieldy and non-intuitive trawls through confusing sub-menus.
The Compose 40 does sport a rather excellent on-screen interactive instruction manual which we’d like to see introduced on every TV, frankly. But ironically this doesn’t in any way solve the menu problems.
Once the proud owners of some of the best picture quality available in CRT days, Loewe hasn’t necessarily found the transition to the flat world particularly easy. But we’re pleased to say that the Compose 40’s picture quality is easily the best we’ve seen from a Loewe LCD.
The picture’s sharpness is especially telling, as the combination of the full HD pixel count and clever Image+ engine ensures that no HD pixel is left unturned in the quest for immaculate HD quality. And so if you’ve ever doubted the extra quality of Gears of War’s graphics over those of Halo 3, this TV will put you straight. Or if you’ve seen HD films shown on rubbish LCD TVs and struggled to understand what all the fuss is about, this screen’s handling of particularly detailed HD moments like the Skull Island scenes on the King Kong HD DVD, will reveal the glorious truth.
It’s worth adding as a side note to this that the Compose 40’s HD images are particularly noiseless too, thanks to the perfect match between the resolutions of the screen and source HD image.