Whenever you’ve got great black levels and mostly excellent colours, you’re always going to have a pretty watchable picture, at least where HD sources are concerned. But a number of issues stop the Modus from being the star it could, or maybe should have been.
The single biggest offender is the amount of video noise you have to contend with. The picture generally looks rather ‘alive’ thanks to dot crawl and grain, with things not being helped by the sporadic appearance of fizzing over horizontal motion – a once-common plasma problem but one which we’d really expect a company like Loewe to have dealt with by now. The same can be said, too, of the way colour blends tend to stripe on the Modus, rather than appearing as smooth gradations.
Also taking some bite out of the Modus L 42’s pictures is a shortage of greyscale subtlety that finds dark areas lacking the sort of shadow detail that helps give dark scenes a sense of depth. And finally, the bright edges within pictures sometimes look a bit rough and ready, while standard definition pictures generally feel slightly low on sharpness and fine detail.
While Loewe’s customary quality may not be particularly evident in the Modus L 42’s pictures, it certainly shines through with its audio. The set’s speakers are almost stupidly powerful, making them exceptionally adept at painting a soundstage of a truly cinematic scale packed with wonderfully deep bass lines, clear and well-rounded vocals, and outstanding amounts of treble details – all presented without distortion or harshness.
We appreciate the thought behind opening the Loewe door to a wider market with the relatively cheap Modus L 42. But in the end its surprisingly run of the mill picture, connectivity and design all conspire to make it feel rather ordinary – and as such, it doesn’t somehow seem like a proper Loewe TV.