Alright, so £500 is hardly the sort of money that one can throw around willy nilly, but when it comes to LCD screens, it's not really that much at all. Surprisingly, this isn't the cheapest screen on the market, but this Bush set still provides the more money-conscious buyer with an affordable solution that need not break the bank or send the wife into nervous convulsions.
This 15in 4:3 LCD screen has plain silver styling with speakers built-in below the screen, making it look squarer than TVs using the side-mounted approach.
Most of the sockets, apart from the PC ones, are accessed sideways from a recess at the back. This includes the headphone jack, making it far from easy to get at. The remote is basic but the combined cluster of cursor, volume and channel keys in the middle saves space.
For extreme portability, the set's PAL/SECAM TV tuner will work across Europe, however, it should be noted that there is no NTSC compatibility for playing US or East Asian tapes or DVDs. If used as a bedroom set, you can set a sleep timer for 10-180 minutes in eight steps.
Colour reproduction is good, though reds tend to look somewhat over saturated unless you tweak the user mode or switch to the Movie preset. Skin tone is convincing but there's some fuzziness between strong hues. The grey scale is reasonable but smooth contours (such as blue skies) can appear to be blocky.
Deeper shadows reveal comparatively little detail unless you boost brightness but this in turn dulls the image. The backlight is also noticeably uneven. Black tones aren't as dark as they really should be but they're not tainted with colour as is the case on some LCDs. Whites look clean but the screen has relatively low brightness and contrast and the viewing angles are simply awful.
Unfortunately, static fine detail shows some rippling effects, leading to a slightly grainy or smudgy look. However, moving fine detail is fairly decently contained and the 'strobing' that can often affect vertical lines is minimal. Annoyingly, there's no way to squeeze anamorphic 16:9 images into a 4:3 letterbox to correct the aspect ratio, so connected DVD players or digiboxes will need to be permanently set at 4:3.
Audio has a smooth bass response. The speakers rattle and distort at higher volumes but the stereo soundstage is very spacious. The pseudosurround is good and doesn't harm the clarity or positioning of dialogue, keeping it quite tightly focussed.
Despite the comparative lack of features and some technical shortcomings, the screen's performance is watchable. It's not overly afflicted by image trailing or smearing, providing the source material is clear, making it a better suited for DVD or PC than TV signals.