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Usability

Although the overall user interface - which hangs around a simple Picture/Sound/Settings/Install & retune/Channel list/Media Browser carousel of icons - is very easy to use, one of the major weak points of the Finlux 32F8030-T is its electronic programme guide (EPG).

In terms of design, we've got no issues with it. Schedules stretching to two hours are shown for nine channels simultaneously, while selecting programmes to either expand upon or record (to a USB flash drive or an external HDD) is easy.

Finlux 32F8030-T review

The problem comes from the fact that when you engage the EPG, all sound and pictures of the current channel you're watching cease. It reminds us of how Panasonic EPGs used to be until very recently, though the absence of a thumbnail of live TV in the EPG screens is a huge shame. Who wants to browse what's on later while sitting in silence? Nobody.

Smart TV can be a tad slow to fire up, hanging a few times when we tried to load it. And multitasking isn't possible - a dual-core smart TV this is not.

Finlux 32F8030-T review

The Media Browser software meets our minimum standards in a similar fashion. In our test we played all common formats of digital music and movies with the exception of lossless formats and MKV video files.

Unfortunately the Finlux 32F8030-T's remote control is a tad unresponsive. It's not an endemic problem, but there's a slight delay between issuing the command and the Finlux 32F8030-T obeying.

Finlux 32F8030-T review

That's a shame, because it's a fine remote indeed - nicely spaced out, oversized buttons with a well thought out design of shortcut buttons to new services.

It's not perfect - we didn't immediately click that buttons with a TV and book icons translated as a shortcut to the EPG, nor that a graphic of a star and a CD led to YouTube.

Sound

Finlux 32F8030-T review

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The Finlux 32F8030-T's stereo 8W speakers are another of its major weaknesses. That's in no way unique - almost all flatscreen TVs disappoint in this area - but here there's just so little width or depth that anything but dialogue-based TV lacks impact.

There are a few audio presets, such as Movie, Speech, Flat, Classic and Music, but only the latter makes any kind of stab at low frequency sound.

Value

Finlux 32F8030-T review

Having been slashed down to a sale price of just £279.99 in recent months, we've no complaints about the Finlux 32F8030-T in the value stakes.

We shouldn't get carried away - the Finlux 32F8030-T is a cheaply built everyman TV set that's not as impressive as the polished efforts from the likes of Samsung, Panasonic and Sony.

Finlux 32F8030-T review

However, the provision of a throughly decent smart TV portal at this price is remarkable, and though it's a portal that hinges almost entirely on BBC iPlayer, we're wiling to bet that this particular app far outweighs any other in terms of popularity and use even on much more comprehensive smart TV offerings.

The inclusion of a Wi-Fi dongle is a wise move indeed, though using it does mean only one of the Finlux 32F8030-T's brace of USB slots is available.