Few people in their right mind are going to invest in Sky HD, a Blu-ray player, or an HD DVD machine unless they're planning to hook their kit up to a screen that's capable of offering a good impression of the high definition experience. Maybe we're wrong.

That's because while this Goodmans' 26in gloss black model looks absolutely fantastic, it's only from the outside that we found ourselves raving about it.

Having dropped the silver look that was a Goodmans trademark, the manufacturer of value-busting sets makes a good second impression too when we move from the style to the substance of its exterior. Around the back, we discover everything we would want to find sitting to the rear of such a screen.

It's HD-ready by dint of its two HDMI inputs and component jacks, and it is also endowed with a couple of RGB Scarts for standard-def duties, along with an electrical digital audio output for hooking the TV up to a home cinema amplifier. Easy to set up surround sound is the result - and the eternal banishment of lip sync issues.

The speakers are also of the under slung variety, thereby reducing the footprint of the GTVL26W17HDF on your wall, if that's where you choose to put your footprints.

Money for new rope

So far, so good, but things then start to get a little ropey when we start watching Hot Fuzz in high definition.

During our test scene, when Angel pays a visit to Simon 'Sissy' Skinner in his Somerfield lair, its 1366 x 768 resolution panel deals out a generous level of detail and generally impresses. But take a closer look and you'll see that black levels are poor, leaving dark areas of the picture bereft of shadow detail.

Without this depth to pictures the impression is rather flat and colour isn't vivid enough to help even the gunfight sequences leap from the screen.

Meanwhile, some judder from these fast-moving scenes really takes the shine from its hi-def abilities. SD actually looks better, but hi-def isn't good enough. A misfire from Goodmans.