If the picture is lacklustre, the sound somehow manages to be even worse. An obvious hollowness makes speech fairly unpleasant to listen to, and there's little output at the frequency extremes. Hannspree has specified a graphic equaliser in the audio menu, but it makes little useful difference.

Adjusting the10kHz bar, which is the closest you get to a treble control, does little to restore sparkle. And the speaker drivers are so small that no amount of fiddling is going to give the SJ42DMBB a full-bodied bottom-end.

The sound system isn't particularly loud - but even with the volume maxed out, distortion isn't particularly problematic. Our sonic conclusion?

Here's a TV that's crying out for an external audio system - and presumably Hannspree realises this by running to the expense of that optical digital audio output. It's a pity that the SJ42DMBB doesn't have external speaker outlets – these used to be quite common, and in our experience it's the internal speakers, rather than the amplifiers or sources, that compromise sound quality.

SJ42DMBB

The SJ42DMBB is inexpensive for a reasonably well-featured 42in TV with plenty of connections. Not so long ago, such TVs were perched very much at the esoteric end of the AV market. But much has changed, in a surprisingly-short space of time.

Today, the giants of the industry - companies like Panasonic and Samsung - are selling demonstrably-superior sets for little more than the SJ42DMBB's £400 asking price. If you can locate an 'end-of-line' bargain, you might even get even more TV for your money.