The audio performance of the SV42LMNB is average at best, with the two 10W speakers struggling to provide anything that really dazzles. At full volume it's loud, but harsh sounding, and there's an overall lack of dynamic range. While some affordable screens suffer from a trebly output, this Hannspree simply sounds muffled, with neither deep bass or tinkly high frequency effects.
Neither of the two presets (Speech and Music) make much improvement, nor does fiddling with the five-band equaliser. However, the ubiquitous Virtual Surround mode, while creating practically nothing in the way of surround sound, does widen the soundstage and make it sound less constrained. Buyers without a dedicated sound system should use this option for movie viewing.
Despite reservations about some aspects of its performance and the omission of a Freeview HD tuner, the SV42LMNB still represents fair value for money. A stylish, 42-inch LED set for this price is not something you see every day. It's one of the most affordable routes to bigscreen Blu-ray entertainment on the market.
Ease of use
Getting the SV42LMNB on its stand is quite straightforward and requires only four screws. Both the stand and the TV are heavier than you might expect, which is reassuring. Less so is the need to lay the screen down flat to attach them together. Hannspree recommends you put it down on a towel or cloth, though you might prefer to stand it upside down.
The SV42LMNB comes supplied with a screen-cleaning cloth and a massive multi-language manual that's almost as thick as the TV itself. Thankfully, there's also a Quick Start guide and a separate sheet with assembly instructions. Hannspree should be applauded for including all these rather than opting for a disc-based manual – there's nothing worse than having to boot up your PC when setting up a new TV.
Once up and running you immediately enter a setup wizard (which, thanks to phrases like 'Welcome to use the Wizard for Initial Setup!!', reminds you that Hannspree is a Taiwanese operation). Here you choose your language, country, 'Shop' or 'Home' mode, and then scan for channels from its digital and analogue tuners. You'll be watching BBC One in just a couple of minutes.
The SV42LMNB's menus are easy to read and fairly intuitive, although they do float bang in the middle of the screen. This means that judging the impact of any picture tweaks you make can sometimes to a bit tricky.
Another annoying facet of the Hannspree's menus is that the window for the different input options isn't large enough to accommodate them all and it's the three HDMIs that get cropped off the bottom. You have to scroll through Scart, component and Victorian-era composite to reach them, which is a strange oversight.
A positive is the inclusion of a channel list menu separate from the seven-day EPG that appears in the top-left corner and doesn't hide what you're currently watching.
The remote control looks neat and tidy, with sensible placing of buttons and a few colourful splashes of Hannspree's trademark lime green. The controls, though, are a bit spongy, meaning you may end up pressing them more than once. Couple this with some unresponsive menus and you may find playing with the TV's features a bit of a chore.