For the latest in its line of innovative Freeview receivers, Humax has been thinking outside the box: the extra feature on this model is in fact a 32in LCD TV! There's also a 40GB memory for recording from TV, and even a 'pause live TV' option. It's a whole new world of television.

Other manufacturers will undoubtedly deliver similar products, but that Humax is the first to market, and at around just £1,600, is impressive.

The same goes for connectivity, which covers almost all possibilities. Scarts, S-video, composite and component video inputs make an appearance, as does a DVI input. This is HDCP-compliant, which is doublespeak for saying that, yes, the LGB-32TPVR is high-definition TV ready.

That DVI will also connect to a PC in crystal-clear fashion, while there's a VGA input and phono connections for connecting to a PC the old-fashioned way.

You're probably interested in the Humax's brains, though, so lets move upstairs to its 40GB hard disk, which will record anything you can play on the screen from its built-in tuner. Three recording modes are on offer, with 44hrs of recording possible in the 'long play' mode.

Only 44hrs, you say? Fear not; a standard USB 2.0 port on the side means any recorded material can be transferred on to another hard disk - of any capacity - leaving the 40GB ripe for blanking. Transferring to a DVD recorder is also possible, although not (on this particular model) via the Scart.

When it comes to usability, pausing and rewinding live TV (for up to 30mins) works well but the on-screen menus are a little convoluted, making using the electronic programme guide to set up a schedule of TV to record a mind-bending experience.

Freeview pictures looked good, however, with blacks well reproduced, while recordings made on the hard disk in the Humax's 'high quality' mode were just that. High-definition footage, meanwhile, takes things up a few notches - we're talking detail to die for and colours as vivid as you could hope for.

Our only real criticism is the screen's minor problem with blurring over motion, which is no doubt due to the LCD panel's merely average response time of 16ms (some rival manufacturers now offer screens with response times of just 4ms).

Racing ahead

A spin of I, Robot produced impressive results. As Detective Spooner races about the robot warehouse looking for his suspect, colours were solid and there was no more noticeable ghosting than on rival LCDs during this tricky scene. Moreover, pictures were crisp and bold throughout.

Side-mounted speakers are rarely anything to rave about but, while there was a touch of distortion at full pelt from the Humax's speakers, the virtual surround sound option is okay for most films and certainly enough to cope with Freeview.

If the Humax's extra features were taken away, it would still be a decent LCD at a reasonable price. That all the extras come more-or-less free is a nice bonus, especially if you're the sort of person who hates a living room full of gear. A bargain!