One great way to save space as well as money in these financially challenged times is to buy two products rolled into one.

Cue Sanyo's CE22LD94DV-8, with its combination of 22in LCD TV and built-in DVD player.

It's not the prettiest 32in TV ever, but it does neatly accommodate the DVD player tidily, keeping the disc slot tucked away on its rear left side.

Built-in DVD player

The Sanyo's rear also introduces a disappointment, though; namely the presence of just one HDMI input.

To be fair, though, this TV's relatively small size makes it very much a second-room TV rather than a main TV, and so it's unlikely you'll need to attach many sources to it. Plus, of course, one potential external source, the DVD player, is already built in.

The latter can play DVD+R/RW and CD/-R/-RW discs as well as standard DVDs, but otherwise it's pretty basic. As is the TV's screen, on the whole, with its plain-Jane contrast ratio of 1000:1, lacklustre brightness of just 200cd/m² and its HD Ready resolution.

Deeper investigation, though, reveals that the resolution is anything but straightforward. For instead of the anticipated 1,366 x 768 pixels it's actually got 1,650 x 1,050.

Odd aspect ratio

This seems a real bonus at first glance. But the reality is that instead of the true 1.78:1 aspect ratio delivered by normal 16:9 widescreen TVs, the 1,650 x 1,050-pixel resolution breaks down to a 1.6:1 aspect ratio, resulting in widescreen pictures that look slightly stretched vertically, or else having their edges pushed off the screen.

Curiously, though, we became slowly less annoyed by it the longer we lived with it. And as we grew accustomed to seeing people looking slightly taller and thinner than normal, we also started noticing some picture strengths.

Punchy pictures

By affordable small TV standards, for instance, black levels, get unusually deep and are relatively (though not totally) untroubled by grey clouding. There's even a little shadow detailing around to give dark scenes depth.

Pictures are surprisingly punchy, too, making that 200cd/m² brightness claim look pessimistic, while the CE22LD94DV's DVD player generates no overtly nasty MPEG artefacts or colour problems.

DVD movies and even CDs both enjoy remarkably assured audio from the TV's speakers too, as good power output combines with likeable amounts of harshness-free treble detail and even dollops of controlled bass.

Keeping the Sanyo CE22LD94DV's performance 'real' are a slight softness to HD images, narrow bands of backlight seepage and slightly muted colours. But these flaws are easy to swallow given that you're getting two products for less than the price of one.