Loewe unveils new Reference standard

IFA 2008: Loewe stays at the high-end with a clutch of new luxury TVs and media centres

IFA 2008 Loewe s new 42in Art TV

On its home turf at Berlin's IFA Show, German luxury brand Loewe has announced some feature-packed additions to its high-end range of TVs – and unveiled a new 52in LCD TV it's calling Reference.

New 26in and 22in models will join Loewe's Connect range of LCD TVS, which use WiFi connectivity to play digital music, photos and video from a home network.

Network indulgence

Although both have a built-in FM radio, 10W stereo speakers, a PC input, two HDMI ports and a Freeview tuner, only the 26in version can indulge in networking. With an Ethernet port for wired access and a WiFi aerial, the Connect 26 can fetch digital content – music, video (though not HD) and music – from a PC or Mac on the same wireless broadband network.

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They also have differing resolutions, with the Connect 26 enjoying 1366x768 pixels and the Connect 22 a resolution of 1680x1050 pixels. That's more than enough to handle hi-def images although high definition video cannot be streamed.

Are TVs Art?

Having dipped a toe into the waters of WiFi with the Connect – its first appearance on a TV – Loewe used its giant stand at IFA to unveil something a little more classic. Available in 42in and 47in sizes only, its newest line-up is simply called 'Art'.

The bezel measures a mere 89.9mm in depth, although that's nothing compared to the likes of Hitachi, LG and JVC's efforts of late. Loewe's latest might not be thin but 'Art' is fat with features.

First there's the Full HD resolution, a 1920x1080 pixel count that's quickly become standard throughout the flat TV market.

Add 24p playback for a cinema-like rendition of Blu-ray discs, as well as a 100Hz anti-blur tech, a 250GB hard disk for recording TV, and optional Dolby Digital/DTS speakers, and Loewe's Art (or Art 47 SL Full-HD+ 100 and the Art 42 SL Full-HD+ 100, to give you the full names) could be in the frame.

The White Room

Loewe also announced that the 40-inch Compose LCD TV in its Individual line-up will be available in white from November. The Individual Compose Full HD+ 100 features Full HD resolution and 100Hz technology.

The Individual line-up also received a new product at IFA in the shape of the Individual Mediacenter. It includes a CD/DVD player capable of upscaling, a iPod/iPhone interface, a digital TV tuner, a FM radio, two USB ports and wired and wireless networking.

The first screen released under Loewe's new Reference range is a 52in LCD TV. Featuring Full HD resolution, 100Hz double frame-rate tech and 24p playback from Blu-ray discs, it's also got an integrated DR+ 500GB recorder and even a HD satellite TV tuner.

While the latter will be able to access the same channels as Freesat boxes, it's not able to pick-up the ITV HD channel, which is broadcast on the encrypted interactive platform. The motorised rotating Reference 52 Full HD+ 100 can be fitted with a the same WiFi network Media Player found on the brand's Connect TVs.

The new Reference Mediacenter can also be added. Acting as a home entertainment hub, it's broadly the same as the Individual Mediacenter, the key difference being the inclusion of a Blu-ray player that also upscales DVDs. A Reference Sound Standspeaker, a wafer-thin stereo sound system, was also announced.