Cello C1973F review

Can this 19" LCD TV overcome its mediocre images with sheer practicality?

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

A decent-looking, practical and affordable TV, but perhaps inevitably, considering the low price, its performance is rather pedestrian

For

  • Three products in one
  • High-resolution screen
  • Affordable price tag

Against

  • Picture and sound are both pretty average

To call the C1973F a mere TV seems rather unfair. The fact that it can show telly broadcasts is just the start of its talents.

A slot on its top, for instance, turns out to be a built-in docking station for all types of iPod and iPhone, enabling you to play stored music, video and pictures through the set while also charging the device. You can even control it via the television's remote control and onscreen menus.

Meanwhile, another slot down the TV's right side can accept DVD, CD, CD-R/-RW, HD-CD, SVCD and VCD discs, smoothly pulling them in as soon as a disc is presented.

The C1973F is thus essentially a one-stop multimedia home entertainment centre that's potentially perfect for the teenage market or for older folk.

Despite its modest price tag, the set hasn't skimped on resolution, with 1,440 x 900 pixels crammed into its 19in screen. This equates to a PC-focused 16:10 aspect ratio, rather than the normal 16:9 one used for widescreen video, but the TV does well at tweaking 16:9 images so that they don't look excessively trimmed or distorted.

So far, so good, but things start going pear-shaped with the TV's onscreen menus, which feature text so small that you'll struggle to read it from more than a metre or so away. This is particularly annoying when you're trying to browse your iPod content.

The set's connections aren't perfect either, since while you do get an HDMI and a dedicated PC port, you don't get a USB or any component video inputs – the latter absentee calling into question the set's claims to HD Ready status.

Performance

Picture performance is pretty uninspiring. Particularly galling is the backlight seepage along the top and bottom edges of the picture that leaves a grey, misty line of between 1cm and 2.5cm wide over any dark content.

Black levels generally are a little foggy, too, and colours lack sparkle and suffer a few rogue tones. There's evidence of motion blur during fast-moving footage, too, and the Cello doesn't have the sharpness to really highlight the differences between HD and standard def.

The C1973 isn't bad at rescaling SD pictures cleanly to fit its native resolution, though. While it's merely average in every other picture department, this is arguably good enough to satisfy the sort of 'utility' buyer likely to want a set with an integral DVD and iPod dock.

The same situation applies to the sound. For while it lacks the bass and range to make its musical sources sound particularly enjoyable, it is at least functional.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeTV/DVD Combo
Scan Format720p
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG2)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product Family73
Brand NameCello
Screen Size48.3 cm (19")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle170°
Vertical Viewing Angle160°
VESA Mount Standard75 x 75
Operating Power Consumption40.50 W
Dynamic Contrast Ratio10,000:1
HeadphoneYes
Height with Stand400 mm
Width with Stand480 mm
Depth with Stand200 mm
CI+Yes
Component VideoNo
SCARTYes
Height375 mm
Width480 mm
Depth78 mm
Brightness300 cd/m²
Product Series73
Maximum Resolution1440 x 900
Audio FormatsCD-DA
Media SupportedDVD-R
FeaturesSleep Timer
ManufacturerCello Electronics
Product ModelC1973F
Product NameC1973F TV/DVD Combo
Video FormatsDVD Video
Manufacturer Part NumberC1973F
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.celloelectronics.com
Marketing Information

The new line up of Cello LCD TV's for 2009 continues to break the mould in the UK market for innovation, style, choice and value. As an electronics brand that focuses solely on the development of LCD TVs we are able to harness all of our resources to create a unique and inspired range of LCD TVs. This year we have introduced leading edge new cabinet designs, more contemporary colour choices and some 'world first' new features.

Weight (Approximate)4.50 kg