The compact and portable Evesham TV-930 wants to be an LCD TV that's versatile enough to watch on the hop, or in the car for that matter: a good idea that Evesham hasn't nailed.
For starters, the TV-930's black, plastic shell is drab, adorned with basic operational buttons on the front. Ditto the remote control, which is one of the worst we've come across, looking like it's tumbled out of a Christmas cracker.
Taking in the connections doesn't take long, as there's just a headphone jack on the front, and composite video input at the rear for hooking up a DVD player, and a PC input (cable supplied). There's also a socket for plugging in an external aerial, which distinguishes itself as the most important connection here.
Setting the little fellow up is easy. There's a stand supplied, but no instructions on how to attach it to the TV. Luckily, it doesn't require an engineering degree to figure it out. Basic menus guide you to the auto tune facility, which takes about a minute and a half to find the five available terrestrial channels. With an external aerial plugged in, that is.
Using the provided telescopic aerial, trying to tune in channels (even with the auto tuner) is an exercise in frustration. Maybe it's our reception area (we tested the Evesham TV-930 in east London) but we only managed to pick up two extremely poor quality broadcasts of BBC One and Two. The fine tuning option doesn't seem to help matters either.
So, we had to resort to using an external aerial for this part of the test - thus defeating the object of an LCD that can be used in the car or on holiday. All five terrestrial channels tuned in, but pictures were still of low quality. ITV 1 was the clearest, but the picture was soft, ill-defined and noisy while Five was unwatchable.
The BBC's coverage of snooker highlighted many flaws - over-ripe colours, motion smearing and a lack of sharpness. Even twiddling with the brightness, contrast, sharpness and saturation level settings couldn't rescue the frame.
Giving up on the analogue channels, we hooked up a DVD player and sought some light relief from our DVD of The History Boys. As the only way of hooking up a DVD player is via the basic composite input, we weren't expecting miracles, but the picture was a real improvement in comparison.
But that's not to say it's great - pictures were slightly soft, there were lots of greys where there should be blacks, and darker scenes weren't that sharp. That said, considering the screen size and the price, it's an adequate enough performance.
Unfortunately for the Evesham TV-930, there are further criticisms, such as the unresponsive remote, the clicking buttons on the TV's front that feel too flimsy, and the tinny speaker. Worst of all is the menu's irritating habit of switching itself off after too short a space of time if you're not quick enough at pressing buttons - not a good thing if you're trying to get used to your new purchase.
Struggles to be average
The Evesham TV-930 is (just about) an adequate screen for watching DVDs, but is a very poor portable television. If the fine-tuning issues were fine-tuned, then this model may find a wider audience. But its picture quality is too shoddy for us to recommend it.