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John Lewis JL22LCDHD review

A new TV from the highstreet department store offers surprisingly good pictures

John Lewis JL22LCDHD
This TV may be a budget set, but dont let that fool you. It offers quality pictures and a Full HD resolution

Our Verdict

This great value TV is more versatile than its low price suggests


  • Price
  • Remote
  • Interface
  • Freeview


  • Poor speakers
  • Blu-ray lacks depth

This 22-incher from John Lewis is reasonably styled, with a gloss-black screen surround and a silver rim, but at 19cm deep it's still fairly chunky. The ugly black plastic remote control seems to scream of cost cutting, but it's dead easy to use.

The dial-style wheel is very responsive and the all-important volume and channel changing buttons are big and well placed. Once tuned in, Freeview channels are presented in a smart-looking seven-day EPG that could be bigger: only two hours of schedules across six channels can be viewed simultaneously.

Dive into the clean, hi-res graphics of the onscreen menus and you'll find a number of picture presets are provided (standard, dynamic, etc), but it's possible to tweak contrast, brightness, colour and sharpness and assign it to your own user preset.


While the JL22LCDHD's viewing angle is reasonable, the panel's quoted 450cd/m2 brightness and 1,000:1 contrast ratio don't sound too promising.

However, pictures from the Freeview tuner are more than acceptable. A touch ripe, perhaps, and some channels are marred by a veil that removes the depth, but that's largely down to broadcasters' bitrates.

Colour and contrast hold up well, even if the latter consists of a 'black hole' approach that leaves little detail visible within shaded areas of images. That's not a major issue if you intend to watch digital TV, but it will be an annoyance if you want to make use of the screen's full HD resolution and play Blu-ray discs.

John lewis jl22lcdhd

We wouldn't expect a 100Hz feature on a set such as this, but pans across New York in Hancock do suffer from judder, though blur rarely interrupts an impressively detailed image.

Unfortunately the sound doesn't match the picture. Despite very rudimentary presets for music, film and news, the JL22LCDHD's speakers boast just 3W of power, which results in tinny and bass-less audio that detracts from the picture. Dialogue-based fare is fine, but music and films are considerably less impressive.

It lacks the smoothness of bigger, more advanced TVs, but taking into account the price and size of this TV, pictures on the JL22LCDHD surpass all expectations; it's just a shame about those speakers.

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