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Relisys RLT2720 review

Its looks won't win prizes, but it's performance that counts

Our Verdict

Audio performance is acceptable, but the RLT2720 falls down in just about every other area

Aesthetically, the Relisys is weaker than the JVC. Its mostly grey colour-scheme is about as original and eye-catching as cardboard, and its plain rectangular stand is as elegant as the Yellow Pages. Still - what do average looks matter when you're only spending £750?

Much harder to take is the RLT2720's lack of digital video compatibility. There is actually a DVI jack, but it's for PC use only, meaning that even though the TV can take analogue high-definition via provided component video jacks, it doesn't merit true 'HD Ready' status since it won't be compatible with all sorts of future source technology. This really deals it a major blow versus the JVC - as does its provision of just one Scart.

The RLT2720's interesting features are limited to a picture-in-picture system, a flesh tone optimiser, and SRS TruSurround audio processing. I'm glad the features list isn't longer, though, since the onscreen menus are painfully hard to read, and the remote control's angle of reception is frustratingly narrow.

In some ways, the RLT2720's pictures are decent enough. But in others they're alarmingly bad. They're at their best with bright, colour-rich, controlled footage - like the studio shots on News 24 - during which colours look richly saturated, bright and sharply contained.

A likeable depth of black level catches my eye, too, with blacks looking deep enough to bring life to most daytime TV viewing - and that's better than many ultra-budget rivals.

However, that's where the good news ends. First up, horizontal motion with standard PAL TV feeds stutters along. Second, movement is besmirched by heavy levels of smearing, probably caused by the LCD panel's 25ms response time (versus 7ms on the JVC).

Also failing to impress is the TV's colour tone. Dark pictures take on a bluish hue, and in anything but the brightest light, flesh tones - especially with standard-definition feeds - can look very sickly.

Even worse, via a Sky Digital RGB feed, rich shades of green look horrendously over-dominant and unnatural in tone. It should be said, though, that while greens still over-dominate in, say, an RGB DVD feed, there's far less of the glowing seen with the Sky box.

Even high-def pictures aren't without their problems thanks to residual traces of movement smearing, and a generally softer finish than we'd like.

Unexpectedly, the RLT2720 is a startlingly good audio performer. The size of its soundstage is astonishing for such a diminutive screen. It can go seriously loud, meanwhile, without a trace of distortion, and the soundstage expands handsomely to meet a good action scene. Treble details are clear, too, with scarcely a trace of harshness. Bass can vanish - but this only detracts a little from the Relisys' audio performance.