It's not in the class of its rivals, but it scores highly on value for money
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The AV370W looks are a little bland, to be honest. The 'frame within a frame' look of the screen surround is a trifle clumsy, and the table-top mount option feels flimsy. On the plus side, it takes up less living room space than many rival 37in models.
There's plenty to get your kit stuck into here, including an HDCP-enabled DVI jack, two component video inputs, a D-Sub PC jack, an RS-232C port, and a pair of Scarts.
Since this TV has a native resolution of 1366 x 768 and can take all the key HD formats, it qualifies as HD Ready. Other stats of interest include an impressive-sounding 1000:1 claimed contrast ratio, which actually measured 485:1 in our labs. Otherwise, there's precious little to cover beyond picture in picture tools (with twin TV tuners), and a pseudo surround processing system. I noted one annoying operational niggle, though. If you switch to the TV tuner without turning any kit attached to the Scarts into Standby, you'll end up with the Scart sources immediately over-riding your TV tuner image. This is a bit annoying.
While seldom outstanding, the ATEC's pictures are remarkably consistent when given a wide range of picture sources. Motion handling on its LG/Philips-sourced panel is good. Moving objects don't smear much at all, at least with a decent-quality source signal, and horizontal motion is seemingly completely free of the sort of jerkiness that plagues some of its rivals. Also commendable are the ATEC's black levels. Although there's a slight blue tone to dark areas of the picture, you still get good greyscale subtlety, depth, and background detail.
Colours are warm but pleasing. Sky News' bright onscreen logos are vibrant but free of noise. Calmer fare, such as low-lit skin tones, textures and shadows avoid the flatness characteristic of some LCD TVs. The only problem with the Atec's pictures is that they're a bit soft. Edges look slightly smudgy, and fine detail levels are merely average.
Sonically the Atec is run of the mill, following that all-too-common flat TV tradition of having precious little bass at one end, and a rather harsh treble at the other.
One other point to mention is that the Atec's image processing causes the sound to appear fractionally ahead of the pictures, meaning you can sometimes see people's mouths moving out of sync with the picture. An audio delay device such as Felston's DD340 would sort this out, but it'll set you back an extra £130.
The AV370W is an interesting 37in LCD TV. Visually, it's ultimately good rather than outstanding - in the 'big brand' world, Toshiba's same-size 37WL56, for instance, is better, particularly with high-quality sources. But that's where the AV370W's cheap price comes in; at time of writing it's typically more than £300 cheaper than the Toshiba, which will tempt some shoppers. John Archer
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