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Cello iViewer review

A no-frills 32" LCD TV with the BBC iPlayer and YouTube on board

Cello iViewer
The Cello iViewer doesn't have the styling of a Samsung TV, but it's still quite nice in comparison to some

TechRadar Verdict

A budget TV with excellent iPlayer access that falls just short of a Best Buy due to some picture frailties


  • +

    iPlayer and YouTube

  • +

    Ease of use

  • +



  • -

    Black levels

  • -

    Cheap design

  • -

    Poor motion handling

Cello produces re-badged TVs for a number of companies including Littlewoods, Grattan and Next, while it also owns the Neon brand which is sold exclusively through Morrisons. The iViewer TV is currently exclusive to Marks and Spencer.

The main draw with this set is the iPlayer function that enables you to watch the BBC's popular online catch-up service. In fact, it's currently the only TV that enables you to do this without the need for a set-top box (Freesat is currently trialling a beta test version of iPlayer) or games console such as the PS3 or Wii.


The TV's glossy black screen surround is unlikely to win any design awards, but it looks reasonably slick. It is, however, something of a fingerprint magnet, so it'll probably need a quick polish once you've finished setting it up.

Located on the side of a protrusion on the back panel, the connections are easy to reach, although we found that the power cable was a little shorter than we'd have liked.


The usual range of connections are present, including a rather miserly pair of HDMIs, where we would have preferred to find three. The Ethernet port and the supplied cable enable you to link up to a broadband connection for the iPlayer, or, alternatively, you can use the wireless USB dongle if you don't want too many cables hanging out the back of the screen.

Ease of use

The TV is easy to set up and even comes with a colourful and glossy quick-start guide, which takes you through set-up and the basic functions. Onscreen menus are clear and easy to use, if rather uninspiring, while text may be on the small side for some.

The EPG is clear with large print, although it appears rather functional. The remote control bears more than a passing resemblance to Sky's handset, sporting large well-labelled and comfortably spaced buttons with colour coding.


Along with a dedicated iPlayer button, there's also a large Source key at the top, something that's often hard to find, since on many remotes it's labelled with an ambiguous or obscure icon. This is handy as the iViewer doesn't automatically recognise and switch between inputs, so you have to do this manually.

At a touch of the iPlayer button, the TV's web options appear onscreen. You can then use the picture-led menu to choose between the on-demand service, Web TV or home media.

Firing up iPlayer displays the BBC's familiar black and pink browser, which is similar to what you get online, with options to search by programme category, channel, A-Z or a key word. You can also scroll through highlighted videos on the home page.

Web TV enables you to connect to YouTube, a small selection of online channels including Disney Movies Preview, CNN daily video podcast and Autocar magazine.


Pictures from Freeview broadcasts are rather soft and colours lack subtlety and the same can be said for iPlayer material. Matters improve when we switch to DVD and the picture becomes more than passable.

Black levels manage to avoid the LCD pitfall of appearing grey, but any sense of detail is almost completely lost in the murky depths of the darkest scenes. Some haloing occurs on bright objects in dark scenes, and the backlight is slightly visible at the top and bottom of the screen, although this is hardly a rarity on affordable LCDs.

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Images are generally smooth, although there is a substantial amount of blur on faster-paced scenes. The improvement is obvious when we switch to a Blu-ray disc. The vibrancy and shades of the colours is immediately increased, along with the level of detail and texturing.

However, black levels aren't much better and most of the detail is still impossible to make out. The car chase from the beginning of our Quantum of Solace Blu-ray looks impressive, with detail and texture proving particularly strong. However, a substantial amount of motion blur is visible around the speeding cars.


The speakers are reasonable enough for average daytime TV fare, but they come unstuck when it comes to movie soundtracks. A selection of sound modes including Music, Theatre and Voice, help to open up the sonics to a degree, but they tend to lack bass on the most dynamic film soundtracks.

And if the speakers are turned up too loud, they sound slightly tinny, but no more than a similarly sized screen of comparable price.

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Despite the affordable price tag and excellent iPlayer function, this TV is let down by its picture performance weaknesses, most notable of which is its uninspiring black levels.

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