LCD TV/DVD combis are currently few and far between, especially at the larger end of the TV market,so if the 26in DMTech DML-4126WD currently gracing the shelves at Comet proves to be any good, it could just do some brisk business.
It's an appealing looker. In fact, the combination of gloss black and silver looks even more comely at this size than it does on the company's smaller sets. The DVD deck, incidentally, is sensibly hidden on the screen's rear.
The DML-4126WD is pretty well stocked with connections. The highlight is a set of component video inputs able to take analogue high definition and progressive scan. There's also a 15-pin D-Sub PC jack, doubling the TV's usefulness. Ordinary AV jacks are also covered, the only disappointment being the absence of any sort of (Sky HDfriendly) digital video connection.
Not surprisingly given how outstandingly cheap the set is, the DML-4126WD isn't overloaded with features beyond the mere fact of the built-in DVD deck and PC compatibility. The DVD deck can handle MP3 files, HDCDs and picture discs,while the only unexpected trick on the TV is a well organised picture-inpicture system.
Rather less well organised is the DML-4126WD's over-crowded, poorly labelled remote control, which does a miserable job of handling the TV combi's dual functionality.
The DML-4126WD's picture is unexpectedly decent, given the £750 price tag. Particularly noteworthy is how bright the picture is - a fact which helps colours really thrust themselves off the screen. There's perhaps some price to be paid for this in a slightly waxy, over-smooth look to skin - but at least skin's colour tone is nearly always naturalistic.
The black-level response is solid enough, too. A slightly bluish tone to black areas slightly flattens dark scenes, but it's better than expected for £750. Plus the set's decent greyscaling adds some depth back into dark pictures, via rich textures and subtle colour gradations.
The DVD player continues the solid picture theme, avoiding the sort of overt artefacting, poor edging and low detail levels we might have expected of a built-in unit on a cheap screen.
Our biggest concern with the DML-4126WD is the way the image becomes much softer and less detailed with Sky Digital or tuner broadcasts,and even its own built-in DVD deck than it is with HD and progressive scan sources.
We were also troubled by the set's motion handling, with horizontal movement often looking slightly jerky.
The DML-4126WD's sound isn't great. Wince inducing harshness kicks in at loud volumes or with a dense sound mix. Yet with the volume down,the soundstage sounds weedy. The set sounds just about okay for day to day TV viewing, but it really struggles with an action DVD.
Before we get too downbeat, though, let's not forget the screen's price. Sure, the DML-4126WD isn't anything like perfect, but it's still more than acceptable for a machine that gives you 26in of LCD screen and a built-in DVD player for just £750. John Archer