Convenient and a low price, but poor performance undoes the good work
Pictures are better than expected
Not HD ready
Poor onscreen menus
Little by way of connectivity
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The LT20DV includes a built-in DVD player, but remarkably is still ridiculously cheap. But before you rush to Comet, we should point out the reasons for its wallet friendliness.
Firstly, it's not HD-ready. The 640 x 480 resolution means you can't watch hi-def TV, and the screen is 4:3 and not 16:9 - an odd decision given that most DVDs are made in widescreen.
The LT20DV also lacks a digital tuner and an HDMI, but the latter isn't really surprising given the nature of the screen. There are no component video jacks to compensate, but to be fair you don't need to hook up a DVD player, and there's an RGB-capable Scart for hooking up other kit, plus a PC input.
What's more, you can distract yourself from this lacklustre connectivity by taking a gander at the set's alluring design. This DMTech set uses a sassy black and silver combo with a circular pedestal stand that gives it a bit of aesthetic oomph.
The LT20DV's most interesting features revolve around the integrated DVD player. This will accept a wide range of discs and play MP3, WMA and JPEG files, and you'll find some common DVD tricks, such as zoom.
On the TV side, there's a graphic equaliser and auto volume levelling but not much else, so we'll just have to focus on the 800:1 contrast ratio and 450cd/m2 brightness figures, which actually sound fairly impressive.
Less impressive are the bland onscreen menus, which offer very little by way of picture and sound tweaks, while the remote's tiny buttons and unresponsiveness make for a frustrating user experience.
DVDs that impress
The good news is that the LT20DV's pictures are better that we expected. The built-in DVD player delivers colours that are rich and forceful during bright scenes, steering clear of the washed-out look that afflicts so many small-screen LCD TVs.
However, this strong colour saturation doesn't compromise the naturalness of more subtle colours like skin tones, although they do look less natural during dark scenes. There's no colour bleed at the edges of objects, which gives the picture a pleasing crispness.
Moving objects look smooth and zippy too, with only a slight suggestion of smearing, and there's hardly any MPEG noise to speak of, which helps DVDs look clean and cinematic.
Yet while black levels are slightly better than we expected at this price point, the hollowness of certain dark objects puts a 'must do better' on the LT20DV's report card. This is not helped by backlight spillage in the corners of the picture.
The lack of a widescreen mode for anamorphic widescreen material also serves as a reminder of DMTech's questionable decision to stuff a DVD player inside a 4:3 TV.
The set's sonics offer up more disappointment. While the speakers handle treble well and cope admirably with undemanding noises like speech, feed them dense, complex movie scenes with crashes, bangs and shouting and it falls to pieces, with some unwelcome distortion from the two 3W speakers.
The LT20DV is not a great set overall, but the convenience of having a DVD player tucked into your TV, rather than under it, might be reason enough to take a punt.
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