Loewe Connect 37 review

Get connected with the first stab at a Wi-Fi flatscreen that also hits the hi-def spot

Loewe Connect 37
Alongside its innate cleverness, the Connect is also a sublime HD performer

TechRadar Verdict

Wi-Fi grabs the headlines, but audio and pictures are the main event


  • +

    Superb connectivity

  • +

    Excellent HD pictures

  • +

    Great quality audio


  • -

    Steep price

  • -

    Pictures can seem a bit lacking in vibrancy

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Many DVD players now come with the ability to play DiVX video files downloaded from the internet, but this is the first TV that can wirelessly stream them from a computer.

If that sounds impressive, you have to first consider if it's of any use to you. If you do download video onto your PC or Mac – and you have wireless broadband in your home – Loewe's Connect can get itself onto the network.

There's also a bonus for the rest of us because, as well as video, this 37in LCD TV can also stream music (MP3, WAV or WMA files) and digital pictures stored as JPEG, BMP or PNG files.

Ethernet networking

Even if you don't have a wireless network in your home, an Ethernet port is provided on the Connect's chunky rear for hooking it up to broadband.

Otherwise, a small blue light on the set's left-hand side flashes while the TV searches for a network and assigns itself an IP address. It all sounds rather hi-tech but it works easily and quickly, thanks to this telly's superb onscreen menus system.

Called Assist+, it more or less does everything for you – all you have to do is install some software on your PC or Mac and manually enter the Wi-Fi network's code.

Assist+ also gives you an option of fetching photos stored on a USB memory stick, which can be inserted either on the set's undercarriage or in a special slot hidden on its side. It then displays all material – music, video and pictures – as either a list, or as thumbnail images.

Comprehensive connectivity

Connectivity is superb. As well as those unique Wi-Fi and wired networking capabilities, the Connect has a couple of latest-version HDMI inputs, a CI slot and plenty of other standard inputs and outputs to cope with almost any eventuality.

There's also a hidden bonus. Assist+, which works from one of the finest remote controls we've clapped our eyes on, also gives you access to a digital video recorder.

The Connect's built-in 160GB hard disk drive can take around 200 hours of TV programmes taped from its built-in Freeview TV tuner. Menus can be slow to work and occasionally freeze, but when it's on form it's a joy to use.

Hi-def hero

Despite its innate cleverness, the Connect is a sublime HD performer – and boasts some terrific home cinema-beating audio too. Performance from DiVX or MPEG video files is comparatively poor in terms of quality – and we did have problems fast-forwarding and re-winding – but at least it's stable and watchable.

Using our test disc of Beowulf on Blu-ray, its 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution screen displays something approaching hi-def perfection. While pictures from Beowulf are imbued with depth and clarity already, it's when the set's on-board Image+ processing is set to stun that the TV bowls you over.

Aside from minor traces of background noise, judder is banished, while vertical and horizontal camera pans are also smoothed. Colour is a tad muted, but there's little doubt that this is a fine HD performer.

Equal opportunities

Audio of equal quality emanates from its chunky speakers.

Boasting a power output of 40W, these beauties can cope with movie soundtracks as well as music, and can even deliver something approaching surround sound by dint of its 3D Surround mode.

If you have the money, you can't go wrong with Loewe's latest, but its Wi-Fi networking aspect should be seen as a bonus to its high definition capabilities

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