With detachable speakers and a £400 price tag, Polaroid is offering something a little different with its LCD (labelled the Definia), but has the all-important picture quality been ignored?
The 1,366 x 768-pixel resolution guarantees that the set is HD Ready, as do its brace of HDMI inputs.
Plethora of connections
In fact, connectivity is very reasonable, because there is also a pair of Scarts, a set of component video inputs and a plethora of lower quality video in and outputs hidden away around the back.
A common interface slot signifies the presence of a digital TV tuner, and will enable you to add subscription TV channels such as Setanta Sports. The digital tuner features a seven-day electronic programme guide.
The set’s desktop stand is detachable (the TV can be wall mounted) as is the speaker, making it able to achieve a wider stereo effect than most sets this size. You’ll also find a subwoofer output for adding extra bass muscle.
Although imaginatively designed, the black and white remote control can be frustratingly unresponsive.
Hit and miss pictures
Blood Diamond on HD DVD reveals an immediate problem with contrast, or rather the lack of it. Peak whites are impressive, but there’s an overpowering greyness to anything that’s supposed to be black.
Pictures are left looking flat and lifeless. Colours fail to sparkle and lack saturation, but the biggest problem is that old enemy of LCD: motion judder. During the opening massacre, which involves a lengthy, fast-action sequence, any kind of movement produces lag. Pictures are also imbued with noise.
The end result is that dark scenes are smooth but full of grain, and lack realism or depth, and bright scenes contain a distracting amount of judder and seem lifeless.
Freeview pictures such as studio-based programmes look pretty good, although the old movie problems return during Mr & Mrs Smith. There’s little shadow detail in Brad Pitt’s black jersey and the picture looks generally washed out.
There are a few more options than usual when it comes to audio, including an AVC option that brings vocals to the front of the mix, while the TV’s digital optical audio output and subwoofer output are great.