Sanyo CE37LD81-B review

Sanyo tries to bring big-screen telly to the masses

Its regulation piano black frame adds a bit of swish to an unfussy, angular design

TechRadar Verdict

A competent, if not particularly exciting 37in LCD for a rock-bottom price


  • +

    Extremely low price

    Ease of use


  • -

    Basic features

    Ordinary pictures

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Update: As of 19 May 2009, ASDA has slashed £150 off the price of this TV and it's now available for just £350. You can buy it here.

Thirty-seven inches of LCD gives you a set pitched somewhere between a standard living room goggle-box and the kind of giganto-screen favoured by hardcore movie freaks and professional footballers.

Sanyo's CE37LD81-B is designed to bring this fashionable size to the masses with a price tag that won't put much of a dent in even the most parsimonious budget.

Spec is, as you might expect, slightly pared down, but with an HD Ready resolution, brace of HDMI inputs and a Freeview tuner, there's little this affordable television can't do as far as most reasonable expectations are concerned.

It's quite nicely turned out, too, with a regulation piano black frame adding a bit of swish to an unfussy, angular design.

Setting up is simple, even by Sanyo's consistently user-friendly standards, with the LCD identifying and automatically switching to any 'live' inputs that are connected and the auto-tuning facility delivering the full gamut of Freeview channels in a matter of moments.

The remote is also surprisingly nicely designed, with the elliptically-sectioned, thoughtfully laid-out zapper calling to mind those from more typically design-conscious brands like Sony and Philips.

The audio and video chops do not quite manage to live up to the set's outward appearances, but both are solid enough to make this 37 incher well worth considering as a 'workhorse', family set or for anyone who just wants to watch an everyday telly with the panel size to give the occasional DVD that extra bit of oomph.

Colours are fairly good, with the palettes of everything from Ice Age to the HD DVD of Terminator 2 (via a high-def copy of muted Victorian magician flick, The Prestige) rendered faithfully and supported by an impressive level of detail.

Blacks are pretty weedy, though, motion is noticeably wobbly and the whole lacks the kind of presence or impact found on better-appointed sets, but it's more than adequate for most purposes, certainly for watching TV.

So not bad, then. The Sanyo won't turn any videophile heads, but it's a decent real-world set at a very reasonable price.

Buy it: ASDA was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.