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Xoro HTL3742W review

Xoro stands up to be counted

Heavy duty metallic black trims and an odd pylon-esque stand give the set an almost 'industrial' look

Our Verdict

A perfect example of why native resolution isn't the only consideration when shopping for a new TV


  • Good, crisp detail from HD pictures


  • Poor black levels

    Motion problems

German brand Xoro certainly isn't as widely known in the UK as its fellow German outfit, Loewe. But that could change thanks to its HTL3742W, a 37in LCD TV boasting a Full HD panel that's yours for just a grand.

Aesthetically the HTL3742W is... interesting. Heavy duty metallic black trims and an odd pylon-esque stand give the set an almost 'industrial' look.

Connectivity is remarkable, as it turns up three HDMIs. Component video inputs back them up, plus there is the inevitable PC, Scart, composite and S-video socketry.

The only drastic shortcoming in all this is the lack of a digital tuner.

The HTL3742W supports its Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution in exactly the ways I like, by taking 1080p sources (though it made mine look horrifically noisy), and showing 1080 sources on a 1-1 pixel basis.

It also claims a brightness of 500cd/m2, and a healthy (for this price) 1200-1 contrast ratio. Plus there are a plethora of picture processing enhancements, including: a 3D deinterlacer; pixel-based motion adaptive processing; advanced chroma processing, and false colour correction for more natural rendition of colours and colour transitions; and a colour edge enhancer.

Options in the ridiculously tiny onscreen menus, meanwhile, are limited even if you can read them, with really only some picture-in-picture functionality catching the eye.

The HTL3742W provides the most compelling evidence yet that just having a Full HD panel alone isn't a guarantee of picture quality.

The most immediate problem is that dark parts of movies like Superman Returns on HD DVD appear greyed over, flat and devoid of shadow detailing - a classic old LCD problem, but one which every other screen here handles way better.

The HTL3742W also fails to deal with motion blur, as a Premiership football match turns into a pretty smeary mess - and reveals a rather pallid colour palette into the bargain. And, finally, the TV tends to leave standard-definition sources looking rather soft.

It's not all bad news, though. Highly detailed HD shots like those looking down at the cities on Coruscant in The Revenge of the Sith appear phenomenally crisp and clean, suggesting that even on an otherwise unaccomplished TV like this one the Full HD effect isn't wholly lost.

Colours also make up for their lack of vigour by being natural in tone, and the set's audio is functional, fine for general TV viewing.

The name is new and value appears high but there's no escaping the fact that this Full HD TV can deliver markedly worse picture quality than a normal 1366 x 768 resolution alternative.