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Loewe 40" - First Impressions

Discussion in 'TVs' started by GearHead, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. GearHead

    GearHead
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    Ever since I got my DVD player I've been aware that the screen on my TV is too small for the distance I'm viewing it from. Most films are in 2.35:1 aspect ratio which translates to a picture height of around 10 or 11 inches from my 32" widescreen. I'm viewing the TV from 10ft away and although I can occasionaly bring the sofa forward slightly, its not really a long-term solution.

    Having read the forum now and based on a bit of previous experience I'm begining to form a few opinions of what size and technology of TV I'm going to need to replace the one I've got. I need to balance picture size, picture quality, price and practicality.

    Having looked at a few TVs and experimented with temporarily moving the sofa forward to try sizes 'virtually' I've come to the conclusion that I need something of at least 40". At this stage I've ruled-out rear-projection on grounds of practicality. The TV has to be usable by the rest of the family. There's too much TV watching sat on the floor or lying down on the sofa in this house. I don't want to mess about with a projector or buy something that only gets used for movies - I want something thats practical and can be used at anytime by all the family and without being forced into darkness. In other words it has to be a large TV.

    This has narrowed my choices down to a 40"conventional CRT TV or a plasma. I'm thinking at this stage that a plasma is maybe a bit too expensive, but as Loewe has just brought out a 40" widescreen TV and all the praise Loewe TVs get around here it might just fit the bill.

    I arranged yesterday to take a look at the Loewe Aconda 40" Widescreen. When I arived it was placed out in the shop display area, I'd hoped they would have put it in one of the dem rooms. Although it's quite a large TV it looks very smart and disguises it's bulk quite well. It was on the Loewe matching stand and I felt it was probably lower than it should have been. This possibly helps to keep the size appearance under control. Front to back depth was about the same as my 32" Sony.

    I noticed straight away that the screen was curved, horizontally and vertically (it seems quite noticeable on a screen this size and looks quite old-fashioned), and the screen was reflective. Sat down in front of the TV I could pretty much see all of the shop, from floor to ceiling reflected in the screen even when I asked for the shop lights to be switched off.

    Onto the picture quality. What I saw was straight out the box with no tweaks whatsoever. To start with I played chapters three and four from 2001:A Space Odysey. The picture was reasonably good, no more than that. It didn't appear particularly bright or detailed. If anything I would say my 32" Wega had the edge. Ability to pick out detail in areas like the ape's black fur was about on a par but nothing stood out particularly as being gob-smackingly good. Now I've seen the 32" Aconda in a shop demonstration before and I would say based on that comparison the 32" Loewe betters the Sony. I know I'm not comparing the same screen size with the 40" but I was hoping for something at least as good as what I have now. I was also a bit disturbed that I was constantly aware of the screen curvature. Perhaps I've got used to a flat screen but this just seemed like taking a step back. Other than the natural screen curvature, I didn't notice any inherent geometry problems in the picture or convergence issues, for example when looking closely at the stars in the outer-space shots. No problems with colour bleed, tizzing or anything obvious like that. It was competent, but not outstanding.

    So not good. If it had an amazingly good picture on a perfectly flat screen I would have definitely taken it. Unfortunately it didn't and I didn't feel it justified the cost of selling the 18 month old TV I have now (and taking a big loss) and paying the asking price for this set.

    What caught my eye was a plasma not too far away in the shop. Now that was a screen that appeared bright and crisp. I asked to play my disks on that. All went well until I got to chapter 4 of 2001. Where the space-craft moves across the screen I could see really bad jaggies on diagonal lines. Chapter 24 of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a number of close-ups of faces moving across the screen managed to generate green staining and contouring. The only manufacturers name I could see on the plasma was 'Dream Vision', a bit cheesy and not very inspiring. The price was £5.5k. I suspect its an older generation panel being sold at new generation prices. The pictures were very good though when there wasn't much movement. I think what I need to look at next is a current generation Panasonic plasma. If that has all the good things I could see with this plasma but without the artifacts then that could be very tempting.

    Allan
     
  2. Napoleon

    Napoleon
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    What you say makes a lot of sense,with regard to the curved screen.I have a flat screen,(16:9),and a Loewe Arcada,(4:3).The first thing i notice when switching between the two is the screen.For the money,around £4000,i would not be tempted.The difference in size to a 36" is not enough to make it worth it.I think the option of a plasma is probably the best,preferably a 50".
     

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