I'm a miserable old git.
I'm ashamed to say it's been a **** very **** long time since I reviewed my "trusts", have sought to rectify this by going through every review I've written in the past couple of years, if you feel hard-done-by, drop me a note.
Members who trust:34
Quite cute, but a tad on the expensive side
Compact, includes Digital tuner, can be used in cars
not tiny, no battery compartment, fairly basic specification
How is the Picture Quality?
How is the Sound Quality?
Range of Features
Value for Money
Ease of InstallationAverage
InstructionsQuite Helpful / Understandable
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The inlaws acquired one of these little beauties recently, and I had an opportunity to try it out, and was mightily impressed!
The unit is a no-frills flat panel TV receiver with external power supply, it features analogue and digital TV tuners, which will receive all Frieeview channels, and has AV input (for camcorders, VCRs or DVDs) as well as a VGA port for attaching as a PC monitor.
The ten inch screen sits a little uncomfortably between the 'pocket' and 'standard' sizes of TV, and tend to offer few of the advantages of each howver it DOES let you 'follow' a programme from two rooms.
There's no facility to insert a 'CAM' module, so you're denied the opportunity to use Top-Up TV.
Construction and build quality is a little 'plasticy' - the casing is sprayed silver, and shows no indication of being able to sustain 'hard knocks'. The internal speakers are, by the very nature of the machine, small, and not especially impressive, but perfectly adequate for most purposes.
The addition of a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack would allow you to attach it to half decent amplified speakers.
The TV comes with a telescopic areal attached, which appeared to work reasonably well, given the close proximity of a TV transmitter (there's also a UHF socket which would allow you to attach an external areal if you wanted to use it in outlying areas).
Supplied with the unit is a 'brick' power supply, car 'cigarette lighter' lead for use on the move and an AV lead terminated in phono sockets.
There's no battery compartment.
If you wanted to use it with a VCR or DVD unit you'd likely have to buy a SCART/Phono adapter.
Also, there's no HDMI input, but given that this isn't an HD unit, that isn't exactly a surprise.
Screen proportions are 'traditional' rather than 'widescreen'.
You also get a remote control, and a clip-on stand. This allows you to stand the TV on a flat surface, attach it to a wall, or possibly mount on the underside of a kitchen cabinet. There's a 'double sided sticky pad' for the bracket, but I'd sooner put my trust in a couple of self-tapping screws if I was to use a wall, or overhead mount.
Picture quality was pretty reasonable, given the relatively small size of the screen, I wouldn't expect astonishing clarity, it's unlikely to disappoint anyway.
The unit comes, as you'd expect from the title, from Maplin. At £179 it's a bit beyond 'pocket money' prices, but I imagine most people would want to use this as a Kitchen or bedroom TV, with the possibility of occasional use on the move.
In terms of looks, it won't win any design awards, but it does deliver pretty much what it promises. A straightforward no-nonsense TV. I've read that it doesn't support Teletext or Interactive services however I CAN confirm that it does subtitling on Digital transmissions.
It's a bit more expensive than a standard LCD PC monitor, and has a screen size quite a bit smaller than your average laptop, however there MIGHT be a role as a dual-role unit in a reception area where you might want to use it both as a PC monitor with the ability to watch TV.
It's too big for a 'pocket TV' and too small to be a challenger for 'standard' sized 14" units, but the screen is just big enough to watch most TV programmes if you're seasonably close-up.
In short, a pretty unassuming unit, but nonetheless useful as a dual-function PC and TV monitor - if a little bit small, and expensive. Worth keeping an eye on for 'special offers' if any o f the mainstream manufacturers choose to produce a rival.
The one word which springs to mind is 'unremarkable'.
As an alternative, if you have a 'spare' PC with a TFT monitor, you might consider buying a USB-TV receiver (Maplin have a very good one on offer at £20 this week!)