I had been browsing around for a new television for the for quite a while now, but I had certain criteria that needed to be met.
- the base had to be slim enough to fit on my mantlepiece
- had to have built in freeview
- needed to be widescreen
- HD Ready
- reliable brand
- under £140
I found the Grundig GU15WDT LCD TV on the Empire Direct website. Grundig is a well known brand which has been around for many years and seems to represent reasonable quality. It's a pretty mid-range brand but seemed to carry all the features that I was after.
The TV arrived in a very compact box, and on taking it out, you only had to clip the base into position before plugging in. The depth of the base is only 12cms, so it can be installed on a narrow ledge with ease. The cables for the power and aerial are inserted into the rear and do not protrude out beyond the rear of the base.
The television has a good variety of connections - a headphone socket, S-Videosocket, AV socket, Rear DC socket, 1x HDMI socket, 1x SCART socket, PC input socket.
The PC socket is an added bonus, as this will allow me to connect my laptop to the television meaning I can watch iplayer on a better screen. The HDMI socket will also be useful to connect my HD Camcorder to play my footage in high definition, but can also be used to connect a range of HD products available such as a Blu-ray player or xbox 360 etc.
When you turn the unit on, the setup is automatic. Both digital freeview and analogue channels were found and you're ready to go. My only real complaint is with the Freeview menu system. With my old freeview box, I was used to getting a 'channel overview' where you could see what was coming up now and next on all channels at a glance. This is not part of the menu on the Grundig, you have to scroll through each channel to see what is showing currently and what is coming on next which is a bit annoying.
Apart from this, it comes with a nice large, easy to use remote control, the picture quality is excellent and the widescreen means you can watch the programs in full screen as they were intended.
The price before delivery on Empire Direct (which offered an excellent service by the way) is £129.99 plus £9.99 delivery which is excellent value for a television with all these features.