Roadstar LCD9283D £200

23rd Feb 2007 | 00:00

Roadstar LCD9283D

A compact LCD that does things a bit differently

TechRadar rating:

3 stars

You'll need to think carefully about how you'd use it and, more importantly, where

Like:

<p>Receives Freeview</p><p>Decent value for money</p>

Dislike:

<p>Unreliable Freeview reception</p><p>Disappointing picture quality</p>

This 9-inch LCD is full of surprises. The first is that it uses a hybrid analogue/digital tuner, enabling it to receive Freeview, plus analogue programmes if you're on the fringes of digital coverage.

There's also a built-in telescopic antenna, and an additional aerial out socket to plug in the chunky, moveable aerial that comes bundled with the set.

You'll also find a VGA PC input, so the set can double up as a computer monitor, and an AV jack is included in order to provide a composite connection to peripherals such as DVD players with the supplied cables and adapters.

We tried tuning into Freeview using both the built-in antenna and the external aerial in a known area of good reception. Both missed out the same selection of channels that broadcast in the bundle with ITV, which surprised us as we expected the external aerial to perform better than the antenna.

When pictures are displayed they generally look solid and colours are reproduced quite well. The screen's default brightness settings are a bit too high to get the best from the screen, but these are easily adjusted. Block noise occurs occasionally, noticeably more so with the fixed antenna than with the moveable external aerial.

Having been reasonably impressed with the TV function, we connected up our DVD player to the TV. It's a bit fiddly because the AV jack has a 3.5mm connector at one end and then three composite terminals at the other.

Using Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to examine black levels, colours and fine detail, the TV doesn't perform particularly well. In the sequence where Victor and Victoria's parents are introduced to each other in Corpse Bride, whole sections of the picture descend into a black hole and the subtle shadows and fine detail you know are there just disappear.

The rendition of Charlie... is similarly unconvincing. The brightness of broadcast pictures suggests a facility with colours, but the vivid hues of the Wonka factory lack oomph (let alone oompah) and skin tones occasionally take on a washed-out, lifeless appearance.

The LCD9283D is not bad value, but its fair-to-middling DVD playback and that worryingly patchy Freeview reception compromises its overall worth.

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