Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
A couple of years ago I was in Japan at a consumer electronics show, and was impressed by one stand of LCD TVs which actually had artistic fascias. In this day of modern manufacturing techniques, and with the relative simplicity of LCD chassis, you’d think that many manufacturers would offer these options.
Well Baumann Meyer has. You cannot enhance its DT 4060D LCD TV with a leather or wood surround, but for $450 above the $3,299 recommended price, you can lose the standard black frame, and choose a high gloss (and bright!) yellow, red, metallic green or white.
The look of the surround is important, but so is what it contains. The TV has a 40 inch (101cm) display in the standard 16:9 format. This has a resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels – high resolution, but not true high definition.
A standard analog tuner is included, of course, but there is also a high definition digital tuner. There are also a good range of inputs, many of them based on the European SCART connector (Europe being perhaps the major market for Baumann Meyer), which can be turned into composite or S-Video inputs with the use of a simple adaptor. But there are also conventional component video inputs, along with two HDMI sockets.
Importantly, there are also both optical and coaxial digital audio outputs, so if you have a home theatre audio system, you can pipe the Dolby Digital 5.1 that is broadcast with some high definition programs to it to enjoy real surround sound.
The HD digital tuner in this TV was a little peculiar. Oh, it worked very well indeed, but it was only partially integrated into the TV. It even had its own setup button on the remote control.
That aside, the TV had obviously been designed with user convenience in mind. Need to change inputs? Then just press a key and a list of all the (many) inputs pops up, and you choose the one you want.
The LCD panel was of very good quality, with good scaling circuitry (that makes the incoming video match the panel’s resolution) delivering cleanly etched video on the screen. The colour was strong and as accurate as any LCD TV on the market, barring only the very darkest shades.
The panel seemed to have a good native contrast ratio, with a dark glow on black screens only when the room lights were turned off. But its performance in this regard didn?t match that of some other companies which place the panel’s backlight under active control in order to enhance dark scenes.
The rendition of DVDs plugged in via HDMI was excellent, and even better was HD DVD. I was able to deliver these signals not just at 1080i, but thanks to an external processor I had on hand, at 1080p. That Baumann Meyer has gone to the trouble of providing this support speaks well for overall quality.
Baumann Meyer has delivered a well-priced LCD that looks good to the eye – and if you go for the option, even when it is switched off.