Reviewer: Anthony Fordham
For some AV enthusiasts, style is everything. It’s not enough to just have high quality components, they need to be stylish too. And sorting out the lounge room is no problem these days, with dozens of sleek devices to choose from. But what about your secondary AV spot? The kitchen, study or bedroom TV? You need a small, but quality display and if you can somehow get digital HDTV and DVD playback in a low-profile package, all the better.
Fortunately, there are a number of smaller LCD TVs with integrated tuners and DVD players on the market right now, and this is Grundig’s offering.
It’s called the GLCD2206HDV but it’s also part of Grundig’s Misuro family so for the sake of brevity, that’s what we’ll call it. Other models in the range include a 40 cm (15.6 inch) variant ($599) in fire red, midnight blue, high gloss white or piano black finish; a 48 cm/19 inch model (in white or black only) for $749, and a $1,200 (white or black) 81 cm/32 inch model, which excludes the 12 volt power adaptor. This top-of-the range model has two HDMI inputs, 1366 x 768 resolution, a coaxial audio output for sending multichannel surround from HDTV broadcast to an outboard AV receiver and 2 x 8 watts speaker output.
When it comes to functionality, the Misuro has you covered. The 56 cm LCD has a native resolution of 1680 x 1050, and inputs include component, HDMI and VGA. That means you can use it as a PC monitor as well.
There’s an integrated HDTV digital tuner which can store up to 100 channels (overkill for this country!), and a slot-loading DVD drive.
The unit itself has a piano-finish black fascia and a few style elements such as the round plinth and recessed silver strip. Oddly though, the construction is actually quite light and plasticky, more so than we would have expected at this price point.
The included remote favours functionality over ergonomics, and DVD controls aren’t exactly front-and-centre. All the buttons you need are there, though, including an aspect ratio button for all your older 4:3 DVDs. The Misuro also supports teletext – but does anyone still use it?
Another handy accessory is the 12 volt AC adaptor for your car or boat.
As with all 22 inch displays, this one can’t actually do proper 1080p or even 1080i HD. The 1050 vertical pixels are exactly 30 pixels short, but the system can interpolate a 1080p signal and give decent results.
These 22 inch panels are being churned out at a breakneck rate, mostly to service consumer PC monitors: 22 inch is one of the most popular sizes now.
What’s surprising about this Grundig-branded display, sold at a Grundig price, is that there’s no bespoke technology powering the TV. No “smooth motion” or “colour enhance” or any other trendy trademarked functionality. This is just a decent-quality panel in a standard TV chassis with a basic DVD player in the back.
Image quality is good, but no better than you’d expect from a Korean or Japanese TV – or indeed from a PC monitor that might not have a tuner or a DVD player in it, but will cost you less than half this price.
The styling of this TV is almost identical to a number of Samsung products. Especially the power button on the fascia. It’s not a rebranded cheapie by any means, but we expect slab-faced German minimalism from Grundig.
And that’s the essential problem with the GLCD2206HDV. When you buy Grundig, you expect something different, special even. And this is just another TV with some extra functionality.
If it cost the same as any other TV, that would be fine. But we’re paying a European premium here, so we can be a bit disappointed at the lack of European style.
Still, the three-year warranty is a welcome bonus, and if you’re a Grundig loyalist, this TV certainly won’t put you off your favourite brand.