Price (RRP): $5,999
The Metz Milos 37S is not the kind of TV that you’ll find in a Harvey Norman store. It’s positioned more as a premium brand – sort of like the BMW of LCD TVs, and such is only sold through specialist AV dealers. While there are oodles of exotically branded LCD TVs popping out of the woodwork, this German company has built a name for itself designing and manufacturing high-quality TVs since 1938.
The Milos 37S is the largest in the Milos range, which also sees 32 and 26in cousins. As you might expect, the 37S supports high-definition TV with a panel resolution of 1,366 x 768. This is also a decent resolution for using with a PC, should you have one handy. For putting pictures on the screen, there are twin digital TV tuners built-in, meaning you can have separate channels running via the Picture-In-Picture feature. You can also utilise the freeze-frame feature in case you want to scribble down a phone number or take a long look at something.
What also strikes you immediately is the Metz refined looks. It’s attractively styled with smooth lines, mesh grilled speakers and bevelled edges. A highlight is the eight-digit fluorescent display, which tells you the program name, the input type or gives you the time. The only thing that may not impress is that the speakers are positioned on the left and right, while some may prefer them to run across the bottom of the screen.
Holding true to its premium pedigree, Metz sees to each link of the chain when it comes to creating a high-quality image. To start with, the 37S uses a high-quality LCD panel, which has a very responsive 8ms pixel refresh time and impressive 1600:1 contrast ratio. The key getting great looking image onto this panel lies in the video processing. Metz uses two dedicated chips, one each for scaling and de-interlacing. Compared to a combined chip solution that does both in one chip, using two means better performance.
Metz employs something called mecavision+ to ensure standard definition DVDs and television look their best on the HD panel, by converting them to progressive scan and scaling them to fit the screen’s pixels.
In addition, the 37S has a 10-bit colour system, which translates to smoother blends between colours. The Pixel Overdrive technology helps keep detail sharp when it’s moving across screen, such as scrolling bit of text. Finally, the 37S uses a dynamic contrast system to ensure that detail is retained in dark scenes.
On the Audio front, the Metz comes with speakers that you could actually live with. These consist of four separate loudspeakers and a bass reflex system. Power is 20 watts per each of two channels. There’s also SRS WOW audio enhancement, which improves depth. Overall, sound from the Metz is quite loud, deep and full. A couple of nice touches include a centre loudspeaker input as well as separate volume controls for headphones.
There’s a healthy assortment of connectors although, being a German TV, much of them are the SCART variety. For connecting to an HD set-top-box or future Blu-ray player, there’s HDMI and DVI sockets, plus a component connector for interlaced, standard definition sources only, such as a DVD player. Audio is handled by a S/PDIF-out and loop-through, plus two RCA audio jacks.
Ease of use
Users of the 37S will enjoy the nicely animated menu system, which is also very easy to use. The clever Tri-Star menu has different degrees of control, from simple to medium or full for those who want to be able to configure just about everything. There’s also a built-in electronic manual which certainly beats digging the paper version out when you’re stumped. Top marks for this interface, and the remote is fairly simple to use as well.
While there’s little doubt that this is an expensive LCD TV, there’s also no doubt as to its quality. LCD technology produces and excellent image, and if you’re in the market for a TV around the 37 inch size, there are few others that will come close to the Metz. You also get the added security of a five-year warranty, should you worry about the life of your investment. When more HD material comes out, especially movies on Blu-ray or HD-DVD, the 37S will really shine. However, for making even SD content look good, the 37S is an excellent choice.