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Review: Loewe Connect

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Introduction


This review has been translated from Danish and contains the introduction, measurements, pictures and a conclusion. Some sections have been excluded from the translation, however. Future reviews will be fully translated.

Loewe is German and known for quality products in the high-end price segment. They have won awards for both design and functionality.

Loewe Connect was presented on IFA 2007 in Berlin, Germany and attracted an enormous amount of attention because of the integrated Media Center that allows the user to stream movies, music and pictures on a wireless network directly to the TV.
It also has 3 digital DVB tuners and a 160 GB hard drive to record on.

We have received this very nice TV and will be testing the picture quality as well as the functionality.

Size:37" widescreen (LCD)
Resolution:1920x1080
Response time:5 ms (g2g)
Contrast ratio:1000:1
Brightness:500 cd/m2
Colours:16,7 millions
Signal processering: 8 bit for each colour
Viewing angles (H/V):178°/178°
Dot pitch:-
Panel (Type):LCD
Power consumption:170W
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 68.8cm x 95,9.5cm x 24,4cm (with stand)
Weight23 kg
Built-in speakers: (2x20W)
Inputs: 480p/i, 576p/i, 720p,1080i & 1080p (24, 50 & 60 Hz)
1:1 pixel mapping:
Inputs
• VGA
• DVI (can be converted through HDMI)
• Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
• SCART (2 indgange)
• S-video
• Composite
• Component
• HDMI (2 inputs)
• Other
Outputs
• Audio (type) (1 output)
• SCART
• S/PDIF (coax)
• Other DVB-T, DVB-C, Media Extender, built-in HDD
Guarantee:2 years
Pixel guarantee:-
Etc:


Price and retailer:



Our first impressions


The design is not what we are used to. Someone once compared Loewe to Bang & Olufsen but in my opinion Loewe has a very different style. The Connect series is one of the TVs that stand out from the crowd.

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The frame is white plastic with rounded off edges. It gives the TV a very soft look. At the bottom the speakers are located behind a light grey “grille”. In the middle there is a round display.

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The stand is also pretty unique. It consists of four metal bars that serve as a very solid foundation. It tilts a little and you can turn it side to side manually.

The TV is available with two other stands. These are illustrated on the pictures below.

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On the left side of the frame Loewe has placed a small LED and a rubber thing that indicates if the TV is active or not.

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On the right side some inputs are located together with the USB input.

The other inputs are found on the back of the TV and all cables can run down through the bottom.

Test tools


Our TV signal is DVB-S (satellite) and DVB-T (terrestrial). We also have an analogues TV connection.

Testing is done with the DVE (digital video essentials) and Peter Finzel test DVD. Testing is also done with DVD, TV, Blu-Ray and Mediacenter/PC.

We also use our own monitorTest . The software supports some of the traditional test patterns used to evaluate displays as well as some new and unique test patterns developed by the people here on Flatpanels.

Sony PlayStation 3 is our Blu-Ray player.

Functionality


I love the remote. It’s nice looking, practical and has a perfect fit.

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The layout is simple, yet logical. The menus are good, too, and it’s very easy to navigate. Loewe hit the nail on the head.

In the menus you can control colour temperature, contrast, brightness, sharpness, a filter and the image circuit called Image+. I miss RGB (red, green, blue) settings options, however.
Each input has its own profile so you don’t have to use similar settings for analogues TV and HDMI.

An automatic light sensor is integrated on the front, too. It calibrates the picture according to the surroundings.

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The menus are much like the XMB menus on the PlayStation 3.

The TV has a DVB-T tuner for terrestrial TV, a DVB-C tuner for cable and a DVB-S tuner for satellite.

Connect
Imagine a wireless home where music, movies and pictures are distributed to every room in the house. Imagine that you can access everything everywhere - without trouble. Loewe can make this reality with this Connect model.

All you need is one PC with your media files or one NAS drive with your media files. By installing a media server program on this PC and connecting it to your wireless network, Loewe Connect is able to stream everything from that PC. You can listen to your music over your wireless network or access your favourite photo album.

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What you need to do is install a media server application on your PC somewhere in the home. Windows Media Player can handle this. TVersity and Twonky, too. You actually get the Twonky software for free when buying Loewe Connect.
Here you choose which files to share and then you’re ready to do the magic.

I tried at home and had no problems whatsoever. It worked like a charm. I had to open one port in my firewall software but besides that all my movies, my music and my pictures was streamed to the TV.

You can even turn of the screen when listening to your music.

Integrated hard drive
You probably know what you can do with built-in hard discs. They are very popular in recorders and Loewe is not the first TV manufacturer to utilize this. Personally I’m not a fan of recorders. They are bulky, ugly and take up to much space but Loewe Connect made it easy for us.

The TV has a 160 GB hard drive and it’s possible to record directly onto it or put live TV on pause. When pressing the pause button the TV records onto the hard drive. You are now able to start the movie/match/show etc. again and the TV resumes.

You can record directly onto the hard drive, too. It records both SD and HD from all three tuners.

Picture quality


This section has been abridged when translated. The graphs, pictures and tables have been kept in order to show the results from our tests. After this section you can find the conclusion which has been fully translated and extended. Future reviews will be fully translated.

Out-of-box picture parameters:

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The graph says:

The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors, here it’s the difference between the measured colour on the panel and the actual colour that we want; the target colour.

  • A delta value lower than 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual colour.
  • A delta value over 4 or 5 results results in wrong colours.
  • A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colours.
  • A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colours. The target is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.

    Suggested calibrated settings:



    After calibration
    Colour temperature:Low/High
    Brightness9
    Contrast:5
    Sharpness:0
    Image+:Off


    Highslide JS
    SD



    Highslide JS
    HD



    Highslide JS
    HD



    Highslide JS
    HD



    We have measured contrast; the ratio between brightness and the black levels: NB: This is the static contrast and no dynamic contrast has been measured.

    Out-of-BoxAfter calibration
    Black level0,64 cd/m20,4 cd/m2
    Brightness387 cd/m2200 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio 605:1 500:1
    Contrast ratio: +/- 25


    Highslide JS
    SD



    Highslide JS



    PC and media center


    Loewe Connect supports 1:1 pixel mapping through HDMI and D-SUB (VGA).

    Conclusion


    Loewe Connect has an appealing design, fantastic functionality and a very nice ”feel”. Unfortunately picture quality is not what you would have expected from such an expensive TV - mainly because of poor out-of-box settings.

    Loewe Connect has very nice features that no other TV on the market today can brag about. The Media Extender is unique and when you have tried it you can’t live without it. The three DVB tuners are nice, too.

    You also have a 160 GB hard drive that allows you to stop live TV and record SD and HD. It’s easy and very functional.

    The bad thing is that the picture quality is worse than I had expected. It’s not bad and definitely better than many other LCD-TVs but at this price you would have expected more. It’s mainly due to the bad settings. I tried correcting them but the setting options are insufficient. The colours are off and shadow detail is poor. Try to avoid the ”Normal” profile for example.
    A professional calibration is the answer. If you’re tempted by the Loewe Connect please do save a few Euros for a professional calibration. If the prof. is good, he can really improve the picture on the Connect series.

    Loewe Connect is available in 42 inches, too. A 32 inch version is coming soon as well. You can also expect a 22 and 26 inch version.

    Read more at Loewe online www.loewe.com

    ProsConsSuited for
    Media Center”Out-of-box” settingsLiving room
    DesignNo RGB (red, green, blue) setting optionHome cinema
    DVB-T/C/S and 160 GB hard drivePoor shadow detail.


    Price and retailer:



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    For questions and comments please visits this thread in our forums: http://www.flatpanelshd.com/flatforums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10




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