19in, Freeview, analogue, 1,366×768 resolution, 3D: , 1x HDMI
Matsui’s M19LID618 is a 720p 19in LCD TV and the cheapest model here at just £166.
This price is even more impressive considering the built-in DVD player. It comes with a fixed stand and has a basic design that makes liberal use of cheap plastic. The slot-loading DVD player is located on one side, and all ports are located on the sides or facing downwards at the rear, so the TV will fit snugly against a wall or on a narrow shelf.
The TV menu is basic, but it’s simple to use. Setting up TV channels was reasonably quick, with digital taking one minute 38 seconds and analogue taking one minute 25 seconds to find all the channels. You can skip the analogue search if you only want to use Freeview.
Once set up, the Freeview menus are easy to use, with options for editing channel names and adding favourites. The standard EPG offers a now and next view for five channels, but you can switch to a seven-day view that lets you view all the programming for each channel. Pressing the Info button tells you what’s on next, and even gives you a signal strength meter. The menus are clear and easy to read from a distance, and reminded us of Sky’s menu design. The remote control isn’t as clear, however, and you’ll need to read the manual to work out some functions.
The M19LID618 displayed the Windows desktop at its native 1,366×768 resolution via VGA. An auto-adjust feature was the only option to adjust the alignment of the image, and resulted in reasonably sharp text with the desktop filling the screen. Colours were a bit dull, but not oversaturated, and contrast was good.
Image quality is nothing to get excited about. Even when using our Blu-ray player we found colours a little dull and inaccurate when compared with other TVs here. The smoothness in fast-moving action scenes was good, although there’s no support for 24p movies.
The image controls are basic, but it’s possible to get a clear picture with vibrant colours and reasonable levels of contrast. There are some nice touches, such as the intelligent switching between aspect ratios for different programmes, and reception is excellent, with no blocky break-up in the signal.
We found the DVD image a bit blurred, but there was little ghosting and edges were reasonably sharp. The slot-in drive works smoothly, but even though your film will start playing when you insert a disc, annoyingly you have to press a button to select DVD mode before the remote’s DVD controls will work.
The M19LID618 is ideal for small spaces, as it’s one of the thinnest TVs here and has the thinnest stand. As its inputs are on the side or underneath, you won’t have cables poking out of the back. It’s also one of the loudest TVs in this group, so would be good for noisy kitchens.
While the M19LID618’s image quality isn’t the best here and there are a few control niggles, it doesn’t suffer from any fatal flaws, such as the awful sound on Teac’s T19LID638 or the poor DVD and TV reception on Logik’s L22LID648. Taking that and its low price into account, it’s a clear winner of our Budget Buy award.
|Stand size (WxD)
|1x stereo phono
|headphone output, CI slot
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption on
|one year RTB