Advertisement
Advertisement

Cello iViewer C3298DVB-IP 32in LCD TV review

Barry de la Rosa
20 Jan 2010
Cello iViewer C3298DVB-IP 32in LCD TV
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
499
inc VAT

The first TV we've seen with built-in BBC iPlayer, but this can't make up for the poor picture quality, lack of audio output and crude controls.

Advertisement

Specifications

32in, Freeview, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: , 2x HDMI

The Cello iViewer C3298DVB-IP is a British-made TV and the first that lets you watch BBC iPlayer without the need for a separate device. Other TVs, including Panasonic's models with Viera Cast, have Internet portals, but the iViewer's service is more comprehensive.

As well as iPlayer, you get access to a number of internet channels, including a YouTube application that lets you log into your own account, plus video content from a diverse collection of sources and media streaming over your home network.

Network access is either via a cable or an 802.11n WiFi dongle (currently bundled as a special offer with the TV) that plugs into one of the two USB ports. Network setup is easy and there's a dedicated button on the remote to access internet services.

You have a choice between media streaming, iPlayer and Web TV (including YouTube). The iPlayer interface is similar to the version on BBC's website but it wasn't without its problems. For example, if you decide to listen to radio, you'll find you can't quit the iPlayer app and you have to turn the TV off and on again.

The media streamer found all the media servers on our network, and the company behind the software claims that it can handle any file you can throw at it, but if you're streaming from your Windows PC, you'll only see files that Windows Media Player supports. The YouTube application is good, showing suggested content as well as your own favourites and channel subscriptions.

The other 11 channels are hit and miss, and range from a Jamie Oliver video feed to a tech news feed from Digg.com. There's no categorisation or any way to add your own favourite video feeds from the web. Cello says it will add to the services and users will get upgrades automatically, including one to enable the TV for iPlayer's forthcoming HD streaming.

Design-wise, the iViewer is rather plain, although all the ports on the rear are mounted on a side-facing panel so it's ideal for wall-mounting. The downside is that there aren't as many ports as on other TVs, with only two HDMI inputs and no S-video. More importantly, there's no audio output at all, so you're stuck with the internal speakers, which are very loud, but have very poor bass. Plus, at volumes higher than 40 per cent, the case starts to resonate with the low notes.

Image quality is disappointing, too. The company's website claims the 32in model of the iViewer has a Full HD 1080p resolution, but in our tests we found a remarkable lack of detail in the picture. The menus are incredibly basic too; the only advanced control is for sharpness, and this made no difference except when at its highest setting. Turning contrast to maximum and increasing the colour slider put some lipstick on the pig.

We connected a laptop via HDMI and found no option to display the Windows desktop pixel-for-pixel. The default overscan meant the desktop fell off the edges and half the task bar was below the edge of the screen. The picture was over-saturated and text was barely readable. Our Freeview tests showed noticeable artefacts that the iViewer's digital noise reduction did little to fix.

We weren't impressed with the brightly coloured EPG, either. It shows just five channels at a time because the video preview and info panel occupy half the screen. We can see the iViewer being popular simply because of its unique iPlayer access, and the whopping five-year warranty offered by Marks & Spencer.

However, its poor image quality and sound along with the lack of inputs and disappointing EPG make this TV one to avoid. If you really want an all-in-one TV with iPlayer, Panasonic's TX-L32G10B costs only £50 more and has built-in Freesat HD, which will soon offer iPlayer and ITV Player.

Basic Specifications

Rating*

Physical

Viewable size32in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
Brightness450cd/m²
Bezel (top/side/bottom)46mm/50mm/82mm
Screen depth106mm
Screen elevation129mm
Stand size (WxD)500x234mm

Connections

DVI inputs0
D-sub inputs1
HDMI inputs2
Component inputs1
SCART2
S-Video input1
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsnone
Other3.5mm minijack audio input, CI slot, USB port

Tuner

Tuner typeFreeview, analogue
EPG8 day

Environmental

Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption on109W

Buying Information

Warrantyfive years collect and return
Price£499
Supplierhttp://www.marksandspencer.com
Detailswww.celloiviewer.com

Read more

Reviews