Loewe Connect 37 DR+: LCD TV with built-in media streaming

If you need an all-singing, all-dancing TV that does everything from recording Freeview to streaming media over your network, this is the telly for you. As long as you have a few quid to spend

If you haven't heard of Loewe you're missing a treat, because the company specialises in some of the most eye-catching equipment you've ever seen. It's probably fair to say Apple designer Jonathan Ive would be happy to have a Loewe in his living room. The German company's latest is the innovative Connect 37, a 37-inch LCD TV with built-in media streaming abilities.

The Connect 37 is aimed with a sniper's accuracy at people who must have the best of everything. It's a 'Full HD' 1080p TV, with support for 24p playback from HD media. It has both Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet options, which allow it to connect to a PC running Windows Media Player file sharing. Our slight disappointment is that there isn't a more open approach to streaming, such as from other network shares.

To prove its high-end characteristics, the Connect 37 also has a Scart socket configured to display component video. That's pretty rare, but you might find it useful if you need an extra component input. There are also two HDMI sockets, and RCA digital audio inputs and outputs for connecting a home-cinema system. You'll find two USB sockets for photo and music playback.

The even-higher-end DR+ model comes with a built-in 160GB hard drive, for recording TV without the need for an external set-top-box style PVR. A handy feature indeed, and one we'd love to see more of in TVs.

There are five configuration options available when you buy the TV and a number of add-ons to complement it. You get a choice of three colours: silver, black and white. You can add DVB-S functionality, which enables the TV to receive HD via satellite -- although Rupert Murdoch makes this impossible in the UK because Sky provides no CAM for its services. There's also a version available without the media-streaming option, if that's not your beverage of choice. 

You can also add a matching Blu-ray player or a DVD recorder with 250GB hard drive, for recording Freeview channels. To round off the setup, why not choose a surround-sound speaker system colour-matched to your TV? Now that's an integrated approach for you.

The Connect 37 is available direct from Loewe for around £2,150 (subtract £100 if you don't want a built-in PVR), but adding extra options will of course increase this substantially. It is a beautiful TV though, and any tech-head will fall in love with it at first sight. –Ian Morris

Update: Read our full Loewe Connect 37 Media Full-HD+ DR+ review

 

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