Metz Primus 42 3D Media Twin R LCD TV review:

Metz Primus 42 3D Media Twin R

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Typical Price: $5,999.00
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The Good Good 2D picture quality. Excellent 3D picture quality. Able to record and time shift natively. Stylish European design.

The Bad Complicated and difficult to operate menu system. Very expensive.

The Bottom Line The Metz Primus 42 3D Media Twin R LCD TV is unusual, expensive, but comes with surprising features, including a built in PVR.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.2 Overall

Review Sections

System

Hailing from Germany, the Metz Primus 42 3D Media Twin R TV is very different to the mainstream Japanese or Korean TVs. The screen is of a modest size: 42 inches, or 106.7cm. Departing from the trend towards thin bezels, this one has wide surrounds: 49mm at the top and bottom, 79mm at the sides. Although, technically, it has no bezel at all in the sense of something standing forward of the picture, thanks to the flat sheet of glass across the front of the panel.

It is also deep at 144mm. And very heavily built.

Your almost-six grand gets you the TV only. The desktop stand is an optional extra, and will cost a considerable AU$649 (a similarly styled floor stand is AU$799). However, you do get a beautifully finished slab of steel, with a short pedestal made of stainless steel tubing that has 6mm walls. At 15.9 kilograms, this alone weighs nearly as much as many a modern 42-inch TV.

You don't get sound with the TV, either. The Primus 42 Sound Module is available as another option for AU$599. This is a separate four speaker, 40-watt sound bar that attaches to the bottom of the TV and fires hi-fi quality sound.

The TV purports to support the Audio Return Channel (we could not get it to work), and also offers optical digital audio output and stereo audio, so you can use an external audio system and skip the optional speakers. But, if you use your own audio system, you will need a wall mount, because the speaker module is required in order to use either the desktop or floor stand.

Is that not different enough? This is a full twin tuner TV, something we haven't seen for some years. The two HD digital tuners allow a proper picture-in-picture function. Rhe TV can also record.

The Metz also offers 3D. It uses the passive system, and you get two pairs of RealD-branded 3D glasses. These weigh 24 grams, seeming a bit more sturdy and smoothly built than most. Rather than the usual flat lenses, these have gently curved ones.

Picture

Out of the box, the TV was tuned to a bunch of TV stations which are not in Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne. Because of that, and because there was no apparent auto-setup wizard, we had to delve immediately into the TV's menus. Tuning the stations was easy enough, but these were added to the existing ones in numbered program slots, rather than being assigned the usual default numbers. If you're used to dialling up digital stations by number, be prepared to re-learn.

We figured that with the TV being so deep, it would use a panel with a LED backlight array, but it soon became evident that the panel uses Edge LED lighting. In a dark room, there was a gentle mottling effect of the blacks, especially near the screen corners, and it did not go as dark as we had hoped.

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