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40-inch HDTV-DVD combo gets a little respect

Unlike most combo sets, this Westinghouse model has a relatively large display and some new technology.


Combo TVs with built-in DVD or VCR players have always gotten little respect, found on the far reaches of shelf space at retail stores next to the HDMI cables or whatever else is in the next aisle. Given this lowly station, they've usually been allowed only the smaller screen sizes appropriate for such places as the kitchen or small family room--and rarely, if ever, bearing the latest technologies.

That's what makes Westinghouse's latest model interesting. The VK-40F580D integrates a DVD player with a 40-inch display, according to GizmoWatch, much larger than the 26-inch cap seen in practically all other combo TVs. Not only that, but it's also a full 1080p HDTV. It won't "upscale" DVDs to that higher resolution, but that can be a dubious proposition anyway. Other conveniences include its "Spinedesign," which places all the ports and plugs on one side, and a front-loading DVD slot.

Of course, aficionados will always point out that combo units are obviously problematic if and when individual components need tweaking or repair. And then there's the estimated $1,149 price, which is probably more than you'd pay for a separate 40-inch HDTV and DVD player of comparable quality. But if you want a relatively large screen and watch a lot of DVDs but are short on space, this combo might be something to consider. As promised earlier, Crave TV guru David Katzmaier will have a full review in the future.