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The TV-DVD combo isn't dead yet

Westinghouse's front-loading model is good for kids and grandma.


There's a reason that all-in-one TVs are always at the very end of the aisle at retailers. They may well be the least-cool media gear around, bearing the scorn of those who complain, among other things, that the individual components can't be tweaked or repaired. But there are at least two reasons that TV-DVD (and--gasp--even VCR) combos will survive for awhile: kids and grandparents.

While these products are designed for ease of use, however, the flat-TV era has presented a complication for the DVD end of the equation. Usually the slot is mounted on the side, an awkward position that's conducive to accidental scratching--which is the last thing you need for that High School Musical disc that's already on its last legs. So Westinghouse has designed its latest HDTV-DVD combo with a front-loading player that even a near-sighted Baby Boomer could operate.

The SK-26H570D is one of the company's latest HDTV models, a 26-inch LCD intended for use in places where space is a premium. The 720p resolution isn't the highest, of course, but that won't be necessary for Spongebob or I Love Lucy reruns anyway. Until Touch Interactive makes its "hybrid" player a reality, this may be worth a look.