When we first unpacked the DV2050 we were hit with a distinct feeling of dÃƒÂ©jÃƒÂ vu. We quickly worked out why -- the DV2050 shares almost every single design note with the previously reviewed BenQ DV3080 LCD TV, although within a much smaller frame and at a greatly reduced asking price. In size terms, the DV2050 measures in at 655 x 447 x 154mm with its included frame, with a weight of just a shade under 10kg, although 1.2kg of that is the stand.
Somehow, the all-silver design of the DV2050 seems more stark than on the larger DV3080. Perhaps it's just a trick of the eye with a smaller unit, but regardless you'll be getting a TV with side mounted speakers and all of its connectivity options tucked away at the back, plugging in vertically. Just as with the DV3080 this introduces the challenge of leaning over the TV if you're plugging in a new cable, although at least you're tilting a much cheaper TV in the DV2050, not to mention a smaller and lighter one. BenQ does sell a wall mounting kit for the DV2050, which would obviate this particular problem entirely.
The DV2050's remote almost looks like it belongs to a different TV. Where the style in the DV2050's display is quite muted, the remote is an explosion of colour, differing button shapes and a nicely contoured hand grip. Our only gripe with the DV2050's remote is that it uses a coin-lockable battery cover. This is great if you have a problem with people making off with the batteries in remotes, but it's a real pain when you do in fact need to change flat batteries.
The DV-2050 is a 4:3 aspect LCD panel with a diagonal measurement of 51cm -- quite why it isn't coded as the DV-2051 eludes us -- and a maximum screen resolution of 800x600. It supports high definition TV modes of 576i, 576p, 720p and 1080i, although in the case of the higher resolutions it's clearly not actually running at the full 1920x1080 and 1280x720 resolutions that those modes require.
As it's a lower cost unit, many of the niceties that you'd expect in a higher cost unit aren't present, such as DVI or VGA inputs, and Picture In Picture. On the flipside, there's no point in paying for features you're not going to use. The DV2050 supports connections via component, composite, S-Video and SCART, and offers four different picture modes -- Vivid, Standard, Movie and Sports.
With its particular budget focus, we weren't expecting great things from the DV2050, and for the most part it lived up to those expectations, giving out acceptable but unspectacular images from a variety of inputs. It took us some time to get accustomed to the DV2050's remote, as all of the controls carry only pictographs rather than text, although it's certainly a minor point.
What was less of a minor point was the fact that our test TV came out of the box with what we'd consider a relatively large pixel defect. Actually, it was more like a small cloud of pixel defects smack bang in the middle of the screen which ghosted up white whenever the screen was fully black. It wasn't detectable when viewing TV or gaming images, but it certainly made it fall into the category where we'd return it to the store for a full refund if it were a consumer purchase. Of course, it's impossible for us to say if we were just unlucky with this particular review unit -- but it's not a good sign.
It's undeniably possible to spend more on an LCD panel and get something that's more decked out in features, resolution and size, but that's not really the market that BenQ's aiming at with the DV2050. Its pricing of AU$899 (at the time of writing) places it solidly into the entry-level category of folks who want a flat display television that's suitable for free standing or wall mounting but who don't want either fancy features or to spend a fortune in the process. As such, the DV2050 does an acceptable job as a high definition display panel, but by no means an exceptional one.