Blaupunkt is best known for its audio products, but the German-based company also produces TVs. It's also now in Australia, selling under the Bush Australia banner; the group that also handles Grundig, Bush and iLuv.
In terms of the TVs that Blauplunkt is selling locally, it's a small selection — just three models — and we looked at the largest panel on offer, the 39-inch full HD LED TV.
The preponderance of big screens that we've had through the testing labs recently gave us a bit of a skewed feel for the size of the Blaupunkt. It's worth taking a step back and realising that at 39 inches, it's definitely a mid-sized TV, no matter how small it might seem next to a 55-inch panel.
It was also a pleasant change to be able to easily get a TV out of a box and assembled without requiring a second pair of hands to help. The Blaupunkt feels almost a bit too light, thanks to its plastic frame, but it actually has a textured bezel (matched on the remote) that not only looks good, but also stops it from feeling too plasticky or cheap.
Sadly, the TV has a similar, strange design choice on the back as the Soniq did: a lip that makes it tricky to get HDMI and other cables plugged in. Luckily, the primary HDMI slot and USB port are actually at the side, making them much easier to reach and ensuring that the TV wasn't too frustrating to set up.
Tuning in the channels was a simple automated process, and we liked the Blaupunkt's on-screen user interface; it's clean, clear and seems well thought out.
For the most part, the image was solid when playing a Blu-ray, although it did feel a little hazy with some of the faster action pieces from Clash of the Titans. This was mostly noticeable in wider shots, rather than close-up action.
The unit has a media-player function, playing files direct from USB. It has a small list of supported files, but it will play AVI, MP4 and MKV. We were overall quite impressed with the USB playback; the large-sized AVI that we test with looked good, and the sound was clear.
In fact, sound was surprisingly good from the built-in 8W speakers — presumably Blauplunkt's long heritage of audio devices is responsible. The pre-set sound options include Movie and Sport, as well as supporting user-defined adjustments to bass, treble and balance.
It's pretty clear that Blauplunkt is going for the second TV market. With sizes of 24, 29 and 39 inches, these are great sizes for a bedroom, rather than as the main living-room TV. At AU$600 recommended retail price — and, as per usual, it will sell cheaper than that in the stores — the 39-inch Blaupunkt is a great fit for this market. The image was good in a darkened room, and the vertical viewing angle is 160 degrees, so you could happily watch this TV while lying down in bed without too many issues.
While its lack of network functions and only two HDMI ports might discourage some shoppers, we think that the combination of solid panel, nice style and low price make it well worth looking at.