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Cello C3298FR review: Cello C3298FR

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The TV also has a HD Ready screen with a 1,366x768-pixel native resolution, a rather disappointing 2,500:1 claimed contrast ratio, and the ability to play back CDs, picture CDs, and MP3 and WMA files stored to CD-R/RW discs via the DVD player.

Average pictures
The C3298FR's recordings are unexpectedly good. In fact, they're identical to the original broadcasts. Unfortunately, though, the quality of the recordings is undermined by the screen's rather average picture quality.

Particularly noticeable is the way moving objects blur as they cross the screen, especially with standard-definition material. High-definition pictures tend not to look as crisp as we know they can -- they scarcely look any sharper than standard-definition material as delivered by the merely adequate built-in DVD drive.

Colour tones often look over-saturated too, especially where human skin is concerned, and colours don't tend to look finely blended. Disappointingly, the C3298FR is also unable to play 1080p/24p feeds from Blu-rays, requiring you to switch your Blu-ray deck's output to 1080i/60i before any pictures appear.

The C3298FR's sound quality is the source of more bad news. The promising speaker bar delivers precisely zero more audio power and dynamism than your bog-standard 32-inch LCD TV.

The C3298FR isn't a total AV-performance washout, though. It produces black colours surprisingly well, avoiding the clouding effect over dark scenes that we'd expect to find on such an affordable TV. Making this all the more surprising is the set's striking brightness, which helps it deliver pictures with more than enough punch to be engaging in even a very bright setting, like a conservatory or kitchen. Colours are also likeably vibrant, as if the TV is trying to distract you from the occasional rogue tone and unsubtle blend.

The Cello C3298FR offers surprisingly good SD-card recording capability. It's just a pity that the TV's rather average AV standards effectively render it a niche product for people who are particularly excited by its recording functionality.

Edited by Charles Kloet

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