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If you buy a 26-inch LCD TV for just £250, you have to accept that you're hardly going to be getting the last word in AV quality. A set like the HD Ready Goodmans LD2667D has clearly been put together to save you money rather than deliver pristine performance standards. Even so, we think you've got a right to expect more for your money than the Comet-exclusive LD2667D offers.
The LD2667D actually gets off to a promising start, by being far from the nastiest-looking cheapo TV we've seen. Its glossy black body work inevitably looks rather plasticky if you get up close, but, from a reasonable distance, there's little to distinguish it from TVs that cost twice as much.
The LD2667D certainly starts to look its money when you get to its connections, though. It only boasts one HDMI input, at a time when we'd expect even the most cheap and cheerful set to give us at least two. Unsurprisingly, there are no USB ports, SD card slots or the like for viewing JPEGs on the screen. The only slightly pleasing thing about the set's connectivity, in fact, is the inclusion of a PC jack so that you can double the screen up as a computer monitor.
Predictably for the money, the LD2667D is pretty much devoid of interesting features. The native resolution is par for the course -- an HD Ready 1,366x768 pixels -- there's no picture processing worth mentioning, options for adjusting the pictures are bog-standard, and the set's claimed contrast ratio is a seriously uninspiring 700:1.
In fact, the dismal nature of this contrast figure versus the many tens of thousands to one now being quoted by most LCD TVs shows that the LD2667D doesn't have a dynamic contrast system. In other words, it lacks the know-how to automatically reduce the image's brightness when dark scenes are detected, to boost black-level response.
It's no great surprise, then, to find the LD2667D's pictures severely lacking in contrast. So grey and cloudy do black colours look that dark scenes seem to be appearing through a veil of smoke.
Not surprisingly, this nasty grey veil has a habit of hiding subtle background details during dark scenes, with the result that they look one-dimensional and hollow. Even worse, the general grey pall also leaves many colours looking muted and unnatural. Colours don't even look much cop during bright scenes, with skin tones in particular looking rather sickly, and colour blends appearing as stripes rather than smooth gradations.
The apparent absence of any serious video-processing engine has a pretty disastrous impact on the LD2667D's standard-definition pictures. The process of converting standard-definition images to the screen's high-definition resolution leaves them looking horribly fuzzy and blurred, especially as the LD2667D also proves pretty poor when it comes to retaining clarity while showing moving objects. Even HD pictures on the LD2667D don't look as crisp and detailed as we'd like them too.
With some hugely average audio keeping the way-below-average pictures company, pretty much the only positive thing we can find to say about the LD2667D's performance is that its pictures are surprisingly bright.
If you really, really need a 26-inch TV and you really, really only have £250 to spend, the Goodmans LD2667D will get the job done -- in the sense that it actually switches on and shows pictures. But, seriously, the quality of those pictures is so demoralising that you'd be far better off saving up for a couple of months longer to get something else.
Edited by Charles Kloet