Although the company might be known for its wacky portable TVs in the shape of helicopters, the Hannspree XV32 GT02 is a grown-up LCD TV. Good for a kitchen or second bedroom, this HD Ready TV deals well with high-definition material, producing punchy, vivid colours
Hannspree has made a name for itself by making a range of wacky portable TVs in the shape of helicopters, giraffes and even an elephant, complete with a trunk. This time around, it drops the novelty act to produce a no-nonsense 32-incher, the XV32 GT02, that aims to plonk itself down in the living room rather than the kid's bedroom. But can this set's rock bottom price tag of just £360 tempt buyers away from more established brands?
The company may have produced some outrageous TV designs in the past, but the XV32 is a much more sedate affair. The silver and black colour scheme doesn't really draw attention to itself, which is not a bad thing.
Hannspree has kitted out the set with a decent array of connections so you shouldn't have much problem hooking up all your AV gear. There are two HDMI sockets, a component video input, twin Scart sockets and even a PC input for good measure. The set is HD Ready with a 1,366x768-pixel resolution and has both a digital and analogue tuner built in.
Given the price, it puts in a decent performance when dealing with high-definition content. Fed via our Sky HD box, it provides plenty of sharp detail plus colours that are vivid, but never venture into the oversaturated look that distort some budget sets. Pictures from the built-in Freeview tuner look perfectly acceptable too, thanks to the punchy colours and the way it keeps nasty artefacts to a respectable level.
It's no slouch on the audio side either. The two built-in 10W speakers are capable of producing a decent racket and will certainly fill even a largish room. Dialogue sounds crisp and clear and treble and mid range frequencies are well represented, so gun fire and other effects in action movies like Blood Diamond sound suitably rousing. It lacks bass punch for truly bombastic explosions, but that's an issue that affects the majority of LCD sets so it's hard to complain about it on a set in this price bracket.
The TV's budget origins can certainly been seen in this case. From a distance, it doesn't look too bad, but up close you can see that the finish isn't exactly of the highest quality and it feels plasticky to the touch.
Unfortunately, the picture quality also shows evidence of the budget nature of the set. Darker scenes tend to look washed out rather than looking truly black. You can improve this by turning the backlight down, but then this also has the effect of dimming the overall picture.
More worrying are its motion problems. During some panning shots the picture wobbles slightly, almost as if the processing can't keep up with what's happening onscreen. The effect is especially notable when watching movies in HD on Sky, but can also be seen sometimes even on standard definition material.
One other quirk is that there are two separate inputs for the analogue and digital tuners. Unless you invest in a cable splitter you'll have to choose between one other the other, rather than being able to use both at the same time.
If you're after absolutely top-notch performance, then this isn't the set for you. However, when judging the XV32's output, you need to take into account its bargain price. We wouldn't necessarily select it as our primary TV for use in the lounge, but we'd definitely consider it as a second set for use in the bedroom or the kitchen.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday