It's a common refrain: consumer electronics are too complicated and cumbersome for the average user. And even if you're a "power user" who enjoys the latest and greatest tech gear, you've still got to deal with the inevitable rat's nest of cables and wires that invades your living space once you connect two--let alone more--devices together. It's those two problems--complexity and cable clutter--that the Humax LD2060 aims to eliminate. This 20-inch flat-panel LCD TV includes a built-in DirecTV satellite TV tuner, so subscribers can receive hundreds of channels of programming without the need for an external receiver.
The non-HD, non-wide-screen 20.1-inch diagonal TV isn't designed to anchor a home-theater system; rather, it's intended for the kitchens, bedrooms, and dens of DirecTV households. Unlike an old tube set, this flat-panel model is thin enough to fit anywhere--it's 16.5 inches high by 24.25 wide by 7.25 deep. The depth drops to 3.5 inches if you opt to mount the LD2060 on the wall--it takes just a minute to unscrew and remove the attached plastic stand. The stand also pivots slightly up and down, so you can adjust the vertical viewing angle a bit.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the LD2060 looks similar to any other LCD flat-panel you'll see--which is to say, pretty nice. The screen is ringed by a black border, while the stand and nonremoveable side-mounted stereo speakers are silver. Controls are split along the top and bottom edges: nine satellite control keys on the top side, five TV controls--volume, input, power, and settings menu--below. Of course, you'll never have to touch those controls, thanks to the Humax's unified remote. The well-designed clicker puts all the satellite and TV controls within reach. A slider on the remote toggles its controls between the built-in satellite receiver (such as scrolling through DirecTV's onscreen programming guide) and the TV itself (picture and sound adjustments and so forth); it can also be programmed to control two other A/V devices, such as a DVD player or VCR.
Getting the Humax LD2060 up and running on DirecTV was about as easy and straightforward as we could hope. Because CNET's New York office has an existing DirecTV subscription, we just popped the RF coaxial cable off our existing box and screwed it into the back of the Humax TV. After sliding the included access card into the slot on the side, a quick call to DirecTV customer service had us up and running in less than five minutes. (You'll be charged the same for using the LD2060 as you would for adding a standard DirecTV box to your account--so if you're replacing an existing box, it's a wash.) All in all, the LD2060 delivers an experience that's all but identical to a standard DirecTV receiver--you have access to the same onscreen guide and basic functionality that you'd get with a standard satellite receiver, as well as access to all of the same channels in your package--excluding any high-def ones, that is.