Humax LGB-19DRT review: Humax LGB-19DRT

The Good Ability to record to external USB hard disk is handy; sound and picture are decent; offers a lot for a games console screen or kids' bedroom TV.

The Bad Price; recordings can't be transferred to PC.

The Bottom Line We like the Humax LGB-19DRT -- the picture quality is decent and the ability to record TV to the USB hard drive is great -- but Humax missed a trick not allowing recordings to be transferred to a PC

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6.5 Overall

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You can put a flat-panel TV pretty much anywhere, and because of their diminutive size they make ideal TVs for bedrooms, studies and even kitchens. Obviously, you won't be wanting a 40-inch LCD for the kids' bedroom, but something a little smaller might fit the bill.

Enter the Humax LGB-19DRT, a tiny 19-inch TV with some interesting special skills that are likely to interest people in the market for a useful second TV. At around £300, it's expensive for its size, but do the features add up to good value?

The 19DRT isn't the most beautiful TV we've ever seen. Humax has decided to mount it on a stand that houses the speakers. This is good for speaker performance, but pretty poor for aesthetics. Still, it's not a monstrosity and for the places it's going to end up, such as bedrooms and studies, we doubt there are going to be hordes of interior-design experts flocking around it, tutting and stroking their goatees.

On the side of the TV you'll find the standard composite and S-Video inputs

There's a distinct lack of any controls on the front of the TV, which means you're reliant on the remote. Humax provides a pretty large, easy-to-use controller with a clear layout, and surprisingly sensitive buttons.

At the rear you'll find a bunch of the usual connections. There's basically one of everything, including VGA, HDMI, Scart, component and, at the side, S-Video and composite. On a TV this small, we're pretty certain you won't need many more than this.

The headline feature of the Humax LGB-19DRT is its ability to record to a small external USB hard drive. It's a pretty smart way of adding a record function to a small TV, where building one in would increase the size substantially. Humax hasn't gone to the effort of including a fancy recording system -- you can program recordings via the programme guide, but there's no series link or Freeview Playback functionality.

There's only a single tuner built-in, but Humax has employed its old trick of making it possible to record other channels on the same multiplex (a block of channels broadcast together) as the one you're viewing. This means if you're recording BBC One, you can watch BBC Two at the same time, but not ITV1. Cunning, but not as handy as having a second tuner (which would take up more space, obviously).

The inclusion of both HDMI and VGA mean this TV is very well suited to a study, where it could be connected to a games console or PC and used as a second monitor. It's this flexibility that we think will be the major appeal of the LGB-19DRT.

For a small TV there are plenty of inputs, including component and HDMI

Given the size of the 19DRT, we're confident in predicting it will commonly be used for games consoles. We hooked it up via HDMI to our PlayStation 3 and fired up Colin McRae's DiRT and were impressed to see the TV reproduce a detailed and colourful image.

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