Fortunately, the TV's menus are excellent. Since you can filter the guide to specific channels, times and genres, you shouldn't have too much trouble getting used to it and finding the programme you want to record.
The Connect 37 also features HDMI CEC. This is a function of the HDMI standard that allows the remote of one device to control things connected to the TV. We don't usually mention it because most of the time we can't get it to work. On the Loewe, though, the TV automatically reassigns its remote to work with the connected player -- a, in our case. If you want to switch back to controlling the TV, you simply press the TV button on the remote.
In standard definition, our picture contained plenty of detail with accurate colours and few distortions. Our only niggle is that the TV needs to think about what aspect ratio it'll use. For the first few seconds of selecting a channel, the screen jumps around. On a premium set, this is an odd problem.
We used King Kong to test the HD material and had excellent results. Details stood out well in darker scenes, especially in the screening room at the film's start. The smoke from a cigarette and Jack Black's stubble were visibly defined. Motion was fluid and colours were vibrant. Of course, there is -- and always will be -- some slight washing out of blacks from the LCD backlight, but Loewe has done its best to minimise this.
We were also satisfied by the Connect 37's reduction of picture noise, although we generally try to leave filters turned off where possible. If you're watching a grainy picture source, this is an excellent feature to consider as it didn't noticeably degrade the quality of the picture.
While this TV won't rattle the teeth out of your head with its deep bass, the audio is clear. Even in movies with sound effects and dialogue happening simultaneously, we could make out what was being said. The TV is also capable of adjusting its input levels for quieter sources. We found this handy for our HD DVD player, which tends to output at a much lower lever than other devices.
For your money, you can get larger, slightly higher-quality plasma TVs from the likes of Pioneer or Panasonic, but they won't match the design standards found in the Loewe. This television is definitely designed with aesthetics in mind.
We can't pretend this isn't an expensive piece of equipment, but we can't forget that it's much more than just a TV. The Loewe Connect 37 Full-HD+ DR+ is three products in one: a media streamer, PVR and television, all with excellent functionality. By any other name, it'd be as sweet.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday