Manufacturers are increasingly packing more and more features into their small TVs. Take the 19-inch, HD Ready L19DVDB20 LCD TV from Dixons' own-brand Logik range. Despite its small screen, it manages to cram in a DVD player, alongside USB playback and recording features. And it all comes at the bargain price of just £130.
Predictably, the set isn't much to look at in terms of design. It's got a standard black finish, with only a small lip at the bottom to add anything in the way of flair. The chassis feels plasticky too, especially the flimsy snap-on stand. As there's a DVD player built in, the set is also quite chunky, measuring 76mm thick. Nevertheless, the long, thin remote fits comfortably in your hand and the button layout is sensible, with all the main controls within easy reach.
Setting up the TV is a cinch, as its standard-definition Freeview tuner scans all the relevant channels as soon as you first turn it on. The TV's menu system is very basic-looking, with graphics that would do MS-DOS proud, but everything you need to configure is pretty easy to get at. Thankfully, the electronic programme guide looks much more welcoming than the rest of the set's menus. It's also fast, and you can skip around the EPG without the set constantly having to pause to change channel, as some of Toshiba's cheaper models do.
The range of connections is limited to just a single HDMI port, a Scart socket and a set of component and composite inputs. But that's probably more than most people are likely to use on a 19-inch set.
One of this telly's best features is the USB port that's found on the left-hand edge. Plug a memory key or USB hard drive into it and you can use it to playback MP3 music files, JPEG pictures, and movies in the MPEG-2, DivX and Xvid formats. The playback quality of DivX files is especially impressive, and fast-forward and rewind functionality is supported, something that's not always the case on this type of TV.
Even better than this is the fact that the USB port allows you to pause and rewind live TV, and also schedule recordings of upcoming shows using the set's EPG. Setting up recordings is more complicated than it needs to be, so you may find yourself having to refer to the manual at first. But the quality of recordings is first-rate and you can even transfer files to a PC to view them with software such as Media Player Classic.
Have a peak at the left-hand side of the set and you'll find the slot-loading DVD player. The loading mechanism is slow, but the playback quality is more than acceptable for a TV of this size. The DVD player also supports digital-media files that have been burned onto a disc, so you can use it to playback MP3, JPEG and DivX files.