Dixons has a number of own brands, including Sandstrom and Essentials, but perhaps the best known is Logik. The retailer usually sells smaller TVs under this brand, with plenty of features and a relatively low price. The 22-inch L22DVDB11 is a good example -- priced at just £140, it includes an integrated DVD player and USB recording features. It's availabe now direct from Dixons.
As you would expect at this price, the TV's design isn't exactly going to turn heads. It's best described as plain rather then ugly, however, because the piano-black finish on the TV's plastic chassis doesn't really draw attention to itself.
The build quality isn't too bad, although the stand does feel plasticky, but as the set isn't particularly heavy, this isn't really much of an issue. The integrated DVD player is found on the left-hand edge of the set and its presence means this is quite a bulky set, measuring a porky 97mm deep.
The right-hand side of the TV is home to the USB port, which is used for recording TV and playing back media files. On top of this there are channel change and volume buttons, which may come in handy if you've temporarily lost the remote down the back of the sofa.
All the ports are located on a downward-facing panel on the rear of the set, so they can be a little tricky to get at. There aren't all that many of them anyway. There's just a single HDMI port, which is joined by a lone Scart socket and a set of component inputs. You do also get a VGA socket, however, which lets you connect the set up to a computer, and a composite input, which might come in handy for use with older, standard-definition kit.
This model is built around an HD Ready panel, but despite this, the onboard tuner is Freeview only, so you can't use it to pick up HD broadcasts from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Nevertheless, reception is good -- which isn't always the case on these cheaper TVs -- and channel changes aren't too sluggish, either.
The electronic programme guide (EPG) is quite basic and only shows two upcoming programmes on the screen at one time across six channels, but it's reasonably speedy to use and the large font is legible even from quite a distance.
When you plug a USB memory key or hard drive into the port on the right-hand side you can start to use its recording features. You can either just hit record and the set will start recording the current show to disk, or alternatively you can schedule recording via the EPG. You can also pause live TV, which may come in handy if you're engrossed in a show when the doorbell rings.
As the TV is essentially just dumping the incoming digital TV stream to disk, the recording quality is identical to the original broadcast. You can even playback files on your computer using software like Media Player Classic.
As there's only a single tuner, however, you can't watch one channel while recording another, as you can on twin-tuner PVRs. The USB port also supports basic playback of media files, although file format is quite limited -- it wouldn't play DivX or Xvid files, for example, and the media player's interface is very simple, as essentially it's just a file browser.
The integrated DVD player is quite basic too, but it's reasonably quiet when discs are spinning and playback quality isn't too bad. Think supermarket DVD player and you'll be in the right ball park. It too has limited ability to play digital media files that have been burned to discs, but format support is poor and navigation is rather nightmarish -- you have to move around the menus by typing numbers, rather than just using the d-pad on the remote.
When it comes to image quality this set actually isn't that bad a performer. Obviously it lacks the finesse of more expensive TVs from big-name manufacturers. Its black levels aren't very deep and the backlight tends to cast a grey mist over darker scenes.
Pictures still have decent amount of contrast though, so moody night scenes in TV shows don't become a sea of black, as they do on some budget TVs. Colours also look quite punchy, without taking on the cartoony feel that afflicts lesser models.
All in all, it's no stunner, but it's a very watchable set for use in a bedroom or kitchen as a second TV. Its sound isn't bad either. Obviously it's a little on the tinny side, but it's certainly loud enough to fill a decent sized room and dialogue is crisp and clear.
The Logik L22DVDB11 isn't a bad budget set at all. Its pictures are reasonably perky and audio quality is better than expected. It's a boon having the DVD player built-in and the USB recording features are a handy extra. It's only disappointment is that it doesn't have better digital media playback support, as many of its rivals are able to play DivX and Xvid files.
Edited by Nick Hide