USB key to digital-media playback
The rest of the menu system looks a little boring, as it's mainly presented as text. But the menu is sensibly laid out, so it's easy to get at most of the functions that need tweaking. The TV's USB port lets you hook up external hard drives or memory keys to play digital media. The TV supports MP3 music files, JPEG pictures, and movies in DivX and Xvid format. Although the media browser used to select files looks very basic, the playback quality is good and it's definitely a handy feature to have on a set like this.
Of course, the TV also has a built-in DVD player. This can be used to play both DVD movies as well as videos in DivX and Xvid format that have been burned to CD or DVD. Playback quality is similar to what you get from a budget DVD deck and the slot-loading mechanism is quite quiet even when spinning a disc, which is important if you're going to use the set in a bedroom.
Budget by brand, budget by nature
When it comes to budget brands, smaller TVs generally perform better in terms of picture quality than larger models, simply because you don't need as much picture-processing to make images on a smaller screen look acceptable. That's certainly the case here. Watched from a normal viewing distance, Freeview channels look fairly sharp. The set is quite bright, too, and colours, although not as natural as perhaps we would have hoped, do look strong and punchy.Like many budget sets, however, the 22-228's contrast performance is rather lacklustre, and the set doesn't really manage deep blacks. Using the picture controls, you can either increase the depth of the black levels, which tends to make the picture look muddy, or increase the amount of shadow detail by pushing up the brightness and contrast controls, but this washes the black levels out. Unfortunately, as with many of these budget sets, you can never quite achieve a happy medium.
There's also visible light bleed at the edges of the pictures -- when it's showing darker images, the extreme edge of the display looks a tad bluish. Overall, though, the picture quality is acceptable for a budget screen, but certainly not as natural or as rich-looking as you'll get on more expensive 22-inch models from the likes of Panasonic and Samsung.
While its picture quality may lack the finesse of similarly sized sets from big-name brands, we still think the Technika 22-228 offers good value for money with impressive digital-media playback features, an on-board DVD player and neat design.
Edited by Emma Bayly