When you're putting together your shopping list for your next visit to Tesco, alongside fruit, veg and a bottle of vino should you also have the Technika 42-2030? Priced at £500, it's certainly cheap for a 42-inch TV, but does it deliver decent picture quality?
Technika is Tesco's own brand of electronics, so you can only buy this set in store, via its catalogue or online from Tesco Direct -- you won't find it available from any other retailer.
Given the low price tag, it's no surprise this model lacks some of the fancy frills you'll find on 42-inchers from big-name brands, such as 100Hz processing, support for Internet services and media streaming. That said, the set does offer up a few surprises including a Freeview HD tuner that gives you access to channels such as the newly launched BBC One HD, and it also includes a USB port for digital-media playback.
As an own-brand set, you'd be forgiven for expecting it to have been hit with the ugly stick, but thankfully, this isn't the case. Obviously it's not going to win any awards for design, but the stepped rear, where the edges are thinner than the middle of the TV, means it doesn't look particularly bulbous when viewed from the side. While the glossy black finish may be a tad boring, at least Technika has added a silver flash across the bottom and sensibly kept the brand logo on the front as small as possible.
The remote looks quite attractive, too, thanks to its arched design. In saying that, it turns out to be one of the worst aspects of the TV, as the buttons are very spongy and unresponsive. If you do buy this TV, it might be worth investing in a decent universal remote to replace it.
What's on the menu?
The TV's menu system looks pretty drab thanks to its heavy use of blocky text, but the layout is fairly good and it offers a decent amount of control of audio and picture settings. The digital-media playback feature is a little awkward to get at as it's tucked away in this menu system. To be honest, it's hardly worth the trip, as it only supports playback of MP3 and JPEG files. There's no support at all for MPEG-2 or DivX movies.