Goodmans 37inch LCD TV 

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Yes I ended up looking at this during the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Open Golf but I actually requested it a couple of months before. First surprise it weights a lot less than my conventional 28inch.

It offers a range of inputs - not just a standard aerial - you can use it with a PC it supports analogue (D-Sub), DVI and HDMI, while on the interfaces it also has an Audio In. These are in a vertical line down the back side. In a horizontal line along the bottom of the back is what is described as Interface II, the standard aerial input, two SCART sockets, next a range of sockets for both audio and video in and then a set for audio and video out, finally S/PDIF and a sub woofer output.

The overall dimensions are 110x63x10cm the width is supported within a 24cm stand but that is a simple base the rest is less than 10cm thick. The actual screen is 82x46.5cm giving the 37inch diagonal measurement.

It comes in a long thin box fully assembled on the stand. I decided to review it in the same place as my normal TV, first lift this off the unit it sits on - after a cup of coffee - and that sat on the floor during the review. Next lift the Goodmans onto the unit and it weights a lot less than my 28inch TV I have just lowered to the floor.

Fit the aerial and plug in - nothing - check everything - still nothing - if all else fails RTFM 52 pages - all in English - and then try to locate the on/off switch that is on the back of the unit near the base, the only problem it is the same colour as it's surroundings. Once located I have power and it autotunes the channels available and places them in the normal BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5 order, this is something not all TV's do often leaving you to chance this yourself.

There are a number of controls under the bottom front edge, I never used them apart from testing. The unit comes with a 53 key remote control that can do everything once the unit has power. I tend to have the remote pointing at the TV on a table beside me and a small gripe is that the front edge is slightly less thick than the back and when you press a key in this situation it moves slightly.

The unit comes with a pair of 10 watt speakers that form the left and right edges of the unit, certainly sound is a lot better than with a standard TV, there is a setting to change the sound type to suit different environments. You can also change the picture colour settings for various styles and types of event.

While 4:3 16:9 etc are all supported there is an excellent Auto mode and with normal broadcasts you either have a completely full screen or just over one centimetre blank at the top and bottom of the screen but the colouring of this is identical to the case so you really do not notice it at all. The only time there is a substantial border is with un- doctored Cinema Scope films where the border is far greater.

Picture In Picture (PIP) is possible using two different sources such as a video or DVD and TV, remember this has only a single tuner. The range of Window sizes allow a variety of uses.

If I have a disappointment it's that the unit does not come with built in Freeview and perhaps dual tuners. I used a Freeview box attached to one SCART socket of a video recorder and used the pass through ability to output via it's other SCART socket to input the TV.

I tested using a PC output via the D-Sub and the DVI without any problems, and should you run a business I see no reason why this could not be listed as a business expense as it has the PC capability. 

During my time testing the unit I have been checking the prices of various other similar units and while this is by no means cheap it is HD Ready so there is an amount of future proofing. However you will still need a Freeview box for when analogue is switched off. The Argos price is £999.99 see the link below

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Comment by Iain, Sep 10, 2006 18:19

Couldn't overcome the problem in the end, after trying everything. Watched my dvd's on a friends LG 32 inch with no problems. Tried his dvd player on my tv with no difference seen. Rang the Goodmans helpline and was advised to 'change the contrast' etc. Unsurprisingly this had no effect on the problem. Took it back in the end with no problem at all at Macro, and whilst there, tried my dvd in the same Goodmans tv on display. This one did it too. I have to say I was very unimpressed overall and would say to Stephen not to go any where near it! Have spotted an LG 42 inch LCD tv though in Macro with built in freeview if anyone has any info on this model???

Comment by Iain, Aug 31, 2006 13:45

Thanks Petew. I will try the new dvd player option shortly and let you know how I get on. I am also going to take my dvds to a friends house and try them there. He has a 32 inch LG LCD TV which he claims don't suffer the problems. I would be interested to hear Stephens view also if he sees the TV in action, as I have searched the internet and can't find a massive amount written about it. Cheers, Iain.

Comment by petew, Aug 28, 2006 22:43

Hi Iain, I think there are two things to look out for here. One is the LCD response time which you've mentioned and 8ms is good. The other is the digital source for the signal. All digital video is compressed to varying degrees (my DVD recorder allows you to record in normal, long-play, extra long play etc, all of which just affect the compression ratio trading time against quality. The quality of playback of digital playback is therefore determined by: the level of compression of the source, the processing power/quality of the decoder and finally the suitability of the image being recorded. Basically the compression works on differences between frames so fast moving action causes worse compression. If your playback hardware can't keep up you can get some distortion. The other thing of course that affects percieved quality is the size of the display - a bigger screen and you're more likely to notice the effects of compression. I'd be interested to see how you get on with different DVD player. I used to use a PS2 for playback, and am now using a dedicated DVD player/recorder. Unfortunately at the same time as getting the DVD player I moved from a portable TV to a 26" Samsung LCD - so I have no idea whether there was any signficant difference as a result of the player.

Comment by iain, Aug 28, 2006 22:22

The problem seems to be one that occurs on some LCD TV's, although friends of mine don't seem to suffer the problem. I notice it when watching a DVD where the action takes place at night. People seem to leave a 'trail' and facial close ups appear to blur with movement. I saw it particularly when watching 'collateral' with Tom Cruise, but have noticed it with other films that take place at night. To confuse matters, some are not as bad as others. It may be that I'm being too fussy, but I'm not sure. T.V. pictures that are through the analogue ariel, then sent through the freeview digi box to the T.V. appear to be the same. Close ups of football players running suffer also, although the distance shots are fairly clear. Normal programmes such as soaps or the news etc are exceptionally clear, where faces and details don't move too fast. The colour and brightness of picture are fantastic. If I could just solve this blurring issue I would be a very happy man. I am informed that some LCD TV's suffer with a slow 'response time', but this one of Goodmans is 8ms, which I am told is very good. I am going to try using a top quality DVD player instead of my PS2 to see if this helps and am going to get a digital ariel installed, although a reputable contact in the electrical services field states that this will not help. I hope he is wrong. If anyone has a suggestion as to where I am going wrong, then I would love to hear from them. I don't want to put Stephen off buying this product, as it may be my set up that is incorrect, however I would suggest he insists on seeing it in action before he buys it.

Comment by Stephen, Aug 28, 2006 13:24

Iain, I'm just about to buy this exact model and everything I've read about it so far seems pretty good. But the "smearing" aspect you mentioned is worrying me a bit. For this reason alone, would you advise against me buying this TV? Cheers Stephen

Comment by paul_smart, Aug 25, 2006 6:20

That was not a problem with the sample I saw and used through an extended period watching a lot of sport as mentioned. I assume it must be the problem you mentioned.

Comment by iain, Aug 24, 2006 19:24

Overall the TV performs well, but there appears to be a horrendous problem with smearing, especially with fast moving images and on faces, driving me to distraction! Although it is possible that I need to upgrade to a digital ariel to enhance my TV picture, the problem also affects dvds. Watching football is dreadful. I play dvds through my PS2. All leads are gold plated. Any advice? My e-mail is playing up, so if you respond, can you reply on the website?

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