Loewe Aconda 38-inch HDTV Monitor Page 2

Fast Facts

KEY FEATURES Widescreen HDTV monitor with multiple aspect ratio settings Largest widescreen direct-view TV available Converts interlaced signals to progressive-scan with 2:3 pulldown Custom picture memory for each input INPUTS/OUTPUTS front composite/S-video and stereo audio inputs; headphone output rear wideband component-video, VGA, three S-video, and three composite-video inputs, all with stereo audio; two RF antenna inputs; composite/S-video, fixed/variable-level stereo, and digital audio outputs; external speaker outputs; RF antenna output DIMENSIONS 41 inches wide, 30 inches high, 24 1/2 inches deep WEIGHT 210 pounds PRICE $5,000 in Graphite matte black; $5,500 in Stratos metallic or piano black MANUFACTURER Loewe Opta, Dept. S&V, 10 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 213, Plymouth, MA 02360; www.loewe-us.com; 866-563-9387

Loewe's helpful onscreen guide leads you through the initial setup. You select what type of component you want to connect to the TV and what kind of video signal format it delivers -- S-video, component-video 480i (interlaced), component-video 480p (progressive), or component-video 1080i -- and then the guide directs you where to plug in. After you're done, pressing the input-selection button on the remote control displays an onscreen list containing only the components you've hooked up -- a nice touch that saves time when you're toggling through inputs. You can also relabel inputs with names like Game, DVD, or "HD RGB 1080i."

The Aconda's sleek remote control lacks a backlit keypad, but it has a clean button layout and can be programmed to operate a VCR, cable box, and satellite receiver. It features a disc-shaped central control pad that you use to change channels, adjust volume, and navigate menus. There are only a few other control buttons on the remote. At top there's a line of buttons, including one to adjust the TV's video settings. Pressing this lets you tweak the picture on the fly without having to burrow through several layers of onscreen menus. Other buttons allow you to enter or exit menus, play with picture-in-picture functions, and switch the set's display formats, which include 4:3 and 16:9 plus a number of zoom and stretch modes.

When adjusting the Aconda's picture controls, the adjustments you make for each of its inputs are automatically stored in memory. You can create custom settings or choose from a list of presets, which include Normal, Day, Night, and NTSC Standard. I found that the NTSC Standard setting delivered good image quality in dim lighting -- which is how you should be watching movies anyway. In addition to knocking contrast and sharpness down to optimal levels, the NTSC mode engaged the Medium color-temperature setting, which measured reasonably close to the 6,500-K standard.