Although the World Cup has successfully had us clamouring for High Definition, HD TV sets are still out of reach to many due to their high price tags. And that’s before you even think of paying for any HD content to watch on one.
Medion has therefore done what some manufacturer was inevitably going to do sooner or later – offer an ultra-cheap solution. For a mere £600 you can pick up this MD20099, a 32″ LCD HD-Ready set with a resolution of 1366 x 768.
So how does this budget set fare? Well, there are a couple of interesting aspects that give it a little something extra. One example is the reasonably unique picture in picture feature which allows you to watch two video sources simultaneously. Admittedly, that’s not something you’re going to rely on heavily but good if you don’t want to stop playing on your Xbox yet still want to catch the rough gist of the latest round of the tennis.
In terms of visual style, the MD20099 is fairly distinctive; perhaps not to everyone’s taste but at least it does look like an HD TV. You can either use the stand or mount it on a wall bracket.
Sadly though, the Medion MD20099 struggles in a couple of key areas; fast moving images can suffer from some obvious lag and, despite the inclusion of an integrated analogue tuner, the set really chokes on the analogue images with some worrisome artefacts and poor contrast levels. Fortunately, the rest of the time the picture quality remains pretty decent as you would hope for from an HD set.
It’s not much of surprise that a £600 HD TV can not compete with premium products from the likes of Philips and Sony, but if you simply have to go High Definition but don’t have the financial resources to do so, this is definitely one of the very cheapest options available. Be warned though – you do get what you pay for.