capsule review

Westinghouse LTV-37w2

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder LTV-37W2

    TechHive Rating

    Cleverly designed TV with all connectors located on a "spine" makes connecting cables to the wall-mounted set easy.

The Westinghouse Digital LTV-37w2, a 37-inch LCD HDTV, showed many strength. Its low price ($1299, as of September 8, 2006) and simple, clean design are attractive if you're looking for a TV to fit a tight space and a slim wallet.

In our high-definition tests, the LTV-37w2 turned in uneven results, though they averaged out to acceptable--but not spectacular--image quality scores. It showed particular strength in reproducing pleasing skin tones, especially on the diverse cast of George Lopez. A few jurors, however, noticed quite a bit of pixelation in the same scene and found it "terribly distracting." A scene of people being interviewed in a car showroom showed signs of pixelation, too, though color saturation was satisfactory. A Joan of Arcadia scene in a dark high-school hallway showed poor detail, and we observed pixelation on background walls. Green tones on a clip of a wine country scene were good, and the TV reproduced acceptable detail in the broad expanses of sky and clouds.

Standard-definition clips helped this TV achieve better results, with a few jurors giving it good or above average marks in certain areas. Pixelation on the turf of a baseball game scene looked pronounced, but the TV once again showed natural-looking skin tones. In DVD viewings, the LTV-37w2 provided enjoyable detail--for instance, on the race track's dirt in Seabiscuit. One juror noted that some scenes were a "bit orange" but still "vivid." All in all, it's a competent TV that generally has good color quality, contrast, and brightness.

A typical pair of speakers (rated at 10 watts each) are integrated nicely into the black set, forming the bottom part of the TV's cabinet. Not unexpectedly for a TV of its class, the LTV-37w2 generated generally flat sound. Another scene from Seabiscuit--the one of the last horse race--produced dull hoofbeats, though the soundtrack and dialogue were quite audible.

The silvery, single-device remote (which can't be programmed to control other devices, such as a DVD player) is laid out well and has separate buttons for extras such as PIP and closed captioning. PBP is also available, but you have to go to the on-screen display and switch the "PIP Mode" to PBP or POP (picture on picture), a mild annoyance if you frequently use these features. The OSD menu is well organized, though finding specific functions was a challenge at times. The OSD's iconography is so simplistic that it is sometimes unclear. For instance, an icon of a TV with an antenna was confusingly similar to an icon of a TV screen (the former was for "Display Setting," and the latter was "TV/HDTV Setting").

The TV's thoughtful SpineDesign places all connectors on both sides of the TV's "spine," a rectangular block situated that runs down the back of the TV from near the top of the cabinet to the base. This is meant to give the user access to the connectors even when the TV is hanging from a wall, but it also simplified the task of connecting cables to it.

Westinghouse's 37-inch LCD entry loses a few points for skimping on support. Weekend support options are nonexistent. PC World jurors generally found the LTV-37w2 satisfactory, but some models of equal or lower price offer better performance and features.

Roy Santos

This story, "Westinghouse LTV-37w2" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Cleverly designed TV with all connectors located on a "spine" makes connecting cables to the wall-mounted set easy.

    Pros

    • All ports easily reached on "spine"

    Cons

    • Other low-price sets have better images
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