IFA 2007: Loewe's "Connect": networking, uber-connected LCD TVs
Although the claim that "A new television era begins with Loewe Connect" might appear pompous, for once the marketing folk may have got it right.
Debuted at IFA 2007, Loewe's new "Connect" range of LCD televisions offer an impressive array of media connections from WLAN networking to iPod connectivty.
With multimedia applications on the increase, Loewe is banking on the TV becoming the multimedia focal point in the living room.
Hence the development of the Connect series that they describe as "an intelligent, networked media centre".
As you would expect from the company that brought us the Individual, Connect features a modern design, aimed at younger buyers and a little scroll-wheel type control around the power button.
With the integrated Network Media Player, the new "Connect Media" devices can have direct access to photos, images and videos on a PC or network storage device – all in high-definition picture and sound quality through the integrated HDTV receiver.
Photos from a digital camera or mobile phone, videos from a camcorder, music from an MP3 player, gaming from a games console or an external HD DVD or Blu-ray player: the "Connect" line of LCD TV sets like all your digital toys.
The Loewe Connect has a USB interface for connecting USB memory sticks, multi-card-readers, external hard drives or digital cameras.
An integrated PhotoViewer enables users to present digital JPEG photos as a slide show in full 1920 x 1080 HDTV splendour while music can be played from USB devices - simultaneously should you be so inclined.
Alongside the connections the Loewe Connect also features a VGA port for PCs - PCs with a DVI port can be connected to one of the device’s two HDMI ports.
A module slot with a standard interface (CI) enables easy reception of encrypted Pay-TV channels, without the need for an additional set-top box. And, last but not least, a satellite receiver can be optionally installed or retrofitted.
The new "Connect Media" has an Ethernet interface for wired networking and also features a WLAN module allowing it to be connected to a Media Server PC or a network storage unit without the need for any cables.
The "Connect Media DR+" features an integrated hard disk recorder capable of recording HDTV programmes.
Loewe Connect was shown at IFA 2007 in three housing colours (white, grey, black) and initially three sizes: 37-inch, 42-inch and a compact 32-inch model for smaller living rooms and apartments.
Pricing and availability to be confirmed.