HANNspree HT11 television

HANNspree are looking to gain influence away from your primary television set. Whilst you might have large screen in the lounge, your second (or third) TV may be aging a bit and HANNspree think they have the answer with the HT11. But does HANNspree rule in the bedroom? We find out.

The first most striking feature of the 19-inch LCD panel is its aspect ratio, using a 5:4 format, which is something of a surprise considering the gradual move to widescreen across both monitors and television panels. This is, however, common amongst cheaper LCD panels. The downside here is that many inputs you put into the set won’t naturally fit; you are left to make the decision to stretch, or accept things will be letterboxed, which is perhaps the preferred option.

However, this panel does have a native resolution of 1280 x 1024, so it fits well into not only the HD ready category, but also into the PC monitor end, which is where we think this TV really lies.

The design is fairly simple: a gloss 1in bezel, whilst the bottom of the screen sees the inclusion of a 3W stereo speaker. The speaker’s performance leaves a lot to be desired and performs less well than rival small panel televisions from other manufacturers. The overall sound is muffled, like it is playing through a tin can. If using this as a PC monitor, you’d probably have additional speakers anyway, but in the bedroom, if you want to be watching movies, then you might be disappointed.

You won’t be disappointed with connectivity however, as the HT11 offers you the normal SCART, VGA, HDMI and AV/Component, a PC line-in and headphone socket, in additional the aerial socket. All the connections are arranged along the back of the unit and we have a minor gripe here. The HDMI, especially, is placed too close to the surrounding plastic, meaning that it is a stuggle to get a cable in. If you have any degree of moulding around the end of your HDMI cable, you might find it won’t go in.

The HT11 comes on a stand offering a small degree of tilt so you can change the angle of the screen slightly. This stand can be removed and there are the normal VESA wall mount attachment points on the rear.

Lurking inside the TV your find dual tuners for analogue and digital reception, so you’ll be able to get Freeview. We connected the HT11 to our normal domestic aerial and found that it struggled to receive a signal – despite our regular TV not having a problem (or a secondary set in another room), which suggests that the digital tuner will only work in areas with very good reception. The analogue tuner had no problems, however.

The display quality is pretty good for a screen this size. We found the colours to be a little too vivid out of the box but these can be easily changed through the menus. You’ll also find various options for dynamic contrast, the specs suggesting a 1000:1 contrast ratio, which isn’t the best and you’ll notice that the blacks are not very black, but on a screen this size, it probably doesn’t really matter.

The screen also gives you a 5ms response time and we found that it was generally clear from judder and ghosting, from a number of sources – console gaming in HD, Blu-ray playback an in use as a PC monitor.

The HT11, therefore, offers a range of possibilities, something of an all in one solution, perhaps for those with limited space, or for students who want everything from one display. With plenty of connectivity, you’ll be able to connect your laptop to give you more screen space, watch TV, as well as enjoy gaming in the highest resolution from your PS3 or Xbox 360.

As a TV, we are concerned about reception – so if you are planning on using an indoor aerial, then prepared to be left with a blank screen. We would also be concerned about the sound quality – watching the news is ok, but if you want good sound from a music channel, or whilst watching a movie, you’ll be disappointed. The 5:4 aspect ratio is also a little out of fashion now too.

As a monitor, the aspect ratio does work to your advantage – you can almost get an entire A4 page on-screen – giving you plenty of space to work in. We also like the fact you can use the TV remote to change settings whilst in-use as a monitor, so avoiding fiddly menus.

Verdict

Overall, at this price, you do get a lot for your money. Yes, it is not the most advanced set in the world, it won’t perform alongside many of the more expensive competitors, but it does offer you a great range of options. At £189 (RRP) this is competitive, but you will find other screens, including some in 16:9 aspect ratio in this price bracket, which offer similar specs, but with a slightly lower resolution.

However, the problem connecting HDMI leads, the poor digital tuner and speaker ultimately lose it marks.


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