If you simply have to have a media centre/TV, there's not too much competition out there...
Downloading HD TV programmes and films is becoming the norm. The only problem is where to watch them in their full glory? Enter the PCTV. That’s right, an LCD telly with an in-built PC.
Sounds like a good idea, right? Until you get to the downsides of this kind of collaboration.
Quiet in the cheap seats
We’ve all been there: you’re about to save an important document and the PC crashes. D’oh! The Packard Bell Smart TV is no different. PCs also have fans to keep them cool.
Just imagine: you’re about to get to the crux of the film, all is tense, no-one in the room is moving, the line that sums up the point of the film is about to be delivered, emotionally, and ‘wwhhiirrr’ – the fan starts to hum like an aged drunk.
But most importantly, this kind of TV is put together by PC specialists, and once you turn the display on it becomes apparent. Colours, even with the assistance of the magical THX set-up disc, are excitable, but the overall picture is watchable.
A silver lining
On a positive note, the TV does benefit from a 2.8GHz processor and 400GB hard drive to store your favourite HD files. It’s also truly HD-ready and it even has a built-in DVD recorder.
However, if you want the last word in PC, or TV, separate units will offer higher quality at a lower price.
Packard Bell Smart TV S320 review
It's possibly the best PCTV we've tested, but that's not saying much, really