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Cello C3298DVBIP May 2010

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n n 0793 261 565 n £499

Cello C3298DVB IP Freeview SD reception, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and media streaming combine in a budget IDTV that fails to nail the basics Currently sold exclusively in Marks & Spencer, Cello’s latest LCD IDTVs come in 1080p-ready 32in or 1080i 26in flavours (for £399) and are branded ‘iViewer’, alluding chiefly to their ability to receive BBC iPlayer via a broadband connection. Hook them up via Ethernet or Wi-Fi (with an optional dongle) and you can also access other services such as YouTube and podcasts via the Onyx system or stream media from networked DNLA-compatible devices. Its thick shiny bezel appears smart from a distance, but up close the TV looks dated, bulky and plasticky. A detachable pedestal stand is included or it can be wall-mounted by adding a bracket. Connections including two HDMIs are positioned along the left-hand side for easy access and deep enough so that you don’t get unsightly trailing cables spoiling the view. The cheap-looking remote could do with some variation in button sizes to make it more intuitive to use, though it can be set up to operate a satellite receiver (it worked fine with our Sky+HD). A seven-day EPG for Freeview channels is akin to that on the average budget Freeview adapter. Data appears in grid format for five channels at a time and you can set reminders, skip to and fro 24 hours and set timers. Pressing the iPlayer button on the remote brings up a menu for multimedia features – grouped under iPlayer, Web TV and Home Media – while widgets display BBC news and weather feeds with thumbnail pics on the right of the screen. The latter can be called up at anytime while watching a video by pressing red. The iPlayer application is the big-screen version like that found on Freesat HD receivers.You can browse lists

for TV or radio shows, sort by genre, or search for shows by entering letters or numbers using an onscreen keypad. There’s an option to view low or high-quality streams but the former look rather poor on this screen. Cello says HD streams are on the cards but this has yet to appear. The Web TV menu is home to YouTube, which is also the simplified big version (again SD only) giving you the option to search for videos while presenting you with other’s favourites, most viewed and recent additions. Other apps are mixed and include VoDcasts from Autocar magazine, Disney (film previews), CNN and Sesame Street. The Home Media menu lumps in media playback from USB connected flash/hard drives with streamed content. Supported formats include JPEGs (with slideshows), MP3 (with playlists), DivX, XviD, MKV, MOV and WMV. Video can be fast-forwarded and rewound at up to 30x. Sadly, pictures from the Freeview tuner or Scartinputted sources are uniformly soft and pale despite our best efforts with the picture settings (contrast is not this TV’s strong point). Both SD and HD pictures from our Sky+HD connected via HDMI also suffered the same (but HD is visibly more detailed). Audio is also flat and a little muffled, whatever the source n Grant Rennell

Verdict While its multimedia features impress, this TV’s picture and sound are decidedly lacklustre. Better results could probably be obtained by hooking an inexpensive broadband/HD-ready computer (which you may already have) to a better quality budgetpriced set from another manufacturer.

Features Model: Cello C3298DVB IP Screen size: 32in Resolution: 1,920 x 1080 Contrast ratio: 3000:1 EPG: 7-day DVB Tuners: 1x DTT, 1x analogue CI slot: Yes Teletext: Yes Software update: OTA SD in: TV Scart (RGB, composite), VCR Scart (composite) Composite, S-video HD in: 2x HDMI, component video Audio out: Phonos, digital optical audio output, headphone jack Data ports: D-Sub PC, 2x USB

Ratings PLUS

n iPlayer and YouTube n Good format support n Widget apps


n Poor picture all round n Muddy audio n Looks dated

Build Setup Searching Navigation Performance Features Value

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May 2010  What Satellite & Digital TV  2

Cello C3298DVB-IP  

Freeview SD reception, BBC iPlayer, YouTube and media streaming combine in a budget IDTV that fails to nail the basics

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