Disappointing contrast and detail subtlety make this a difficult TV to recommendWrite your own review
- Unusual appearance might appeal to some
- Severe lack of detail, especially in brighter parts of the picture
- Uneven backlighting
No, it isn’t fluffy. We’ve never printed that sentence before; never let it be said that we’re not open-minded.
The Bush LE-22GQ11+DVD-SL (or search Argos for “Bush Snow Leopard TV” if you want an easier life) wasn’t what we expected when we went hunting for small TVs on a budget.
Now that we have one, we imagine it might not look too out of place in a child’s bedroom. But is it any good?
Not really. As much as we’d love to have such a bizarre product beat the competition, we find ourselves disappointed.
This Bush TV stumbles even before it’s out of the gate. As we went about optimising the picture, we noticed the Dynamic Contrast mode had managed to erase the grey-on-black THX logo of our calibration screen.
Turning this off made the logo reappear, but we were surprised to find this lack of quality from a setting that’s supposed to enhance the picture.
Even with all ‘enhancements’ turned off, we found this TV incompetent at handling light and dark elements at the same time. This is the Bush’s biggest problem, and it’s persistent.
Watching Countdown on Freeview, we found the whites to be particularly unsubtle, with swathes of brightness washing out a lot of detail: it was difficult to make out the black-on-white grid of Rachel Riley’s maths board. But noise levels, at least, are kept in check. Note that this TV doesn’t have a Freeview HD tuner.
We put on a Blu-ray of Star Trek: Into Darkness and the lack of subtlety didn’t get much better. As we’d expect, there’s jump in resolution, but the same problem persists.
The bright interiors of the USS Enterprise look washed out, and that’s not just because of JJ Abrams’s penchant for lens flare. Despite spending a considerable amount of time fiddling with the contrast, we just couldn’t get any more detail to show up.
Time for a DVD, and take a trip to Antarctica with March of the Penguins. The performance here is a little better, thanks to a softer picture masking some of the Bush’s inadequacies. Nonetheless, we had a hard time making out the texture of the icy terrain: the glaring bloom effect is unavoidable.
There’s a built-in DVD player, but we wouldn’t recommend it if you have an external one. It’s a softer, murkier picture, which brought to mind the days of VHS. To top things off, we spotted some very faint lines in the picture that looked, to us, like uneven backlighting.
The sound is a touch bigger than we’d expect from a tiny flat-screen. Aside from that, it’s average: thin, bordering on harsh.
One thing we do like is the remote control. It’s chunky and fairly well laid-out. Sadly, it doesn’t come in matching leopard print.
Some readers might love the looks, but this TV delivers a performance that we would hesitate to recommend. There are far better TVs to be had, and for less money too.
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