Alba LCD32880HDF review

This Alba may be an affordable set, but it's not really a bargain once you've weighed up the pros and cons Tested at £290.00

Our Verdict

Despite the price, the Alba isn’t really a bargain

For

  • Inoffensive looks and decent build
  • strong, clean contrasts
  • quite poised sound
  • affordable

Against

  • Ill-sorted TV tuners
  • picture noise, uncertain edges and queasy motion tracking from all sources
  • vile remote

Some economies are falser than others, as anyone who's ever bought cheap bin bags will acknowledge.

We all love a bargain, though, and it's not difficult to imagine why the idea of this Alba LCD32880HDF might appeal.

When rival sets cost on average a hefty 30 per cent more, the cost-conscious consumer would be foolish not to investigate.

Ordinary looks, not Full HD
First impressions don't discourage further exploration. It's solidly if unremarkably finished in mandatory glossy black, and comes with neatly integrated speakers and a sturdy pedestal stand.

The Alba's status as a screen with a 1366 x 768 resolution is more suggestive of its price, as are the tiny, rudimentary on-screen menus and brace of HDMI inputs. The remote control can only be described as downright miserable.

Watch our vidcast about this TV

Nevertheless, the Alba's quick enough to scan and store TV stations and, as there's none of the in-depth picture finessing more expensive rivals go in for, set-up is a brief job, too.

Pictures from both the analogue and digital TV tuners are pretty marginal. Clean and punchy contrasts are all well and good, but the '880's overblown colour palette, consistent picture noise and vexation at any kind of motion makes for a taxing watch.

Deep black tones, neutral sound
The Alba is more convincing when upscaling DVD pictures to fit its panel, where the vibrant contrasts and colours are complemented by decent detail levels and deep black tones.

There's still some picture noise, mind, along with some shimmering to edges and a reluctance to track movement with any stability.

Downscaled 1080p/24fps pictures are broadly similar. Let the Right One In carries good detail in the relentlessly dark scenes, and contrasts remain enjoyable, but there's a lack of three-dimensionality to pictures and more digital noise than is proper.

Motion is dealt with anxiously, while edges are drawn with a trembling hand.

Throughout, sound is neutral – some pricier TVs could learn a thing or two.

But, overall, performance is reminiscent of screens we reviewed five years ago. So while the Alba is an unpretentious product, we'd suggest sticking with what you have until you can afford something considerably better.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.argos.co.uk
Brand NameAlba
Product TypeLCD TV
ManufacturerArgos Limited
Manufacturer Part NumberLCD32880HDF
Product NameAlba LCD32880HDF
Product ModelLCD32880HDF

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
CI+Yes
Total Number of HDMI Ports1

Technical Information

FeaturesSleep Timer, Teletext, Auto Program, Child Lock
Aspect Ratio16:9
Electronic Program GuideYes
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Screen Size81.3 cm (32")

Energy and Performance

Maximum Resolution1366 x 768
Standby Power Consumption1 W

Audio

RMS Output Power16 W
Sound SystemNICAM

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG2)
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Video Signal StandardHDTV

Physical Characteristics

VESA Mount Standard200 x 200