Technika 42-2030 review

It might be from Tesco's own electronics brand, but despite some flaws this LCD represents solid value for the money Tested at £550.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It’s not going to win any cutting-edge technology or design awards, but this Tesco telly is still decent value for money


  • +

    Very affordable for 42in

  • +

    decent detail

  • +

    natural colour balance

  • +

    easy to calibrate


  • -

    Ridiculous remote layout

  • -

    poor menus

  • -

    weak motion

  • -

    slightly pale blacks

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Technika is Tesco's own brand of consumer electronics gear. It would be all to easy to dismiss this set as a cheapie that's here only to prove it's still possible to buy a rubbish TV – but we're happy to report that the 42-2030 has two big surprises up its sleeve.

First, it isn't the cheapest we've seen recently. The second, and probably bigger, surprise is that it's not the worst, either. In fact, it's pretty decent.

Surprisingly good performance
True, it's the most basic-looking television imaginable, but it's more nondescript than genuinely ugly, and even the logo's been kept so small as to be almost unnoticeable.

Also, although it's not exactly slim, the Technika isn't massive either, and it has a handful of connections facing sideways for easy access even when wall mounted.

However, while the design is far from an affront to the senses, the menu system doesn't get off so lightly thanks to its mess of primary colours and MS-DOS-quality fonts.

Still, thanks to a spec that's short on processing modes and options, you'll need to spend only minimal time looking at them.

Besides, far more importantly, when you plug a Blu-ray player into one of the three HDMI inputs and play The Lovely Bones, the Technika produces a very respectable picture.

Struggles with black levels
It does struggle for black depth, which can leave the night scenes looking a touch grey next to the best on test, but colours are impressively balanced and natural, offering-up realistic skin tones and avoiding over-exposure in the LSD-like ‘heaven' scenes.

Detail and definition are also very impressive for the money, although it is true that without any sort of motion processing available the '2030 does struggle a little to maintain those qualities during fast movement.

Having said that, we've seen recent tellies with far worse judder and smear.

The very darkest scenes of The Departed on DVD reveal a smidge of leakage from the four corners of the backlight, but this is minor and doesn't overly detract from a performance with decent detail, stability and balance.

Freeview HD tuner included
Impressively, the Tesco special does have a Freeview HD tuner, but it is more susceptible to poor signals than other comparable TVs.

If you're in a strong signal area this isn't going to be a problem, but if you have any problems receiving standard-definition channels you might find that the HD ones don't work at all.

Assuming you can receive HD, you'll be rewarded with a sharp and vibrant picture, and while there's a touch of in-your-face-ness to the way it handles garish colours on standard-definition channels, the overall delivery is still fairly clean and detailed.

Whatever the source, the speakers deliver a sound that lacks some directness to its midrange, so while vocals aren't as clear as perhaps they could be, they still have reasonable punch: not brilliant, but not bad, either.

And honestly, is there a better way to sum up the Technika? Nope. Three stars it is.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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