Let's get this out of the way now: the name of this television is stupid. It's a pain to write, a pain to read and a total pain to search for online. While we applaud all efforts to reduce the number of pointless model numbers in the world, we would prefer something a little easier to cope with.
Once you've got over the name, the first thing that hits you about this set is the styling. You'll either love it or hate it, and sadly, at this stage, we haven't managed to find anyone who loves it. The distinctive white design of the HANNSvibe is original though, and generally we like things that don't follow the crowd. The case is rounded, which is an interesting look -- it reminded us of a gigantic, monochrome Speak & Spell.
The front of the television is dominated by the enormous, removable speakers. The idea of having speakers you can move is quite a clever one, helping to improve the stereo separation on the set. The speaker size also seems to be a good thing -- the sound quality is good and watching a DVD surprised us with the depth and quality, although the TV doesn't produce the deepest bass we've heard.
The picture quality on the HANNSvibe is also pretty good. We shoved some Blu-ray material through the HDMI input and it looked great. We also used Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition and our upscaling Denon DVD-1930 player to test normal DVD playback. The HANNSvibe did a good job with these sources, and although there were times when we noticed some motion blur, this was never especially bad.
The model Crave got to play with didn't include a Freeview receiver, although intriguingly there is a disabled menu option for it. This means that the TV is restricted to analogue, which of course looks totally hideous on LCD TVs -- there really isn't any excuse for an HD Ready TV not to include a Freeview receiver these days.
Overall, this 32-inch screen isn't over-priced -- you can get it for around £660 online -- but with this model it's not about the performance, it's about the styling. We'll let you decide if you want a gigantic Speak & Spell in your living room... -IM