Bush TV

Does the Bush Sunrise herald a new dawn or a false one? We peered beneath its virginal white sheen in search of answers to the big questions in life…

There are times in a competitive marketplace when products in a certain price range offering a similar array of features have little to choose between them. That’s why God didn’t rest on the seventh day – he created Bush products. There’s nothing very average about this very reasonable-sounding £170 of TV. Its seasonal white finish immediately singles it out. Unfortunately, it also highlights your second impression, which conjures up the dreaded ‘C’ word – cheap.

If the Sunrise has a target market, it’s at the lower end of a social scale drawn from Harry Enfield characters. Okay, it’s not that bad looking – just remember to put it back in the cellar when you've finished your viewing. At the foot of this rather striking exterior is a fold-down flap that, despite running full across the TV’s front, houses Lilliputian basic controls, all of which have the likely lifespan of Salman Rushdie at a Nation of Islam office party. To the back, there’s a socket for RF in and out and one for the aerial – but nowt else.

Channel search allows your three options: auto, semi-automatic and manual pre-setting. This is around two options too many. The only difference between semi and manual is that the latter requires you to hold down the search button while the stations are being located, while semi saves you the effort. Auto pre-setting takes a few minutes, but the picture is so unclear that we tried it again and checked the aerial. This didn’t improve matters, nor did trying to tune stations in manually.

Another interesting little quirk is the pregnant pause when hopping channels, accompanied by a green screen streaked with a series of horizontal lines. Fine tuning, which is accessed from the function button on the TV or handset, does improve matters, but not as much as you’d hope. The function button also brings up the settings for colour, brightness and contrast, which can only be stored in the memory and later recalled using the Normalisation function.

Other features include Off timer, which works in 30-minute intervals up to two hours, and On-timer, which switches on at any time before returning to standby after two hours if no keys are touched. Current time is also displayed, and as with the above settings, it is recalled using the Time button. For the terminally lazy, a setting function allows you to set which channel you wish to come on first and at what pre-set volume. Teletext functions are extensive. Options include page hold, double letter height, sub-page access, newsflash, updated pages and Fastext access using the colour-coded buttons.

It is impossible to test the CTV1480TS objectively using a signal generator as there are no suitable video inputs. Our subjective viewing suggests that this is easily one of the worst pictures we’ve seen for a while. Perhaps the best thing that can be said is that it lives up to its seasonal white colour by producing a picture in which it appears as if all channels are being broadcast live from a snowstorm somewhere in the Arctic circle. Grain, dot crawl, lack of fine detail – you name it, the CTV1480TS has got the lot. Sound performance, on the other hand, is quite acceptable, except at top volume, and you don’t really need to go that loud.

If you need a 14in TV, enjoy skiing programmes (even when they are not being broadcast), and have exactly £170 to spend, this set is the one for you. In any other circumstances, though, you'd be better advised to look elsewhere.

What Video & TV 1995