36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2009
Whatever you buy, you always want to get the most out of your money. So when I saw an LCD HDTV for only $330 in RadioShack. I had some doubts about whether it was a quality product. Especially since there is always concern about buying a brand name that the average consumer knows little about. Then I did some research on the. They are best known as Envision and are the world's largest display manufacturer of high quality monitors and are a leading brand in Europe. After seeing this close up in a brightly lit store. I knew if it looked good there it would play well in my living room. However it was playing with a blu-ray demo dvd. So I needed to see how it played in my home using cable TV. Knowing that Radio Shack has a 30 days No Hassle Refund Policy helped to reassure me with my purchase.
A nice feature is that the base also allows the unit to swivel for a good viewing angle at any position in the room. Although to be best appreciated I would recommend sitting about seven feet away from the TV. After that your viewing angle should be fine from anywhere in the room.
The AOC L32W961 is a 720p HTDV, but handles 1080p Inputs and will upconvert your standard definition DVDs using a uponverting DVD player. The 32" widescreen display that delivers an accurate 16:9 aspect ratio and up to 1366x768 resolution. This new model now has three HDMI connections which should be enough for most users. If not,you could always purchase an inexpensive HDMI adaptor to add more inputs.
I attached the TV to a HD cable box and an upconverting DVD player using two HDMI cables from [...]. The remotes source button allows instant access of each connected component. Channel switching from SD to HD channels can be somewhat slow. However that is common with most HDTVs and HD cable boxes. The menu is easy enough to use to tune the picture and sound to your preferences. Using the remote , you are able to individually adjust each sound and pictures menu control with out having the entire menu on screen. Out of the box I raised the sharpness and lowered the backlight level. I adjusted the color temperature to cool and set the video noise reduction to off. The only time I have to make any adjustments is when I switch the backlight control up or down a few notches depending on the amount of light in the room at the time. The AOC has an auto contrast detection which automatically and accurately adjusts the picture. With the auto contrast detection set to on, the AOC's brightness and contrast controls seems to have little effect on the picture. The sharpness control does a fine job without adding any video noise. The picture is very detailed with the sharpness turned up just half way.
Overall ,the AOC32961 shows extremely accurate color, with excellent brightness and contrast. The 6ms response time means the screen has no trouble with fast-moving, full-motion images. This is very important feature for watching sports or action movies. HD TV cable programming looks phenomenal. I get vivid color, and a bright and well detailed picture on this set. DVD's upconverted to 108oi/p look very well defined. The sound is a bit low with DVD's but it can still be set to adequate level for a standard size room. There's also a headphones input for private listening. The AOC also has a VGA input for use as a PC monitor. I have not used it that way. However I have seen videos of it on [...] showing it working very well as a PC montor.
Switching between your various devices (DVD player, Cable Box, PC, TV) is extremely easy thanks to a source buton on the remote. Which brings up a list of the AOC's inputs. The current active input is higlighted in yellow. There are also buttons on the remote for each individual source input.
The AOC L32W961 delivered very detailed black levels when I watched The Dark Knight DVD on a 1080p upconverting Panasonic DVD-S54 DVD player. While watching the night scenes shadow detail was very good. I could easily make out details in the Batmans black suit as he stood in the darkness. The AOC's accurate color helped make the different fles. Felsh tones very accurate. The few sunlit outdoor scenes from The Dark Knight look very bright and sharp. The Audio is better than I expected and sounds best using the "movie" preset setting.
AOC seems very conservative when it comes to their specifications. However, I wouldn't be overly concerned with specifications. You will really need to see this TV and try to compare it to the major brand models costing about $150 more. If you do a blind test comparison, where you're not told which one is the more expensive. It would be difficult to tell the difference between the others. You might even pick out the AOC as the one you like the best. This AOC HDTV is rated among is rated among the top 10 LCD HDTVs by Consumer Reports. In addition to everything else this AOC HDTV earns a Energy Star logo. Tech Support by email is very good. I had a question about closed captions using HDMI cables and it was answered the next day. They also have a group on facebook if you need to contact them.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2009
I read nycsoftwaremans review and agree completely.I was fortunate enough to hook up the tv next to the 32" Samsung 1080p model. The Samsung costs over $150 more than the AOC! The difference in picture quality was almost non-existent.I consider Samsung one of the best quality hdtv's on the market. I think this tv is well worth the money and is on sale at Radio Shack right now.It has vivid colors, great detail and if you're 7 or 8 feet away from the screen,there's no need to adjust the angle. I was very surprised by the differences in picture quality when you adjust it for a movie or gaming or whatever.The adjustments for contrast,brightness, etc; work well. I found the "MID" (not low and not high) adjustment to work the best.One of the main reasons I purchased it, besides the great price, was that it has 3 HDMI connections. That's rare for a lot of the smaller tv's. I talked to a guy at Radio Shack and he bought one himself. He said they have had this model turned on almost 12 hours, every day of the week, for the last 5 months. He said they haven't had one problem with the tv. To me,thats says alot! I've only had the TV 5 days but couldn't be happier. You get a great bang for your buck. The only downside I can see,is the sound quality. It's actually about the same as the Samsung but I think we all know most HD's don't have the best sound. However, the TV is in a rather large room and I haven't had to turn it up to full volume yet. If you don't have the cash for a sound system, I would still reccomend it. It's good enough until you get the cash for one. The Sony 32' sound qulaity is not up to par with this set,so judge for yourself. All in all, it's a great buy and I highly reccomend it.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2010
I purchased this monitor as it was on sale, I had done the research, and all of the reviews I could find said that the picture quality was great. I went to a brick and mortar store that was selling this TV in my area. They had both TVs I was considering (this and the Samsung LN32B360) sitting side-by-side on the showroom floor. In the store, it looked really great, even sitting next to the Samsung LN32B360. Both monitors were on sale, and the AOC was significanlty less making it seem like a great deal.
When I got the TV home and set it up, the color seemed off. The blacks seemed "splotchy" and the color transitions were heavily dithered. For example, an image of a sunset had "rings" of color emanating out from the sun. Watching a movie that was generally dark (e.g. Sweeney Todd) produced muddled brights that dithered to gray in the dark areas.
Bad color isn't to be unexpected by any TV out of the box. So, I pulled out my "DVD Essentials" disc and began calibrating the TV. After many attempts at getting the color correct, and trying different sources and cables (several HDMI and component cables), I was unable to get the TV to produce proper color and contrast.
I returned it the next day. And purchased the Samsung LN32B360 instead. All of those problems were immediately gone even with the cheapest of my HDMI cables.
I don't know if it was that particular TV or if it really is the series. After speaking to the store clerk when I returned it, they are sending the TV back to the manufacturer as defective. It's really too bad. This TV had the exact number of HDMI ports I needed. The Samsung only has two.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2011
I want to start with the very best of this TV, and that would be it's inputs. Along with the regular antenna input for picking up DTV over the air, it also has 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component inputs, and 2 composite inputs. Just to help you out with those, the HDMI is digital inputs from devices like cable boxes, satellite receivers, blue-ray players and newer DVD players. Component video is the 3-wire video, whose connectors are usually colored green, blue and red, and you will often find those on middle-aged, and newer, DVD players. Composite video is the single wire video, whose connector is colored yellow, and you will find those on just about any DVD player, VCR player (yeah, tape) or any other video device made since the 70's. Also, on this TV, it is simply called AV IN, rather that composite.
Picture quality really depends upon the source of your picture. The over the air DTV and HDTV broadcasts look great. Even though this TV doesn't support 1080i, it still does a beautiful job. Normally, you will see HDTV on the -1 channels of your TV stations. SDTV (standard definition) is normally the -2, or even -3 and -4, of your TV stations; while these look good, their quality varies by the tv station itself, not anything with this TV. I don't have any HDMI sources, but looking at one of these with an HDMI signal at the store, I would say it's does as good a job showing HDMI video as it does HDTV. The really hard part is when it comes to Component and Composite (AV IN) signals. Component signals look good, and can even be expanded to show wide screen movies without the picture looking blocky or fuzzy. Composite video is another story. This isn't anything wrong with the TV, just a limitation of the quality of the picture a Composite cable can carry. Remember, this is a standard dating back to the 70's.
When I first got my TV home, I setup my DVD player with both Component and Composite cable setups, just to see how big the difference is, and yes, I don't have an HDMI output from my DVD player, woe is me. Full screen, or full-frame, movies set to show in the 4:3 box in the middle of the screen looked almost the same on both inputs. However, when showing wide screen movies zoomed in to fill the entire screen, there was no comparison. The Component input looked as crisp and clean as it did when not zoomed in, while the Composite input looks fuzzy and blocky. Once again, this is a limitation of the quality of the picture coming over a single cable. While some TV's can compensate a bit to keep the image from looking too bad, those TV's usually start around $1,000, well over 3 times the price of this one.
My setup has my DVD player as one Component input, and my PS2, set to 16:9 mode, as the other. Both look crisp and clean. I also have a VCR, yes tape, and my Wii, also set to 16:9 mode, as the two Composite inputs. I am able to have the DVD player set to Zoom mode to allow wide screen movies to fill the entire screen and they look great. The PS2, VCR and Wii are all set to Normal mode, which doesn't zoom them in any. The PS2 and Wii both look good, and the VCR looks as good as VHS tape can look.
One final note about picture quality is that the viewing angle on this TV is very impressive. I have found that if you are anywhere but directly beside or behind it, you can see the picture on the screen as clearly as if you were directly in front of it. It may be hard to make out what is going on if you are almost completely to the side of the TV, but it still looks crisp and clear. This impressive viewing angle also works for up and down angles. Which means you can mount this TV up on a wall mount, or down on a TV stand, and still have a clear picture for everyone without any strained necks.
An unexpected, but very nice thing about this TV is that it remembers the viewing mode each input is using. There are 4 modes for all inputs, and one mode that is just for DTV. The modes are Normal, Zoom, Wide and Cinema. The special DTV mode is Auto. Normal mode is where the TV just shows the picture that it gets as-is. For DTV and HDMI inputs, this would be controlled by what device is sending the picture. If the device is sending wide screen picture, then the pictures fills the screen. If it is sending full screen (4:3) picture, then that fits top to bottom, but the sides have those black chunks between the picture and the edge of the screen. Zoom mode takes the image and zooms it in, originally intended to take wide screen pictures from something like a DVD player, and expand them to fill the screen, without distorting the image at all. Wide mode takes the picture and simply stretches it side to side to fill the screen. Cinema mode takes an extremely wide screen picture and zooms it in to fill the screen from top to bottom, but ends up cutting off the far left and right of the picture. The special TV mode is Auto, and it let's the signal being received from the tv station to control how the TV displays the picture. As I mentioned, the TV remembers what each input has set, so I can set my DVD input to Zoom, so it will show wide screen DVD's correctly, but the PS2 is set to Normal, because it is setup for wide screen mode already.
Another nice feature is that when you swap between input types, like HDMI and Component, the TV will remember which of those you had chosen last. So, if you are watching something on Component 2, and swap over to HDMI for something else, when you switch back, the TV starts at Component 2. This makes swapping sources very helpful. That also brings up another point, how you switch between inputs. You can either choose the Source button on the remote, and then use the directional buttons to choose which input, or you can use the 4 buttons which correspond to each input type: TV, Comp (Component), Video (Composite) and HDMI/PC.
Now to the only problem people have mentioned about this TV is it's sound quality. Realistically, it has decent speakers and the sound quality is good if you aren't sitting further than about 10 to 12 feet away from it. If you have a very large living room, with everyone sitting 15 to 20 feet away, the speakers on this TV aren't going to be able to project enough sound for it to be really sharp, clear and loud enough for everyone. However, this is a problem for any TV that doesn't have external speakers. What this TV does have for those situations is both analog and digital audio outputs, so you can hookup the TV directly to a surround sound system.
So, to sum up, this TV has lots of inputs, great picture quality and good sound quality. The only drawback is that the built-in speakers aren't adequate for surround-sound for a large room. But with both analog and digital audio outputs to go to a good surround-sound system, this system is a great deal for anyone.