Top critical review
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Superb TV for the Price. Excellent picture BUT sound could be betterl.
on November 9, 2011
Okay, here are my initial impressions about the TV:
1. I'm pretty pleased with the picture. It looks very crisp and bright. It may not be 1080p, but all the experts say the human eye can not discern the difference between 720p and 1080p in a 32" TV (assuming your nose isn't pressed up against the screen). There is a large window behind me and the glare was pretty bad but closing the drapes solved that problem.
2. The buttons to control the TV are conveniently placed on the side and aren't particularly noticeable. It creates a nice "clean" look from the front. The buttons do feel a bit cheap to the touch though.
3. Very nice viewing angles.
4. The sound is clear and powerful. But I think mine may be defective since I hear a frequent popping noise which others haven't mentioned. It seems to go away after the TV "warms" up but it is annoying. I'll likely exchange it if the problem continues over the next couple days.
5. A decent number of ports for this price range including all the standard stuff as well as two HDMI inputs and a USB input (not for movies, only music and pics)
5. THE PRICE, THE PRICE, THE PRICE. At under $200 you can't go wrong.
1. It is noticeably thicker than other LCD TVs I've seen. I was pretty dissapointed about that. It's not as "sleek' as I would have liked but of course you can only see this from the side. From the front it looks good. Overall, not horrible but its probably twice as thick as my living room TV, maybe more.
2. It has a high gloss finish along the edges of the TV and the entire remote is a matching high gloss. It looks nice new but quickly becomes a fingerprint magnet.
3. All of the ports except for the RCA jacks and the USB port are on the bottom - VERY inconveniently placed. If you need to change out cables frequently, this is not the TV for you. Hopefully you'll only have to do it once during the initial set up.
4. I was really excited about there being a USB port but you can't play movies from this. Only jpeg pictures and music. Strangely it couldn't find any on my external hard dive but it is a 1TB drive and maybe it had to scan the whole thing and I didn't want to waste too much time on that since I don't plan on using that feature. Also the port is on the side and a little too high up. My portable hard drive has a very short cord and could just barely reach it.
7. The remote feels light and cheap but is fine and is better than many other remotes I've seen. Not too small to get lost but not too big to be inconvenient.
9. As I mentioned, the sound is nice and powerful but mine appears to be defective. Not sure how great the quality control is that this was missed. Luckily Amazon makes it painless to do an exchange/return on these types of things.
1. For some reason I expected the screen of a 32" to be larger. Maybe I'm spoiled by my living room TV (50"). I measured the screen with a tape measure, careful not to scratch the screen. It came to roughly 31.29 inches. Not really a con but did seem smaller than I expected.
2. Energy guide states it will cost an avg. of $22 a year to run the TV. Not sure if that's good or bad but since its less than $2 a month, I can certainly live with it.
3. No fancy internet apps or anything, but who cares when so many peripherals offer that now? My Wii, DVD player and WD Media Player all offer Netflix streaming for instance. So why pay extra to get in on my TV also?
Overall, I'd probably give this thing 2 or 3 stars if I paid $700 for it. Being that I paid under 200, I'd give it 4 or even 4.5 stars assuming the sound hiccup problem gets fixed. I would have given it 5 stars had the sound worked out of the box.
UPDATE 1: I attached a WD Media Player through a component cable and it kept saying "no signal." After disconnecting and reconnecting the cables to no avail, I unplugged the power to the TV and plugged it back in. Then it worked. Strange. But the quality was subpar - I could see lines running through it and at first there was a noticeable green hue. I switched back to HDMI and again the picture was very crisp. Luckily there are two hdmi inputs so I'll just forgo the component hookup.
UPDATE 2: Just wanted to update everyone that I got my replacement TV. I had said that the tv was great but that there was a problem with the sound (plenty loud unlike what others stated, but there was a background pinging sound). Otherwise the TV was great with no other problems over the week or so that I had it. However, the sound problem did not go away.
I'm happy to say that the new TV does not have this problem. It may not quite be as loud as the original one, but can still get to be plenty loud when I crank up the volume. However, I have no distortion at all. I've therefore upped my rating to 5 out 5 stars taking into consideration the price I paid. I'm very happy with it and its grown on me a lot. My only caveat is that Haier seems to have mediocre quality control so there will be some bad apples in each batch.
Conclusion: With Amazon's 30-day free return policy, easy exchanges and price guarantee, you can't go wrong with this purchase.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 3! After watching TV for about 15 minutes, the sound distortion started yet again and is incredibly distracting. I can't believe two TVs would have the identical sound problem. I contacted the manufacturer about this problem and lowered my review to two stars until I get to the bottom of this. I'm very dissapointed right now.
UPDATE 5. I've had the TV for several months now and after about 1 or 2 months, the sound problem went away and hasn't come back since. Very strange. The manufacturer never did respond to my inquiries though.
UPDATE 6- 1 YEAR LATER: Okay, I'm still very happy with this TV. In fact many of the minor things that bothered me at first, no longer do. Picture is still great, sounds is still strong. Occasionally, the sound distortion I originally described comes back. Not too often. Pretty rarely. But when it happens, if I turn the TV off and then immediately back on, the sound goes away and doesn't come back for a long time. I upped my review from 2 to 3 stars because the sound should work all the time. But it is a small price to pay for the deal I got. Keep in mind, it was unheard of to get a 32" TV at this price last year.Again, if not for the sound I'd give it 5 out of 5 stars. If you have a separate sound system, this is a winner for you.