Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So close, yet so, so far, December 8, 2011
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Like many others, I purchased this television as part of a Cyber Monday week lightning deal. I had actually had the TCL 32" LCD 720p LCD HDTV the same morning in my cart, but I hesitated too long and lost that deal. I now really wish I hadn't.

This TV had warning signs when I pulled it out of the box. For one, there is one label for the buttons on the TV itself, and this was peeling off. The holes were punched a little bit offset, and as a result, the sticker had to be folded to fit in place. The sticker with the serial and model number of the set was sloppily placed on the right side near the buttons, and it could be seen from the front of the screen. I figured that these were minor issues, and hoped that they were the only ones.

The build quality of the TV looks a bit cheap (surprise, surprise). The clear plastic lip on the bottom looks poorly molded and flimsy. The bezel has a few indentions and one little bump in the center of the top side. The remote's quality is so-so.

I hooked it up, and the screen itself looked surprisingly good compared to my other 32" LCD. I say surprisingly as this is an LED LCD, not a straight-up LED TV. Instead of CCFL backlights, it has LED lights, but other than the backlighting, it's a plain Jane LCD panel. I don't believe it's edge-lit, either. The images seemed to have fairly high contrast, but I think the response time is a little bit low. I played Dragon Age: Origins from my Xbox 360 on it and turning the camera showed a wee bit of blur. Not what you want to see in a new TV, especially when this one would see a lot of gaming. Aside from the WEEEEEE bit of blur, though, pictures came clear.

But the sound, OH THE SOUND. Words cannot BEGIN to describe how cruddy the sound is. No bass whatsoever, tinny, high-pitched, just... no.... What's worse is that unless you are plugging in passive speakers (i.e., headphones), the speakers will STAY ON. The only way around with powered speakers is to crank the external speakers' volume all the way up to the max and adjust the TV's volume accordingly. The sound from the TV's speakers should be so weak, that you MIGHT not hear it. MIGHT. I have considered voiding my whopping 2-year warranty by opening up the panel and removing the speakers or perhaps replacing them with something less horrible. Like a can of beans or something. That'd probably sound better.

For gaming, route your sound to a surround sound receiver. Trust me. You don't want any noise coming out of that TV.

The remote is okay, I suppose, but changing inputs is a big pain in the fanny. You have to 1) hit the input button, 2) select your input with channel up/down, and 3) hit select. On the remote, it's okay. But on the panel itself? There is no select button. You have to hit input, channel up/down, and then wait about ten seconds for it to select the input for itself.

There are very few features, which is to be expected, but I have three Vizios that were made for the budget conscientious consumers, and THEY at least let you pick your inputs by category. You are able to name your channels though, which is nice, I guess.

Overall, I am definitely experiencing buyer's remorse with this. It's not a good set. It's OKAY, but below average. If I had payed more than $230, then I would be outright livid. An okay price would be around $150, new. The screen itself isn't that bad, but the buck stops there. I was kicking myself for not getting the 40" TCL on Thanksgiving Day before I got this. Now I'm Chuck-Norris-roundhouse-kicking myself.

Pros:
+ The screen looks pretty good (for LED LCD, not RGB or WLED) in still shots
+ 3 HDMI inputs
+ It didn't explode when I plugged it in

Cons:
- The screen seems to have a bit of blur
- TERRIBLE sound
- Working AROUND the terrible sound is near-impossible
- Working the TV/remote is a chore
- Shoddy build quality

The verdict: Not recommended.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 16, 2012 8:27:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 16, 2012 8:27:45 AM PDT
Hit Vol + to select the input on the panel buttons. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 16, 2012 11:17:52 AM PDT
MATRiX says:
I actually managed to find that out by chance. I just wish they had it like my Vizio where input can be pushed multiple times to cycle through inputs. Vizio inputs can also be selected the same way as these.

I kept the TV. The wife likes it alright, and after time you get used to the sound.
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