Top positive review
Great TV, especially for the price. Just don't get a used one!
August 28, 2014
Update: 2/8/2016 ~ 3.5 years later:TV still works great and on pace to outlive the 4 year warranty.
** UPDATED **
I originally purchased the Seiki SE50UY04 50-Inch UHD-TV Used in "Very Good" condition from Amazon Warehouse Deals, but after the screen shutoff after an hour of use I had it returned (for free). You can find the problems/review on the first TV at the bottom of this review.
Below is the review on the NEW Seiki SE50UY04 50-Inch UHD-TV, purchased from Amazon.
Just a little background on me: I am a photojournalist and editor for an NBC station. I am also very tech savvy. I know how to make the best out of cheap electronics. I almost always go with the cheaper, no-name brand electronics since I work with the expensive toys all day long at work. There really is no difference as long as there isn't a manufacturer's defect out of the box.
############ Long story short ############
Don't waste time saving $30 by getting the used TV, just wait for Amazon to get them in stock and get a new one. Also, GET an extended warranty. The 1 year manufacturer's warranty requires you to ship it to them at YOUR cost, so it's worth the extra few bucks. Should be a no-brainer: $200 shipping vs a $50, 4 year warranty that includes in-home repair.
Plan on the crappy internal speakers and hook this bad boy up to a good sound system.
This TV really is a steal. It performs to my broadcast standards.
+++ Picture and video quality +++
+ The picture was much better than expected. So many other reviewers complained of poor picture quality, but this is the same as watching a VHS tape on a 50" 1080 HDTV. If the display is higher resolution than the media, it will look a little blurry (if you're sitting less than a foot away), but from 10 feet across the room and it is perfectly comparable to my previous HDTV.
+ I have a Chromecast, DVD player and VCR connected to this TV.
++ The Chromecast looks great with HD video from Netflix even from only a few feet away. I changed the "Noise Reduction" setting to off for this input as it looks better without it. I am using one of the USB ports to power my Chromecast. This allows the Chromecast to power on and off with the TV.
++ DVD's look good (better from across the room). I also changed the "Noise Reduction" setting to off for this input as it looks better without it.
++ VHS tapes look decent from across the room. I changed the "Noise Reduction" setting to medium for only the SD inputs as the picture quality was actually improved.
+ I DID calibrate this TV with a color bar generator, but didn't have to adjust much. Just the contrast.
+ I found that there is not a setting for the screen backlight or color temperature in the normal menu, but I did find a separate "hidden" menu (also used for updating the firmware) and found those settings under the "Other" category. To get to this "hidden" menu, open the menu and press "0000" on the remote and the "hidden" menu will appear. Then go to the last option labeled "other" and select it and you will find all of the video and audio adjustments you could ever want.
+++ Sound +++
I didn't really bother with the speakers (although I did test them) as with pretty much any off-brand TV the speakers WILL suck. The internal speakers sounded a rather tiny or hollow without playing with the audio settings. I did play with the adjustments and I was able to improve the sound slightly, but not to my satisfaction, so I just hooked up my sound system to the "audio out" on the TV and it worked great.
+++ Connections/inputs/outputs +++
+ (3) HDMI inputs: one accessible from the left side, 2 down facing on the back. These can be difficult to get to and connect to. There isn't too much room for the connector. My Chromecast was barely able to connect to the side input because it was touching the back of the TV. It can't be plugged into the other HDMI ports because there isn't enough room.
+ (1) Composite/Component combined RCA input: Accessible from the side. Composite = RGB colored video inputs + RL audio, Component = Yellow for video + RL audio. The green input is shared on this TV with the yellow RCA input, so you really only have the use of one or the other. Both work flawlessly. Composite supports up to 1080p and Component supports up to 480i.
+ (2) USB inputs with 5v power output: One accessible from the side, one down facing on the back. They can be used to plug in a USB flash drive with pictures to view them in a slideshow. I am using one of them to power my Chromecast. This allows the Chromecast to power on and off with the TV. Neither support video or audio playback.
+ (1) Coaxial input: Down facing on the back. This is for an over-the-air antenna to receive free HD TV from local TV stations.
+ (1) Digital audio out: Down facing on the back. This is the RCA type single coaxial digital audio output. I am not able to test because I don't have any equipment to connect to it.
+ (1) Stereo audio out: Down facing on the back. Just the usual right and left RCA output. This works great for my sound system.