We decided to get with the 21st century this weekend and purchase a 28" widescreen TV. We looked around on the net and out of the big name trusted stores, this one from Curry's was the best value feature wise. Instead of buying online, impatience drove us to the store, where more fool us, one had to be ordered in as they didn't have any in stock. Tuesday arrived, it was -2c outside, I let the seats down in the car and loaded the TV in to take it home. We set it up and turned it on... it went straight to standyby mode and made a ticking noise like a time-bomb or a horny cricket, I pressed the standby button on the remote, nothing happened. Perhaps it's cold we thought, it's just come of a truck and been loaded into the back of my car, we'll leave it a while see what happens. So it's turned off for 2 hours, then we go to try it again. Again it goes to standby, this is when we realise you press one of the number keys (stupid design) to turn it on. Again it still sounded like a horny cricket until a picture came on to the screen. We tuned in the channels and sat down to watch. I noticed 6 or 7 horizonal lines kept going up the screen getting bigger and bigger, distorting the picture, then going back to hairlines. We called Curry's and they are going to send a replacement, just as well because I then pressed the (6) button on the remote and BANG! It blew-up, it now smells like deep-heat.
When my 21" Grundig TV gave up the ghost I was offered (its a long story) the equivelent of £130 off a new Tv at Currys. As id only bought the Grundig to last a couple of years (it lasted 6 months) while I set my sights on some spanking gorgeous widescreen number (in silver)I thought 'why not fastforward a couple of years and go for widescreen now' especially when I say the bargain price of the Matsui (£260!!). Anyway I got the telly home and plugged it in - it has a very good autosetup option so the minimum of effort is required - and sat back to watch. After a couple of minutes I noticed that there seemed to be a line running across the screen, this was apparent whatever I was watching (terrestial telly, DVD, video, SKY) there was also really bad 'ghosting' on the screen. The colour and sharpness was also very poor and made my poor old Grundig look like a top of the range model. After one evening of squinting, moving the telly into different positions, taking my contact lenses out, changing the picture formats, I decided that no matter how badly I wanted a widescreen telly I just couldnt settle for this and took the TV back the next day (thankfully Currys allowed me to exchange it and I picked up a nice 25" Panasonic with widescreen options!) I think that this was an important lesson, no matter what a bargain the Matsui may be this is represented in the quality of picture that you can expect and £260 is still quite a lot of money when you consider that you could use this to buy a really nice model with wide-screen options (like the one I eventually exchanged it for). If you are serious about having widescreen tv then it really is better to put an extra few hundred quid towards it and get something that you can watch with your contact lenses in and your eyes wide open!
OK, I admit it, I bought a Matsui television. There I was in the shop, confronted by Sony, Philips and a wonderful Hitachi model, so why did I go for the Matsui. The answer is simple… price. For the limited budget the Matsui gave me much more than I would get from another make for the same amount of money. I had set my hear on a 28 inch screen, and this was the best value. The television has delivered everything is promised and has been generally good, the only criticism I have is that sometimes the colour is nit as stable as it is on other models. This is most noticeable on the skin tones, which change subtly but very annoyingly if you notice it. I don't think it can be that noticeable as no one else watching it has noticed it.