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Cheap TV for my daughter's room!
Alba 22 Inch Freeview TV/DVD
Member Name: MsTricia
Alba 22 Inch Freeview TV/DVD
Advantages: Cheap, TV/DVD so 2 in 1, looks decent
Disadvantages: dodgy volume, bulky dvd aspect, hideous argos sticker
- Setting up the TV -
Surprisingly and to my joy the TV was super easy to set up. After buying it in the middle of the day I was eager to go home and get it up and running before picking my daughter up from nursery and the other half was still at work. Eagerly opening the box, it was lovely that the TV is already assembled the only small job to do was to insert the TV frame which had a neck attached to it, into the base of the TV so the TV could sit flatly on my daughter's chest of drawers. Click! The TV is now put together perfectly and raring to go. There also came a remote control wrapped in light foam and a plastic bag with two AAA batteries which inserted perfectly into the remote meaning I could get straight to work.
Before the TV could work it is essential to plug it into the wall socket and also attach an aerial to get signal. The cord isn't too long seeing as this is quite a basic TV but my daughter's chest of drawers is positioned directly in front of the socket so this inserted easily and didn't cause a problem.
The instructions in the box were super easy to follow, simply turn on the TV, choose English as a main language, press ok for a few more options, and allow the TV to configure and get all the TV/Radio channels. This literally took a matter of 60 seconds and then up popped BBC1 and I flicked through all the channels making sure all the freeview channels (although I haven't had just freeview for about 2 and a half years so wasn't sure what to expect) were present and I was happy as larry!
- About the TV -
1. Television picture/sound quality
Quite foolishly I didn't remember reading too many reviews on the argos website about this review before purchase. However, once home I decided to read up about it before opening the box in case I changed my mind. A lot of the reviews complained about the sound quality sounding "tinny" and really awful. However, a lot of these reviews were balanced out by other reviews that it did the job perfectly and was worth the cheap price paid. I took a chance, and personally I don't find the TV has an awful tinny sound, I think that for a small 22 inch TV it does sound quite internal but I don't expect it to have the same great sound quality as our Sony Bravia TV which we have in the living room. My only small gripe with the TV is the volume range is really odd. When my daughter is watching it as a general viewing, volume 5/6 is perfect, but when it is bed time I like to let her watch a DVD quietly and I find that turning it down all the way to setting 2 is still even really loud whereas on 1 the sound is non-existent. Even on volume 2, if the rest of the flat is quiet and we are in bed I can still hear her TV and the antics of Dora the Explorer! So the sound options seem to be either loud or practically mute - with not much gradual sound level in between.
In terms of the picture quality the specs are :
HD Ready display resolution.
Integrated Freeview digital tuner.
22in (56cm) widescreen TV.
Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels.
Refresh rate 60Hz.
Contrast ratio 1000:1.
Viewing angle 170/160 degrees.
Personally I am no techy so not sure what that means but in my personal opinion the clarity is great and looks perfect and the TV is a joy to watch!
2. Digital Features/ Remote
The TV is easy to navigate around and although the manual has an accurate diagram to help use the remote to flick through the features of the TV I didn't actually need it as all the buttons looked quite self-explanatory. One thing I would say is when I use the remote to turn on the TV there is always a delay of about 3 seconds. Not long in any case but at first use I wasn't sure whether I had pressed it properly or not. The TV has the following features:
Digital video broadcasting (DVB) subtitles available.
Auto scan for new channels.
Now and next programme guide.
7 day electronic programme guide (EPG).
I found these all quite accurate but often it freezes when I try to see now and next and the screen will say "next programme not available" which is annoying. Fortunately we do not rely on this too much as we have Sky + in the living room and use this predominantly for watching TV programmes and more so rely on this TV in my daughters room for watching a DVD before bed.
3. DVD function
The most important aspect of the TV in my book is this DVD component. To get to the DVD section, using the remote is easy - just press source and then the down arrow to the DVD. Inserting the DVD is another story. My sister has a TV/DVD combi and to put the DVD in requires simply inserting the disc into a slot on the side of the TV. However with this TV there is basically a large bulky aspect on the left hand side which is pretty much a DVD player. There is a button on top to eject/open and then the slot comes out. You then press the DVD down into the slot and manually (yes MANUALLY!) push it back in. Dear oh dear this is what I get for not accurately reading reviews about this before hand.
The disk drive feels really delicate and one night in my tiredness I accidentally really threw my arm past this part and it felt like it was going to snap off and break. Not good. It is really off putting and probably explains the cheapness of the TV.
Another gripe with the DVD function is the whole time the DVD runs I can hear a faint whirring sound - essentially the disc spinning around inside the TV. It is not loud enough to be off putting or for my 3 year old daughter to have to take any extreme notice but when I walk in the room and she is watching a DVD and I am putting clothes away in the chest of drawers I can most definitely hear it.
4. Look of the TV
Although for some reason the picture won't show we got this TV in black and it has a moderately thick trim going around it. It comes in other colours - purple, blue, silver etc which are cheaper but I want to keep it looking decent so opted for black. It says ALBA across the middle at the bottom in small silver lettering and on the bottom left corner there is a red light for where the TV is off and a green light for when it is on.
So here's another ugly problem with the TV. Out of the box it comes on the top left hand corner a hideous argos sticker. It is practically impossible to remove and other reviews I read on the argos website say the same thing. I have scratched and scraped but don't want to do so too much as I do not want to ruin the look of the TV. One of the reviews mentioned they got it off with some white spirit so I guess I am going to have to go out and get some. It's really annoying as I don't know why argos feel the need to put their advertising on it! I already know where I bought it from!
The TV comes with:
1 HDMI socket and 1 SCART socket.
AV socket (rear).
Personally we will not be using any of these features but it is always good to know before you buy something what you are going to get!
- Overall -
I am sure it must seem like I have complained an awful lot about this TV but that is only to give the good and bad and about it from a balanced perspective. To be honest for £124.99 I can't complain too much and it does what we want it to do. It works, the visual quality is good and my daughter now loves quietly watching her DVDs in bed at night time so she is entertained which is worth all the hassle. Once I remove the argos sticker I will be a lot happier though!
Needless to say I would recommend this if you want a no frills, simple TV/DVD combo that doesn't look anything fantastic but for occasional watching. This gets 3/5 from us!
....Oh and last note to mention it has a one year warranty :)
*Some of the specs have been taken from the argos website to give an indepth description of the TV
Summary: a good basic TV/DVD combi from argos
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