Product Type: Alba 3D LCD TV
Newest Review: ... and the screen isn't surrounded by massive outstretched edges like some of the other TV's in this price range. It is HD ready, and the... more
Appalling Alba - Again!
Member Name: chrisandmark
Advantages: It was free
Disadvantages: Appalling picture and sound quality, a television that just isn't fit for purpose!
I've never been impressed with the Alba brand, and this TV is no exception - this is actually our third one, the previous two having been returned and exchanged due to the fact that the picture just disappeared on them. It looks like this one is starting to go the same way too, although I doubt we'll bother taking it back again as exchanging one cruddy TV for an identical cruddy TV is getting a bit wearing and as it was a 'free with voucher' product we can't have something else in it's place. And it *is* a cruddy TV; the picture is usually poor, the sound is flat and dull, even the volume has a life of its own and will change at random times. I'm just absolutely not happy with this TV at all; knowing it was an Alba product I never expected it to be top of the range, but I at least expected it to work for longer than the four months we've owned it - and for us to be on our third one in this short period of time speaks volumes.
To look at, this is a nice TV. The black surround and slimline design make it an ideal bedroom or kitchen television, we have ours on the small stand that was included but the TV can also be wall mounted using a 50mm bracket which would need to be purchased separately. Fitted to the stand the television is very stable; we have ours currently on a pretty wobbly chest of drawers and although the furniture wobbles whenever anyone walks past it, I'm never worried about the TV falling or anything as it's held so securely by the wide(ish) base. On closer inspection the television looks and feels plasticky and cheap, but as long as you're not looking too closely you'll probably agree it's not a bad looker.
I set the television up initially on my own; this was a simple and straightforward process even for a technophobe like me, the various onscreen menus are self explanatory and (once you've found the 'OK' button) you can complete the set-up just by hitting a few buttons on the remote control. The television features built-in Freeview but that was a stupid fiddly nightmare to set up so I had to grab Mark to do that, it shows how awkward this function is to sort out as my fella is BRILLIANT with electronics and it took him literally hours (and several false starts) to get it up and running. Once it was done we quickly realised it hadn't really been worth the bother; channels were missing, some had sound and no picture (and vice versa), the Freeview TV guide didn't update often enough to be useful and the list of annoyances goes on. I've watched a total of two programmes on the Freeview platform simply because it doesn't work properly, which is a bit irritating really as it's nice to have more than the five terrestrial channels in the bedroom despite the fact that I don't often watch TV in bed. Hang on, did I say five terrestrial channels? Scrap that, I meant three terrestrial channels as this television simply refuses to pick up BBC1 or BBC2 when not tuned to Freeview.
It's an easy TV to work, once you suss out that half of the remote control buttons don't do anything. Flicking from terrestrial to Freeview is done at the push of a button and now the initial set-up has been done there are no irritating menus to navigate. The remote control itself is so flimsy that I know it's going to break at some point, we have to keep it on a high shelf as if thirteen month old David grabs hold of it (and he does love remote controls of any description) he'll do his usual trick of lobbing it on the floor and it's going to implode. It has an odd angular design with each end sloping down, an invitation to a crack in my opinion and without the remote the TV would be stupidly complicated as the buttons on the machine itself are tiny and hard to fathom.
The television is HD ready, something we tested by plugging the Blu-Ray player into it - the picture definitely wasn't as good as on our main living room television but it looked marginally sharper than when playing in standard definition. Not a change to write home about, and not particularly reliable either as the HD effects cut out now and again so the film isn't as seamless as it should be. I watched a couple of episodes of Planet Earth in HD and from that saw that the colours weren't as sharp and bold as they should be, one particular bird stood out as I remembered it being vividly coloured when I watched the episode on the big TV but it looked washed out on this little set.
On the back of the television are the following connections; HDMI socket, PC-input socket, one SCART socket, an AV socket, headphone socket and a single USB port. I'm a bit of a electronics dunce so not really sure what they're for, the list looks important in the otherwise useless instruction manual (all the important points seemingly written by little Chinese translators - not very skilled ones either) so I thought I'd better include it! We've only really had a DVD player and the Blu-Ray player plugged into it for any length of time, but one of its predecessors had a PS3 working through it (working rather stickily, but working) and my daughter also hooked her laptop up to it one night so we could watch a film she'd downloaded.
Anyway, on Friday night it started cutting out. This is a sure fire sign that the problems which afflicted the previous two televisions are about to start, now (less than 48 hours later) it's cutting out at least once every ten minutes and not coming back on for at least a minute. The volume has gone very muted, not exactly quieter but for some reason certain voices and sounds are coming through muffled like there's water in the speaker or something. Ack, I know there's no water in the speaker but that's how it sounds - bear with me people, I'm not the kinda girl to be sensibly diagnosing television problems! The next step, and I can guarantee this, is that the picture will start freezing and eventually all semblance of sanity is lost in the television and it will start acting like a lunatic. It's not got to this stage with this particular set, but the previous two both had this problem and I can tell this is going the same way.
You can buy this television for as little as £70, maybe less if you can be bothered hunting down a bargain price for such an appalling product. I'm putting this one on Freegle later on today as I don't want to watch it die an irritating death, if someone can get it repaired and make use of it then great - personally I'd rather just buy a new television...
Summary: An appalling television that I don't recommend to anyone!
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