We spent Christmas this year over at my Grandad's house. This year he happened to have been bought this TV as a joint gift from a couple of members of the family. Considering I was there, I ended up setting it up for him and pretty much the rest of our day resolved around watching this new TV in his lounge.
The setup of the TV, as with many TVs, was relatively simple; take it out of the box, put it on the table, plug all possible wires into it and turn it on for further instruction. The interface was very straightforward and easy to setup which made tuning the TV a breeze. Within about 10 minutes of starting, the TV was set up and displaying TV programs.
The picture of this TV was very impressive, I was really surprised when I found of that the TV was only around £250 as I was expecting the TV to be far more expensive considering the vibrancy of the image it produced. It was a similar story for sound too as that was excellent and I could find no faults with it whatsoever.
This TV can display 3D images through the progressive method as opposed to active. The main difference between these two technologies that active required powered glasses (with batteries) whereas progressive does not. This makes the 3D aspect of the TV very cheap to continue using as the glasses are both cheap to buy initially and they are also not in need of batteries every few months too as the active ones are. One downside of the passive 3D in this set is that the 3D quality of passive is generally considered to not be as good as active - however for my Grandad, this isn't really a problem as we do not think he would notice.
The main problem with this set was the remote, its range does seem to be a little low. This means that I must occasionally press a button multiple times for a response. As the remote is the main Human-Computer interface device of a TV, I am not impressed by this and will mean that it looses its otherwise flawless score.
A few months back, we ended up with a small windfall ( and spent twice as much as we got) but we treated ourselves to a few luxuries. I find it difficult getting to the cinema now especially as I have one child young enough that I might need to take him into the lobby during a film ( I do not believe in allowing very small children to be noisy and ruin the cinema experience for others). Usually we are happy enough to wait for films to come to dvd, but my oldest is fascinated by 3-d. Once you have the tv - it is cheaper to buy a dvd then take a family of four to the show - so this was my big splurge.
The first decision you need to make in choosing a 3-d tv is passive or active 3-d. This set uses passive, which was the best option for us. I would advise anyone considering a 3-d tv to make sure they know al the differences before buying - and if possible visit a large store where they can demonstrate both for you.
PASSIVE VS ACTIVE 3-d
Original outlay: According to the experts the original purchase price of passive or active tv's is about the same. We did not find this to be true for us though. This tv is on sale at Argos now for £199 with 4 pairs of glasses included. Checking around, I've found the active 3-d at £599 for the same size with no glasses. At £99 a pair for glasses this option would end up costing me £1,000 instead of £200.
Cost and availability of glasses: Active 3-d glasses are specific to each brand. You can not use Sony glasses on a Samsung Tv or vice versa. Passive glasses however are generic. You can use any brand, including the same ones you buy for the cinema. I can buy a replacement set of 4 for as little as £6. This is a major issue with very young children. I'd be paranoid with them running about with £99 glasses, but while we do take special care of our 3-d glasses - I could afford a replacement if one were scratched or broken.
Batteries: Active 3-d glasses require batteries and have an average life of 15 hours, so you will have the added expense of buying batteries after watching perhaps 7 films unless your glasses are rechargeable. Replacemnt batteries are not too dear though. Most glasses use 2 batteries which you can get online for under £1 each, but it does still add up. Passive 3-d glasses do not have batteries - which also means they are lighter and easier to wear.
Flashing lights: I have light induced migraines and have had some seizures. Flickering lights really annoy me and active 3-d technology does use a flashing light. You are not meant to notice a flickering but the tech sites I visited say this is a common problem. I can not categorically state that passive 3-d is safe for epilepsy. I can only say it does not affect me, and does not have the warning notices for it that active 3-d does. I suspect each person may react differently, but I do feel passive 3-d is a far safer option for those affected. The passive 3-d glasses are not associated with the nausea or headaches some people experience with active 3-d. Finally, because passive 3-d is the same technology used in films - you can try before you buy by visiting a cinema to see if it affects you with a full length feature.
On the downside: My husband has seen both passive and active 3-d and he feels the active 3-d is more intense.
This television use an LCD screen which is by far the most common in 3-d tv's but you can find 3-d plasma screens as well. It is high definition with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This is a 32" television. If I had been able to afford it, I would have bought the 48" as when watching movies - bigger really is better. But that said, we are quite happy with this, and as this television is in a bedroom it really looks huge just sitting there anyway. This does have built in freeview, but I can not use it as I do not have an aerial set up for this room. It also has 3 hdmi sockets, 1 scart, 1 usb, what argos calls a PC input socket which means theoretically you could use this as monitor or perhaps connect to a pc to stream movies. It also has sockets for Component video, composite and av as well one for a set of headphones.
This television comes with a stand to set it on a table or cabinet. It can also be mounted on the wall, but this requires the purchase of a seperate bracket. We set this on a dresser.
USING THIS TV:
My husband did all the set up, but it was very quick and curse word free. Once he had it going he came down quite pleased, saying we just had to see the picture. In all honesty we all stood with our jaws gaping open. He had just thrown in an old cartoon but the colours and picture were amazing. It was so bright, so vivid - absolutely beautiful. This was hooked up to a top notch dvd player, and the picture is not quite so impressive with a cheaper dvd player, but it is still far and away the best picture I have ever seen. This tv would have been worth buying even if we were never going to use the 3d - the picture quality is pure magic. My other Tv's are High definition so the difference can not be attributed to that, and many of the films we watch are older cartoons so not filmed in HD anyway. I really can not understand what makes the picture so intense - but I am very pleased with it. As far as sound goes, I am quite happy with this as well. I do feel you get the best results for films with separate speakers well spaced in the room, but for built in speakers I thik these are very good and my husband - who has a better ear for such things agrees. I am only using it for films with the children or a video game - not to blast out music at very high volume, but it is clear sharp and not at all tinny.
The first thing we learned is you can not watch 3-d movies with any bluray player. It has to be a 3-d specific we bought the Bush 3-d bluray player from Argos and the two have worked out to be a perfect match. the 3-d quality of course depends on the dvd and we have noticed quite a lot of variation between one dvd and the next. Most of the time it is more like looking out a window - you see full depth just as you would in real life, but you rarely see objects popping out. I do have one dvd though, Sharks 3d by Jean Michael Costeau where it literally looks as if the fish are swimming in front of your face. Both children reacted to this with indrawn breathes and wide eyes and it really was brilliant. But even with the most basic 3-d movies - I do feel it is far superior to the old red and blue glasses 3d movies, and it really does make a movie into an exciting family event.
Problems and remote belong in one category here. in short - the remote is rubbish. I use this in my bedroom in a standard terraced house. My bed is on the opposite wall but one would still think a remote would work from that distance. It isn't like I live in a palace. If I manage to lean way forward and point it just right I may get it to work. I usually just leave the remote next to the television and get up ( or get the kids to do it) and hold the remote 2 " from the infrared eye and it works fine. But I'm not sure what the point of having a remote is. In fact I wish we could just tune the channels on the tv like the old fashioned ones. it would save buying batteries, and the risk of the remote getting lost, and if I am standing next tot he tv - I may as well just use buttons on the tv. The remote does work better for volume than it does for functions like on and off or channel change, but I am not at all impressed with this. I do have problems with other remotes though _ I wonder if there could be some type of interference? I would have rated down one star for the remote - but I am giving this TV 10 out of 5 for picture alone ( and yes I understand the maths but this picture warrants it) - so knock off one star for the remote and this still gets 9 dooyoo stars from me, but as they only give us an option for 5 it has to be a glowing 5 star rating.
* Note - I have only had this TV for a few months so I can not give a fair assesment of reliability. So far it is grand. If anything changes, I will update asap