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I bought this television from Amazon, not so much out of necessity but finally caving in to the perception that a nice flat-screen telly is now a must-have. I am also too lazy to wear glasses whilst watching television, and the tiny 15" screen TV I previously owned was becoming increasingly difficult to see from all the way across the room (we're talking a good couple of metres here).
The television cost me about £232 on Amazon and at the time this was not a bad price, but I think, not just because it is technology but also because of the recession, prices have dropped dramatically since this time.
What's In The Box? Appearance, weight durability etc.
Having managed to locate where in the garden the delivery people had hidden the television whilst I was at work, I brought it in and was really excited to get it opened and set up straight away. It was easy for me to carry up the stairs alone and I'm not on the strong side, so it is fair to say that the telly alone is not heavy at all (around 4kg). Inside the box I found the television itself, a stand, plug and wiring and the remote control. Then of course, there are the instructions, guarantee details and also a cloth for wiping the exterior.
The telly is black and very glossy so attracts dust very easily and shows it up too well, hence the cloth. it also arguably looks a bit too much like plastic close-up, but to me it is quite attractive just as it is. The frame area of the telly is quite big but I find the size of the screen to be reasonable at least as a bedroom telly. I think in larger rooms it would probably be much too small to be comfortably viewed by a group of people.
I have used the stand that comes with the television to put mine on a TV cabinet in my room, rather than wall-mounting. I found this a bit tricky to put together and it seems not to be quite upright, slightly pulled forward. I have probably done something not quite right (although I followed instructions precisely) but I do think it ought to be easier for anyone to do and this was slightly disappointing. It has not affected my enjoyment of the television at all however, so it is really a question of how much value you put on this. Mine is not for show and is mostly for my use only so I really do not care if it doesn't look perfect as long as I can watch it normally.
The television so far has not taken any knocks and this is one thing that does scare me quite a bit, because it looks as though it could snap in half if it ever fell. I'm pretty sure that most of these televisions need to be looked after carefully, but something about this model is just particularly fragile, and the stand is also a little flimsy. I suppose I just really hope I do not have to comment on what level of force it takes to break them! Certainly mine will not be subjected to any if I can help it. It is better as a bedroom telly than a more communal area for this reason and the fewer people to come near it the better.
To be honest this has actually turned out to be the one annoyance of the television. The control is average sized and no more complicated than any other, although there are still plenty of buttons that I have no idea what they are there for. Visually it is not more or less awkward to read the different functions than any other remote control. However, my frustration comes from one set of buttons, meant for navigating easily through menus. The up, down, left and right arrows are on a big oblong button, and that is probably why it is so difficult to press, to stop you from accidentally pressing the wrong one. I would have thought the whole point of these buttons is to be able to easily browse menus, but the amount of force you have to put on these tiny arrows beofre they actually work is ridiculous and when they finally work, the thing presses several times at once causing you to miss whatever you were aiming for anyway! This annoys me as I don't always remember channel numbers and like to browse menus, but it would be impossible for someone with, for example, arthritis or weak hands. All the other buttons seem to work fine so this is just a poorly designed button in my opinion.
Being the careful sort, I decided to pay attention to the instructions, after all, it looks terribly fragile and I had never owned a flat-screen before. The manual in the box is basically an A5 booklet with a brief note on safety, plenty of detail on preparation, some instructions for watching telly and maintenance plus a bit of troubleshooting at the back. On the whole it is ideally succinct and easy to browse through. Alongside this is the TV manual that you can view directly from the TV. Since setting up the telly, which was actually not that complicated after all, I have really not needed to refer to the manual but keep it safe just in case.
I was a little surprised to find that this small LED television competes quite well with what I have seen so far from bigger flat-screen LCD TVs. The quality is meant to be better and although I'm not sure about that, it is certainly very crisp and I see little room for improvement. So far I have not had any problems with picture quality or light and this was something that had worried me. The picture seems to be very consistent and colour good. Picture modes include Cinema, Standard, Vivid, Sport and Game as well as two Expert modes which I have not used and imagine are for further customisation. Mine stays on Cinema mode as I watch a lot of films. You can also adjust things like Aspect Ratio although I would leave these things well alone.
Sound seems to come from the back of the television as much as it does the front. The volume range is very good and sound clarity is still reasonable on very low level volumes, which is great when you do not want to disturb others. I have actually tried connecting up sound speakers and found that I preferred the ordinary television speakers for sound quality. I would use the speakers, however for much louder sound if needed as I think this television is better on low sounds.
The menu is initially accessed for tuning, a process that I found quite quick and simple once I worked out how to programme the digital tuner as opposed to analogue. You can access channels on both (before switchover, of course) and also a radio tuner. You can also access other devices you have connected via this menu and it automatically pops up when, for example you connect an MP3 player with browsing options for that. It is a shame those browsing buttons on the remote are such a pain! When watching digital television you can browse through a TV guide of all channels that have been programmed and read information on them. If you connect a recording device you can record them and you can also set reminders via this menu. You can also adjust things like picture quality and audio.
LED TVs are far less power-consuming than LCD televisions and claims to save you 40% of power consumption in comparison. However, I still expect it is requiring a lot more energy than my old combo telly. I have not noticed any excess heat coming from the television so it is perhaps pleasing to know that it is more efficient too. There is also an energy-saving mode (button on remote) that will adjust your settings to the most environmentally friendly.
You may get extra deals with certain retailers, but the product also comes with a 12 month manufacturer's guarantee, for which you are advised to register the product within 14 days. I never get around to do this but my understanding of the law is that you are still entitled to a year guarantee usually anyway.
LED televisions are definitely the way forward in my opinion and this is not a bad start for one. The picture is good and the sound not bad, and overall it is a pleasure to have and use. It is a shame that the remote is such a nightmare to use and I do not really want to have to fork out money for another remote control. On the whole, however, I certainly do not regret this purchase and would happily recommend it as the benefits are very worthwhile.