Product Type: Technika 3D LCD TV
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Tesco's TV Treat
Technika 24" HD Ready LCD TV
Member Name: SWSt
Technika 24" HD Ready LCD TV
Advantages: Easy to set up, good price, reasonable quality
Disadvantages: On-screen text very small, EPG doesn't always work, sound quality not the best
Technika is Tesco's own brand TV, but don't let that put you off; all it means is you get a reasonable TV for a reasonable price, without paying a premium just to get a brand name.
Time for a word of warning before we begin: Mrs SWSt and I don't watch much TV (Dooyoo consumes far too much of my life for that!), and so whilst it's not perfect, it's fine as our main set. If you do watch a lot of TV, you'd probably want to use it as a second TV for a bedroom/kitchen, rather than as you main set.
The first thing to note about the Technika are its aesthetics. We saw looked at quite a few TVs and the Technika was easily the best looking set in our price bracket; even looking better than other (similar) Technika models and banded sets. It has sleek lines and is a very neat, compact TV. The amount of space it freed up on our TV/video cabinet was incredible. The screen size was only actually 2" smaller than our previous set, but it looks far better and sits unobtrusively in the corner until you want to watch it. OK, you don't buy a TV based purely on looks, but given that this was going to be for our living room, we didn't want something that looked cheap and nasty.
Setting up the TV was an absolute dream. Normally, when I am setting up electrical equipment, Mrs SWSt busies herself elsewhere in the house, lest "colourful" language reaches her delicate ears. This time, ear plugs were not required. Although the set comes with a good manual which covers all the basics from setting up to the more advanced features, I have had no need to refer to it at any stage. I simply plugged the set in, stuck the aerial in the back and switched it on. The TV prompted me to select the language, searched for the available Freeview channels and that was it! Less than 10 minutes from taking out of the box to fully working TV. It even worked straight away with our DVD/Freeview recorder, which was a nightmare to get working with the old TV.
Once we switched it on, we were immediately impressed by the image quality. Colours were sharper and deeper and everything was so much clearer. We did need a few attempts at repositioning the TV as glare from the window or house lights made the screen difficult to see from certain angles. However, once positioned correctly, everything was great. Even though the TV had a slightly smaller screen size, the image quality was so good that we didn't notice any difference, even when sitting on the other side of the room.
True, the image quality is not flawless. Occasionally (particularly during sporting events), we have noticed a slight "juddering to the picture" and very occasionally, the image becomes a little pixellated. I presume this is something to do with the refresh rate (I don't know much about technical gubbins) and is probably an example where compromises have had to be made to keep the price down. Still, it's not enough to ruin the overall performance, unless you are seriously obsessed with image quality.
The other main display issues relate to the on-screen text and particularly the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). The text is incredibly small and difficult to read. Like other digital sets, the TV flashes up the channel and current programme name when you select it, but this is virtually unreadable from the other side of the room (indeed I'd had the set for several days before I even realised it did this!). The same problem affects the EPG which tries to cram too much information into too small a space using too small a font. Even Mrs SWSt (who has eyes like a hawk, particularly for the misdeeds of errant husbands) struggles to read it, so a poor little bespectacled monkey like me has got no chance. If you watch a lot of TV, this is likely to be a source of annoyance to you.
The EPG also doesn't always update itself properly, so displays "No further information available" for some channels/times. The only way round this that I have found is to exit the EPG and try again and it can sometimes take a couple of goes before it displays fully.
The remote control also has small text and can be a bit tricky to get used to, but you soon remember where the main buttons are and using it becomes second nature. Some consumers have complained about the need to aim the remote very precisely, but I've not experienced this, and I guess this is down to the positioning of your TV more than anything.
Sound also lets the unit down slightly, as the in-built speakers are not the best in the world. Occasionally, voices sound a little tinny, and if you turn the volume up too high, it becomes distorted or muffled. Again, we accept it as one of the inevitable compromises that come from buying a budget, but it's certainly something you'll want to bear in mind if high quality audio is a priority for you.
As well as doing the basics (sound and vision) in a perfectly adequate way, the Technika also has plenty of additional features that help future-proof it to some extent. There's a built in DVD player, whilst you can also record from the TV using a USB stick (although this is of limited use unless you have a really large memory stick or only want to record a couple of minutes' worth.) It's fully HD compliant, although I can't comment on the quality of this, since I don't have any HD devices. Based on the spec of the rest of the TV, though, I can't see why it wouldn't be fine.
The TV cost just over £160, and was way cheaper than anything else available on the market of the same size and specification. Even given some of the compromises and drawbacks, we are very happy with our purchase and would definitely recommend it. If you watch a lot of TV or are very particular about image and sound quality, it's probably not the set for you; but if you are after a perfectly acceptable TV for a very competitive price, you could do a lot worse than buy this.
© Copyright SWSt 2010
Summary: A good TV for a good price
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