Though not a "HD"TV, I thought, since there were many threads on those $50 CECB's a review for a portable TV would fill a void.
After reading many reviews complaining about poor reception, let me state: a monopole antenna (the one included with most of these sets) IS NOT, NEVER WAS and NEVER WILL WORK PROPERLY for a 'TV' antenna! In the first place, it's only half an antenna. Even 'Rabbit Ears" (a dipole antenna) borders on being called a "TV antenna". The one to use is a "Silver Sensor" (or it's clones) for UHF indoors. This also might work for areas that reverted back to the VHF high band. Remember, I'm talking about the PHYSICAL channel number, not the virtual number they insist to use, which in most cases, is NOT the same!
Hooking this up to an decent outdoor antenna under known conditions, this tuner receives as good as tuners from a generation ago. It does have some trouble locking on to known good signals sometimes (unknown just why), but for the most part if you are having trouble receiving any local station, the fault is not the TV.
After researching the individual components, I found this is a older design. My set had a manufacturing date of 9/09;
LCD Panel is a Innolux AT102TN03 V9 800x480 LED backlit panel from 2006,
Demodulator is a Samsung VSB/QAM S5H1411X01-T0 from 2007,
Processor is a MSD111L-LF (had a "M" on the chips face)
Memory are two ESMT M12L64164A chips (64MB each?),
Battery pack is a 'Yoku Energy' 3.7 volt, 2.6 amp Lithium-Ion Polymer pack that occupies just over 1/2 of the battery compartment. There is room for a pack almost 2x in size. Unlike common NiCd or NiMH cells, these are 'flat', staked one above the other. Running time is around three hours. Charge time is more than stated. Six plus hours for a full charge, not three as stated in the manual (with the set in standby or off).
1. Cost. Great bang for the buck.
2. No problem with lack of memory for it's channel 'database' unlike their earlier 7" model that looses the channel list when powered off according do dozens of other reviews.
3. Standard 'F' fitting (that hasn't been mentioned in any review) for the antenna input. No odd connector requiring another adapter.
4. Able to do ATSC and QAM even though there is no mention of this anywhere (poor marketing).
5. Able to store separate databases for both OTA and CATV (more poor marketing).
6. Able to receive analog channels (OTA & CATV).
7. Able to add channels that weren't in the original scan. Since there is no 'Add channels" in the menu, this is imperative! Stations usually are received from different directions, doing a scan in one direction will miss any signal not from that direction. If you re-scan, you loose your original database. Most sets now have had the ability to add channels. This does, but in NOT documented (as usual). Just enter the actual PHYSICAL channel number, press enter. If signal is good, the set will ID the main channel and any sub-channels.
8. Doubles as a low cost CCTV monitor, costing half as much for a similar 4x3 CCTV set, but see below.
9. First small, low end LCD that has a three position color temperature control. Surprisingly the "Warm" setting is way too 'warm', almost pink when viewing B&W test patterns. Leave it on the 'Standard" setting. It's close to the TV studio standard (6500 degrees).
10. Choice of the built in flip out stand, or a external pedestal type stand for a more permanent location.
11. Wide/ narrow aspect ratios (improperly named "Zoom"). But, see below.
1. THERE IS NO STANDBY BUTTON ON THE FRONT PANEL!! You can't put this into standby to fast charge the battery pack without the remote. If you turn the set off via the hidden slide switch and power it up again, the set goes into the 'on' state, NOT the standby state. If you want to charge the battery pack you have to use the remote to place the set in standby. If you loose the remote you are SOOL! HUGE OMISSION!
2. Typical narrow vertical viewing angle (just like all Laptops). Ok from side to side (within reason), but the sweet spot for viewing is within 5 degrees (plus or minus) of around 5 degrees just above being perpendicular to the screen.
3. Older digital tuner (2007). A couple steps below current technology, but adequate for the purpose.
4. There is no signal indicator. 'Good, fair, bad' is not a signal indicator. I can see if the picture is breaking up easier that going into the info screen and seeing what it says. Really dumb feature.
5. Useless balance control and no tone control (not that it would probably matter with 2" speakers anyway).
6. Small buttons on the remote, namely channel up/down.
7. Wide/narrow control should no be available for a digital channel. This only should come into play for analog. When changing channels on CATV systems, one has to keep switching back and forth between wide and narrow unnecessarily.
8. Low audio output including the headphone output when connected to an external amp.speakers. External audio good, but you have to 'crank' it to get suitable output even when the level is full on the TV.
9. Aux. input needs the color level set almost full, but doing so, it affects the decoder output, running each primary color 'step' together into a continuous 'bar' instead of a stepped pattern from a test signal generator.
10. Brightness level on either input very low. Color level in A/V input very low. See my calibrated settings below.
11. Non standard four contact 1/8" mini plug used for the A/V input. Unlike a typical mono or stereo plug (used for headphones) this plug uses a four circuit pin. A standard 1/8" mono mini will work for video only.
Calibrated settings (this will probably vary from unit to unit):
Contrast-......TV- 40....A/V- 75
Brightness-...TV- 87....A/V- 75
Sharpness-...TV- 30....A/V- 15
Color-...........TV- 55.....A/V- 95
Tint-.............TV- 0.......A/V- 8
Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1977. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??