Viewing Review: Entry level smart TV - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Entry level smart TV Edit
by ikkuranus Combined Rating: 4.0
This smart TV has Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, and various other streaming services. Vudu and Netflix both deliver 1080p and 5.1 to a receiver over hdmi. The Netflix GUI is very slow compared...
Pros Cons
  • good picture quality, ample amount of inputs, light source does not bleed through on the edges
  • Netflix gui is slow, wireless media connect is limited to 720p, rather limited codec support for usb and dlna
This smart TV has Netflix, Vudu, Pandora, and various other streaming services. Vudu and Netflix both deliver 1080p and 5.1 to a receiver over hdmi. The Netflix GUI is very slow compared to a Roku2 but this does not affect video playback. Some of the streaming services such as Blockbuster and others no longer work and the current firmware don't fix or remove discontinued/broken apps.
This TV also features local playback of media via usb or dlna. This works okay but has many problems. The most annoying of them is if you try and navigate the dlna GUI too fast it displays an error saying the directory is empty. The other problem is that codec support is so limited that it's useless for anything other than jpg, mp3, and really old video codecs.

This TV also features wireless media connect which allows you to stream video and audio from your PC over wlan or lan. While this idea sounds great on paper is has several drawbacks. First off it is limited to 720p no matter if you use 100mbit lan or wireless. Second it is further limited by the processing capability of the machine you are streaming from. Another drawback is you wont be able to watch DVD or Blu-ray through this. (at least with commercial players that leave the encryption in tact) Lastly since it trans-codes the video there is a huge delay which is fine for movies/tv but completely unusable for games or even text chat.

Hdmi-arc / cec: I currently have my Onkyo Tx-Nr515 setup with this TV and it automatically powers on and adjusts inputs from either remote. Sometimes the inputs don't always automatically change, ie swapping from live tv to another source. Audio return channel works as expected.

This TV has a wifi b/g/n module built-in but I only tested to make sure it works and use a lan cable normally.

The TV has a setup wizard that scans channels and helps you calibrate the contrast and sharpness. The device wizard lets you label inputs and setting them to use cec if applicable.

User interface:
The setup UI and the local media browser are designed so that you may navigate with the arrows and ok/back buttons or even arrows exclusively. Besides the Netflix app all other UI are fairly responsive. The remote has a poorly designed battery cover. It will often fall off when the remote is knocked off the couch or dropped. After about 1 year the tab holding the cover on has snapped off. (note that other remotes I own have taken similar abuse and don't have the cover fall off etc.) The button layout on the remote is pretty standard far as remotes go but it does lack back lighting and a mini keyboard making any typing a pita. (note that usb wired and wireless keyboards cannot be plugged into the usb port as it only supports non proprietary flash drives) As for buttons on the TV itself there is volup/dn, power, chanup/dn. and source.(note sometimes the vol buttons on the tv serve as arrows for the menu and wont control the volume at such time)

Overall I think the picture quality is just fine on the normal preset. Black levels are acceptable but certainly have room for improvement. I do have the smooth motion turned off so that I don't experience input lag with my consoles and htpc. The internal speakers are adequate for news but an avr + speakers or soundbar is a huge improvement when it comes time for movies and shows.

While I don't use the net functions very often this set was still a great deal. I don't see myself upgrading until this one breaks or Ultra HD sets become standard.
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