Viewing Review: Great Picture, not much else - AVS Forum
Great Picture, not much else Edit
by Thorny1 Combined Rating: 2.7
I'll start with the setup process: Quick and simple, because it has few features. I like free, so I was happy it had a built-in tuner. Hooked up the antenna, scanned for channels, and was good...
Pros Cons
  • Picture, Built-in Tuner
  • Only 1 HDMI, bad HDCP, Not very customizable
I'll start with the setup process: Quick and simple, because it has few features. I like free, so I was happy it had a built-in tuner. Hooked up the antenna, scanned for channels, and was good to go. Then the fun started. After a few weeks this "purple haze" started at the bottom of the screen and worked its way up. After 2 calls to customer service, they set up a local repair shop to "fix" the problem. After the first time he "fixed" it, the problem started again, so he took it for more repairs. A week later, he called and said he replaced everything in the TV except the screen, and everything checked out ok.

It has now been close to 7 years we've had this TV and no more physical problems. Software, on the other hand, is a different story. As I stated in the "cons," this unit is not very customizable. It has several picture settings (Personal, Rich, Multimedia, etc) but only one can be changed. I calibrated the "Personal" setting with some good software to get all the levels just right. That night my wife turned them all way down because it was "too bright" to watch with no lights on (in her opinion). Ugh. More than one "Personal" setting would have been nice.

I was excited to have HDMI until I connected a Blu-Ray player. This television has a big problem with HDCP, as in, "It doesn't work." I had to return the first Blu-Ray unit (Panasonic) and get one with component outputs (Sony) just to be able to use it. The issue now is when you use component outputs, the player down-scales the output to 480P. Uh, what's the point of having a Blu-Ray player now? I had an old upconverting DVD player (with HDMI) and guess what- It doesn't work either. Same for the Xbox (when playing a DVD). They all give the same error code that the TV is not HDCP compliant. After updating the software and several calls to customer service, they decide the TV is too old to work with newer devices. Thankfully, via component, we can stream HD content with the Blu-Ray player from Netflix, Amazon, etc.

As far as inputs, it is just Ok. Because of the one HDMI port, I had to get a switcher to connect the Xbox and a PC simultaneously. Periodically, the TV will "hang" and not switch channels or even turn off and we have to unplug it for 1-2 minutes.

The best part about the unit, by far, is the picture quality. When calibrated correctly, the black levels are really deep and the colors are rich. When watching OTA HD, the picture is outstanding and the HD streaming quality is excellent. Some say plasmas are not good for live sporting events or gaming. We watch a lot of American Football and play a lot of war games, and have been very happy with both.
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