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Recently, we needed to buy a new TV for the living room after I broke our old CRT one. At Christmas I got into a little over-enthusiastic dancing after a few glasses of wine and bumped into the TV knocking it backwards, after which the picture was irreparably always tinged with blue. This is the replacement we got in January and it's been a very popular replacement with the family.
How is the Picture Quality?
The picture quality is excellent. The TV is full HD. Although it does somewhat upscale the quality of regular broadcasts, the high definition isn't really noticeable until you use a HD device, like an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.Some LCD (liquid crystal display - the variety this one is), LED (light emitting diode) and TFT (thin film resistor) televisions have what are called "stray pixels" where one or two (or more if you're unlucky) of the thousands (or millions, depending on the size and definition) of pixels are effectively dead. This is the case for my laptop, which has an LCD display as well, where a few rows down there is a small collection of pixels which always illuminate red. The result is the tiniest of spots which is usually unnoticeable unless the colours surrounding it really contract. Anyway, this is not the case, as far as I can tell, for this TV - the entire display is perfect I believe. While stray pixels can be controlled by good quality manufacturing, the are sometimes unavoidable, although I've found manufacturers won't deal with the problem, with Sony telling me my laptop is still perfectly functional.
One thing most people don't know, which I learnt in a Physics lecture, is that CRT (cathode-ray tube) TVs actually produce better quality when it comes to standard definition broadcasts and accessories (e.g. VHS players, DVD players and older games consoles). LCD TVs are only superior when it comes to High Def. However, I'll admit I much prefer watching normal TV on the new LCD screen than the old one.
How is the Sound Quality?
The sound quality is great. The volume control is excellent, with the option to go really, really loud - louder, I notice, than the TV in my room. When I'm in a game of Call of Duty I prefer the TV blaring, with the volume turned up as high as possible. There's a definite difference between the maximum volume on the TV in my room and the volume on the TV in the living room.I like to have the volume at roughly 20 to 30% when I'm just watching regular TV and its very natural and not distorted in any way. Overall, I'm very pleased with the sound on the TV.
Ease of Installation
Installation of the TV was simple. I took it out of the box, plugged it in and turned it on. Nothing could be simpler. The various other hardware was connected in no problem - all of the scart and HDMI ports were easily found. Installing the channels is the slightly difficult bit. Our analogue transmitter in Central Scotland was switched off last year so I didn't have to bother with installing the analogue channels. First time installation couldn't be easier. You just turn the TV on and it takes you through all the set up. It is subsequent channel installations I've found difficult. I often can't find the menu straight away, but that's more because of the remote, and I know I've ran a firmware update before but I can't for the life of me think how to do it now. All in all, installation is quite easy provided you can find the right menu options.
I dislike the remote control for two reasons. First, it's layout is illogical. Everyone is, today, familiar with the following layout of buttons (or flipped the other way around) on remote controls, touch-tone phones and mobiles, computer keyboards and other gadgets:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 # 0 # (where # is some sort of function button on empty space)
However, Luxor have decided on the following layout:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 # #
This really annoying, as I often watch TV in the dark. Say I'm changing the channel to 45. I'll instinctively go to the 1st button on the 2nd row for the 4 and the 2nd button on the 2nd row for the 5 but this in fact brings up channel 56.
I've gotten used to this layout of the numbers now, although it still gets me at times. Especially since I have a TV in my room I use most of the time, so it's rare I'm downstairs.
Another complaint I have is that the remote uses pictures instead of words for many of the function buttons so it takes me a few minutes to work out which button it is I want. I prefer buttons with words, like "Menu", "EPG", "Info", etc., not a picture of a TV screen with 4 straight lines, which looking at the remote I have no clue what it does.
One thing I do like about the remote is it's shape. It's the standard rectangular shape of a remote but at either end it curves round so when its laid on a flat surface most of the remote is a few millimetres higher than the ends. I can see no real purpose for this but it just looks cool to me.
I never follow the instructions so these were thrown out quite quickly. The rating is based on what I remember. The manual is in several different languages and provides plenty of detail on how to set up and use the TV.
Range of Features
The TV has a built in Freeview receiver so you don't need a set-top box to get digital TV. It's also got plenty of ports so any number of accessories can be used with it - including high def accessories which are connected through the HDMI ports.I'm quite impressed by what's built into this TV. The reason I've given it 4/5 for range of features, however, is because there are a large number of TVs on the market today which have internet capabilities, allowing you to watch videos from your computer, catch up on what you've missed with BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand Five, and use online services like Netflix, Lovefilm and Youtube. This TV has none of those features, so is lacking in the current market.
We've had the TV for five months now and it has been very reliable up until now. One thing I find really annoying about TVs is when the buttons on the remote and the TV itself get worn and become unreadable. but this TV and its remote show no signs of wear at all! I'm not sure exactly what the technology is used for the buttons on the TV but its like a touchscreen, so the buttons will never wear as you're not pushing anything, simply lightly touching it.
Value for Money
Our TV cost us £249 but it had a £30 discount at the time. It's regular retail price of £279 is still quite good value for money though. I'll be honest, my mum wanted something cheap when we were getting the new TV and even though I paid £100 towards it (because I broke the old one) I was not given the chance to take part in selecting a TV. My mum bought the cheapest full HD TV with built-in Freeview she could find while shopping in Asda. However, if she'd shopped around, she would have found plenty of cheaper TVs with much the same features.
Would you recommend this to a friend?
Definitely. While it's not got all the features of a Smart, internet connected TV, it is quite a good TV compared to other standard LCD TVs. The picture quality is great, it's easy to install and it's only £279.
A decent TV for a decent price. A welcome replacement to our old CRT TV, although I'm still getting used to the remote.
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