The size of your flat panel completely depends on your room size. Having a large one for a small room isn’t just inappropriate but detrimental for your viewing experience. You will be too close to the screen and therefore will be seeing more details than the television wants you to see (i.e. individual pixels, inaccurate sharpness). This is why the market has to have moderate to small flat panels as well. AOC’s LE32A1330/61 is one such 32” LED flat panel that isn’t ashamed of its size and knows it isn’t fit for large rooms.
Out Of The Box
With a screen size of 32”, you can’t ever confuse this flat panel for a computer monitor. Its black borders may be as thin as that of a monitor, but you still can’t imagine your computer being hooked up to a panel of this size. The aesthetics could have been labeled a little too conventional, had it not been for the silver lining at the base. That is where the blue power LED resides. The back panel is completely bare with no connections as they’ve been hidden underneath indents and may prove to be a little difficult to get to during the set up process.
This is not one of those flat panels that is packed to the brim with features. It has some of the necessary ones and a few extra ones, but that’s about it. To begin with, this is not a full HD flat panel and it cuts off its resolution after 1366×768, which won’t get the best out of your Blu-rays, but will do justice to DVDs and cable television.
As far as picture control features go, it has noise reduction, dynamic colour control along with dynamic contrast ratio. These are pretty self-explanatory but for those of you who are new to flat panel features, the last two features are primarily those which work as the video is playing back. So, the television will sense the colour and contrast of a certain frame and then adjust its settings to best boost the colour or contrast. We are not very fond
of these features because, more often than not, the television makes calculations that are not pleasing and it does this quite suddenly so you keep seeing the screen dip in brightness as the scenes or camera angles change.
At this price-range, probably what can be considered as the most worthwhile of all of this features is the USB port. You can load JPEGs, MP3s and videos (real media, MPEG 1/2, MPEG4) onto a Pen-drive and use the television as its own source to playback the fi les. Its decoding versatility is limited but at least it is offering much in this price-range.
This is a great remote to hold, touch and even understand, because it has these large bubble buttons which are clear and well positioned. The only problem is that its range isn’t up to the same mark. It takes a lot of pointing at specifi c angles to get the television to respond. Even if you adjust brightness and you hold down the ‘increment’ button, after about two or three notches, the television breaks contact with the controller and you have to press the button again. It can get frustrating, so just make sure you have nothing in front of the fl at panel so that you maximise the amount of angles you can point the remote at.
As we’d mentioned before, those connections hidden on the back panel were quite difficult to get to. They’ve been inserted into lidless boxes on the back panel where you are blocked comfortable access not just by the top indent under which the plugs lie, but also the bottom indent, making it extra difficult. I finally had to flip the entire flat panel over on its front and connect the HDMI and power cable.
Since this isn’t a full HD flat panel; I decided to start the testing process using a DVD, namely, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’. It has plenty of blacks to give me a good sense of what this television is capable of. It took me quite some time to reach a balance between backlight, contrast and brightness, although the final result still wasn’t what I wanted. It was a bit washed out, especially in the letterbox lines above and below the film’s frame. If the brightness was tweaked any more, the clarity would get affected.
While the bright scenes, such as the ones in the school, were pretty accurate when it came to skin tones, sharpness was lacking. I wasn’t seeing any ghosting, even during the night action sequences, although a lot of the details in the darkness just weren’t visible. What was spectacular were the colours and this television knew just how much saturation was required in frames that were ultra-colourful.
Sharpness improved remarkably with the Blu-ray of ‘Prometheus’ and that just goes to say that DVD quality might not be what this flat panel wants even though DVD quality is the maximum resolution its screen goes to. The blacks also gained some details and I was able to bring the brightness even lower to remove a shade of the washed ‘out’ness. By now, the flat panel had been running for a good hour and a half and maybe that could be the reason why a tad bit of blurriness came to accompany character movements.
The greens, blues and yellow of this film are used in massive capacities during the course of this film, and, thankfully, these three colours seem to be the highlight of this fl at panel as well. It knows just what to do with them and in what quantities. And because there is
so much of these colours, even the black regions have shades of these colours, which in turn helps the flat panel highlight and bring out those details.
Under the spell of ‘Megamind’, the animated Blu-ray that has all the heroics of a villain, the television really sparkled. The past two films I ran through to it just weren’t doing its colour palette justice and all it really needed was bursts of animation colours. The characters were a lot more sharper than even ‘Prometheus’ and although the whites seemed a tad washed out, it was signifi cantly better than what I’d seen up until now. Megamind’s purple skin colour was glowing, his green eyes sparkling with all the innocence the animation experts wanted to get through. I could even see a tad bit of red blush on his cheeks.
The audio isn’t really worthwhile at all, although it might just do for cable television. It has a preset called ‘Speech’, which helps in getting the dialogues to your ears. But don’t crank it too loud as it will distort the speakers.
Credit : AV Max Magazine