LED TV and Subwoofer Review
Flat panels are getting cheaper day by day and they’ve entirely taken over the market of CRT televisions. This had to happen and thankfully it happened once LCD, plasma and LED screens reached a level in visual performance that would seem a worthy replacement for the analogous CRT. Flat panels are not only cheap but are also available in any size requirement you may have. Intex has launched a flat panel named LE23HDR05-VT13 that is not more than 23” in size but might just have the power to take on others in its budget market segment. Since this month’s products are aimed at people who are on a shoestring budget, we paired up the Intex LED TV with Creative’s Inspire T3130.
Credit : AVMAX Magazine
OUT OF THE BOX
Frankly, the first question that came to our minds when this little flat panel came out of the box was “Is this a computer monitor?” When it’s only 23” diagonally, it’s hard to distinguish between the two although this particular panel has a far thicker black border than a conventional monitor. The border does make the VT13 look a little bulky but it doesn’t look unpleasantnby any standards. The television sits on a little circular stand that needs a little screwing in. Since this is a light flat panel, it might not be safe to place it on a narrow, high shelf. The edges are glossy black, while the back panel is of matte finish but smooth. It’s simple yet very contemporary and would fit quite easily in any bedroom. The T3130 looks very chic and stylish because of its satellites that don’t look like plain old boxy speakers. The black colour grille on each of the satellites is a welcome design and it surely protects the cones from dust, dirt, unwanted fingers that are eager to touch and at the same it adds extra years to thesatellites. The subwoofer on the other hand, is a long elongated cabinet with the bass driver firing downwards and there is a front firing bass port. The physical footprint of the entire 2.1 system is quite small and that’s exactly what budget enthusiasts would want in their room.
This is an LED flat panel and at 23” of screen size, it boasts a resolution of 1366x768p. We weren’t expecting a full HD resolution in this price-range, so there are no surprises here. As far as other features go, there isn’t very much that this little flat panel has to offer. It has USB support so you can hook up your Pen-drive to it and playback MPEG4, MP3s and JPEGs. Picture quality-wise, it has MPEG noise reduction and nothing else as far as all those additional unwanted features like motion enhancing go.
Connectivity support goes as far as HDMI and as low as PC input and composite. It has internal speakers, which rate to about 8W and there are two speakers in there. However, this flat panel offers external speaker support so you can connect a better set of speakers or even an amplifier directly to it for better sound. This is where we pushed in the Creative Inspire T3130, a pair of satellites that handles all the mid-range and treble frequencies where as the subwoofer handles all the low-end region. The subwoofer can deliver 15 watts of power output where each satellite is capable of delivering 5 watts of power with the help of the internal power amplifiers that sit within the subwoofer. The satellites feature what Creative calls Image Focusing Plate (IFP))—a design aimed to improve the directivity of all the sounds that emanate from the satellites, while at the same time it is meant to preserve timbral accuracy and help you experience a better stereo image. The entire 2.1 set up is controlled by a wired remote control unit which contains a rotary volume knob which doubles up as the On/Off switch. And for control over the sound, the subwoofer has a bass control knob, with this, you can increase or decrease the amount of bass reproduced by the subwoofer. And those who still loathe the visual quality of CRTs, can upgrade to a better sonic output via this system. The satellites are magnetically shielded so they won’t create any unwanted picture distortions on your beloved old CRT.
The build of this controller is fantastic; a wide face with large, colour coded buttons and an ergonomic design. It even has dedicated buttons for controlling MP3s and MPEG videos so you can easily navigate the film. Maybe the only complaint here would be the range that directly reflects in the performance. You have to point it to the right of the television to get any sort of response but since this isn’t a very wide television, this right point is pretty much at the centre of the viewing stage.
With the help of five screws, the stand can very easily hook up to the flat panel and with the help of an HDMI cable you can be connected to your source in seconds. I spent some time tweaking the video parametres of this television, because usually in the budget range there are several not so important features that have been left on by default. I was glad to see that there weren’t many useless features in here and the essentials were very easy to get to while using the OSD.
Using the Blu-ray of ‘Hotel Transylvania’, I found a good balance between contrast and brightness. Unfortunately, the only place I could get a reasonable amount of blacks was when I kept the contrast on maximum and had the brightness up to its mid-way point. There is also a feature called ‘Dynamic Back Light’, which you can never turn off completely because it will blacken out the entire image, if you do so. Neither is it dynamic, because you don’t see the dip or rise in brightness as scenes change. Getting back to the blacks, the opening sequence of this animation film had so many different monsters checking in to the hotel that it gave me plenty of samples to see how the blacks were working. They weren’t very detailed and you couldn’t see even Dracula’s cape’s folds most of the times. Increasing brightness beyond a point only made the image seem more washed out, which is never a good thing. What this television does remarkably well is handle colours and sharpness, especially with Blu-rays. I couldn’t see a hint of bleeding or blotching, which is otherwise usually present in budget flat panels. As for the sharpness, the edges were so well defined that even from a distance of 8 feet, which was where I was sitting, I could see the hair on Dracula’s daughter’s head and even when she turns into a bat, I could see the hair on its body.
Coming to the 2.1’s audio performance, well, I certainly had a better experience than I could ask for. The dialogues were rendered in a clear audible tone, there was a lot of energy in the room because the subwoofer managed to emanate a good amount of low-end, and which was a good thing considering its dimensions and driver size. With ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’, the texture of the giants was spot-on. Their skin-tones were rendered perfectly and you could see the blotches of wear and tear on their leathery skin during the close-ups. I thought this film wouldn’t be so ‘big’ if I watched it on a 23” screen, but its effect was almost as great as I had expected. I didn’t feel like I was missing screen size because what this flat panel does with the little space it has been vivid enough to keep the experience engrossing. ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ DVD had a touch of softness that the Blu-ray picture didn’t have, but it still looked dazzling. I could even see some blotching in some of the darker regions, but then depending on the distance between yourself and the screen, the artefacts can be minimal to moderate. The colours, sharpness and skin-tones were all still very accurate. As this screen size is small, the picture doesn’t have to tear like it does on larger flat panels.
As for its sound, the only thing that I can say is that fl at panels still have a long way to go to match the full-fl edged sound of a CRT, that’s why the 2.1 always came in handy for this review. I later connected a USB drive to the flat panel to hear how good it is with external fi les and whether it can act as a source on its own. Firstly, in terms of audio fi les, I noticed a smart feature on the flat panel. Every time I selected and played a song, the fl at panel made a note of it and created a playlist on the right hand side of the screen. This way I was able to play back all the songs that I heard and played earlier, it made things easier as I didn’t have to go back to the individual folders of each album. Albums like ‘Continuum’, (320kbps MP3) ‘Brothers’ (WAV), ‘Random Access Memories’ (WAV) sounded crisp and detailed through the T3130. The 2.1 was able to create an entertaining experience and there was no audible distortion until I kept the volume level at a decent level.
I further moved on to view some video fi les in different formats like AVI, FLV and MP4. The on-board electronics were able to instantly playback videos and movies like ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’, ‘As Good As It Gets’ and I was able to even dwell into the immersive live performance of Patrick Watson. Visually, the fl at panel did good justice to these videos which were not full HD, the variety in skin tones in the ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’ and their natural appearance is what created an engrossing experience. For once I forgot that I was actually watching video fi les being played back from the USB stick, rather than a DVD player. The T3130 as a 2.1 performed exceptionally well, the liveliness in the sound and the overall excitement level is simply amazing because everything sounds more real and full of energy and this is what connects you deeper to the drama that is unfolding on the screen.
Tag : buy led tv, led tv review, 23 inches led tv, subwoofer review, Intex LE23HDR05-VT13 review, Creative Inspire T3130 review, buy subwoofer