Devant 32CL900 LCD TV Review
First of all, i am neither a Devant sales agent, nor a salesman of some appliance store... I'm just a normal consumer like most of you... Disclaimer?
I just recently went shopping for an LCD TV that should fit my budget of around P19K-P21K. A 32" inch LCD TV is just the right size for this budget. Also, I have many considerations in mind: it should be of good quality with generous features, but it should also be cheap--giving me the best value for my money.
At first, I thought buying in malls is a no-no since gray market vendors are the thing these days, for they can sell items at mostly half the mall price. But upon comparing their prices, I am surprised that mall prices too are competitive now.
So I went into some forums and researched on which mall store can offer me the best deal. Upon reading further, I discovered that one is Anson's Trinoma--some forumers say that it's a kind of store where you can "haggle" even if it is a 'mall store'--just like buying in Divisoria or tiangge.
Sir Vic's "Sights & Sounds" in Shangrila is another, with prices that are hard to beat, but too bad it's too far from my place already.
After reading a couple of reviews, i'm initially sold to getting the Panasonic L32C10X--with decent PQ, 2x HDMI, VGA input port, plus an SD card reader for viewing pictures. But upon getting into the showroom, the tides suddenly changed... Well, I guess you know what product I ended up with.
Enough talk and let's get into the review. Let's start with a quick peek on its specs (taken from the brochure):
(Sorry for the plastic wrapping, it's fairly new kasi.
Photos are unedited, just resized.)DEVANT 32CL900
(They call it "Lustre" Series)
Screen size: 32" LCD
Resolution: HD Ready 1366x768 pixels
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 15:000
Viewing Angle: 178 degrees (horizontal) / 178 degrees (vertical)
Response time: 6.5ms
Speakers: 5W x 2
HDMI input: 2x
Composite audio/video input: 2x
Component video input: 2x
L/R audio input for component: 2x
VGA input: 1x
Audio input for VGA: 1x
Audio/video output: 1x
S-Video input: 1x
USB: Jpeg & MP3
Headphone Jack: 1x
Equalizer: 5 bandFREEBIES:
- Nextbase NB-895 HDMI 1080p-upscaling DVD Player
- Nextbase HDMI cable (with gold contacts)
- Wall mountPRICE: Php 21,000
(SRP for the 'TV only' is P24,950, less P2,500 for straight payment discount, less "Anson's discount".
The DVD is priced at P0.00 at the receipt since it's a free item.)PICTURE QUALITY
The contrast ratio is quite small, but surprisingly, the picture quality is very good! I got satisfied with the picture quality 'out-of-the-box' that I didn't even bother tinkering with the picture settings anymore. The colors are rich & vivid, and the black is black but doesn't lose details caused by very deep blacks compared to other hi-end LCDs. Response time is pretty good in movies, but I would still need to test its speed in video games.
One of the most surprising feature of this LCD TV is the viewing angle! They call their technology "Superior Clear Panel". I won't just say this in words, I want to prove it by showing you some pictures. The specs doesn't lie!:
No washing away of colors, nor darkening!
Vertical angle - top view at approximately 175 degrees +/-
Horizontal angle - side view at approximately 175 degrees +/-
(Note: The vases are reflecting on the screen)SOUND
Another surprising feature is the built-in bottom speakers. The brochure says that the speakers are just 5watts x 2, but in television mode, the sound is surprisingly very loud & crisp even at low volume. When watching movies via the HDMI connection, you'll get a weaker sound though (that's expected due to dynamic range). You can either turn up the volume, or you can purchase better speakers with dedicated amplifiers--the recommended choice. TV MODE
TV reception is fair to good considering that I only used an 'indoor' Greentek antenna (without booster). I would also like to try out the 'booster-type' indoor antennas once I get to purchase one (i'm eyeing for the Greentek brand). But you will get the best reception if you will use the Baron-type outdoor antennas (as indicated in the manual). If none of these satisfies you, then just get a cable subscription instead. CONNECTIONS
It's got 2 HDMI ports, one on the back & one on the side... which is good for easier accessing. The USB port can read JPEG images & plays MP3s, they call it 'DMP', it stands for Digital Media Player, I think?
The read speed when viewing photos is fair to good (depending on the size), and it can zoom the photos for panning.
The plethora of connectors, back and sides
(Notice the sharp upscaling, sweet!)OTHER FEATURES
The TVs start-up time is around 8 seconds--from power button press to splash screen, and takes around 12 seconds from power button press to picture & sound start. The remote control range is very impressive, I tested it as far as 30 feet away from the TV and the remote is still working! The power consumption is rated at 130watts if everything is set to maximum.
The sleek side-panel 'touch' controls
The TV is protected by a rocker switch (iwas sunog
The free Nextbase NB-895 is an HDMI 1080p-upscaling DVD player. It's valued at around P3,500+ in the malls if bought separately. It upscales movies very well, especially when watching those "jack sparrow" Blue-ray-sort-of DVD copies bought at tiangge, you know what I mean.
It can even play DivX movies with SRT subtitles burned on a disc or via USB! and has Karaoke function too (haven't tested that yet though).
The HDMI 1080p-upscaling DVD player
(Notice the USB port & mic ports on the side)
The player's setup menu... upscaling!
Connectors galore! Notice the player is also protected by a rocker switch.
My only complaint about this player is, the subtitles in the DivX movies only uses a plain white font (no black font lining)--so when you are viewing very bright scenes, you can hardly read the subtitles anymore. But in conventional movies (CDs, DVDs, etc.), the subtitles are normal.
It even comes with a free Nextbase brand HDMI cable (not generic), very good quality! It has gold contacts and its cable is very thick but soft... neat!
A standard, 'fixed' wall bracket is included as well--it's good when mounting the TV in the sala--with the LCD panel's very good viewing angles, there's not much to complain about--may you mount it high or low. But if you will mount the TV in the kitchen, etc., then it's recommended to purchase a 'pivoting' mount instead. The included mount is just a plain horizontal brace, and it mounts using only the two 'top' screw holes of the TV's VESA mount, while using two rubber pads for the remaining two 'bottom' screw holes. It holds the TV by hanging and is secured by two small brace screws (lock), so that the TV won't accidentally fall. If you don't want to wall mount you TV, you can always use the included swivel base, it swivels 20 degrees, left and right direction.AFTER-SALES SUPPORT
Devant is said to be designed in Singapore, but i'm not sure if their products are made in the Philippines or China (as the same with all of our daily gadgets). It is exclusively distributed by 'Techpoint Enterprise' (www.techpoint.com.ph
) and their main office/service center is in Binondo. Their website is quite unupdated, so you won't see this model there. With this, i'm pretty sure that this TV is one of their latest models, if i'm not mistaken. It comes with 1-year warranty for parts and labor, and they even offer free home service (the salesman told me that you'll just have to pay for their fare). CONCLUSION
For the price of P21K for the 'entire set'--a good 32" inch TV, with very decent picture quality, impressive viewing angles, abundant connectors, plus a bonus HDMI upscaling DVD player already included--this is really a bargain!
Now, if you could only remove your bias towards the brand...