|Olevia/Syntax 242T FHD 42-Inch LCD 1080p HDTV|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Monitor | HDTV|
|Written by Matt Williams - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 08 October 2008|
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Olevia 42" HDTV Final Thoughts
HDTVs and monitors can be a hard category to review. Unlike most hardware, which has a plethora of objective benchmarks, TVs and monitors come down to subjective opinion. What I can tell you is this TV has stood up to my stringent standards. It's built well and felt very solid to work with. The picture quality is outstanding, much better than I would expect given the price point. The included 1:1 pixel mapping also makes it an ideal choice for a PC connection and if you've never gamed on a big screen, you're definitely in for a surprise. There were a few minor issues, but nothing I couldn't get used to or work around.
Olevia 242T FHD Conclusion
For most of us, the first encounter we have with an HDTV is the display model on the sales floor or a photograph on an e-shopping site. Nevertheless, manufacturers put a great deal of effort into boxing their product; Olevia is no exception. In fact, they do so quite well. The box has full color photographs and detailed specifications of the TV contained within. More importantly though, there is plenty of padding and protection to buffer in the event of a shipping accident.
The appearance of the Olevia 242T FHD is nothing to write home about, but that's exactly what I like about it. I prefer the flat black color of the panel trim. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the high-gloss look, it's just a matter of opinion. In fact, even Olevia varies between the two within its product lines. I do suggest taking a look at your lighting situation before opting either way though. The glossy trims tend to produce considerable glare in the presence of overhead lights.
Appearance and construction quality often get tossed around as synonyms, but believe me, they are not. Manufacturers have discovered all sorts of tricks to throw off our perceptions of quality. Having worked with the Olevia for a few weeks, I can tell you it stood up to my barrage of tests. As with just about all LCD products, though, you always have to be conscious of the screen. A simple scratch or too much pressure can damage the screen permanently.
Functionality testing was a give and take with this particular TV. Olevia provided a great feature set and plenty of I/O options, but there were a few things lacking. I would really like to see picture-in-picture and split screen work with all video sources, not just a few. The menu system also needs a redesign. It's functional, but the learning curve may lead to frustration. That said, the TV does what its supposed to do and does it well. It displays a great picture with rich colors and sharp details, all with minimal set up time.
Value is where this product really shines. Olevia set the MSRP on the 242T at $1399, but recent sales have dropped the price as low as $849.99. Make sure to factor in the cost of that extended warranty, though. Chances are you won't need it, but with the recent bankruptcy filing of Syntax-Brillian, it wouldn't hurt to have an extra layer of coverage.
As entry-level HDTVs go, the Olevia 242T FHD definitely ranks among the top. It offers great picture quality and plenty of features to keep you spinning around that menu wheel. For what you get with this TV, it's hard to justify the higher cost of its siblings, but as always, I recommend taking a trip to your favorite retailer to see it for yourself.
+ Excellent picture quality with SD and HD sources
- Mediocre vertical viewing angles
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
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