|Honeywell Altura MLX 42-inch 1080p 10-bit HDTV|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Monitor | HDTV|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 14 November 2008|
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Honeywell HDTV Final Thoughts
Since the Altura MLX is Honeywell's first HDTV product, and Benchmark Reviews is the first to test it, I have a good feeling that future Honeywell products might be shaped by our feedback. Honeywell, while being no stranger to electronic devices, is still new to the consumer electronics industry. SOYO has done very well to execute a skillful design worthy of the Honeywell brand name, and the Altura MLX 42-inch 1080p HDTV is actually superior to SOYO's own product offerings. The real question that remains is how will Honeywell carve out their image? They've got heavy competition, and building brand recognition against companies like Sharp, Sony, Samsung, and Toshiba isn't going to be easy unless you attack their weaknesses. From the looks of it, they're off to a good stat.
First and foremost, referring to the Altura MLX as 'another' 42-inch HDTV is actually an injustice to my experience with the product. Unlike the experince I've had with a dozen other LCD HDTV's, the Honeywell Altura was the first to make me feel a little surreal while viewing video content. Since I'm not a routine television watcher, and movie night happens only a few times a month, I recruited others with more casual viewing experience than I had for a second (and third) opinion. The consensus was that the Altura display a picture that is almost 'too realistic'. One person even mentioned that the sound quality was actually more defined than the 7.1 channel system used in my entertainment center. On all accounts, I agreed. This isn't a byproduct of 1080p programming, especially when my other two HDTVs are both already deliver 1080p content. After some additional comparison testing, I discovered that 10-bit color paired to a 120 Hz LCD panel made for a truly high-definition experience.
Watching 1080p action movies on Blu-Ray Disc and sports broadcast at 720p, the super-crisp imagery was simply stunning and actually still took a back-seat to the lifelike color definition and increased 120 FPS. But 10-bit color/120Hz LCD displays aren't exactly a Honeywell exclusive, however. Since the Sharp Aquos LC42D85U and Toshiba REGZA 42XV545U are same-sized products competing for the same home theater space with a similar $1299 street price, Honeywell is going to have to give consumers a compelling reason to consider their new name.
To their credit, Honeywell has started their HDTV legacy with a shining success. Time will only tell if a new and unknown product line can compete against the biggest names in the industry, but the economic climate might yield better pricing from a new name like Honeywell than the bloated mega-corporations that have lumbered the land for so many years. One things for sure, a five-year warranty is a step in the right direction. Value has been under-valued, and a financial recession is forcing consumers to re-think their investments to achieve a lower total cost of ownership.