LCD televisions from no-name and budget companies have flooded the market over the past year. Cut-price retailers are supplying models for a fraction of the price of televisions from Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and other major manufacturers. We weigh up the pros and cons of these bargain LCD televisions and look at some other popular entry-level choices.
Hands-on with budget TVs in our Test Centre
Current price: $895.00
What we liked: Significantly cheaper than the competition, Full HD 1080p resolution, decent dynamic contrast ratio
What we didn’t like: No 100Hz, dated styling and ugly stand
Star rating: 3.5
Tyagi’s 37in 3788 LCD television is a good performer for its price. It doesn’t have any of the extra image adjustment features that we’ve seen on big-brand televisions, but as a simple screen for watching television or playing games it does everything expected of it.
Current price: $900.00
What we liked: Decent design and features, good picture quality, functional and stylish menu
What we didn’t like: No 100Hz, no dynamic contrast, low static contrast, single HDMI input
Star rating: 3.75
Aimed at beneficiaries of the recent governmental stimulus package, the 37in Kogan Technologies KEVIN37 made a name for itself with a novelty advertising campaign. If you’re looking for an acceptable all-round television the KEVIN37 is a great contender — if you can put up with the single HDMI input.
Current price: $495.00
What we liked: Bright screen, in-built DVD player, 1680x1050 screen
What we didn’t like: 16:10 ratio means black bars when watching TV or DVDs, low contrast, no 100Hz mode
Star rating: 3.75
With a computer-friendly resolution and an in-built DVD player the 22-inch Tyagi 2298 is capable of fulfilling a wide range of roles around the house. It may not be as visually stunning as other small screens we’ve looked at, but as a second television for the bedroom or study it will serve its purpose.
Current price: $1699.00
What we liked: Cheaper than chips, decent contrast and high brightness, Full HD
What we didn’t like: Lower contrast and fewer HDMI ports than other 47in models
Star rating: 4.25
With a simple (if uninspiring) design the Kogan Technologies 1080P-47 offers a large 47in screen for the same price you’d expect to pay for a 42in brand-name television. It may not be brilliant in terms of picture quality, but for watching TV, playing games and watching high-definition movies you will enjoy the Kogan Technologies 1080P-47.
Tyagi’s 3288 LCD television is claimed to be the cheapest 32in 1080p television currently on the Australian market, with a price of $695.
A 42in LCD television with a 1080p resolution and 100Hz motion smoothing, the Hisense HL106V68PZ is a compelling deal. We spotted it for $1591.
The 22in no-frills Kogan HD22 slides in at an enticing price point of $399.
From a company generally better known for its well-priced LCD computer monitors, the Viewsonic N3290W is a television with impressive specifications. A 12,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and four HDMI inputs give it a better feature set than models from some big-name manufacturers. We found it for as little as $774 using the StaticIce price-matching service.