Changhong CHL2643A LCD television

This budget big-screen LCD television boasts reasonable picture quality and a low price

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Changhong CHL2643A
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • High-definition screen, three HDMI ports

Cons

  • Low static contrast, no dynamic backlighting, no 100Hz

Bottom Line

For casual viewing the Changhong CHL2643A does its job well. The low contrast and lack of picture enhancement features makes it a poor choice for watching high-definition Blu-ray movies, but it is well suited for watching digital television or as a cheap secondary TV.

Would you buy this?

The Changhong CHL2643A is a budget 26in LCD television with few standout features. It is competitively priced and its picture quality is good enough for casual viewers.

Like the Changhong CHL1555B we reviewed recently, the Changhong CHL2643A LCD television has uninspiring styling. A simple and squarish black bezel looks like almost every other LCD television we've seen — not terrible, but a bit too boring for our eccentric tastes. The Changhong CHL2643A has a good supply of A/V inputs for a small screen: three HDMI ports, dual component, composite and S-Video connectors and a solitary VGA port.

The Changhong CHL2643A uses a 16:9 LCD panel with a native resolution of 1366x768. This is a reasonably high resolution for a 26in TV, and the screen displays a good amount of detail when we connected it via VGA to a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook. This is also true of HDMI devices that can output at the screen's resolution — such as a Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite. Unfortunately, Sony's PlayStation 3 didn't fare as well. Devices outputting at 720p or 1080p are scaled to the screen's native resolution, and we noticed significant over-smoothing and loss of detail when this happened.

We've seen the menu system of the Changhong CHL2643A before on the Teac LCD228HDM and other low-priced TVs. It's better than a bland interface and it works well. You can adjust settings using either the side-mounted buttons on the television or the remote control, which is well laid out and labelled.

The Changhong CHL2643A's biggest issue is its low static contrast ratio. At 800:1 it's lower than we would have liked for Blu-ray playback (and even some demanding DVDs). There was significant detail loss in the dark areas of our The Dark Knight 1080p test footage. Broadcast digital television is acceptable, though we did notice some black crush in a dark scene of CSI: Miami. There's no dynamic backlighting to optimise contrast settings, and the lack of a 100Hz frame-doubling setting means fast motion pans can sometimes be jerky and unsettling.

The two inbuilt speakers of the Changhong CHL2643A are rated at 8W each and there is treble, bass and balance adjustment as well as a virtual surround setting. With a little bit of tweaking the television sounded good for broadcast television, but we'd recommend connecting an external sound system through the coaxial digital output if you want a more immersive experience for movie watching.

The Changhong CHL2643A comes with a 12-month warranty, which is on par with budget TVs from vendors such as Kogan and Sanyo.

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