How good does a $300 4K UHD TV actually look? We test the Dick Smith 41.5 inch 4K TV – EFTM
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How good does a $300 4K UHD TV actually look? We test the Dick Smith 41.5 inch 4K TV

The simple answer is - surprisingly bloody good

When Dick Smith online (owned by Kogan.com) announced a 4K TV at 41.5 inches for $299 I was sceptical – how good could a $300 TV really look? So we’ve put it to the test and the result is surprisingly bloody good.

You’re buying online, you’re buying at the cheap end of the price range, how good can you expect it to be?

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Right out of the box, I was surprised, if not shocked by how good this physical TV looked – a nice faux brushed metal edge on the bottom, a thin bezel around the entire screen and an easy to install and modern looking stand.

Jumping straight to the issue at hand, I hooked up the Samsung 4K Blu-Ray player – the player worth a couple of hundred more than the TV itself:)

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In goes THE MARTIAN on 4K and right away a problem hit me. On screen I got a message saying “This content will be played in HD because the display and/or the HDMI input port do not support HDCP 2.2. Change the display device and/or the HDMI input port and try again.”

Fortunately, I had heard of this issue.  Stephen Fenech wrote in great detail about it at TechGuide recently having connected the Samsung 4K player to his Home Theatre.

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Taking a closer look at the Box the TV came in, the three HDMI ports are 2 x HDMI 1, and 1 x HDMI 2.  Bingo.

Unplugged the HDMI and found port 1, and we had ourselves 4K vision.

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Right away the difference was more than chalk and cheese, this was dust vs gold.

Having watched 4K and Blu-Ray content on my own 65 inch LG TV, I was getting an immediate appreciation for how those big name and large screen TVs do a great job at upscaling and image processing.

Photo (Excuse the colour, but you'll get the gist) from BLU RAY

Photo (Excuse the colour, but you’ll get the gist) from BLU RAY

Photo (Excuse the colour, but you'll get the gist) from 4K ULTRA HD BLU RAY

Photo (Excuse the colour, but you’ll get the gist) from 4K ULTRA HD BLU RAY

The 4K Blu-Ray was stunning.  The difference between the picture in “HD” via a different HDMI port and 4K was mind-blowing.

I plugged in a Sony Blu-Ray player and ran the same movie on Blu-Ray and then on 4K.  Again, Chalk and Cheese.  Frankly, the Blu-Ray quality was shocking.

The Blu-Ray

The Blu-Ray

The ULTRA HD 4K Blu-Ray

The ULTRA HD 4K Blu-Ray

I don’t know if that’s because I’m sitting so close to the TV in my office reviewing it here or if the lack of superior image processing is giving me a “raw” output from the disc – but without question I’d struggle to watch Blu Ray on this TV having seen how crisp the 4K picture is.

For $300, it’s almost ridiculous.

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Looking at Kogan.com branded TV’s I suspect this model Dick Smith TV was in the works before the company went belly up and the brand was purchased by Kogan.com.  Knowing that Kogan work with so many factories in China, they likely took up the existing order and pushed it out at low volume for a cheap price.

There’s no Dick Smith branding on the TV – so your mates won’t know you’re a cheap skate either:)

While this particular model is no longer available (All sold out), I have no doubt that the quality and performance matches that of the Kogan 4K TV models – and if that’s the case you’ll be very happy with your purchase  given the 4K Quality I see here.

You do need the content, so you’re going to have to buy a Samsung 4K Blu-Ray player but the less than $1000 combined investment in a TV and player is not going to disappoint you.

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Outside the 4K content, the TV has a very easy to use interface, setup was easy and frankly I think it’s a bargain at anything less than $499 – Look at the big stores and you’ll need to spend $600+ on a 40 inch 4K TV.

A Kogan or Dick Smith TV, Samsung Blu-Ray player which also has built-in apps like Netflix could be the perfect way to fit out a games room, play room or man cave.

Oh, and before you go telling me that this TV doesn’t have the same picture quality or refresh rate or something like that as a more expensive brand – thanks scoop – that’s what you get when you spend $300.  For the average viewer, the picture here is excellent and won’t grab any complaints around the room.  If you want the absolute best – you’ve got to spend big bucks.  Your choice.

 

Dick Smith 41.5 inch 4K TV
Date Published: 06/23/2016
Great look, good design, excellent 4K picture quality and a stunning price. Can't go wrong - unless you're a video nerd and are going to notice every little thing and are comparing this to much more expensive models
4 / 5 stars
Categories
Tech

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
4 Comments on this post.
  • qu
    4 July 2016 at 8:00 pm
    Leave a Reply

    i have this tv, yes its cheap and ok for the bedroom, but am very surprised you did NOT mention the horrible sound quality,
    and with horrible i realy mean that, it sound like a old transistor radio with tin cans as speaker.

    • Trevor Long
      13 July 2016 at 10:20 pm
      Leave a Reply

      You get what you pay for – nope, it’s not the best, but it does the job

  • steve
    7 October 2016 at 10:55 pm
    Leave a Reply

    I also have the this tv. But, I don’t use it to watch tv, it’s simply a BIG computer monitor.
    It does that job well with the following downsides
    1. It’s a little to big. My neck has to work hard scanning the whole screen. I think 28 inches would probably be better size for a monitor.
    2. Again because it’s big, getting the mouse cursor from one side of the screen to the other is a big trip.
    3. This is a monitor problem, it frequently goes black for about 5-10 seconds, then comes back. Annoying for a monitor, but not the problem it would be if used for a tv.

    And yes, the sound is crap, but I have separate speakers. I’ve never struck a tv with decent sound, but I guess one or two exist.

  • matt
    12 October 2016 at 1:52 pm
    Leave a Reply

    have you been able to find a firmware update for this tv at all?
    what model number does it say the tv is?

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