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?
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:)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.