Lightning Review: Kogan 42-Inch 1080P LCD TV

kogan42.jpgThe Gadget: Kogan's 42-inch Full HD LCD TV, which features a 1080p LG panel, 2 HDMI inputs and a HD tuner built-in.The Price: $1,349 The Verdict: On a pure "dollars per inch" scale, it's hard to go past the Kogan. It's not the best picture quality in the world (far from it, in fact), the sound isn't much to write home about, the remote control makes Ronaldinho look attractive and the feature set is fairly plain, but a 42-inch LCD for $1350 is a bargain no matter what way you look at it.

Picture quality - that indefinable measure that is the largest deciding factor when purchasing a TV - is pretty good, on par with Full HD TVs from 12-18 months ago. While LCD tech has progressed a long way over the past 18 months, if you're watching an HD source on this Kogan, you'll be pretty happy with the results. There are two HDMI inputs and a HD tuner built-in, so finding HD content shouldn't be a problem. SD content doesn't fair quite as well, appearing grainy and pixelated at times (especially the ultra-compressed SD Foxtel), but it's still watchable.

This particular model doesn't have a 100Hz mode, so fast-moving action tends to judder a bit, especially in SD. But for under $1500, are you really going to complain too much?

Sound quality is the Kogan's Achilles heel. It's tinny, with almost no bottom end to speak of. But there is a digital audio out port, so anyone with a proper home theatre setup can pump the audio out to external speakers without too much difficulty.

The remote control is quite possibly the ugliest remote ever, devised by demonspawn to drive you insane. Fortunately, the on screen menu is a lot cleaner, simpler and easier to use than the last Kogan TV we looked at, and while it won't win any awards, it's definitely usable (even with their remote). For the price, it's definitely worth spending a bit of extra cash on a cheap universal remote.

If you're considering picking up a cheap LCD TV, this is a pretty good place to start looking. It's far from the quality of the latest and greatest sets from the major manufacturers, but it's still good enough quality to let you enjoy your Full HD entertainment on a budget. Just make sure you're prepared to put up with the set's weaknesses as well as its bargain basement-price...

[Kogan]