OHKI 42-Inch 3D TV Hands-On: What Do You Get For $699?

It's not easy finding a 3D TV for under a couple of grand, let alone a decent one that you actually want to buy. OHKI is one of two Aussie online retailers (the other being Kogan) to come out with a full HD 3D TV for under $700, but our hands-on time shows that it's still very much a case of "you get what you pay for".

OHKI's 3D TV 42-inch screen uses an LG panel. It weighs in at 18kg and measures 26cm deep and 70cm tall. It has a built-in tuner, two USB ports, three HDMI ports and comes with one HDMI cable. The real sweetener is in the built-in PVR functionality, which allows you to record any TV program onto an external hard drive, as well as pause and rewind live TV without having to purchase a separate PVR unit.

Compared with the $3000 Sony Bravia 3D TV in our office, you can see where OHKI made compromises to hit that sub-$700 price point. The full HD (1920x1080 resolution) display shows signs of minor light leaking, but we were quite impressed by the bright, sharp 2D images, and the sound coming out of the speakers is more than satisfactory. The blacks are pretty average, but that's somewhat expected on an LCD screen lacking LED backlighting. OHKI includes a generous four pairs of 3D glasses, but they don't sell any additional pairs. If you ever need more, you can use the RealD glasses you get from the cinemas. Four pairs should be enough to be getting started with, but what they make up for in quantity they lack in quality; the glasses are very basic in both design and function, and it didn't take much for them to fall off my face. Glasses wearers should note that they will fit, but they weren't as comfortable as Sony's active shutter glasses that we've got in the office.

The great thing about the passive 3D technology that OHKI uses in this TV is that even though it tends to make for a less immersive 3D experience, you don't have to deal with the annoying flicker that you get with more expensive active shutter 3D glasses. Despite having a standard 178-degree viewing angle, you'll have to seat yourself directly in front of the screen at a distance of no more than a metre or two to get the best 3D image.

If you want a decent 2D TV with 3D functionality for the odd occasion, and you're not too picky about the 3D picture quality, the OHKI 3D TV will get the job done. It comes with a 12-month warranty, and they're throwing in free delivery to anywhere in Australia. But if you have the coin to spend, invest it on something with a faster refresh rate and higher contrast ratio for deeper blacks and brighter whites. Your head and your heart (and your eyes!) will thank you for it. [OHKI]