Review: Onida 32 iTUBE LEO32AFIN3D
And now, a 3D TV with Android OS.
Good display quality; Good 3D performance; Android OS; Stylish looks; USB supports NTFS and popular movie formats.
Glossy panel is distractingly reflective; Below average video filtering; Weak base stand design.
Onida 32 iTUBE LEO32AFIN3D
MRP: Rs 56,000 (Store Locator)
Street Price (As On 09-Dec-2011): Rs 53,000
We've reviewed almost all types of TVs, including plasmas, LEDs, Smart TVs, and even 3D displays, but the one we received recently for review belongs to yet another breed. The Onida 32 iTUBE LEO32AFIN3D is a 32" Full HD LED-backlit LCD TV capable of displaying 3D images and videos. It's a Wi-Fi-enabled Smart TV, but that's not all. It comes with the Android OS, which as the company possibly rightly claims, is the first of its kind in India. This allows you to install and use various applications from the Android Market, going beyond the normal internet applications usually bundled with such TVs. The spec sheet proclaims that it's loaded with features, so let us find out how well it performs.
- Remote control, 4 pairs of 3D glasses.
- Wi-Fi 150 Mbps USB adapter, MBlaze Mobile Wi-Fi Router (for Rs 4500 extra).
- 3 x Composite adaptors, Component adaptor, USB extension cable, User manual
Since the TV uses polarised 3D technology to display the 3D visual effects, the glasses consist of a pair of passive and oppositely polarised glasses. These are extremely light and comfortable to wear because they do not contain a battery. Onida provides four pairs, which should be usually enough for a family. If you want more, you can buy for Rs 2500 for a pack of two.
The remote control is two-sided, with one side controlling the TV and dedicated media functions, while the other has a QWERTY keyboard to be used with the internet functionality. The media function buttons could have been a little larger though. Also, the QWERTY side could have had backlit buttons to make it easy to use in a dimly-lit room.
MBlaze Mobile Wi-Fi Router
Onida also provides the MBlaze Mobile Wi-Fi Router at a discounted price of Rs 4500. This, in conjunction with the Wi-Fi USB adapter connected to the TV, provides internet functionality out of the box. The MBlaze Wi-Fi router is a tiny device that works on CDMA technology to give a maximum ideal bandwidth of 3.1 Mbps. In our tests, the download speeds reached 190 KB/s, while the upload speeds went up to 90 KB/s, which are satisfactory. The router's range was found to be good up to 5 metres, after which the connection became unreliable. You can use the device with any other Wi-Fi device as well.
Design And Features
The Onida 32 iTUBE LEO32AFIN3D is an edge LED-backlit LCD panel based TV measuring 32" diagonally. The panel is covered by glossy glass, which reflects too much and distracts the viewer. It boasts a stylish look with a 2 cm thick bezel made of concentric rectangles, the inner one being black polymer, while the outer is made of lustrous aluminium.
The TV stands at 50 cm with the pedestal stand, is 75 cm wide, and the thickness is 15 cm. If going for the wall-mounted option, then the height of the TV is 45.5 cm, and the thickness reducing to a mere 4 cm. Wall mounting may seem an obvious choice for many, and since the TV has all the ports at the side, should pose no problem.
The pedestal stand consists of a thick metal plate and a plastic part that connects it to the TV. The latter sports a classy look, though I doubt its durability, because it seems to be too thin to support the weight of the TV for a long duration. The stand does not allow any sort of adjustment and the display appears to tilt forward slightly. What's worse, the stand is so wobbly that even a blast of air from the ceiling fan can make it shake. Another reason why you should ditch the base stand altogether and go for a wall mount. No matter which method you choose for the installation, you must make sure that your eye level while seated is at the middle of the screen. More about this later.
The control buttons are present on the TV's left, just behind the bezel. These include Power, Channel, Volume, and Menu. While they're sufficient to handle the most basic functions if your remote control malfunctions or runs out of power, a source selection button should also have been provided.
Onida has placed all the ports on the right side of the TV, just behind the bezel for easy access. These include two HDMI, two composite inputs, one component input, and even a D-Sub along with stereo audio input to connect older PCs. Wired network connectivity is provided by means of an ethernet port. There are three USB ports: two at the top and one at the bottom. The top two do not recognise USB mass storage devices, hence can only be used with the USB Wi-Fi adapter. The bottom USB port has no difficulty recognising FAT32 as well as NTFS flash drives and hard drives. It accepted all the popular formats we threw at it without any problem. While connecting to this USB port can be difficult when an HDMI cable is present in the adjacent port, then you can use the provided USB extension cable.
Connectors on the side.
The onscreen menu to control the TV functions is fairly usable. It's divided into four sections: Picture, Sound, Features, and Setups. The brightness and contrast can be adjusted in the Picture section. It also has an Advanced section, where you can adjust other settings such as Noise Reduction, Dynamic Contrast, and 3D mode selection and switching. In addition to native 3D formats, this TV also supports he live conversion of 2D content into 3D using a proprietary algorithm. Audio setup allows you to control the way the TV sounds by selecting preset modes or through a 5-band graphic equaliser.
The USB playback option can be accessed by pressing the iPlayon button on the remote. It also presents a static menu system similar to the TV function UI, but in this case, the four sections are for Photos, Videos, Songs, and Settings. Once inside a section, the contents of the connected drive are available in a simple folder and file format. Playback can be controlled using the media control buttons present near the top of the remote.
Since this is a "smart TV", it comes with web features that can be accessed by selecting the source as Internet. The Android-powered animated interface now replaces the static interface. In addition to the web browser, it comes with its own email client. There is also support for online photo sharing networks, video, audio, and internet radio. Expectedly, Facebook and Twitter are also supported.
The best part is that the TV supports installing apps from the Android Market, and you can even sync them with your devices using the All Sync function. On the flip side, you can install only about 100-odd apps due to the limited internal storage of just 70 MB. While Skype is not provided in the TV itself, you can install it from the market and possibly use the second of the top USB ports to connect a compatible webcam, though Onida does not mention it.
I connected the Amkette FlashTV HD Media Player to test the HD video playback capability of the TV, and ran the PassMark MonitorTest by connecting it to a PC. The HDMI port was used in both the instances.
HQV Benchmark - HQV benchmark was run via the media player. The noise reduction was found to be below average, while the Jaggies test showed that it can handle anti-aliasing without an issue. The TV failed in the Video Resolution Loss test, but its doesn't matter if the media source outputs a progressive signal rather than an interlaced one, which is almost always the case these days. All in all, the HQV test produced a mixed bag.
Video Playback - The colour reproduction was found to be very good, with a wide contrast and deep blacks. The backlight was evenly spread across the panel without any leaks. The viewing angle is also decent for a 32-incher. HD video playback was excellent, without any visible ghosting or streaking in fast-paced action scenes. The main problem though continued to be the distracting reflections caused by the glossy panel.
3D Performance - In order to be able to view 3D content, you must connect this TV to either a PC capable of producing 3D video output, or a 3D Blu-ray player. Using a PC will let you view a variety of 3D content, including computer games. I used native 3D content off a USB flash drive to test the playback. The performance was found to be convincing as long as the eye level was at the centre of the screen. Going a little up or down caused ghosting and crosstalk to appear, thus destroying the experience. As long as I toed this line, I didn't experience any of the known complaints regarding 3D, such as headaches or nausea. This could be attributed to the lack of flickering and the comfortable glasses.
The good part is that the brightness of the TV does not decrease even while watching 3D. It supports all the common 3D formats such as side-by-side, top-bottom, and frame-packed. It also converts 2D content to 3D on-the-fly, though with limited results. Overall, the 3D performance was good, but you'll need a screen size of 46" or more if you really want an immersive experience.
Coming to the technical points, since the TV does not support 120 Hz refresh rates, it's not compatible with NVIDIA 3D Vision or Stereoscopic 3D. Also, the vertical resolution is halved while displaying 3D images, because every even-numbered horizontal line is polarised to be visible to one eye, while every odd-numbered one is visible only to the other. Thus, for Full HD 3D content, you'll actually see 1920x540 with each eye, but most people won't notice this.
The audio playback was considerably loud and clear with the two down-firing stereo speakers on either side. As expected, bass was found to be lacking. If you want good audio playback, you can connect the device to a home theatre system.
Power Consumption And Verdict
The TV consumed a constant 56 Watts in almost every mode and brightness level. It does not come with an economy mode of any sort, usually found in most TVs today. The power consumption is considerably higher than most 32" TVs with LED-backlit LCD panels. For the sake of comparison, the Sony BRAVIA EX31 reviewed earlier consumed just 34 W, while a normal 21" CRT TV needs 51 W.
The retail bundle is complete in every way. It offers the MTS Mobile Wi-Fi router worth Rs 6000 at a discounted price of Rs 4500, as well as Rs 1600 off on Reliance HD DVR with a 160 GB hard drive, discounts on movie tickets via BookMyShow.com, 60 Bollywood movies free via BigFlix, and even discount vouchers from MakeMyTrip.com. With a one-year onsite warranty, the telly comes at a street price of Rs 53,000. This prices it a little higher than the competition, probably due to the presence of 3D.
The 31 iTUBE LEO32AFIN3D comes loaded with features and does deliver to an extent. The performance is good with natural colours and good contrast. The same can be said of its 3D, though I strongly suggest going for a screen size larger than 46". Being a Smart TV, it comes with internet-enabled features. Android compatibility is yet another major plus point, allowing you to install different apps to increase its usability. Probably the biggest con is that screen is glossy and distracting due to its reflective nature. Also, the noise reduction is of questionable effectiveness, thus necessitating a good filtering system at the video source.
Design And Build: 3/5
Value For Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
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