Back when we started this podcast (six years ago on Thursday) we never dreamt of being able to purchase a 42 inch LCD for around $460. And if you could would it be any good? Today that dream has come true with the Hannspree ST42DMSB 42 inch 120Hz LCD HDTV. As you would expect with a 42 inch TV at this price point there aren’t a ton of bells and whistles. What you get is a solid basic HDTV that can be used in your main or secondary room without breaking the bank.
● 120Hz refresh rate
● Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1 (X-Contrast)
● Four HDMI inputs
● Brightness: 470cd/m²
● Response Time: 4.5ms
● Viewing Angle (H/V): 176° x 176°
● USB 2.0 Flash Drive Input (Photos & Music only)
● Dimensions (WxHxD): 31.1” x 22.6” x 7.8” (with stand)
● Weight: 44.1 lbs
As you can see there really aren’t any special features that this HDTV has. There isn’t any Internet Apps, Netflix, 3D, and so on. What you get is a solidly built television for $460.
Connecting three cables to the TV is all it took to bring it to life. One HDMI from the receiver, one coax cable to connect the antenna and power. Done in less than two minutes! The next thing was to scan digital channels and we were good to go. One small issue we noticed was that moving around in the menus was kind of a pain. Either the remote wasn’t sending out a good IR signal of the TV wasn’t receiving the signal well. But that was only an issue during setup.
We adjusted the TV settings and will add the values to the end of this review and post them to our television settings section of our website. We encourage you to add your TV settings as well. Please use these only as starting points. Your results will vary.
We didn’t have high expectations for a low cost HDTV from a relatively unheard of brand so we were pleasantly surprised at how well it performed. The TV excelled were you would expect it to, bright high definition content. Colors looked good with natural looking skin tones. This was true with Satellite, OTA, and Blu-ray. Dark scenes were decent and you don’t lose too much detail in the shadows. The black levels are good but not quite up to par with the LED LCDs or Plasmas. Also, we found off angle viewing to be adequate with some color fade as you move off center. But all in all, a good performer, especially at the everyday price of $460!
There are two minor issues that we saw. First, even though the TV is 120Hz we saw a little ghosting while playing some single person shooter games on the Xbox 360. Second, we found the speakers a bit lacking in tonal quality. But to be honest, speakers on just about all TVs aren’t that good. For bedroom viewing they’ll be fine. If this is your main room TV you’ll want to route the audio through a receiver or sound bar.
We don’t have much information on reliability so only time will tell if the unit will hold up. If the retailer sells an extended warranty it may be something you might want to consider for piece of mind.
If you are looking for a larger format TV and want to spend less than $500 the Hannspree 42 in HDTV should be on your short list! It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles but it does produce a great High Definition picture!
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Posted by The HT Guys, June 9, 2011 7:00 AM
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About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.