ORDER & PICKUP (5 Stars): Ordered it on a Sunday evening (7/15) and was available for Site-to-Store pickup by Tuesday afternoon (7/17). Kind of surprised since typically that takes 5 business days, so that was great. Hate to pay extra for shipping when it can just be picked up at Walmart just a few blocks away.
BOX (2 stars): Received a plain brown box, not the original manufacturer's box. Not that i care, what matters is what's inside but i thought it should be mentioned just for this review.
AESTHETICS (5 stars): The HDTV unit, base, remote, 2 batteries, manual were all separately bagged, all glossy, like brand new, and no finger print smudges.
INPUT PORTS (4 stars): The ports are easily accessible with the ports facing the left side, instead of facing downwards.
1 RF PORT (4 stars): Refurbished units I bought over the years are typically pre-configured; no setup required. With an inexpensive external antenna plugged in to the RF/Coax input, the Setup Wizard walked me through immediately after power on, which was great.
AIR CHANNEL SETUP:
(4 stars) After the AIR scan, it provided a channel list of both analog and digital broadcasts listed in numerical order.
(2 stars) I was hoping the Channel Setup of 'add/remove/favorites' would be on a single screen just like my good old DTV converter box setup. It turns out this unit separates 'add/remove' screen from the 'favorite channels' screen which was twice the channel setup effort imho.
(2 stars) Removing non-English and snowy analog channels was easy but not what I expected. Highlight the channel, press OK to remove check mark and the channel feed disappears. Would have preferred the TV just remove the check mark and leave the channel feed intact during this setup process.
(1 star) The menu timeout of about 10-15 secs of no activity I find irritating especially when waiting/trying to figure out if its an English channel or not. What's worse, there's no option to extend/configure menu timeout.
(5 stars) After all favorite channels were set and done, pressing the remote FAV button provides that list on the upper left corner, which is quite convenient. Otherwise, I had to memorize the channel or worse, scroll through about 40 stations.
1 PC/VGA PORT (4 stars): This HDTV does not come with any connectivity cables and the 'Item Description' did not mention it can be used as a PC/Laptop monitor. Still I use it as an external laptop monitor using a plain male VGA-VGA cable. Switched source to VGA using TV remote, rebooted my old Windows XP laptop, and source input was detected easily after reboot. Had to select 'True Color' 1024x768 for a clear picture compared to blurred 'High Color'. Now, the screen resolution is better.
1 PC AUDIO PORT: Can't rate this yet, but would soon be testing/watching streaming content with TV's speakers as soon as a separately ordered 'VGA/HD15 Cable with Audio' arrives.
1 AV PORT (4 stars): Was able to test AV port with a DVD Player hookup with ease using AV (red-white-yellow) cable. Select AV source on remote and DVD Player screen is detected.
2 HDMI PORTS: Can't rate this yet since I haven't tested it. If only my older laptop had an HDMI port, I would have tested streaming audio/video quality with an HDMI cable and no need for 'VGA with Audio cable'.
1 USB PORT (4 stars): Used it with a USB Thumb Drive and so far it detects JPEG images and MP3 music format as advertised. However, if you have several folder categories for images and music, you would have to combine all images in one folder, and all audio in one folder, as it can only play the specific audio/image folder selected. I hope the USB port can be more flexible than this feature.
BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST (5 stars): Setting goes from 0 to a 100. The 50 mid-setting was great for viewing TV on 'Standard Mode' so just left this setting the way it was. All modes can be adjusted but decided to customize 'User Mode' lowering it down to 25 since it was way too bright using it as laptop external monitor.
TV LIFE: I just hope this HDTV/PC monitor does not die out on me after 15 days, otherwise I'll have hard time dealing with the Returns Dept. Expect a different rating should that happen.
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