"Excellent TV - Exceeded My Expectations!"5.0 starson by L-Smith
Pros: + Image quality is impressive
+ 7" screen the detail is sharp
+ Color is deep and illumination is vivid
+ The stereo sound is good and loud
+ Solidly built
Cons: - Included antenna is minimal, and probably not enough to get all the channels in some areas
Summary: I was pleasantly surprised that I received a television of such high quality when I paid 62% off the list price. I have owned dozens of TV's through the years (Sony, JVC, Panasonic, RCA, Zenith, Quasar, Proton, Koss, Casio) and this Haier ranks among the best I've owned.
CONSTRUCTION: It is solidly built, with no room for give-and-play. It is compact in size with a durable non-slip matte black finish, that doesn't show fingerprints. The external connections are solid. The only flimsy part is the fold out stand on back. However, there is a standard size metal tripod socket in the bottom for using an accessory stand.
VIDEO/AUDIO: The image quality is impressive. At 1440x230 dpi on a 7" screen the detail is sharp, color is deep and illumination is vivid. The stereo sound is good and loud. There is an external mini phone jack for stereo headphones. There is a full compliment of menu options to adjust the screen--luminosity, brightness, color saturation, contrast, hue and sharpness.
TUNER: The TV tuner will accept the old NTSC analog signal and the current ATSC digital signal over the air with the built-in telescoping rod antenna or from an external antenna via the F-connector jack. It also has QAM for receiving direct digital signals from the cable company, bypassing the decoder box. Once you electronically scan the channels you want, they are stored in memory and remain their when the unit is off. Using the TV controls you can skip channels sequentially or hold the -/+ buttons down to change channels fast. With the remote you can go directly to a station using the numeric keypad. This is best for cable TV with hundreds of channels. You can also select between over the air and satellite signal inputs.
RECEPTION: I live 30 miles west of downtown Chicago. By using a Terk amplified antenna (13"x26") designed for NTSC TV, I was able pick up 40 channels, all but CBS, which is at the lowest end of the VHF frequency range. By comparison, the built in Haier telescoping antenna picked up only one UHF station.
EXTERNAL INPUT: This is one of the few portable TV's made with A/V inputs, for hooking up a VCR, camera, game, or DVD player. It also has a mini headphone jack.
POWER: It is equipped with a 2,000 mAh lithium ion battery, that is removable. The power LED light has three color modes indicating the power level of the battery: green for full charge, orange for mid charge and red for low charge. The TV only consumes 10 watts but I'm not sure how long a fully charged battery lasts. It can also be powered off of AC with the included 9V AC adapter.
EASE OF USE: The TV can be controlled by its array of buttons on the front of the unit or with the remote--although I don't know why you need one. All features other than volume and channel selection are adjusted through on-screen menus. The TV also has a sleep timer, aspect ratio setting, closed captioning, and language setting. The remote control is powered by 3 AAA batteries and the controls are well organized and easy to use.
1) Navigating the menus of features (not channel selection nor volume) using only the TV buttons is counterintuitive. It requires using the CH-/CH+ buttons to skip thru tabs horizontally and using the VOL-/VOL+ buttons to scroll thru menu options vertically. This is much easier to do on the remote control, which has 4 directional buttons for cursor control. Given the small size of the TV a remote is really unnecessary since you are not going to watch a 7" TV from across the family room. The controls on the remote ought to be on the TV itself. The instruction manual is sparse, leaving much to trial and error.
2) Since this is a digital TV, it either displays a TV station or the screen is black--there is no gradation, like a fuzzy image you can get with analog TV. With either a picture or black it is very difficult to know which way to position the antenna for the best signal. It would, therefore, behoove Haier to have an antenna signal strength meter on the display, much like cell phones have, to help aim the antenna for optimal position.
3) From a marketing standpoint, Haier could benefit consumers by offering an optional foldable amplified HDTV antenna for this TV to boost station reception. Like me, most consumers do not live next door to a transmission tower. Haier should also provide a carry case to protect the TV screen and keep it, the remote and AC adapter all together. Absent a case, this TV should at least have a carry strap.
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