Goodmans GTVL42W15HD

Just before Christmas I decided to upgrade my home cinema setup, starting with a 1080p LCD TV (to replace my old 43 inch Pioneer Plasma).

This Goodmans set looked like a bit of a bargain. I managed to get it from LX Direct for about £1040, once various discounts had been taken into account. Not bad for a 42 inch 1080p set, and initially I was pretty impressed.

Good points:

  • It wasn’t bad looking, and the build quality was OK for the price
  • The surround was black, which I much prefer over silver (less reflections)
  • It seemed to handle standard definition feeds quite nicely
  • It was happy to accept 1080p at 60hz over DVI with no overscan (nice with my Mac mini)
  • 1080p over VGA from the Xbox 360 was handled very well
  • Colours and blacks were quite good
  • No dead or stuck pixels

As I explored further (and followed the relevant thread on AVForums), the following problems became apparent:

  • The volume of the sound went very high (useful), but the increments were too far apart
  • There was a buzzing and crackling noise from the backlight (changing the backlight level affected the noise), which could be clearly heard across my living room
  • The set had “vertical banding” that could be seen on TV footage with significant horizontal panning
  • The optimum viewing angle was quite narrow
  • The RGB SCART sockets weren’t RGB, although to be fair, the TV handled composite signals very well
  • The DVI and HDMI ports seemed rather picky about resolutions and refresh rates (especially the HDMI). If you’re not too bothered about overscan (on HDMI) or forcing 50Hz vs 60Hz, it wouldn’t be an issue, but I’m picky about these things
  • No builtin Freeview, although I have to admit that this wasn’t really a big issue for me

To cut a long story short, I gave up on the Goodmans, and decided to try out a different set.

11 thoughts on “Goodmans GTVL42W15HD

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  2. yousef

    I was about to buy this tv until I read this! Were the issues you had with the T.V (especially the cracking) experienced by anyone else?

  3. Steven Post author

    Hi Yousef,

    If you check out the AVForums thread I linked to in the post, you’ll see that problems I mentioned were very common indeed. A lot of people just returned their sets and bought something else.

    When I bought the Goodmans in November, it was much cheaper than comparable 1080p sets. The price difference is now much less, so I’d recommend looking into an alternative set, perhaps a Sharp or a Samsung if you want a 1080p set for a similar price to the Goodmans.

  4. LaurieP

    The comments posted here on the problems with the Goodmans GTVL42W15HD are a bit overstated. I have had this model in my livingroom for nearly 2 yrs and have not experienced any problems yet. As for the “noise” from the backlight, I think you will find if you bothered to actually look, that the noise is from the PSU and is the same noise you find in many appliances, tv, dvd, games console, etc. I can only hear it if I put my ear against the TV. No vertical banding except when playing DivX movies but that’s the DVD player, not the TV! No probs with the viewing angle, only a slight change in contrast at extreme angles (where you wouldn’t be sitting anyway). The scart sockets ARE RGB, are you sure your external devices are set up properly? My Sky box is set up via scart and there is a huge difference in quality if I switch the RGB setting off on the Sky box. The increments in sound you talk about can easily be adjusted in the equalizer settings, not literally but it does make a difference when you mess about with the sound settings. I’m surprised you didn’t try this before making your comments, being so picky and all!

    There is no point in making negative comment about the lack of Freeview (even if you weren’t bothered about it) as you knew it was not a feature before you purchased it. People seem to do this all the time in reviews, they complain or knock the item because it does not have a feature they knew it didn’t have before buying it, why?

    How about mentioning the good points like the picture quality, the price, the fast response rate, the high resolution for PC’s etc. the clarity of the contrast, the sound considering its only built in speakers, picture in picture facility, split screen feature, the multitude of connections…I have a Wii, DVD recorder, Sky box, HDDVD player (not HDMI upscaling), Cinema surround sound system, and a PC all connected at the same time and there is still spare connections for other devices. The TV handles each device flawlessly and its a breeze switching between them using the remote. Scart, Video and PC/HD have different buttons for you to cycle through each connected device, saves you pressing a single button 8 times to get to the device you want. Other features like picture freeze, sleep timer, picture in picture, teletext page memory which makes for fast browsing are all features someone will buy the TV for over other TV’s without them. If you are going to review a TV then do it right and explain ALL features good or bad! What you might think insignificant might be interesting to someone else. What you find bad might not concern someone if its not a feature they are going to use. What the TV lacks is of no concern because if you want what it lacks you won’t flippin buy it will you? I’d say buy the TV at the current price, you can’t go wrong, you have a manufacturers guarantee for a year so plenty of time to decide if its for you. Remember this, if ANY electrical device develops a fault withing six months of purchase then it is deemed to have been faulty when new, this is a law not many people know about. You can return the item, no questions asked for a FULL refund or replacement, that is YOUR rights so don’t listen to the store manager when he prattles on about getting it fixed, you don’t have to agree.

    Oh, and one more point, cheap price but not cheap goods, the panel in the TV is the same panel that is used by Samsung, Toshiba and LG.

    See ya!

  5. LaurieP

    BTW, why did you change your TV? Because of comments on the AVForums or did your TV suddenly present the problems others have been writing about?

    I have had a close look at other TV’s like Sony, Panasonic, Sanyo and have noticed the slow response rates, the blurring of even slow images, the poor contrast and even a grainy effect on some models twice the price as the Goodmans. I would not thank you for them for free! These days you don’t get what you pay for, there are many relatively unknown brands of TV that kick the ass out of the top brands these days and at a quarter of the price in some cases. At least if your TV went on the blink after a couple of yrs then you would not mind so much as if you bought a Sony at 4 times the cost. 4 times the cost buying also means 4 times the cost repairing.

    Maybe if we all bought out entertainment devices with a sensible head on instead of buying to show off a device that you paid for in name only then maybe the top brands will lower their prices and enter the REAL world.

  6. Steven Post author

    Hi Laurie,

    The noise was definitely from the backlight, as the noise level varied with the backlight level. It was audible from across the room, and over the normal sound from the TV, so it was clearly much louder than your set.

    The SCART sockets on my set definitely had no RGB support. I confirmed this using multiple cables, and multiple devices (that were switchable between RGB and composite over SCART, including a Sky HD box). No visible difference could be seen between RGB and composite signals over the SCART input. All I can conclude is that you must have had a different revision of the set to me.

    The picture quality was good for the price (at the time), but the build quality and usability were poor.

    My post wasn’t intended to be a full review, just some impressions for anyone interested.

    I swapped my TV because of problems I had personally experienced. I was initially willing to try a replacement Goodmans set, but lots people on AVForums were having similar (or worse) problems, and the replacement sets didn’t seem to be addressing the quality issue. Combined with that was a shortage of replacement sets, so LX Direct couldn’t give me a definite date for a new set. At that point I decided to cut my losses.

    Good for you if your set is working fine, but that wasn’t true in my case, and a quick read of the AVForums thread I linked to, strongly suggests that I wasn’t alone.

    Most of the issues I mentioned were thing I could have lived with for the price, but not the banding or the crackling noise.

  7. Rich

    Just wanted to add my comments regarding the Goodmans set. I have now had mine for just over a year after finding it for just over 800 pounds last year from Currys. It was a bargain then for a 1080p set, although I was aware of what was going on on the AV forum.

    I would like to say that I am more than happy with the set (I also have a 9” CRT projector, so am not just satisfied with what others might deem to be crap)

    I run the set with a 360 (VGA) as an extender, PS3 (HDMI) and Wii (Component) and Xbox 1 (XBMC) (Composite) and it handles everything perfectly.
    I fortunately didnt have a set which was troubled by a noisy backlight – Sure I could encourage it to be noisy by changing the backlight brightness, but I just found a setting where I couldnt hear it. It didnt have any dead pixels or banding, and I wasnt that bothered by its RGB not working – sure it not perfect, but with component, VGA, HDMI, DVI all available then who cares. Its got a bit of a slateing on AVforum but I thought I would stick up for the set.
    Awesome value, not sure you can get it anymore though.

  8. LaurieP

    LOL, I forgot I posted here. Steven you still out there?
    I had a friend look at my TV, he’s an engineer, and he said the noise was definately from the power supply and not the light. He said when the light changes brightness the power supply uses less or more power hence a louder or quieter buzzing sound.
    Did you go into the settings on your Sky box to change from RGB to PAL, when I do this there’s a huge difference in pic quality. Also there’s a bit of an offset when switching to RGB and the TV doesn’t have a compensation adjuster so the pic is slightly to the left but not enough to notice really. I still have the TV and have not found anything to complain about except only having one HDMI socket. Remember though when this TV was designed it was only upscaling DVD players that were using the HDMI but I still think Goodmans could have planned ahead. Picture quality on xbox ,ps3 and a PC are brill but I have to say the Wii isn’t as good but that’s the Wii, not the TV.
    BTW, I didn’t mean to jump down your throat, I was just defending my TV, lol!
    I find it strange that your RGB didn’t work because as far as I’m aware, Goodmans only made one version of this model.
    As well as a brightness control there is also a lamp brightness control so if anyone has this “noise” maybe decreasing the lamp brightness will help, I dunno.
    The TV’s good points are excellent and the bad is only minor, from what I’ve read anyway. I’d still recommend getting one even second hand.

  9. Steven Post author

    Hi Laurie,

    Good to hear that things are going well with your Goodmans. There’s definitely some useful information in your comment.

    I’m pretty sure that RGB to PAL made no difference to my image quality, but it was almost two years ago, so I can’t be 100% sure.

    I’m still very happy with my Sony X Series, but so I should be, given it was a more than twice the price of the Goodmans.

  10. Laurie

    I’m taking a chance of anyone still looking here 🙂 Steven, hows things, any new TV’s yet? I felt it relevant to comment that I still have my Goodmans and it’s still going strong, except it’s in my son’s bedroom as I’ve upgraded to a 47″ LG. The Goodmans developed a fault where the HDMI socket failed. This happened during a Sky HD installation when they installed all the wiring with everything powered on. Sky eventually took the blame after much pressure from me and paid me for a new TV.

    As I couldn’t get the Goodmans fixed (no parts) I kept the money until I had saved more and bought the LG. Thankfully with a DVI socket on the TV I just used a HDMI to DVI converter and hooked up the audio to the inputs so I still had full HD.
    Here’s the funny thing, my daughter had the same TV and dropped it, cracking the screen so what did I do? I opened it and took the circuit board containing the HDMI and put it in my set. Worked just fine.

    My son is now happy he has a full HD 42″ TV for playing his Xbox. I seem to have been blinded by my new TV and excitedly game my son the Goodmans, forgetting I only had a 20″ TV in my own room, lol.

    I hope people are confident in their Goodmans TV that mines is still working perfectly after nearly four years minus the Sky HD hitch!

  11. Steven Post author

    Hi Laurie.

    Things are good with me. No new TV yet; still have my Sony X Series, which I’m pretty happy with. Not a big fan of the glossy finishes on a lot of new screens; much prefer a nice matte black finish. Will probably wait for 3D to hit the mainstream now (if it ever does), before buying something new.

    Looks like the quality on the Goodmans was a bit of a lottery. On the plus side, the ones still left running are probably the good ones, so any quality issues should be firmly in the past.

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