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.
- 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.