I picked up a 40’’ Haier LCD television over Christmas break; we got it for $300, which was a steal. It seems that Haier television’s are popping up everywhere, so it is only appropriate that one is reviewed by the Manitoban. Here are the specs: the television has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, offering full 1080 performance. It comes with three HDMI, USB and VGA ports. The unit is packaged with a remote, user manual, a stand and component cables. It doesn’t come with a wall bracket or HDMI cables. I highly suggest getting an HDMI cable instead of using the stock component cables — it makes a significant difference in picture quality.
The television’s picture is OK, but is on the grainy, under saturated side. You typically want vibrant balanced colour in your set. The Haier, unfortunately, doesn’t offer vibrant colour. It’s “passable,” it isn’t upsetting or distracting, but this isn’t a feature you could brag about to your friends and family.
Another issue I have is with the viewing angle. I typically watch the television head-on, whether I’m watching a movie, television show or playing a video game. A few days ago I sat down to watch a hockey game and the chair was at an angle to the television: the picture was darker and not as crisp. The issue wasn’t major, but noticeable.
For movies, especially action movies, you want reduced motion blur — up to a point. The motion blur is . . . okay. You notice that something isn’t quite right every now and again, but from a distance this difference becomes less perceptible, especially when you are in the middle of an action movie. For a comedy or drama, motion blur may be a little more noticeable, but nobody in my family has complained yet — maybe because they are just happy to have a big screen television. My mother says the television is “perfect.” But let me tell you: she is very forgiving.
The sound is all right, too. It doesn’t fill the room, but there are no noticeable complaints there either. The area where the television is located isn’t large, so we can get away with not having speakers. (I do plan on picking up a Logitech 5.1 speaker system to make the sound better). The sound has been fine for video games and sports. It can sometimes be difficult to hear what characters are saying at lower volume levels. I had issues with understanding dialogue at quieter moments while gaming and enjoying other, softer sounding media.
All in all, the 40’’ Haier LCD television is decent system, but remember: you still have to calibrate it (as with any television) for optimal viewing pleasure. The Haier looks and sounds just fine. It isn’t terrible, it isn’t revolutionary, it is just “fine.” For $300 (the price we paid), the television is a steal.