I wasn’t interested in reviewing an HD TV until one was available for less than $1000 with built-in HD Digital TV tuner and a Full HD 1080P (1920×1080 pixels) panel which supported at least 100hz so fast moving content could be watched without blurring.
While it has some flaws the 32″ inch (81cm) LCD Kogan model 1080P-32 which I’ve had on media loan for review satisfies all these criteria and is sold online for $860.93 ($799+$61.93 shipping).
EDITOR: Since writing this review the TV has dropped in price to $599+postage and added two features: an extra HDMI port on the side (now 3 in total) and a USB slot and SD card on the side so you can play movies, music and photos directly from the TV.
Inputs & Outputs
The Kogan 1080P-32 has the following inputs (2x HDMI, 1x D-sub (VGA), 2x Composite AV, 1x Component, 1x S-video, 1x Audio in, 1x Antenna in) and these Outputs (1x Optical Audio Out, 1x Headphone Jack, 1x Composite AV)
The 2x HDMI inputs are enough for my Bluray player and separate HD Digital TV PVR to plug into the TV and the 1080P-32’s inbuilt Digital TV HD Tuner is quite handy because it means I can record 2 different Digital TV programs using my PVR and still watch any channel live using the TV’s tuner.
Note 1: Free to air HD TV in Australia is broadcast at 720p or 1080i quality which isn’t as high quality as 1080P (the quality of a Bluray movie).
Note 2: Buy enough HDMI cables from your local hifi retailer or Kogan to plugin other HD equipment you own such as a Bluray player, Sony PS3 gaming machine, TiVo or PVR. If you use any other cable like Composite or Component to connect a 1080P high definition video signal to your TV than it won’t display at full quality.
Ease of Use
The remote, menu systems and EPG (which can all be seen in the photo slideshow below) are reasonably easy to use. If you’re using the TV’s built-in HD Digital TV tuner it supports subtitles but I think they’re a bit too large.
All the HDMI and other input/output connections are at the back of the TV and positioned so you have to plug them in vertically (looking from behind and underneath the TV) which is cumbersome.
The 1080P-32 is compatible with any 400mm x 200mm VESA wall mount if you want to place it on your wall rather than on a TV unit using the stand it comes with.
As for buttons, the silver buttons on the right side of the screen (Menu, Inputs, Channel +-,Volume +- and Power) are plastic-ey and feel kind of cheap
However I liked the Energy Saver Power Switch on the back which stops the TV using electricity when turned off (it will otherwise use 2W in standby mode if you turn the TV off using the remotes power button).
Audio & Image Quality
The 32″ inch (81cm) 1080P panel displays Full HD Bluray movies and HD TV free to air broadcasts at quite good quality with clear details in complex movie scenes albeit not as black as a high end LCD or Plasma TV screen.
The panel features a 178 degree viewing angle which is just as good as the big brands and the 120hz Image Processing Engine handles fast motion like Formula 1 cars or running Wildlife in a documentary with little discernible blurring.
One of the reasons this TV costs less than $1000 is because it uses fairly mature CCFL LCD technology not the higher quality Plasma (which is usually seen in HD TV’s 40″ and larger) or very new OLED screen technology which would have significantly increased the price.
Audio quality from the 2x 10W speakers is adequate most of the time but nothing stellar. If you’re going to watch a lot of Movies or content where audio quality is important than I’d suggest using the TV’s Optical Audio Out to connect to a proper fully featured sound system.
One of the ways Kogan cuts costs is to supply all the basic features used everyday and not very new or less used features.
So don’t expect any fancy features on this TV like:
- DLNA (devices certified with DLNA can wirelessly connect, discover and communicate with each other over a home WiFi network)
- A USB slot to play music/photos/movies
- Or integration with other Kogan products like their Bluray player so you only need 1 remote control.
Price & Is It Worth Buying
Is the Kogan P1080P-32 perfect? NO because it takes the classic Kogan approach of being 80% as good as the competition but 66% of the price.
Would I buy one? YES. When Kogan asked to schedule a courier for the review unit to be returned I said “No, can I buy it off you instead? 🙂
If you’re comparing 32″ inch LCD Full HD TV’s than you’ll have come across the Samsung 32″ LA32B650 and Panasonic 32″ TH-L32S10A which both retail for $1300+delivery.
You will get more features and better usability from these TV’s if you’re willing to pay over $400 more than the Kogan 1080P-32. It all depends on where you as a buyer fit on the price/value/features spectrum.
Other People’s Reviews
Kogan’s 1080P-32 is a good mid-size LCD television for a budget buyer. It has picture quality good enough to enjoy Blu-ray movies, although you’ll need a separate sound system to really get the most out of them.
– Good Gear Guide