However much we try to neglect, we have a prevalent prejudice against budget products. It is believed that these products, in order to adhere to cost constraints, compromise on the quality and performance front. And with our past experience, we agree with this school of thought to an extent. But there are some brands that have managed to break through this common belief and Mitashi is definitely one of them—particularly with its newly formed flat panel division. Last year, Mitashi was among the top performers in the budget flat panel section and was an obvious candidate this year as well. We reviewed its latest 32” LED from the v08 series.
Out of the box
The first place where budget manufacturers can cut corners is in aesthetics and Mitashi has done this quite effectively. While the MiE032v08 does not boast of a crystal design or a monolith shape, Mitashi has still managed to retain a presentable look that can go well with any interior set-up. The MiE032v08 is a perfect fit for small rooms or as a second TV (in a guest room or for the kids). The matte finish makes it less prone to scratches and also easy to clean. The build quality is up to the mark with the TV fitting snugly on the stand. And with the light weight, we don’t think that mounting it on the wall should be a problem.
Not bad in terms of dimensions
The 32” MiE032v08 is an LED TV. We were amazed to see the box claiming it to be both full HD and HD-ready. But as we dug deeper in the specification sheet, we found out that the TV’s native resolution is 1366 x 768, which makes it an HD ready TV and not full HD. Mitashi has taken the liberty of calling it full HD only due to the fact that it can playback full HD (i.e. 1080p) signal but, obviously, in a downsample mode. The TV does score high in terms of connectivity with a total of three HDMI inputs and a USB input, along with the regular components like a VGA input. With the onboard USB 2.0, the TV also claims to playback all the latest digital file formats for audio and video, including MKV, Real Media and also DivX HD Plus. For audio, Mitashi has packed in two 10W speakers for each channel, along with some preset modes for equaliser settings.
Similar to the TV’s form factor, the remote is lean and sleek. Just like a lot of other television remotes that you get these days, this one is also cramped with buttons up to the brim. We think that with the limited number of tasks that this TV can pull off, we could have done with a less populated remote.
Full function remote
Like we have already mentioned, the TV is light in weight, so setting it up will not be any problem. Due to the lack of too much jazz, we were ready to get started with the TV within five minutes after we unpacked it. We had connected a Sony PS3 unit and also a USB pen drive to the TV. While we were on the PS3’s homescreen, we decided to check the settings that the TV offers and were not surprised to see a very simple user interface with hardly any control over tweaking the parameters. There are four picture presets, namely standard, dynamic, mild and user. Even within the user mode, there are basic controls for brightness, contrast, sharpness and colour, along with two more controls for colour temperature (which worked with the saturation levels) and noise reduction.
Not the very best in it's class, but quite decent nonetheless
So, with not much to play around, we quickly slipped in a Blu-ray of ‘Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows’ and were treated to quality pictures replete with clean imagery and substantially deep black levels. One of the main reasons for the crisp imagery was the relatively smaller screen size of the TV that caused the 1080p video stream of the Blu-ray to come out as absolutely neat and tidy. But the small screen size also helped when we watched some DVDs from our stack from close distances. This aspect is particularly important for typically small rooms where one would want to use flat panel screens neither too big nor too small. We now switched the source to the USB drive. The TV was very quick (approximately 10 seconds) to read the 4GB pen drive filled with music, movies and photos. The navigation through all these files was also easy and fast, with the TV not taking more than five to ten seconds to initiate the playback of any file depending on the size of the file.
Plays full HD but in downsample mode
Verdict and price in India
This Mitashi 32” LED TV is priced at Rs. 29,990 and it looks like a very fair deal. With the prices of 32” LCD TVs also being in the same price bracket (maybe with a difference of Rs 500-1,000), it does seem logical to invest in the 32” LED TV. At least for the 10 percent to 20 percent power saving that LED technology has to offer. We think that the TV is a good fit for second TV buyers or users that intend to use the TV in smaller room sizes where the viewing distance is not more than eight to ten feet.
AV MAX is a special interest audiophile magazine that focuses on reviewing high-end AV equipment like amplifiers, stereos, floorstanding speakers and related news
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