Vu has an impressive portfolio of televisions and one respects the brand for their ability to introduce technology that's prevalent in high-end TVs, and offer them in TVs that are affordable for the consumer. We recently saw the Vu Super TV that boasted of features such as, having a full-fledged PC, having the ability to read hard drives, 3D capability and a host of other features.

This television is quite slim in depth

This television is quite slim

This time we've received a comparably smaller-sized HDTV from the brand, called the Vu 40K21. This LED LCD television boasts of features, such as a full HD 1080p playback capability, USB, HDMI and a range of other features. Read on to know if this television can make the cut in a television market that is already overflowing with LED LCD TVs.

Design and Build Quality
A glossy black finish adorns the Vu 40K21 and it is a common design aspect found on virtually all televisions, these days. Brands tend to finish their TVs with a glossy touch as it makes the television look stylish. Looks is a common reason why one would want to purchase a flat LED LCD TV and though this television cannot compare to the designs of a Sony Bravia TV, the 40K21 can certainly hold its own.

The bezel on the top and sides is quite slim measuring an inch and the bottom part of the bezel measures two inches. On the lower part of the bottom bezel, Vu has added a brushed aluminum strip, which adds a touch of class to the TV. Above the aluminum strip, the company has put their logo. The only other feature found on the front of the TV is the power indicator, which is located to the front left of the TV. Vu has done really well to keep the front of the TV as minimal as possible by not adding buttons on the front, which, otherwise would have made it look quite cluttered.

The side and down facing rear connections

The side and down facing rear connections

This television is really slim and there are a handful of manufacturers who can launch LED LCD TVs at this depth. By not adding any controls in the front, the brand has instead opted to position them in a vertical manner to the right of the screen, but at the back. The controls found here, include the common controls found on most televisions which are the menu, source, volume and channel rockers as well as the power button. Connectivity options for this television are located on the opposite side of the controls. The inputs and outputs for this TV, include four HDMI ports, an antenna port, coaxial, USB, 3.5mm headphone jack as well as an AV2 port. All these controls are side facing giving a user easy accessibility to them, if the TV is wall mounted or placed on a stand. The television also comes with downward facing connections, which include SCART, USB, DVI audio, VGA and component ports. The back panel of the television is well made and has a metallic finish. There are vents on the rear panel, which assist in the cooling of this TV.

The base of this TV has the same glossy finish as the television. The stand that supports the TV has a silver finish, which adds to the stylishness of this Vu mode. The stand, along with the base supports the TV well and though the television can be rotated to an extent, there was no wobble noticed. The remote control that came bundled with this HDTV also has the black finish and unlike the base, the TV has a matte finish. This is great, as one doesn't have to worry about fingerprint stains being left behind on it. The remote feels quite sturdy as well and looks like it could withstand more than a few accidental drops. Overall, the VU 40K21 is a stylish TV that is built well. One certainly won’t be disappointed with the way it looks or feels.

Features
The main feature of this television is that it is a 40-inch LED television with full HD 1080p video capabilities. Many televisions in the past had been launched with HD 720 capabilities, but the entire current crop from Vu feature full HD resolution. The OSD found on this television is easy to operate and one who is upgrading from a CRT TV to a LED LCD TV will not find this confusing to use. One can set up this TV when they power on the television for the first time, as a screen shows up allowing one to adjust the various settings, such as setting of cable TV channels, picture settings, etc. If one skips this in the beginning, they can always do it at a later time.

The easy to use USB interface

The easy to use USB interface

This television has the ability to read USB drives and can read both FAT32 as well as NTFS drives. By having the ability to read NTFS drives, one expands the amount of storage that can be paired with this TV. The media playback interface is quite good and one will find navigating through it easy. This interface is designed well and looks a lot like some of the high-end media players currently available in the market. The layout of the interface is thumbnail styled, allowing one to quickly access the files they want without having to scroll through the entire lot.

This television can playback a number of video as well as audio formats. One can play AVI, MKV and a host of other formats by merely connecting a portable hard drive or a USB flash drive to the TV. Summing up the features part of the review, the Vu40K21 does not boast of features that are over the top and what we have here is a basic full HD LED TV with the ability to read and play external hard drives.

Performance
The performance of the television was tested on a number of factors, which included running the DisplayMate test, HD playback using a Blu-ray as well as standard definition playback. After calibrating the television using the Spyder3 Elite software, we noticed that while checking if the brightness and contrast levels were accurate, in the intensity range check, the whites appeared accurately, but the middle grey had a brownish tinge to it. While checking the monitor's black levels, we noticed that only from the fourth block onwards, the blocks were visible. This shows that the black levels are not that great on this, as on other LED backlit TV displays from the second block onwards. Another issue we found was that the viewing angles were bad and the blocks that are meant to be dark grey had a brown or green tinge to it. While checking the reproduction near the extremes of the grey scale and for basic colours, we observed that there was a very visible seam between the green and pink bar. The seam between the pink and red bar appears soft and unclear. The black levels of this television aren’t that great with there being patches on the screen – the most visible of the bleeding being noticed along the side of the bezel. While checking primary colours, we observed that most colours appeared accurate, except for green and red, which appeared a bit vibrant. In the colour scales test, there was no bleeding across any of the bars, except for pink.

Black levels are bad as per the DisplayMate test

Black levels are bad as per the DisplayMate test

To check the HD video playback, we connected a Philips Blu-ray player and played the ‘The Dark Knight’ Blu-ray. Video playback was really good with all colours appearing natural and skin tones appearing accurate. Out of the box, the television performs really well and there is no real need to calibrate it. The only thing that needs to be adjusted is the sharpness level as when it is set at 50; there is a significantly high amount of image noise noticed. It is recommended that you turn the sharpness off to get good image quality. The sound quality of this TV is really good and at 30 percent of the volume, one can easily make out voices, background sounds, etc. LED TVs are known for having sub-par speakers, but with the 40K21, there was no issue faced in comparison with the others.

We connected a 320GB hard drive to the TV and the television read it without any issues. There was no lag while running through the different files as well. While playing back video files, the video quality through the hard drive is good, like the Blu-ray playback. However, the load time for videos is a bit long. Other than that, there were no issues faced.

The remote control of this television is very responsive unlike the Vu remote controls in the past. One does not need to point the remote directly at the sensor for it to respond.

Glossy black finish adds a touch of class to the television

Glossy black finish adds a touch of class to the television

Verdict
The Vu 40K21 is available in India at a price of Rs.43,000. At this price, one can get a stylish looking television that has some neat features, such as full HD 1080p video playback and the ability to read external hard drives without any issues. Video performance wasn’t as good as we would have liked it be. The overall performance of the television is good and the playback of HD content was smooth. At being priced just under Rs. 40,000, this makes a good option for those willing to upgrade from a CRT TV and not opting to spend some extravagant amount on a television from another brand.

At the end of it, this is a 40-inch full HD LED television that can get the job done at a somewhat low price point.

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