Last year saw some really great televisions being launched and hopefully with the new year upon us, we can expect television technology to go through the roof with large-sized OLED TVs, soon to become mainstream. However, till that technology is upon us, we can still awe at the ones that were released last year. In the last quarter of the year, Vu released a range of televisions that spanned various sizes. Their flagship television that was launched in this range was the Vu 55T39X3D.

Keyboard is extremely convenient to use

This television boasts of some pretty incredible features, such as the ability to playback videos in full HD, 3D capabilities, stylish looks and a host of other features. Read on to know more about this 55-inch 3D LED TV.

Design and Build Quality
Brands tend to add a lot of style to their large TVs and Vu has done no different with the 5539X3D. When one walks into a room and looks at this TV, it is hard to not be impressed with the style that it exudes. The front of the TV is adorned with a brushed aluminium strip at the bottom, which adds to the televisions class. This strip features touch sensitive controls located at the bottom left, which are for basic functions, such as menu, source, channel, volume and power. The beautiful thing about this TV is that it features a white and light blue LED indicator just below the aluminium strip at the centre. It has a futuristic look about it.

The bezel to the sides and top measure just less than two inches and along the four sides of the TV are transparent strips akin to that found on the LG and the Lloyd 3D TVs. The stand is different from most televisions available in the market, as it has the four pronged look with a shiny metal finish. Though this is different from most TVs, it is similar to that of the Samsung Series 8 UA55D8000 reviewed by us, a while back. Looking at the TV from the front, one can be surely impressed with its looks.

Range of inputs and outputs

Range of inputs and outputs

Connectivity options for this TV lie on both sides at the back, with a majority of them featuring on the rear right. The connectivity options featured on the left, include – three USB ports and an Ethernet port. To the right, there are side and downward facing connectors. There are a host of I/O ports here, which include four HDMI ports, two USB ports, SCART, DVI/ PC audio port, a VGA port, AVI ports, a port for a pair of headphones and one for a mic. The use of the side and downward facing connectors are becoming fairly common as many people tend to wall mount their HDTVs. When one mounts the television on a wall, with the connectors facing down, there is no jutting out of cables, hence allowing the TV to be flush against the wall.

The bundled up remote has a black glossy finish and it can retain fingerprints quite easily. It is quite light in weight, which is good thing, but it somehow feels a bit plasticy and this put us off a bit. The buttons are well spaced allowing one to navigate through the different options fairly easily. Along with the remote, Vu have also bundled a wireless keyboard with the TV. The unique thing about this keyboard is that it has the capabilities of a mouse. There is also a touchpad and the left and right click buttons. Like the TV and the remote, it too has a glossy exterior making it look attractive as well. One also gets a pair of active 3D glasses with this TV, which is quite light in weight. The looks of it are not that great, though as compared to others available in the market, as it looks a bit cheap and does not appear to be sturdy enough.

Glasses feel a bit cheap

Glasses feel a bit cheap

Since we have established that this TV is quite attractive in appearance it cannot be compared to the recently reviewed Sony LED TV as that is by far the best looker at the moment. Instead it is on par with the LGs or Samsungs available in the market. As for the television's build quality, the Vu 55T39X3D is extremely sturdy and the bezel, especially is quite tough. The stand supports the TV well and we had no problems with it at all in this department of the review.

Features
When one is met with a high end television, they usually expect to be greeted with a complicated user interface, which may be extremely difficult to use. However, with the case of the Vu 55T39X3D, the menu is very basic with options available to tweak the various settings. Though it is not as fancy as the XMB from Sony, there is slight animation, while moving through the various options. The interface for the USB drives is a lot better, though with it looking like an HD media player. We were quite pleased with this interface as Vu have maintained a consistence across the different television sizes.

Interface for the USB mode

Interface for the USB mode

The main feature of this television is its 3D capabilities. With Vu launching 3D features in this model, the brand appears to be aiming at providing 3D capabilities at an extremely low price point. The fact that this is a 55-inch (diagonal) HDTV makes the deal a lot sweeter. Very few brands in the market launch 3D televisions around this price range, thereby widening the target audience of this product.

What sets this television apart from its competition is its full blown PC capabilities. This is not the run of the mill Smart TV features, rather, Vu have fit an entire computer in this TV. The television runs on second generation Intel Core i3 processor, 2GB RAM, an integrated graphics card, 500GB HDD and Windows 7 professional edition. Vu, in the past launched televisions with this sort of feature where they integrated net-top features in a TV, however, to put it mildly, they were pretty underpowered in comparison. Net-tops usually come without any operating software installed and for Vu to add Windows 7 in it is a pretty impressive feat. An onboard VGA connection at the back acts as an option for switching between the TV and PC functionalities. All one has to do is set the source to VGA, press the red button on the underside of the TV and the PC boots up. The television makes use of its native 1920 x 1080 resolution, while displaying content through its PC mode. Vu has given users the value of having a full HTPC solution by integrating all this content on the TV. The only thing lacking here is a good set of speakers to complete this HTPC setup.

Equipped with Windows 7 Professional edition

Equipped with Windows 7 Professional edition

Though it may be a tad bit difficult to run PC games on this TV, it is ideal for basic computing, such as using Microsoft’s Office, downloading data and various other day to day usages. However, games can be run if the resolution of the games is scaled down and settings are at a minimum. The other option can be to connect a gaming console or a PC with high configurations to the TV and play.

Apart from this, the television boasts of full HD 1080p video capabilities, but this is no big feat as almost all televisions that are launched nowadays have this feature. With ultra definition TVs looming over our shoulders, waiting to be announced, this is probably going to be the resolution most televisions will support.

Settings menu for the television

Settings menu for the television

The slim form factor of the TV is another interesting feature, which caught our fancy. The touch sensitive buttons on the face of the TV are also something that piqued our interest quite a lot. Many HDTV manufacturers incorporate USB ports on their televisions that support only FAT32 drives, however, Vu have chosen to support both FAT32 as well NTFS drives. One can easily attach their hard drives into the USB port and watch videos, listen to music or view images directly from the TV itself. Not only can the TV support NTFS drives, but can also playback a wide variety of video formats, such as AVI, MKV,etc.

Performance
To evaluate the performance of the Vu 5539X39, we calibrated the display using the Spyder3 Elite software, ran the DisplayMate test to check accuracy in colours as well as to look for any other issues, ran videos through the TV’s PC USB mode, then through the TV’s USB mode and a host of other tests. To start off, we noticed that after calibrating the television with the Spyder software, colours appeared a lot warmer as opposed to the vibrant colours, which were seen before the calibration procedure. While running the DisplayMate test we noticed that in the Brightness and Contrast adjustment test, no settings needed to be tweaked as the calibrator did the job. The greys and whites were as they were meant to be. In the intensity range check, we observed that whites appeared accurately, but, in greys there was a tinge of green indicating that the greys are slightly off. While checking the black-levels, we concluded that this television is pretty bad and most of the dark grey blocks are noticeable.

Primary colours are overall pretty accurate

Primary colours are overall pretty accurate

While checking primary colours, we observed that green was a tad bit vibrant and there was a seam between the green bar and the pink one. In the reverse video contrast test, we noticed that the green was vibrant across all bars and the lettering was legible, but not as crisp as expected. In the background interference test, we noticed that there were no moire patterns. In the dark screen test, we saw that this TV had some backlighting issues and there was bleeding at the four corners of the screen and patches in the centre. This put us off a little bit.

The colours overall for this TV are accurate, except for red and green, which appears a bit vibrant. While checking the colour scales, we observed that there was no colour bleeding across any of the bars. In the horizontal colour registration test, we noticed that green, red and blue appeared quite desaturated.

Reverse video contrast check

Reverse video contrast check

While checking the performance of the TV, we first tested its PC features before moving on to the other features. The boot time is pretty fast and it is quite inaudible. This was a major plus point for the TV. From the Synthetic benchmarks we ran, this TV performed better than net-top PCs it was pitted against. While running PCMark Vantage, it recorded a score of 4891 PCMarks, as opposed to 2236 found on the Zotac Zbox Nano VD01. Many of the benchmarks we use to test PCs and notebooks did not run as the television kept crashing. However, it could handle light tests easily without any problems. This further confirms the fact that this is an ideal solution for basic computing like watching movies, browsing websites, accessing social networking sites etc.

Benchmarks

Benchmarks

We tested the video quality of the TV, while in the PC mode and we noticed that it could handle large files fairly easily. The playback was smooth and with the calibrated settings on, colours of the videos appeared natural and accurate.  The overall performance of this TV in its PC mode is pretty good.

While testing the television, we connected a Philips Blu-ray player and ran our in-house ‘The Dark Knight’ Blu-ray. The video quality was good out of the box, but the noise levels were pretty high. After turning the sharpness down to nearly nil, the video looked good. The playback was smooth and there was no unwanted enhancing of colours. A problem we had with this television was with the volume. We had to crank the volume fairly high for it to have a decent output level. The overall playback of Blu-rays is pretty good, otherwise.

Colour intensity scales test

Colour intensity scales test

We restored the settings to its default settings and we observed that once again the noise levels were high. The sharpness had to be scaled down once more for it to appear devoid of any noise. After this was done playback was smooth. A thing we liked about the TV was that there was no lag noticed, while scrolling through the interface. And the fact that it can play MKV files easily is pretty neat as well.

The 3D playback is the main feature of the TV and the 3D quality is pretty good with all images on screen appearing vivid. With the active glasses on, there is some amount of flicker, but it is not so much to affect the viewing experience. It can be compared with the Samsung 7-series 3D TV, which we reviewed a few months back. One thing we didn’t like about the TV is that there is no designated button for accessing the 3D feature, instead one has to go into the settings to enable it.

Light weight remote

Light weight remote

A major problem we had with this TV was with the remote control. One has to point it directly at the sensor for it to respond. Even if it is pointed in the general vicinity of the sensor, the TV is unresponsive. The 3D glasses that came along with it are not that great as it kept switching off after being used for a few minutes. This could be a problem faced by us solely, with this being a review sample.

Verdict
The Vu 55T39X3D sells in India at a street price of Rs.99,990 and one may get it for even lesser than this. With this television, one can get a huge 55-inch display with decent 3D capabilities as well as a very good HTPC solution. This TV is probably one of the cheapest 3D TVs available in the market and not only this, it offers amazing features, a stylish design and performances that can actually stand up to the competition.

Stylish TV from Vu

Stylish TV from Vu

The fact that it doubles up as a PC is an incredible feature and unlike the Vu televisions in the past, this is a far better option as it features better configurations. This television is ideal for those looking to invest in an HTPC set up or willing to buy a large sized 3D TV, as it delivers on most counts.

Publish date: January 6, 2012 1:51 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 9:18 pm

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