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TV Buying Experience In India, Vu TV

You probably enter an electronics store happy in anticipation of getting yourself a big, screen LED TV, armed with all the info you need on brands within your reach. But then, right at the entrance, you’d see nothing except this 105-inch 4K set with curved glass that’ll make the rest of them look like animated wall tiling.

“Soon!” you tell yourself, “the prices shall fall… within 2 years or so.” With that shot of deferred pleasure you move to the row of wall-mounted 2D flat screens, 32-inches and above, playing in sync either National Geographic HD or Colors. Down to business, then.

Shortage of Quality, High-Res Programming:

As you swap channels, further dampeners would be the abysmal quality of TV broadcast in India. Switch to a news channel or a non-HD Hindi channel and you’d see evident huge square pixels stare at you in the face that totally defeat the purpose of upgrading to a new, expensive TV. Only HD channels – and there aren’t too many so far, not all free anyway – seem to come alive. After all, these TVs were made for HD formats and you can’t blame the hardware makers for high-quality content shortage. Either way, for the consumer that means little value for money.

Screen Size & Regular Channels:

Anyhow, we found things to like about TVs within our budget. The 32-inch TVs in the Rs.30,000 range were clearly out because watching a regular channel on it made the box TV back at home look better. In fact, the bigger the screen sizes got – 50-inch and 55-inch – the inferior the viewing resolution became. So, if you’re looking to buy a set for regular TV viewing, the choice is very, very limited. And your new TV won’t serve you any better than to make you feel good for having one. But where HD channels and movies are concerned, bigger needless to say was much better. In case you’re bringing home an LED to watch movies in Blue Ray or 1080p, then you’d have made a wise purchase.

Vu Interactive Centre, Andheri

Brands and The Ones That Look Good:

Two top electronics stores in Mumbai – CROMA and Vijay Sales – display Sony Bravia, LG, and Samsung TVs. The brand that stood out on the wall was Sony because the display was very color-rich and sharp. But given the already mentioned bad programming, the sharpness was in fact jarring. HD channels however were crisp and clear. The LG display was quieter and more pleasant in comparison for regular channels, but the Sony won when it came to HD content.

The Lesser Known Brand We Chose and Why:

Not too happy with what we’d seen, we happened to pass by the Vu store at Phoenix Mills, Mumbai. While regular channels looked relatively better on the Vu screens, HD looked really good. The overall screen design was minimalistic, with a narrow bezel in black or silver, which drew the attention only to the content on TV. To sweeten the deal, a 50-inch Vu TV cost almost Rs. 30,000 less than its peers. So we bought the 50-inch LED (get complete specs here) at Rs.50,000.

But, then, on another visit to the store a few days later, we happened to see the Vu 55-inch 3D TV, and boy, was that better! It cost Rs.40,000 extra but anything other than that seemed like a compromise. The 55-inch 3D, makes full HD content look much better than your average LED, and also has built-in Wi-Fi (full specs here). Now, this TV is used solely for watching 1080p content streamed off YouTube and Vimeo till more channels go HD. At this rate of hardware outpacing content, 4K aspirations might have to wait much longer, in India at least. Till then, more power to free HD content online!

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TV Buying Guide By Vu CEO Devita Saraf – Part 1

TV Buying Guide By Vu CEO Devita Saraf – Part 2

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