Haier LE55H330 Review

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Over the past year, the market for 3D televisions has grown so rapidly that almost every television manufacturer, out there, is launching a 3D television. These 3D HDTVs are targeted at audiences who're willing to pay high amounts for quality in terms of looks, features and performance. During the course of the year, we have seen brands like LG, Sony and Panasonic successfully launch 3DTVs, but other lesser known brands such as Lloyd have also launched 3D TVs, which are quite good. Haier, a brand well known in the market for their consumer electronics such as air conditioners, washing machines, etc. have also launched a high-end 55-inch 3D HDTV called the Haier LE55H330. This television boasts of features, that include the ability to view content in full HD 1080p, 2D to 3D conversion and a host of other features.

Flicker noticed while viewing 3D

Flicker noticed while viewing 3D

 

Design and Build Quality
As far as LED televisions go, the market is swamped with models that have a black finish. Though black LED TVs maybe extremely stylish with their gloss finish and the works, they have basically the same design and there is no significant difference between most televisions, except for the branding. Take this away and most televisions look almost identical. Haier, with the LE55H330 has strayed away from this conventional look and have used a brushed aluminium bezel. This is quite a refreshing change and by adding a silver finish it does not stick to the norm of black LED TVs.

As far as the bezel goes, it is a bit larger than other LED TVs available in the market. The width of the bezel at the sides and top, measure at approximately an inch and a half, while the bottom part of the bezel measures at around two and a half inches. Featured below, the bezel are the speakers, this makes the bezel at the bottom look large. The controls for the television are found on the bottom of the bezel and these buttons are for the standard TV functions like menu, volume, channel, TV/AV and power. The buttons are made well and the functions can be accessed easily.

The stand is very sturdy

The stand is very sturdy

 

Connectivity options are located at the back and the ports for these inputs and output ports are downward and side facing. This is a common design implementation found on LED TVs to avoid cluttering of wires when the TV is flushed against a wall. On the side facing connectors, there are two USB ports, two HDMI ports, spdif, antenna In, composite and an AV out. The downward connections, include a LAN port, PC in ports, component ports and a downward facing HDMI port. Apart from these connections, in a hub located on the metal back panel, one can attach either an additional SD card slot or an option to attach additional USB ports.

The remote control that came bundled with it is white in colour and most of the buttons too are in the same colour. The remote looks really cheap and plasticy. It does not it looks as if it deserves to be bundled along with a television that is priced such. Leaving the looks and build quality aside, the buttons are made of soft rubber and they appear durable enough to last for a long time. The 3D glasses that come bundled with the television are pretty stylish. It is mostly black with a tinge of silver. These glasses are fairly large enough to fit on the top of a pair of spectacles as well. It looks pretty sturdy and if dropped, accidentally, it doesn't seem like much damage would occur to it.

The stand that comes along with the television is cylindrical and transparent. The base, like the stand has a transparent finish. It is really solid and can support the television really well. It has a nice swivel feature that allows one to tilt the television to quite an extent, thus ensuring an appropriate viewing from any seating position within a room. Overall, the design of this TV is good and has the build quality to match.

Features
The headlining feature of the Haier LE55H330 is its 3D capabilities. The feature isn't strongly advertised by the company, though. By incorporating this attribute, it puts the TV in direct competition with other big brand manufacturers in the market, such as LG, Panasonic, etc. A strange thing about this television is that on the remote, the feature is not denoted properly. Instead, one would have to press the video recording button denoted by a red dot, which takes you to the 3D feature. While this maybe an odd denotation for the 3D feature, one can easily navigate through 3D interface by tapping it.

The second interesting feature about this television is that in the bay located at the back, one can swap slot-in for cards such as a PC card, a virtual gaming card and a time shift card. These cards can be attached to the bay using screws that came bundled with the TV. The setting up of these cards is cumbersome and we'd have liked it if all these features just came integrated into the TV. Another unique feature of the television is the soundbar at the bottom. These forward firing speakers output at 10-watts. LED televisions usually have speakers at the back. By adding these speakers in the front, one can hope to get clearer audio from it. The panel used by this television is of the MVA variant, as opposed to IPS panels. The LE55H330 is a MVA panel, which is claimed to give better viewing angles.

Funtions on the remote are not properly denoted

Funtions on the remote are not properly denoted

 

The interface of the television is pretty simple to navigate through, once a person is used to it. However, to get used to it, one requires to play around a lot with it. The settings menu is pretty in-depth and various options can be tweaked, such as picture quality, audio quality etc. The television supports a range of external drives, including formats such as FAT32 and NTFS. To access the files, there is a shortcut button on the remote for the USB. This helps in accessing the drives, which are attached to the TV, quickly. The Haier supports a range of multimedia formats, such as AVI, MP4, etc. The interface for the USB drives is decent in appearance. However, we noticed that the aligning was slight off for the text in some tabs. Rounding up the features of the television, it has a lot of features that are found on many high end models from other manufacturers and by having this many features, Haier definitely aims to compete with the best available.

Performance
The performance of the television was tested by connecting it to the Spyder3 software to check the contrast ratio and colours of the TV. After calibrating the TV, we ran the DisplayMate test by connecting it to a PC. We used a DTH service with it to check standard as well as HD channels, among other tests. After the calibration, we noticed that the colours appeared a lot warmer and were not as vibrant as before.

No moire patterns noticeable

No moire patterns noticeable

 

We connected our test rig to the PC to run the DisplayMate test and we noticed that the greys had a greenish tinge to it, while the whites appeared yellowish. While checking the black levels, we noticed that most of the dark grey blocks could not be singled out, which shows that the screens backlighting is not up to the mark. While checking standard colours, we observed that the reds and greens appeared garish. While viewing primary colours, alongside each other, we saw a seam between the pink and green bars and the red and blue bars. In the reverse video contrast test, we saw that most colours were off and the text lacked definition.

In the background interference test, we saw that there were moire patterns and some patches that were apparent onscreen. This shows that the backlighting of the television is quite bad. While running the colour intensity scales test, we noticed that though in most bars there was a definition between the scales, while some bars were washed out. The bars, where bleeding took place were in pink, red and orange.

Colour Intensity scales were quite bad with bleeding noticed

Colour Intensity scales were quite bad with bleeding noticed

 

While viewing DTH services on this TV, there was a noticeable difference between the quality of SD channels and HD channels. This was majorly due to the quality of the channels offered by the service provider. An issue that we noticed was that due to the 120Hz field frequency, the images onscreen appeared very fluid. This, at times looked unnatural.

We tested the TV by connecting a Philips Blu-ray player to the TV and playing our in-house test Blu-ray. The playback was good, but the issue we faced was the same that was found, while running the DTH service. This enhanced the fluidity of the images onscreen. Other than that the colours appeared relatively natural and there were no other issues noticed. The sound quality during playback was good and at less than half the volume, the speakers fired well. Playback of videos through the USB slots proved no different and there was that excessive fluidity, which had been noticed throughout video playback.

While playing videos in the 3D mode, we noticed that playback was a lot better than when it was in the 2D mode. However, there was a fair bit of flicker was noticed and this is due to the use of the active glasses. The remote has a horrible build quality and an equally horrible performance. Many buttons on it do not work and to get it to work, the remote has to be pointed directly at the sensor.

3D playback on the TV was good

3D playback on the TV was good

 

Verdict
The Haier LE55H330 is priced in India at Rs.1,79,000. This is a television that has the looks and features going for it, but when it comes to the performance, it just does not make the cut. The 55-inch Lloyd TV we reviewed a while back offered a lot better, in terms of performance, as compared to this. With the Haier LED TV, we faced several issues, such as the inaccuracy of colours, the horrible remote control, etc. The price of the television is rather high and if one is in the market looking to buy a 55-inch HDTV, there are better options available at a lesser cost.


Published Date: Dec 24, 2011 12:11 am | Updated Date: Dec 24, 2011 12:11 am