Vu is a brand that came out pretty strong a few years back and their focus has been the Indian audience, who seek latest television technologies at an affordable price. The brand has had its fair share of success with LCD and LED LCD televisions and as the market for these type of TVs expand, Vu continues to launch models at an affordable price point.
Brushed aluminium strip below the branding adds to the style
When one thinks of LED LCD televisions, they usually think of them being rather expensive. However, Vu aims to change that by launching a 32-inch LED LCD TV - 32K21 that is economical and yet hosts a number of interesting features. Here is a closer look at the product on offer.
Design and Build Quality
Vu has stuck to the traditional all black gloss finish that is found on most LED LCD TVs; thereby keeping the design aspect in-line with countless other TVs available in the market. The only real distinguishing factor, apart from the Vu branding in the front is that above the stand there is the brushed metal aluminium strip. Like most LED LCD TVs available, it has a minimalistic design, which makes it look attractive. Other than this, the front of the TV has an LED indicator and sensor for the remote.
Controls lie to the right-side of the rear of the TV. These feature basic controls for navigating through the television options. The on/ off button, menu, volume, channel and source buttons are located at the back in this area. Vu have chosen to add a separate power switch at the bottom of the TV for manually turning the TV on or off. A few brands tend to add this option for powering the TV, but bigger brands do not use it as it usually becomes a step more for powering on the TV.
The downward and side facing connectors
Connectivity options found are located at the rear and are downward and side facing. This positioning of the connections is becoming fairly common because as opposed to mounting it on the stand, many people tend to wall mount a TV. By using this design feature, the TV can be flushed against a wall. Vu have added 4 HDMI ports on the side along with a port for connecting the antenna, coaxial, a USB port, a 3.5mm jack for headphones and an AV2 port, which are all side facing. The downward facing connectors, include another USB port, a SCART connector, DVI/ PC audio, a VGA connector as well as other AV inputs.
The bezel and the stand are quite sturdy and we had no problems with the overall build quality of the product. Design-wise, Vu have stuck to the tried and tested route of using a glossy black bezel which is good.
The main feature of the Vu 32K21 is that it has full HD 1080p video capabilities, as opposed to the previous generation Vu 32K16, which featured HD video at 720p. The television takes some time to be powered on and once it does, you are greeted with the Vu branding set against a blue background. This is not the most pleasant sight as the blue seems a bit garish. When using this television for the first time, one is immediately met with the initial set up process. The layout of this is pretty basic with the ability to tweak settings, such as picture quality, sound quality, etc. If one chooses not to accept these settings at the start, they can easily access them at any time by just tapping on the menu button.
The Interface is similar to those of HD media players
The interface used on the television is pretty impressive and Vu has done well to add a slight animation, while scrolling through the different settings. While navigating through the interface for external drives, we were pleasantly surprised with the layout. The options such as photos, music, etc. are located to the left of the screen and in the centre one can view icons of what they wish to choose. While this may not be as impressive as the XMB interface found on Sony or the interfaces found on LG or Panasonic TVs, this is a fairly attractive interface and it reminds us of some of the ones found on media players.
The television can play both NTFS and FAT32 drives. This is a good thing as some of the bigger names in televisions only support FAT32 drives. The television can playback a host of common formats and this was a pretty good feature as well. Apart from this Vu claims that the television boasts of a number of features, such as a 178 degree viewing angle, a 6ms response time and two 6 Watt speakers. Overall, when it comes to the features, the Vu 32K21 has so far surpassed our expectations.
The television was first tested by playing videos and viewing content out of the box without tweaking any of the settings. Later on, we calibrated it using our Spyder3 Elite software. Out of the box, the television is good and one does not need to calibrate it. However, for those who like their TV fine tuned to perfection, the calibrator does a very good job. The images onscreen appear a bit warmer, in comparison to before the fine tuning.
Reverse video contrast check
When running DisplayMate we noticed that while adjusting the brightness and contrast, no tweaking needed to be done as the calibrator already sorted it out. In the Intensity range check, we observed that dark grays appeared brown from some angles, while in other angles appeared greenish. This was a strange abnormality, which we noticed for the first time. Viewing angles while running DisplayMate were very bad. In the Black level adjustment test, most dark grey blocks were visible, which indicate the black levels to be good. Basic colours overall appeared vibrant with green standing out the most.
In the Reverse video contrast check, we saw that all words were well defined and readable, while most colours appeared accurate, except for yellow, which was a bit dark. No moire patterns were noticed in the background interference check. Summing up the DisplayMate, the Vu 32K21 did not do that great with certain colours looking off and viewing angles being bad.
Colour intensity scales
While testing movies using a Blu-ray, we observed that the video quality was really good. One need not calibrate the television to get the best possible performance as out of the box it does really well. However, after calibrating it, the video playback was way better and one can get immersed in the viewing experience of the television. Colours appeared fairly natural, but somewhat average backlighting caused the display to appear a tad washed out. The sound quality is really good as well with the volume at 30 percent being quite audible. For a TV this size, it has a pretty good power output. We saw a good amount of noise on the display, but that can quickly be eliminated by reducing the sharpness levels to 0. We also disabled noise reduction and found the results to be better.
The television plays back NTFS as well as FAT32 drives. We played a video of an NTFS drive and the television rendered it smoothly. There was no lag, whatsoever. Even MKV files rendered perfectly and there were no issues faced while playing 60fps HD1080 content, which is impressive for a TV priced in this range. Audio quality through this medium was good as well. The remote control is not the best in the world and one has to point it directly at the sensor for the TV to respond.
A good LED TV at this price point
The Vu 32K21 sells in India at a market operating price of Rs. 26,000. This LED TV offers really good features and is pretty stylish as well. The performance of this TV is really good out of the box and with calibration it gets a whole lot better. There are not many manufacturers who sell full HD LED TVs at this price point and with all the features, design and performance in mind, this is a really good TV. This television is ideal for anyone looking to make the jump from a CRT TV and wanting to go in for an LED TV without spending a vast amount of money for a concept that has now officially gone mainstream and is in the process replacing LCD TVs.
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