Team-BHP > Shifting gears > Gadgets, Computers & Software

View Poll Results: Which Chinese / Non-TV TV brand are you most likely to vote for with your wallet
HiSense 7 2.30%
Kodak 9 2.95%
Motorola 0 0%
OnePlus 49 16.07%
Realme 4 1.31%
TCL 38 12.46%
Toshiba 30 9.84%
Vu 77 25.25%
Xiaomi 64 20.98%
Others (Please specify) 27 8.85%
Voters: 305. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25th October 2020, 22:38   #1
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The Budget / Frugal TV thread

We already have a TV Thread (The TV Thread - LCD, LED etc.)

This thread will specifically focus on the Non-TV TV Brands / Cheaper Chinese Brands (Read anything other than the conventional Sony / LG / Samsung / Panasonic) and user experience when dealing with these brands as most of them do not have any physical presence and are available digitally only.
Since the tech is ever-changing and it can get very overwhelming when going through these uncharted waters (It is easy to recommend the traditional brands mentioned above) as the experience with these budget brands can vary like night and day, thus this thread.

As per my recollection, I have tried to make a list of known brands in this segment:
  1. HiSense
  2. Kodak
  3. Motorola
  4. OnePlus
  5. Realme
  6. TCL
  7. Toshiba
  8. Vu
  9. Xiaomi
There are other brands too, however, they are not a major player in this budget / frugal category. Please do correct me if I may have missed any other major player and you can request the Mods to add the same by reporting this post.

I request the users of TVs from these brands to contribute on parameters like
  1. Panel Type - LED (VA / IPS) / QLED / OLED (Is there even an option of OLED panels in this range?)
  2. Bang for the buck
  3. Long term performance
  4. Usage (Primary or occasional say guest room)
  5. Service and warranty-related experience
  6. Smart capabilities & UI
  7. Technical Prowess such as 4K / HDR etc
  8. Sound Quality (Great / Alright / Trash)
  9. Availability & positioning of ports - Side facing vs Rear facing
Or any other thing that comes to mind which can help prospective buyers in this segment make a more informed decision.

Last edited by roamer012 : 25th October 2020 at 23:03.
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Old 26th October 2020, 07:36   #2
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Not too technical, but I gifted someone close a VU 50" TV back in 2016. It was less than half the price of the big brands and had all the necessary Smart TV features. Guess what, its now 4 years up and the TV is still working perfectly! Their family is very happy with the brand, screen quality & software. I have myself watched an F1 race or two on that TV and while the screen isn't as good as my Sony, it is 90% there for 40% of the price. A steal IMHO.
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Old 26th October 2020, 08:17   #3
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

When I was in the lookout for a 55 inch TV 3-4 years back, VU, TCL and couple of the other brands were in the reckoning due to the sheer cost difference with the big 3- Sony, Samsung, LG. Finally went ahead with an LG due to various reasons.

This year during the Amazon sale was looking out for a TV for my in laws and was surprised to see the prices. 55 inchers from Sony, LG, Samsung were available in the 50-60 range, 43 inchers around the 30k range. I finally bought a 32 inch LG smart TV for just 13,000.

Looking at the pricing of the tier 2 brands, I no longer see the huge cost difference from the main 3. 2-3 years back a VU TV was probably 1/3rd or even 1/4th of a Sony or a Samsung. No longer the case I guess.

So purely on price , I don't see them as attractive as before, but maybe still more bang for the buck I guess.
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Old 26th October 2020, 08:34   #4
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

I had gotten a Kevin 32" TV a couple of years back, and it works perfectly till now. The best part is that I got the TV for just 5 or 6k back then. Now it looks like the price has increased to 9.5k.

The pros are ofcourse the price.

The cons:

- Its too bright for my liking.
- I had Creative 2.1 plugged into all TV's, however, with this one, the remote of the speaker triggers the TV too and vice versa. Thats damn frustrating.
- Also, the TV doesnt work seamlessly with Alexa remote (Like Power and Volume control). My Samsung works.

Last edited by dhanushs : 26th October 2020 at 08:35.
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Old 26th October 2020, 10:24   #5
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Well, you missed #10 Nokia there. Another one being manufactured at Dixon Technologies plant in Andhra Pradesh. The good thing being, Nokia is *not* a Chinese company. 6 out of 9 mentioned in this list are Chinese.

Got 2 * 43 inch Android TVs in my extended family in the past 2 months. One 4K at 33k, the other, 1080p at 22k. Both of them soon after first launch.

I have not seen the 4K TV but the 1080p is par for the course. Good picture and sound. Comes with a voice remote and the Android TV features *work*.

I have a VU 4k 40 incher (semi smart) which I got 4+ years back. It had come with a 3 year warranty that I never had to use. It still is going strong, good enough to watch 4K Netflix.

Last edited by antz.bin : 26th October 2020 at 10:31.
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Old 26th October 2020, 12:09   #6
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

I got myself a VU 55 inch Android TV on Diwali 2019 for ~35k. It's doing its duty well, although our usage is not much. Similar configs in LG / Samsung were 70-75k and Sony was 90k+.

The major drawbacks are poor sound quality and a pronounced soap opera effect. While you can improve the SQ using a soundbar, you will have to live with the latter.

PS: Any tips on reducing this soap opera effect are welcome.
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Old 26th October 2020, 12:12   #7
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

I bought my 55 inch iFFALCON (TCL) K2A 1.5 years ago for a song and I am happy with it so far.

After trading my 8 year old 42 inch FHD LG for 10K, and adding all the sundry discounts, I got it at a mouthwatering price of <19K. I wasn't actively looking for a new TV, but this deal was too good to pass.

It is not a perfect TV. The thing takes about 2 minutes to boot up. And there is no standby or sleep mode. So, you can't simply switch it off if you are stepping out for a few minutes. I mostly switch on and keep it running for the duration of the TV viewing session.

4K looks beautiful on the TV, but it did not astound me as much as what it did when I bought my first HD TV. It is not easy for me to tell the difference between a 1080p video and a 4K one. It has HDR and all I can see is a picture where the colors are increased to insane levels. Didn't quite like it.

Compared to the LG it replaced, this budget TV has a better picture quality when viewed from the center. LG's blacks were dark greys. LG was an IPS while this one is VA. The built-in Android OS is sort of mediocre. Navigation is not very smooth and it has occasional issues connecting to the wifi. I added a wireless mouse and a keyboard and it worked without a fuss.

I haven't had any issue which needed me to call the customer care yet, thankfully. But I have read horror stories on the internet about people who ended up having to call their "non-existent" customer care.

Overall am happy with what I got, so wouldn't hesitate to buy another budget TV brand if I get it at a good price. But I could hesitate to buy unheard-of brands like Kevin, Cloudwalker etc. I bought the iFFALCON only because, under the hood it is a TCL.
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Old 26th October 2020, 13:20   #8
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Last Diwali, I was looking to buy a 65in TV. Everything was exorbitant in the top brands. Most were above 1-1.5 lacs. I saw tcl on Amazon, and decided to check it out in person at Croma. I discovered that I'm not a videophile, and all I needed was a display. I couldn't make out a 70k difference between the tcl, and the 55" Sony next to it. So I bought it for 52 k, and it has been flawless so far.
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Old 26th October 2020, 13:28   #9
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

I got a 50 inch Micromax TV in 2015 for ~33K. Has been working perfectly fine and have zero complaints.

My next TV will also be from one of these brands, either Mi or Oneplus. Cannot really understand the premium charged by Samsung/LG/Sony, apart from may be the better after sales service.
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Old 26th October 2020, 13:41   #10
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

I bought a 40 inch TV from VU in 2018 for around 18k. It's working perfectly, only downside is volume. Have paired it with Amazon firestick to get a flavour of smart TV
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Old 26th October 2020, 13:55   #11
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Voted for VU. Ordered a 40" smart TV back in 2017 since I was saving around ~30k over an equivalent LG / Samsung. The experience has been great and we now have 3 more VU's in the extended family.

Sound quality was an issue with the initial range but I knew that when I bought it and have had external speakers since day 1. Now using a Sony 2.1 soundbar and am very happy with the overall experience.

I find the VU panels are very good quality with solid blacks and their up-scaling engine is also very good.

Last edited by fiat_tarun : 26th October 2020 at 13:56.
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Old 26th October 2020, 17:07   #12
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

I got a philips 58" 4k for less than 40k on a sale sometime back and it's a beauty
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Old 26th October 2020, 17:14   #13
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Toshiba cannot be named a non TV brand. They have been in business for decades and as far as I know, manufacture components like boards & displays for the bigger brands. I'm a proud owner of a 29" Toshiba LED TV for the past 6+ years, with zero complaints.

One particular factor to be looked at while getting s budget TV is the 'Refresh rate' in Hz. All budget LED TVs have refresh rate in the range of 50-60 Hz, whereas the bigger boys with better displays have 90-100 Hz. The latest iPhone as a 120 Hz display!
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Old 26th October 2020, 17:20   #14
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Originally Posted by deathwalkr View Post
I got a philips 58" 4k for less than 40k on a sale sometime back and it's a beauty

Would it possible for you to share a link to this TV or a link to the deal
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Old 26th October 2020, 17:26   #15
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Re: The Budget / Frugal TV thread

Originally Posted by rayjaycleoful View Post

Would it possible for you to share a link to this TV or a link to the deal
I doubt it. It was kind of a one time deal but on Amazon it's at 44k now

Throw in the card discounts and exchange offer then it could come under 40k i guess
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