Out of the box, this television doesn't look like much, and testing revealed that this is one TV you may be able to judge by its cover.
Same ol' tired tune
Shiny high end toys from companies like Samsung and Panasonic spoil us, leaving us bored with the layout of everyday TVs like this Ocosmo. The design screams, "BUDGET!" Black rectangle here, another one there—done. At least the cheap build gives your billfold a break.
On-set controls line the right side of the panel, and they're a little too clearly marked: The white labels actually scrawl over the face of the bezel—talk about ugly. Outputs and inputs live on the opposite end of the panel. Stacked along the left side are shared component/composite hooks, stereo analog out, and a headphone jack; on the back of the same side, Ocosmo included SPDIF, an antenna jack, a VGA hookup, three HDMI connections, and one USB port.
For a controller, Ocosmo provides a classic remote with mushy buttons. Just like everything else on this rig, it's as basic as they come.
Like a cheese pizza
In the way of features, this TV is again very plain. Don't expect to find any innovative goodies or extras. Aside from a USB port and a sleep timer, the Ocosmo is just a one trick pony. Users won't find 3D, smart content, or special control sets on this television.
The picture settings are abbreviated, as well. Basics like color temperature, brightness, and contrast are all present, but beyond that you won't find much. At least there is a full EQ and a surround mode for better listening.
A horse of a dreadful color
The CE3201 is an entry-level display with wholly average performance. You can't have the world for under $500 bucks, but we've certainly seen better quality for this price point.
This display does produce nice-looking dark and white levels. The luminance is such that this TV is well-suited to both theater-like and sunny settings. Not only this, it has a very wide viewing angle—much better than what we usually find on LCD televisions.
In terms of color, though, the CE3201 falls flat: Reds are overemphasized and pure white borders on cyan. Thus, reds take on a tacky, overly vibrant appearance and whites are never pure. On top of this, temperature errors lend a blue tone to areas of both light and shadow, all throughout the spectrum.
The CE3201 struggles with motion performance, as well. Regular cable content like talk shows and sitcoms look fine, but cinematic discs suffer from visible blurring and choppy motion.
For its full asking price: No way.
Sales are this TV's only shot at love. The full asking price of $499 is simply too much for 32 inches of questionable color. The contrast is certainly ample for a low end display, but the ho-hum motion performance and unsightly colors bring everything down a peg.
Of course, if you find it online like I did for $189 bucks, you can rationalize to your heart's content—just don't expect great color performance. And whatever you do, don't jump at the Ocosmo CE3201 with 500 dollars in hand.
The Ocosmo CE3201-H3LE3 doesn't perform to its $500 initial asking price, but with big sales putting it in place, budget buyers in need of a spare room TV will certainly be tempted.
The contrast ratio is very healthy and the viewing angle is wonderful, but shoddy color performance brings everything down.
When it comes to weighting TV test scores, contrast pretty much counts as the meat and potatoes of performance. Contrast ratio is simply the TV's peak brightness divided by its lowest luminance. The bigger the ratio, the better the test score. This Ocosmo is far from breaking any records, but it gets the job done with a 2071:1 reading.
Happily, the contrast ratio is gained through healthy lights and darks, the latter of which is the most important. We gathered readings of 136.7 cd/m2 (peak bright) and 0.066 cd/m2 (minimum luminance), which makes the CE3201 a fine candidate for dark and sunny rooms alike.
To begin color testing, we like to see how closely a TV's color gamut lines up to the Rec. 709 international HD color standard. In other words, we look at what colors a TV produces to see how accurate and lifelike they are. In this case, red suffers from oversaturation, lending an unpleasant, garish appearance to content. Green and blue are right where they should be, but white deviates a great deal, taking on an unwanted cyan hue.
Next we investigate color temperature, to see how pure a TV's highlights and shadows are. The wrong temperature—measured in Kelvins—can color areas of light and shadow with unpleasant blue or orange tints. The Ocosmo CE3201-H3LE3 has major temperature errors that pollute its entire spectrum, from deep dark all the way to peak bright, with an orange tint.
Last, we run trials that look at a TV's color curves. Do colors ramp up smoothly and evenly from dark to light? Do red, green, blue, or white imbalance one another? In this case, yes. Though transitions from one hue to the next are smooth, as indicated by the clean lines, red ramps up more quickly than the rest.
Journey to the center of a couch
Viewing angle was one area of performance that really pleased us during testing. Most LCD televisions fail to provide decent horizontal viewing angles, but the Ocosmo proved itself an exception to the rule.
We measured a total viewing angle of 81°—or ±41° from either side. This is easily double what we normally find on televisions of this sort. Enjoy that armrest seat on the edge of your sofa!
Meet the tester
Former Managing Editor@
Virginia is a former Managing Editor at Reviewed.com. She has a background in English and journalism. Away from the office, Virginia passes time with dusty books & house cats.
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