Using some of those fancy LED lights, the keeps a slim profile, with a shiny bezel. The connectivity is very limited, with only a couple of digital and analog ports.
The LED lighting allows for very slim side view on this Westinghouse. The frame has a couple inches on it, making this 46-inch display look a little larger than it needs to be. There is a mirror bar running along the bottom. It is tucked away from external lights so it won't be that distracting and it adds some recognizable style to what would otherwise be the design of every other TV out there.
The stand is static. We tried to swivel it slightly and almost broke it into pieces. We do things so that you don't have to. Otherwise, it is a very standard piece of black, shiny plastic.
The manual controls are curious indeed. Somewhere between touch controls and actual buttons, Westinghouse landed on a unique design of touch control divots. This half-way compromise between two designs allows you to find the buttons in the dark. The indents allow for a little more tactile feedback because you can feel something, so you know you are touching the button as opposed to just finger slapping at the side of the TV hoping you are hitting a small mark in the dark. We do have one complaint (we frequently do), the screw holes in the back of the TV are the exact same size and shape as the divots, so you may be fingering a screw hole for a while, hoping to turn something on (wow that sounds wrong), but nothing is happening.
The remote is oddly shaped. The thicker end is to be pointed at the television and the thinner end is to be held. We mismanaged this operation several times in the dark and couldn't figure out why the remote didn't work. When you hold it properly, it just feels wrong. The thicker end is heavier and feels like it is trying to fall out of your hand while you cannot get a good grip on the thinner end. It's like some continuous practical joke that you will probably not find that funny.
In the box was a television, a stand, a remote, batteries, cable ties, a quick connection guide, a thick manual, warranty documents, and nothing else.
Some people can get by with just two HDMI ports, others will have to return the TV because they cannot connect all of their high-powered devices. A single composite port is also confining, as there are only three total video connections to this television. Consumers that do not know much about televisions will probably not need many connections and should be able to get away with what is available. Make sure to check that everything you have can connect before you buy this display.
There is a USB port on the side side part of the connection layout. This is for service access only and does not provide media connectivity to pictures, music, or video.
All ports are located in the center of the back of the display, laid out in an L-shaped cutout. We do not understand recessing the ports into a cutout, especially if they are out of the way on the back. If the ports are on the back, they are already hidden. Cutouts are for ports on the side or near the side of the display to obscure them from view at off angles. When there is a cutout, the ports are harder to connect. Cables tend to have stiff-necked plugs, so any indentation will force the cable at an odd angle, and over time, the cable will become warped or even split. This arrangement does not indicate to the best foresight.
There are no points of notable quality on this Westinghouse. There are moments of slightly above average performance, like the contrast ratio, but nothing to justify some egregious errors, like the crummy detail in the gamma curves.
A less than impressive black level and a slightly below average peak brightness combine for a reasonably strong contrast ratio on this Westinghouse. Anything over 1000:1 is acceptable, and the gets away with an agreeable contrast ratio. More on how we test contrast.
These gamma curves would be ideal if not for the flat lining at the left side of the chart. There is absolutely no brightness, meaning pitch black, shown for of the colors and the gray values until a mid-level input luminance. Just below middle gray, everything is very suddenly black, like really black. You will have no detail in lower luminances. Dark hair, dark clothing, dark anything really, will be black as tar, with no differentiating detail at all. More on how we test color performance.
The showed very few color temperature errors throughout the spectrum from dark to light. The biggest error was a warming error at the darkest end of the spectrum, where pictures will pick up a slight orange hue. More on how we test color temperature.
The color gamut shows the colors produced by the matched against the international standard set of colors called the Rec. 709. The match is not exact. You can see that the blue and the red values are undersaturated, meaning a bit gray. The blues show the biggest error, causing a low score in color gamut here. The white point is looking great however, showing the least amount of error, imperceptibly exact with the Rec. 709. More on how we test color temperature.
Our picture dynamics test shows us if a television is dimming the peak brightness or brightening the black level depending on what is shown on the screen. Consistent black levels and peak brightnesses make for really sharp pictures. A high score here means no dimming or brightening occurs, regardless of the imagery displayed. More on how we test picture dynamics.
The is a 1080p television that can handle all ATSC and NTSC formats.
The viewing angle on the is not very wide. It can show a strong picture up to 18º off-center in either direction. This narrow angle is about what we expect from and LCD screen, but you can see in the comparison chart that there are other bargain televisions that do much better.
We saw very few artifacts with moving objects on the . Hard-edged shapes did not distort into other shapes. These shapes picked up few jagged edges while moving. However, with high-density, high-contrast patterns, color artifacts began to appear. In the high-contrast pattern - a series of black and white lines on a gray gradient - bits of green, red, and blue would chunk out in the middle gray part of the gradient while this chart moved back and forth across the screen.
The smoothness was less impressive. We saw a hefty amount of detail loss as pictures moved. Faces became blurry and background objects were unidentifiable. Tight, straight lines stayed well rendered though. Our moving color chart showed us heavy color trailing in every one of the bright colors in the chart.
To sum up, the motion processing proved to be better than expected, but the detail retention was poor enough that the gets a poor score here.
Screen uniformity was only a problem on an all-black screen. Instead of a pure, matte black, we could see some bright cloudy patches where the backlighting was shining through the display. This blooming is an artifact, a defect in the picture that can be seen on a completely black screen, but much less obvious during any content.
The sound quality is rather good for 10W speakers. Often, speakers with this low power output tend to top out with rifle fire and explosions, where you cannot hear the detail in the noise, it's just loud. These Westinghouse speakers carried a strong amount of detail with the noise. People interested in a Westinghouse are probably not going to make an entire home theater out of this display (or should not at least) and the included speakers are of a good enough quality that users could get by without purchasing an external pair.
There is a simulated surround mode to consider as well. When turned on, this surround mode adds some depth to the sound, where noise in the background seems further away than sounds in the foreground. It does not feel like the sound is coming from all angles however. We also noticed that the quality of the noise took a hit with this function engaged. Where we heard detail in loud noises before, we heard just loudness now. As a bargain television shopper, you would be happy with the speakers included, as well as leaving the surround mode off.
LCD screens tend to not soak up too much energy. This one was no different. We figure that, for an average year, you will spend about $13.67. That's a little more than a dollar a month, an amount most television owners can afford.
There are no numbers in the picture settings menu. You will have to count the number of times you adjust the settings slider to calibrate to our recommended settings. There are a hundred steps to each setting, so counting each step adjustment will take some time, but you can do it. We did.
For the most optimal picture, we knocked down all the settings a bit. The colors were oversaturated, the picture comes too sharp and the brightness and contrast were also too high.
All of our calibration is done in conjunction with the DisplayMate software.
There are a few video presets, represented as a star flying through a galaxy of stars, in the menu. Yeah, we don't know either.
Don't expect any extra features like internet or overdrive processing features. This Westinghouse is as basic as they come. There is only one menu that handles very little functionality. This television pretty much comes as is out of the factory.
There is but one menu, with three options on this Westinghouse. You can select picture settings, sound settings, and general settings. There is very little in the way of written explanation here, but there is also very little to control. One thing that may be hard is that our calibration settings are done in numbers, and there are no numbers on these sliders. They go in chunks of 100, but you will have to count (as we had to) all of the chunks to get it properly calibrated.
There are no extra features, no video processing modes, no media ports, or internet connectivity on this TV. The menus help you adjust the size of the picture some of the display settings and some sound equalization. For consumers interested in a Westinghouse, this simplicity hits their customer niche perfectly. People want a television that they can plug into the wall and not have to figure out a long list of overdrive features.
There is only one thoughtless design aspect here. The backlight can only be adjusted by using the remote. The button for backlight is the half moon circle, commonly used to represent contrast. So commonly used, in fact, that it is used as the graphic for contrast within the menu on this very same television. Not the greatest design, not the worst either.
The manual looks like a paperback novel, thickly filled out in three languages. There is a table of contents and tabs to help you get around, but somehow this manual is very confusing. Sections are horribly labeled to make them sound more difficult and urgent than they need be. For example, the table of contents leads you to a section called "Installing the LED TV Base". We thought we had missed something when setting up this television or like we didn't have an extra accessory that we may need for best performance. Turns out there are just three pages about attaching the stand. The complexity of this manual does not match the overall simplicity of this TV. You can find a digital copy of it here.
We imagine people considering buying a Westinghouse have a similar mentality as those entering McDonald's for dinner: size over quality. If that's the case, the Coby TFTV4028 is a smaller television with some better colors and more ports for the same price as the . The six extra inches of screen, a significantly wider viewing angle, and a deeper black level are reasons this consumer group will probably prefer the .
The has a much deeper black level than the Coby TFTV4028, making for a much broader range of black and white values: a better contrast ratio. Though the Coby TFTV4028 had narrower range of blacks and whites, the detail within this range was greater than that of the . We will go with the in this face off.
The Coby TFTV4028 showed us a very accurate color gamut and reasonable color transition detail for these bargain level TVs. The had a much more even color temperature, but it was not without faults either. The Coby TFTV4028 has better colors by our reckoning, succeeding the in the more important color categories.
The clearly has a wider viewing angle than a television that can only display strong images within a range of only 15º.
We actually really liked the motion processing on the . It's main problem was heavy color trailing of bright colors and some false coloration to high density patterns, but other than that, it was really strong. It showed no shape distortion and the detail retention was rather good. The Coby TFTV4028 has a better motion score because it was consistently average throughout the test with no major aberrations.
The Coby TFTV4028 has a great selection of ports in the back. They may be out of the way, but if you can get there, you can have a whole home theater setup easily. The conversely does not have that many ports. This is an important consideration for those who want to hook up a media center with their 46-inch television.
The Haier LE46B1381 has a stronger contrast ratio, a better viewing angle, better motion processing, and more ports for $100 more than the . If you can save up the extra money, we think the value is definitely there.
The Haier LE46B1381 has the same black level and significantly more brightness than the . The brightness becomes a factor here as the cannot get even as bright as 200 cd/m2.
The Haier LE46B1381 has a more accurate color gamut than does the , but the color temperature and the color detail were better on the Westinghouse. We go with the Westinghouse on this one.
The Haier LE46B1381 has better viewing angle than the by about 12º.
The Haier LE46B1381 showed more consistently accurate motion than the , which mostly processed motion very well, with some erratic color trailing and a few false coloration artifacts to high density patterns.
The Haier LE46B1381 has more overall ports than the but the arrangement of them is so incredibly daft that we have a hard time recommending it. For ease of use, though limited in options, the is the way to go.
For less money, and the same amount of screen, you get a better television all-around from Dynex than you do out of the . By no means do we think the Dynex DX-46L261A12 is one of the best televisions on the market, far from it. We do think that for the bargain shoppers, the value (price:quality) is hard to beat.
This Dynex has one of the best contrast ratios around. Too bad the detail in this range is mostly terrible. Still, we think the range is enough to justify going with the Dynex over the , which can not get bright enough for some bright lighting situations.
The Dynex DX-46L261A12 beats out the in every one of our color testing categories.
The Dynex DX-46L261A12 has a wider viewing angle than the .
Though neither were great, the Dynex DX-46L261A12 showed fewer motion processing errors than the .
Both of these sets have limited connectivity, especially considering the HD ports. The Dynex DX-46L261A12 has a few more analog options than the .
The ($599 MSRP) from Westinghouse is a bargain 1080p television with a 120Hz refresh rate. There isn't much more to say about it.
The lack of features, and a menu system made for the neophyte makes it perfect for people that do not want to get involved with their television. The target consumer here is the person that wants to buy something cheap, bring it home, have it work, and never think another thought about it, and that's fine. There are extra features, and details to learn about should you want to, but televisions used to be simple like this Westinghouse. We imagine there are many people interested in reliving the technological days of yore, as well as those who want to buy a TV on the cheap.
But even these people want to know that they are getting the best for their money. The price is nice, but there are better televisions out there for the same amount of money, that work with the same amount of simplicity. Don't believe us? Take a(nother) look at our comparison models. We can't really endorse the as a TV to buy, considering it's not even the best of the worst.
The is an inexpensive large screen from Westinghouse. It's native resolution is 1080p and it refreshes at 120Hz. The connectivity is limited and so are the options for controlling the settings.
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Christian Sherden is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
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