As an LCD monitor manufacturer, Hannspree creates adequately spec’d, average quality products. As an HDTV manufacturer, that’s another story. The Hannspree SV42LMUB - currently being sold for $650 - is an indication that Hannspree has a lot of catching up to do. In tests, the SV42LMUB, not surprising, scored lower than most HDTVs out in the market today. It lacks networking and Internet capabilities, and is particularly a pain to set up. The silver lining is its audio capabilities, which is surprisingly good for a TV in this price range.
The set’s design is pretty much okay. It has an exquisitely designed exterior made from crystal-like materials and a unique base made from reinforced glass. In terms of visual technologies, the SV42LMUB boasts new-generation, energy-efficient LED backlight technology, which saves up to 50% efficient as compared to traditional cathode-tube TVs. It comes in with four HDMI ports, a coaxial port, composite video, S-video, and both USB and VGA ports.
Generally, the aesthetic is pretty good. Performance, on the other hand, is a different matter.
During motion image tests, the Hannspree SV42LMUB performed poorly. You’ll see a lot of shimmering images and other motion artifacts during fast-paced scenes. Even static images looked disappointing. The TV showed greenish tints and poor contrast in various scenes. The SV42LMUB displayed a serious overscan problem, too, significantly cutting off the edges of the image on all four sides.
If you’re looking for a low-cost HDTV, then the Hannspree SV42LMUB may be one of your choices. I mean, it’s not all that bad. As mentioned, the SV42LMUB produced exceptional audio quality. It even probably surpassed audio quality from more popular and pricier televisions. With the volume turned all the way up, you’ll notice only a slight distortion in the high and low notes, and none in between. The simulated surround is good enough to produce a strong sense of presence.
In addition, you can play media files, from a USB flash drive, on to the SV42LMUB. Simply plug it into the USB port and you can enjoy the set’s excellent audio quality while listening to your favorite music. You have to search through folders to find your files, and the only music format it plays is .mp3. The photo-slideshow options are limited, lacking both transitions and background music.
The SV42LMUB also lacks an ethernet port and WiFi. That means, not internet connectivity for this set. It can’t let you stream content from the internet to your HDTV set. You’ll have to plug in another Internet-capable device, such as a Blu-ray player or a PC, to enjoy Netflix Instant, YouTube, or any of the other entertainment options you can get from a networked HDTV.
Hannspree didn’t make the SV42LMUB particularly easy to use. For instance, the on-screen menu stays up when you adjust the contrast or brightness, so it’s difficult to see how your changes affect the picture. The first-time wizard and the main menu both lack on-screen explanations.
All in all, the Hannspree SV42LMUB is a sold cheap. It lacks most of the features you’ll find on other pricier sets leaving you the bare minimum. For those on a very very tight budget, the SV42LMUB is a potential option. But really, if you don’t want to sacrifice picture quality, then this set is not for you.