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REVIEW - Sceptre X32BV-Naga 32" HDTV

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Old 07-21-2007, 03:40 PM   #1
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 56
Default REVIEW - Sceptre X32BV-Naga 32" HDTV

I have to say, I'm very impressed with this HDTV. I purchased it sight unseen, simply because there weren't any available at any of the Costco stores near me. On the AVS forum, I did find a 41 page thread on their previous model, the X32GV-Komodo. Overall, the reviews were very favorable.

One complaint with the previous model was poor packaging. The TV I received was very well packaged, and arrived without any damage to the outer box. As with the previous model, it came with the base detached. Sceptre included a screwdriver (and screws) to accomplish the tack of attaching the base to the TV. I thought that was a nice little extra to include a screwdriver (of course, I have my own ;-) They also included a set of component cables, along with the audio cables. A decent length too, about 8 feet I would guess.

Right out of the box, the picture was very good! The previous HDTV I had (and returned) was the Westinghouse SK-32H590D. Also a 32" that included a built in DVD player. The Westy had 4 picture settings along with a user setting. Their default picture settings were set to Nuclear Overdrive Mode! Totally useless. As with most manufacturers, the Westy had everything cranked up to compete with all the other display models on showroom floors. But once I got it home and turned it on, it felt like I'd just been struck with a blast of nuclear light. I had to go running to find my sunglasses (lol). I had the Westy for a week before returning it. The entire time I was constantly in the menu trying to adjust the picture. Honestly, I could never find a setting where it wasn't causing a lot of eye strain. Although the overall PQ of the Westy was good, there was just something about it that caused my eyes to be all messed up the week I had it.

The Sceptre on the other hand has 3 factory settings that are actually very useable! Standard, Mild, Vivid, and of course a user setting. Currently, I have it set to Mild and have not experienced any eye strain whatsoever! I received the TV yesterday afternoon, and am writing this review after watching the TV for a total of about 8 hours. I'm still playing around with the user setting, but haven't really found any adjustments that bring out the PQ a whole lot better than the three factory settings. This is quite an amazing thing in my opinion! How many manufacturers actually set their default settings to be usable in the home, instead of overdrive mode to compete on a showroom floor.

I've always had light sensitive eyes. So a feature that is a "must have" for me is an adjustable backlight. The Sceptre's backlight setting goes from 1 - 10. I've found that 3 works very well for my eyes, although it does tend to "soften" the picture a bit. The factory default is 6 and gives a more vibrant picture. The backlight setting is global. The Tv's tuner has separate settings for analog and digital. Of course the settings for each input are also independent.

The SD PQ is actually very good (well, for SDTV anyway). After looking at many different HDTVs, I've found that most don't have the greatest PQ when viewing SD sources, like analog cable. This one however is as good as the picture I get from my Toshiba 20" CRT, with basic Comcast cable service. A very nice bonus since I still watch a lot of basic analog cable (cable news, History channel, Discovery, TNT, etc.)

Ok, so what everyone really wants to know is ... how good is the HD quality? In my opinion, I'd say it's very good. Not excellent, as you might find on some of the more expensive TVs. But definitely very good. I'm plugged straight into the cable (no STB) and with the QAM tuner am able to pull in the HD broadcasts of ABC, NBC, CBS, WGN, Fox, and PBS. I'm not a gamer, don't have an HD DVD (or Blue Ray) so I can't comment on the PQ of those (or the various inputs like HDMI, component, etc.), since I don't have anything hooked up to the TV yet. I do plan on connecting my laptop through the VGA port, but have not done so yet.

Sound quality is also very good from it's 8 watt per channel amplifier. Later today I'll probably hook it up to my sound system. But unless I am watching a movie, I don't think I would even bother turning on my external system. The sound quality is actually better than I expected, and has controls for bass, treble and balance. There are 4 different sound modes to choose from, as well as a user setting.

The remote is very well laid out, but not backlit. But since some of the buttons are red, it makes it very easy to find the button you're looking for, even at night. As an example, the last channel button (black) is just above the source button (red). So even though I can't really see the marking for the last channel button, I just look for the red button that's in that area of the remote. Go up one button and there it is ;-) The sensitivity of the remote is fine. The previous model had some complaints about having to point the remote directly at the sensor for it to work. Not the case with this TV. Just point in the general direction of the TV screen, and it works fine. The OSD is also very well laid out, and is much better than some of the other HDTVs I've seen.

There are two quirks though with this set. The channel guide (which by the way is excellent) is set to Eastern time. I live in Illinois (Central). So, I go into the setup screen, set my timezone, check yes to daylight savings, and set the time. Go into the guide and can't see what's playing right now (lol). It lists the shows for a 24 hour time period (really cool). But you can't go back in time, to the previous hour. So if it's 6pm here, the guide is showing what's on at 6pm Eastern (I'm an hour behind). So the work around is to set the TV to Eastern time, which means the time on the screen is an hour off. No big deal, just kinda funny that Sceptre didn't catch this bug in the programming. I did try all the various ways to set the time (including turning of daylight savings), doing an auto vs manual, etc. It is a bug and not user error ;-)

The other quirk is more serious and concerns the favorites button. You can store as many channels as you want, and when you push the button it just cycles through the channels you have stored in favorites (theoretically that is :-) The problem is, when you go through the steps in the OSD to store a favorite, there is another programming glitch. The last step is to actually save the channel. The OSD asks you to confirm ... "Do you want to save this channel?" Well, it doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. It does NOT save the channel (lol).

Line 2408 : if "user input" = "yes" goto 2410
Line 2410 : save data

Hmm, not that difficult is it (lol) Just a little programming humor. And this is what I remember from my days of writing code in QBasic! Anyway, the "favorites" button does not work.

Overall, I think this is a very good quality HDTV. Like I said, maybe not as good as a top of the line Panny or Sony. But how often are you going to find a 32" HDTV for $550 with a 2 year warranty (extended by Costco free of charge). I've looked at many different HDTVs the last couple of months. That being said, I am very pleased with this purchase :-)
John Flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2007, 05:25 PM   #2
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
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Default congratulations John!

i'm glad for you that you got a keeper. very cool.

i needed to say also that i think you've have done people a real service by giving them information on a lower priced lcd tv which offers an option other than vizio and olevia. it's good that folks can have more to choose from.

Last edited by nklynrickel; 07-21-2007 at 05:36 PM..
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Old 07-21-2007, 06:44 PM   #3
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

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Default funny John...

something told me all along that you were a believer. He gives good gifts to His children.
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:03 PM   #4
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Illinois
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nklynrickel View Post
something told me all along that you were a believer. He gives good gifts to His children.
Thanks nklynrickel. I see you looked at my website Yes, a lot of prayer was used with this purchase ;-)

Thankfuly, God answered
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:31 PM   #5
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jan 2007
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Default Jesus...

the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:40 PM   #6
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 56
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nklynrickel View Post
Jesus ... the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
AMEN my Brother! It's always nice to meet other believers on these forums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flynn View Post
The other quirk is more serious and concerns the favorites button. You can store as many channels as you want, and when you push the button it just cycles through the channels you have stored in favorites (theoretically that is :-) The problem is, when you go through the steps in the OSD to store a favorite, there is another programming glitch. The last step is to actually save the channel. The OSD asks you to confirm ... "Do you want to save this channel?" Well, it doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. It does NOT save the channel (lol).
Well, my mistake (lol). It actually does save, although you have to answer NO to the question, not YES (lol). I did try the "no" at first, but guess I improperly exited the OSD, and thus did not save the data.

Common Sceptre. These two quirks (the other is with the program guide) are just simple code errors. Did you guys ever hear of the term "debugging your code" (lol).

All in all, I'm still very pleased The "favorites" is a very cool feature to have. I just plugged in all the HD channels for easy access ;-)
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:32 PM   #7
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

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Default Udate

After owning and using the TV for a week, I must make some changes to my original review. The first day you tend to do a lot of channel surfing and playing, and not as much actual watching.

Once I setteled into watching shows from beginning to end, I've noticed things I didn't realize at first.

On basic cable (SD) I've noticed some channels tend to have a less sharp picture than I would like. A few channels seem ok, but overall, most of the basic cable channels are not as good as I originally stated. This could be the crappy cable service, or it could be the video proccessor in the TV.

The most noticable problem is the motion blur/smearing on HD (and sometime with SD, although to a lesser extent). Fast action scenes tend to be ok. It's more an issue with slower camera pans or zooms. Not always there, but sometimes it is (depends on angles and distance of the camera pan and/or zoom) . The opinions on this forum suggest that the high compression rates used for HD signals are most likely the culprit. Some have also suggested that a better TV would probably handle the decompressing better, and thus would not be as noticable.

Since I'm one of the few who have actually reviewed this TV, I want to make sure I don't give people considering this set the wrong impression. It's not as great as I originally said. Sorry

Also, although I said it looked better than others, I was really looking at, and comparing it to other lower priced sets. I never really spent any time looking at, or playing with the more expensive, name brand TVs.

Last edited by John Flynn; 07-27-2007 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:32 AM   #8
What is HD?
 

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Hi, sorry, I need to bump this.

Would you recommend this TV for a 16 year old trying to buy a budget HD TV for high definition movies, and gaming?

This is really the most I could afford, and I figured it be a great choice, but the blurring worrys me.
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