The time to replace an old 27″ LED (90 lb) TV in a small bedroom led to a search for an HDTV which would provide the incredibly better picture we were enjoying on our main television by then while keeping the price as low as possible. Would it be possible to find a quality HDTV, in full 1080p, for around $230?Happily, the answer turned out to be yes. The HANNspree 25″ LCD HDTV (ST259MUB,) which was on sale on the COSTCO website, has filled the bill perfectly.
The full HDTV image is so clear that it is hard to resist the movie theatre-like experience of a big screen. However, in a guest room only 8′ X 10″ where the viewing distance is 5′ or less. A 25″ screen seemed like it would be more than adequate and I am happy to report that it was and is.
The set itself is a rather standard looking LCD TV on a small stand with jet black glossy bezel surrounding a screen with an actual viewing area of 24.6″, measure diagonally of course. Non-standard is the fact that when turned on, the brand name lights up below the viewing screen. Like most LCD TVs, a small red light is on when the set is off and off when the set is on. A modern convention I find rather odd but pervasive.
More importantly. It is full-featured with:
– 1920 x 1080 Resolution (Full HD 1080P0
– 10,000:1 X-Contrast Ratio
– 2 10W Built-in Speakers
– A respectable 2ms Response Time
– 2 HDMI ports
– Component Video Jack Plugs
– PC Audio Input
– YpbPr Input
– S-Video Input
– VGA Input
– USB Receptacle (Supports JPEG and MP3 files)
– Earphone Output
– Dolby Digital Noise Reduction
– 3D Comb Filter
– Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
– Aspect Ratio – 16:9
– 5 Viewing Modes
– 16.7 Million Displayable Colors
– (Proprietary) HD-ICE – Intense Color Engine
– Weight: A hernia-free 16.5 pounds!
Of course, it also has its own built in tuner, so with a DVR with two built-in tuners connected, you can watch one program while recording two others. There not many electronic accessories that cannot connect to this HANNspree LCD TV.
It is also worth mentioning that this HANNspree 25″ LCD HDSTV is filly Energy Star compliant and is both PC and MAC compatible. It can sit on its own stand or be mounted on any standard wall mount.
The two most common complaints about HDTVs are about 1) The picture quality, especially regarding the degree of blackness on screen and shadows following fast motions on screen, and 2) the degree of difficulty found in doing the initial set up and connections.
In the first area, the picture is clear and pure. The blacks are really black and the controllable/adjustable features available by remote onscreen allow the viewer to set everything (tint, sharpness, intensity, etc) to their own preferences. Bringing my eyes to within a few inches of the screen, the images of both HDTV broadcasts and DVDs (both regular and Blue Ray) appeared flawless and ‘visibly broken or missing pixel-free.’ Four of watch carefully and see no shadowing or blurring behind fast action images on the screen. The colors are vivid and life-like.
The sound is a lot better than I have come to expect from small built-in speakers and is entirely satisfactory.
In the set up phase, I found that trying to program the channels that we receive via cable through the (Comcast) cable converter box did not work. The Concierge service provided by COSTCO was able to walk me through the successful procedure in just a few minutes. They instructed me to connect the cable directly to the Cable-In on the TV to program the channels, then to transfer the cable to the converter box.
No other set up issue arose and it was complete within about a half hour – Most of that time for the channels to download into the set. This worked perfectly for each and every station. The programmed channels also held during a recent electrical black-out.
My eight year-old granddaughter was able to figure out the remote within minutes, though it needs to be used, with Comcast, in tandem with the cable company’s remote because Comcast does not have a working code yet for this new Model ST259MUB.
No sweat. Cable box on with cable remote, then the HANNspree remote for everything else.
We are very pleased with this second household TV set. It actually looks larger, image-wise, than the 27″ LED set it replaced and as the windows are behind it, there is no glare whatever.
For the price, it compares more than favorably with many of the major brands we compared it with including Samsung, Viseo, Toshiba and Sony. A nice TV for a nice price. Thoughtfully designed, energy efficient, perfect for a small room, easy to program, and a great picture at a reasonable price. What more could a consumer hope to get?