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Syntax Olevia LT32HV 32-inch HD-compatible LCD television - Review

Olevia LT32HV - Budget Priced LCD With Good Performance

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Syntax Olevia LT32HV LCD TV

Syntax Olevia LT32HV 32-inch HD-compatible LCD television with Super In-Plane Switching

Robert Silva
The Syntax Olevia LT32HV is a great performer. For less than $2,000, this set sports a 32-inch 16x9 screen, as well as HD-compatible progressive scan and DVI-HDCP inputs; perfect for watching DVD and HD material. The LT32HV also has extensive picture adjustment controls, a very wide viewing angle, and good response time. The LT32HV includes great sounding side-mounted speakers, and an output to connect an external subwoofer; for those without an external audio system.

Product Overview

The LTHV32 is a 32-inch LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) 16x9 HD-compatible (480p, 720p, 1080i) television with 1366x768 native pixel resolution, 1200:1 contrast ratio, and 60,000 hour backlight life. The actual LCD panel is made by LG/Philips which features Super In-Plane Switching, providing for a very wide viewing angle and fast motion response time.

This unit comes with Dual-NTSC tuners with PIP, Split-Screen, and Multi-Screen display capability, as well as Composite (3), S-video (3), and HD-compatible Component(2) video inputs. There is also a DVI-HDCP input for HD sources and a standard VGA input for PC use.

For audio, there is a fifteen watt-per-channel audio amp with side mounted speakers and a line output for optional subwoofer. A headphone output is included, as well as audio outputs for connection to stereo or surround sound system.

All controls can be accessed from the unit itself or via the supplied remote control. One convenient feature is the rear/side panel light system, which can be activated to allow the user to more easily see the AV connections.

The LT32HV comes supplied with a table stand, but can be wall mounted via optional wall mounting kit.

Lastly, the Olevia comes with a one year on-site warranty.

Setup and Testing

Upacking and Connecting It All Up

Unpacking and setting up the Olevia LT32HV was easy. Since the unit is only about 55 pounds, it was fairly easy to lift onto a table (although it can be lifted by one person, it is easier with two, due to its flat shape). An equivalent 32-inch CRT television can weigh as much as 200 pounds.

All the connections are either side or down-facing so that your cable connectors do not protrude from the rear of the set. This is a great space saver. Also, there is a back panel light that makes connections easier to see.

I used several DVD players including: Samsung DVD-HD931 (DVI input), Philips DVDR985 and Kiss Technology DP470 (Progressive Scan Component and Standard AV), Pioneer DV-525 (S-video, standard component, and Standard AV). In addition, an RCA VR725HF S-VHS VCR (Standard AV) was used and a standard RF cable connection (no box) was also made to the LT32HV. Connection cables used were made by Accell and Cobalt.

DVD software used included scenes from the following: Kill Bill - Vol1/Vol2, Master and Commander, Chicago, Valley Of Gwangi, Passionada, Alien Vs Predator, Spiderman 2, and Moulin Rouge. Several VHS film editions, including; Star Wars Trilogy, Batman, and Total Recall were also used.

Performance Impressions

The results from the Samsung DVD-HD931, through its DVI HD-upscaling function were great. The 720p setting on the Samsung looked the best, more closely matching the LT32HV's native 1366x768 pixel resolution. Color and contrast looked great. No motion artifacts were noticable.

Using the Philips DVDR985 and Kiss DP470 with a standard 480p progressive scan connection, I found that the color and contrast was also very good, just slightly below that of the Samsung's DVI connection, when using its 480p setting. The internal Faroudja DCDi processors on the Samsung and Philips also contributed to the video performance.

Utilizing the Pioneer DV-525 on S-Video, I found a good image, but not quite up to par with either the Samsung or the Philips. The color and contrast were fine, but reds were very slightly overblown, which would be expected. In addition, I found little difference between the non-progressive component and S-Video connections, although reds improved with component.

There was some drop in quality when using composite AV connections on both the Pioneer DV-525 and RCA VR725. The DVD material had a more "washed out" look with standard AV connections than with S-Video; however, I felt the quality was very acceptable for LCD.

Performance With VHS and RF

The LT32HV didn't fair as well with lower resolution VHS material, magnifying the bad aspects of VHS picture quality, as well as introducing some motion lag on dark or muddy-looking scenes.

I tested the television's onboard NTSC tuners, using a standard, no-cable box, connection. The performance was average. On stations that appeared to have strong signals, the images looked somewhat consistent in terms of color and contrast. Channels that had weak signals, exhibited less consistency and some motion lag on dark scenes.

Another comparison I made was inputting the same cable signal through the Philips DVR985's onboard tuner and viewing the cable channels using the progressive scan output from the Philips to the LT32HV. I got better results, with reference to color and contrast, in this setup.

Fixed pixel displays, such as LCD and Plasma, generally have more difficulty with analog video than standard CRT sets in real world situations; however, the LT32HV is better in this area than some LCD televisions. One noticeable improvement was the faster recovery time of the LT32HV in comparison to other LCD TVs I have seen, which minimized motion lag, except on the poorest signals and darkest scenes as mentioned above.

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