Kogan KULED22DVD

Score

Pros

  • Remarkably cheap
  • Bright picture with reasonable black levels
  • Built-in DVD player
  • Plasticky build quality and remote

Cons

  • Poor colour accuracy
  • Wide bezel design screams 'budget TV'

Key Features

  • Review Price: £129.99
  • 22-inch LCD TV with edge LED lighting
  • Built-in DVD player
  • Freeview tuner built-in
  • Multimedia playback via USB
  • PVR via USB

Introduction

The latest step in Australian manufacturer Kogan’s

bid to become a major force in the UK’s budget TV market is one of its

most eye-catching yet. For the KULED22DVD combines a 22-inch edge LED

screen with a built-in DVD player for under £130 – a second-room bargain

of huge proportions provided, of course, there’s some quality to go

with the price.

Kogan KULED22DVD

You

do kind of get what you pay for – at least aesthetically – with the

KULED22, though. Its bezel is both extremely plasticky and much

wider than we’re used to seeing on modern TVs. The little blue or red

on/standby light under the Kogan logo adds a dash of style, but overall

the KULED22 is a budget TV and not a TV for the style conscious.

Kogan KULED22DVD – Connections and Features

The KULED22’s connections are fair. The RF input feeds a standard definition Freeview tuner,

there’s a USB port you can use for playing back a few video, photo and

music files, or for recording from the Freeview tuner. Rounding things off are a D-Sub PC

port and two HDMI connections.

Features of note – aside from

those we’ve already mentioned – are few and far between. The only

interesting things to be found within the TV’s on-screen menus are a noise-reduction system

and a degree of colour management.

The on-screen menus are drab

and not all that easy to read thanks to the spidery text. The remote control, meanwhile, is just about the most lightweight, plasticky thing we’ve

ever handled.
Kogan KULED22DVD

Kogan KULED22DVD – Picture Quality

It’s

all a bit hit and miss so far, and this continues with the

KULED22’s picture performance. Pictures are brighter than

might be expected of such a cheap TV, enabling the set to sit

handily in kitchens and conservatories as well as traditionally

darker second-TV environments like studies and bedrooms. What’s

more, this brightness hasn’t been delivered at the expense of all traces

of black level response.

Watching a few

dark movie scenes via the built-in DVD player reveals black colours that

don’t look as washed out and misty as they would normally do on other TVs around the same price. These respectable blacks can be accompanied in

the same frame by potent colours and whites, too. In other words, the

edge LED system isn’t having to remove vast quantities of brightness

from pictures during dark scenes in order to make black colours look

respectable.

To be clear, we’re not talking about the sort of

black level depths you’d get from a premium TV. There’s still a

residual bluish or greenish undertone too. You should also reduce the set’s

brightness a little if you want to stop dark scenes from having a rather

noisy, ‘glowy’ look and suffering a thin line of backlight

inconsistency around their extremities.

Kogan KULED22DVD

With high definition content the KULED22 delivers a solid stab at fine detail reproduction, and

it’s good to find that motion isn’t the blurry mess it might have been.

There is some resolution loss with moving objects, but things never

break down into full-on smearing.

The KULED22 has a fairly

significant weakness, though: its colour handling. For despite the set

providing a degree of colour management, we really struggled to get its

colours looking very convincing at all. That’s primarily because colours lack subtlety in

their blends and tend to look unbalanced (with greens and oranges

over-strong, especially with skin tones), appearing either painfully

over-saturated or muted and flat, depending on your settings. The

green/blue undertones visible during dark scenes also don’t do colour accuracy

any favours.

We’re not, to be clear, just obsessing about colour

accuracy from a high-end AV

enthusiast’s point of view. Anyone who’s owned a TV before will appreciate

that this Kogan’s tones are seldom believable. You kind of become

attuned to the odd palette over time, but even then there are still

times where the colours look so weird they can’t help but distract you

from what you’re watching.

Another

smaller issue finds very bright parts of the picture looking bleached

out, as the screen fails to resolve subtle picture information at this

extreme end of the spectrum.

Kogan KULED22DVD

Kogan KULED22DVD – Sound and DVD Loading

The

KULED22’s audio performance is pretty average. There’s minimal bass, voices tend to

sound thin, music sounds warbly, and action scenes routinely distort.

Which is, of course, entirely par for the course at the cheap end of the

TV market.

Final niggles concern the configuration of the DVD

slot on the TV’s rear. First, this will only take a disc if you’ve first

selected the DVD input, rather than the TV just automatically grabbing a

disc and switching to DVD playback when you introduce a DVD to the

slot. Second, bizarrely you have to insert discs with their printed

sides facing the rear of the TV, which is so counter-intuitive it’s

enough to make you think Kogan has just stuck the DVD player in the

wrong way round by mistake!

Verdict

If you’re after

an ultra-affordable small-screen TV with a built-in DVD player, the

KULED22 fits the bill adequately. That said, its rather basic approach to

colours provides you with a good excuse to spend a bit more elsewhere if

you possibly can.

Score

Score in detail

  • Features 6
  • Value 8
  • Image Quality 7
  • Design 6
  • Sound Quality 5