While these strengths are good enough in themselves to make us at least respect the Mirai’s pictures, though, there are – perhaps inevitably given the set’s price – a few downers to report. Kicking off with some fairly severe colour tone issues during dark scenes. These see reds looking over-dominant and unnatural, and skin tones making people during dark footage look perpetually like they’re about to throw up.
Next, while we’re impressed with the Mirai’s black level depth, it has to be said that dark parts of the picture are lacking in subtle details, making them look like black holes rather than integral parts of the picture.
Another common LCD complaint that afflicts the T27004 is the way the picture quality degrades markedly – as in, more than we’d normally anticipate – when switching from high definition to standard definition sources. Colours get worse, detail levels deteriorate, and the level of motion smearing balloons.
Finally the T27004 clearly doesn’t have such sophisticated noise reduction processing as some of its costlier rivals, betraying general signs of pixel fizzing and sometimes highlighting MPEG blocking noise in digital sources like a standard definition Sky feed.
Despite its problems, though, the good still outweighs the bad in the T27004’s pictures. Which is more than can be said of its audio…
We’re used to relatively small LCD TVs lacking power and dynamic range in their audio performances, but the T27004’s shortage of these two audio essentials is particularly heinous. Explosions in films like Saving Private Ryan, for instance, thus sound more like someone popping a crisp packet, while treble sounds can become so harsh and thin they threaten to make your ears bleed.
You can at least improve the bass problem by making use of the provided subwoofer output – but to be honest, upping the bass in this way merely exaggerates the audio weaknesses elsewhere.
Mirai’s T27004 is the proverbial game of two halves. Its pictures, while certainly not perfect, are better than we would have expected from such an exceptionally cheap TV. Its sound, however, is wholly inadequate for anything beyond the gentle demands of daytime TV chat show fodder.