There are some other promising specs on the TV’s feature list, too. One is a claimed 3ms response time, which looks unusually speedy by cheap TV standards. Another is a claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000:1. It’s not unusual by any means to find small, budget TVs not offering a dynamic contrast system at all, never mind one able to deliver a contrast ratio – sorry, a CLAIMED contrast ratio – as high as 10,000:1.
Two final pleasant surprises are Hannspree’s offer of a two-year collect and return warranty on the TV, and a claimed 2 x 10W of audio power from the speakers that’s markedly higher than the measly figures usually associated with cheap, small TVs.
Heading into the onscreen menus, while decently attractive and quite legible, they’re certainly not overburdened with features. There are a few picture presets, an X-Contrast feature for boosting backlight adjustment and an unusual but actually welcome feature for adjusting the amount of time the onscreen menus stay on screen. Otherwise it’s pretty much just the basics.
Although the onscreen menus are pretty straightforward, though, the HANNSjoy isn’t particularly friendly to use overall. The remote control doesn’t feel very intuitive, and the screen sometimes responds sluggishly to your remote commands.
Also extremely annoying is the way that pressing a number when switching to the TV’s tuners from an AV input takes you by default to the analogue tuner, rather than the digital one. To access the digital tuner you thus have to press the Input button, as you would if you were accessing one of the HDMIs.
Then there’s the electronic programme guide for the digital tuner. This appears semi-translucently over the top of the channel you’re watching and doesn’t get much space, making it difficult to read and short of visible information. Worse, when you scroll down to another channel to see what that might be showing, the tuner actually changes channel to the one you’ve moved to on the EPG. This slows EPG navigation down horrendously, and also prevents you from being able to keep watching the channel you were on when you pressed the EPG button. Daft.
First impressions of the HANNSjoy’s picture quality were that our concerns about its potential PC bias were reasonably well founded. For there’s no doubt that colours don’t look ‘right’ when watching video sources. The tone in general just doesn’t feel at all natural, and there are lots of imbalances – especially yellowy skin tones and some over-aggressive reds and oranges. Your eyes do ‘acclimatise’ somewhat to the odd colour situation over time, but it’s still comfortably a severe enough problem to set serious alarm bells ringing about what we might expect from other aspects of the TV’s performance.