I was on the fence about buying a TV since I don’t watch it that much, but during their recent sale, I came across an offer from Snapdeal on Vu TVs that was too good a deal to pass by, so I grabbed the Vu 40″ TV(aka 40k16).

Delivery, Installation & Unboxing

Snapdeal shipped the TV next day, to be delivered by Bluedart – who took a good 10 days to deliver it. The day the TV was originally scheduled to be delivered, I got a call from Vu’s service rep asking me when would be a convenient time for him to come over and setup the TV and give a demo. I mentioned him that the TV isn’t here yet. He then told me to give him a call the TV arrived, and he’d try to come over and set it up.

The first thing you’ll notice about the TV is how light & thin the entire package is. With the whole box, including wall mounting kit and all, I’d estimate it weighed about 13 kilos.

The shipped TV box consisted of (obviously) the TV, table mounting bracket, wall mounting bracket, the remote, pair of AAA batteries for the remote, the usual manuals, cable ties, component and coaxial cables

 

Ports, connectors

Unlike other TVs in the the budget range, the Vu comes with a bevy of connectors. This includes not one, not 2 but 3 HDMI ports and 2 USB ports. In addition to these, the 40k16 also comes with VGA input, composite video input, component Video input, 1 RF input, 1 Headphone out, 1 RCA Video out and even an SPDIF out port.

The HDMI and one of the USB connectors are placed on the side panel; what I liked about the placement was that the ports weren’t on the edge of the panel, but slightly recessed in, so even if you have a fairly large USB stick connected to the ports, it really isn’t visible from the front, while being accessible enough to plug it in straightaway without have to boggle your mind too much.

Vu claims it’s TVs have inbuilt DMP(Digital media players), and test it out, I copied a mp4 video to a USB flash drive and plugged it into the USB port. The TV recognized the file and was able to play it. To make things even better, I was able to pause/rewind/fast forward the video right from the remote control, without having to fiddle into the menus.

Unfortunately, the supported file list is pretty limited – though most video/image/audio files should do file, if you copy a vob file(typically found on DVDs), the 40k16 refuses to even show the file & you can’t view it.

Now it’s important to note that this isn’t a “Smart” TV, which is fine by me because most Smart TVs that I’ve seen are either crippled by crappy UI or poor performance – I sorta made up for this by connecting a Chromecast to the TV.

Video quality

I don’t have a cable or a DTH connection, primarily because I use Chromecast to stream media from my Plex Media Server(on my desktop) over to the TV, and the quality has been pretty awesome. I did find the colours a bit over-saturated out-of-the-box, but toning it down from the menu helped that. Something I also noticed was visible backlight bleed, especially over the upper and lower left corners. Normally, it should be fine, but if you’re watching a media which emphasizes on dark backgrounds with the lights off, this might be annoying.

I’ve also been testing Ogle(which uses Plex for their video delivery) and been generally very happy with the quality of the video – both from Ogle as well as the delivery from the TV. I’ll write about Ogle some other day.

Sound Quality

The sounds quality is what I’d call just fine-mediocre. It’s loud enough to be heard, but just falls flat in terms of response – nonexistent bass, flat treble and mids. Vu recommends that you mount the TV on wall for better experience – I can’t help but think that will lead to muffled sounds.  Overall, it should be OK for normal viewing – just don’t expect Home Theater style effects.

Remote Control

The remote control is fairly well designed, fells solid to hold. The remote has also has some ‘extra’ buttons – when asked the Vu rep about them, he mentioned that the remote control unit is common to all Vu TVs, so some of the buttons are apparently useless to few models. Anyway, I found some of the buttons(especially those related to changing the video source) bit harder to press than others. The volume adjustment/menu navigation buttons were pretty fine.

As mentioned above, the remote also has a nifty feature being able to control the playback of files being played from the USB ports – this is really convenient and saves you a lot of hassle.

Service & Warranty

The 40k16 comes with a 1 year warranty. I asked the service rep as to what should be the steps in case something went wrong. The service rep pointed me to a toll-free number & an email account for support, apparently they will take your complaint via the toll free number/email & assign you a service id within one business day and a rep will come over to check.

I inquired about panel replacement for dead/light up pixels – the rep mentioned the panel will be replaced if there are at least 5 completely bright/dark pixels in alternative arrangement.

(must need to verify with manual)

Pricing and Verdict

The Vu 40″ 40k16 model is priced at a MRP of about  ₹35,000 – and you’ll find it on Flipkart or Snapdeal at about  ₹29000. During the Snapdeals savings day, the 40k16 was available for ₹24,990 and I bought it after doing some research and opinions from folks on twitter – and I should say it’s been a good purchase so far.

So overall: if you’re looking for a great budget TV, I’d definitely recommend the Vu 40k16.

Pros

  • Excellent pricing
  • Great form factor
  • Good video quality
  • Lot of connectors

Cons

  • Visible backlight bleed, especially with dark background
  • Meh sound quality