Seiki SE39HE02 39-Inch 720p 60Hz LED TVCUSTOMER REVIEW
Where to begin…where to begin? Well, I won’t bore the readers with a story; but here’s a little background info about this TV.
This Black Friday, I had a choice between standing in line at Walmart and waiting for a 98 dollar Funai or being smarter and getting a 98 dollar Seiki TV on Amazon. The reason why I went with Seiki is because I have yet to run across a review for a Funai TV; and secondly, I’ve actually seen the Funai in action via a family member that got one. While the Funai wasn’t bad, it certainly lacked some of the connections and presented a less crisp image. Anyway, onto the review-
This Seiki 32 inch TV comes with a remote, 2 batteries, a stand that you’ll have to screw on with a Phillips head screwdriver (which is standard), an instruction manual and a one or two page colored diagram that shows all the TV’s features and connections. It could’ve come with an HDMI cable, but being that I own about 5 of them, it’s no big deal. However, in the accessories department, an HDMI cable included would be the only thing that’s missing to make the deal a little sweeter.
The TV’s build is a bit on the light side. In fact, the TV is extremely light and can be picked up by anyone.
The stand is just alright; but I’ll get into that part later.
This TV’s connections includes 3 HDMI ports, a USB port, a Component port, VGA port, Composite/AV port, 3.5 mm audio cable (this can be used for headphones/earphones/speakers/and supporting soundbars), A Coaxial cable In port (also for soundbars) and finally, an RF cable out which would be used for antennae support.
So as you can see, the Seiki gives you a lot of options for connections, however, I only wished this TV had stereo AV in ports for AV stereo AUX support with soundbars. If you have an AUX out soundbar, you’ll need to get a two-way 3.5mm audio cable which are really cheap.
Image clarity/Options/Menu options-
Ok. Here’s the more important part of the review that I saved just before I list the cons of this product. The image clarity!!! This is important to me because I’m a gamer and light TV watcher, I also watch my Roku box and Youtube with apps such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, Crackle and PBS etc.
The image quality for this TV is really good. In fact, I own a Vizio, Samsung, LG and a Magnavox as well as the worst of my TV’s being a DYNEX (DO NOT BUY A DYNEX) and I’d have to say that the Seiki’s image clarity is on par and in some ways better than my Vizio, It’s somewhat on par with my LG (but I’ll give the LG a slight edge in crispness)…heck, even the Samsung’s quality is about on Par with it but I’d still give Samsung a slight, and I mean very slight edge. One of the problems I have with this Seiki TV is that the contrast and color are really, really good but can be a bit overbearing to the eye. In fact, how I tuned this TV was by turning the contrast and color down a load and fiddling around with the Dynamic Luminance. Here’s a tip if you end up buying this TV and want a high contrast setting. Simply turn down the color and blast the contrast. In any event, it has a bright, colorful and crisp image.
Initially, I was afraid that the SEIKI wouldn’t hold up; but the quality is impressive, especially considering it’s price and the size of the set.
The menu options include Picture settings, Audio settings, Time settings, Parental Lock and a channel set up. Within these options you’ll be able to fine tune the TV’s color, color temperature, Noise reduction for image clarity, enhance the sound with PCM or RAW sound output with supported surround sound and equalizer settings between bass, balance and treble. It also supports French, Spanish and English audio. There’s also a built in NTSC/AIR antennae tuner, a QAM tuner, and a cable tuner with IRC and other options.
The channel scan is relatively fast and lasts about 4 minutes. Yes, it does pick up DTV channels and local channels, all you need is a cheap antennae or some rabbit ears. Perhaps even a piece of wire would work as well. Currently, I have a normal antennae plugged into the RF port and it found over 40 local channels in 4 minutes. I didn’t bother adjusting the antennae since I really don’t watch much TV except for news, some movies (which I watch on Roku anyhow) and perhaps some sports games. Overall, it has a load of options, but it is missing some features that I would’ve liked. It also does have an LED backlight and luminance option.
Gaming/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PS3/Wii/PS2/etc-
Being that I game a bit, here’s the rundown with gaming.
This TV does support 1080p resolution. On the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, it’s pretty good. However, with consoles like the Wii, I’ll have to tune the color a little and turn it almost all the way down because the color’s really strong. I’ve tested it with PS3 and PS2. With PS2 I noticed that gaming does look a bit better especially if you have component cables (blue, green, red, white, red)and honestly, the PS3 games look amazing on it, especially at 1080p.
At first I assumed since this is a 720p set, it would only upscale, but the games are actually in 1080p at 60hz, so playing games like Killzone, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Gears of War, Mario etc look really nice. The image is really crisp. With some games I’ll change the video output to 720p or 1080i being that 1080p tends to pixellate some games horribly.
The response time is good. I tested this online with Battlefield Bad Company 2 conquest mode and I haven’t noticed any lag, again, the image is crisp, although to be honest, I may prefer the color of my Magnavox because it isn’t so strong…once I tune the color or simply put it on a setting, it’s just fine.
The biggest con thus far with this TV is THE STAND. Let me clarify, the stand is supposed to be screwed in, which I did, however, it’s slightly wobbly. Not to the point that if you bumped the TV it would wobble, but the stand’s built awkward and the TV has a minor lean. Despite the minor lean, the viewing angle is excellent, so I haven’t had any problems but it’s still worth noting.
The second con would be that the Tint option is grayed out for some reason. I’m not sure if it’s grayed out because the tint adjusts based on the color temperature or if it just doesn’t have a tint adjusting option, but in any event, it’s just a gray option that I haven’t been able to fiddle with.
Finally, there’s the audio. Yes, you get many options, but the sound is not good at all. It’s just passable. But in comparison to my Vizio (which has excellent sound), LG and even my Magnavox, the sound is bad. It either sounds really tinny or just cheap. I found that adjusting the bass and boosting the treble really high helped a bit, but overall, it still sounds terrible, especially during some commercials or when listening to music. Do yourself a favor and get some speakers or a soundbar. I highly recommend soundbars by Haier or RCA.
I highly recommend this TV for anyone on a budget who’d like a quality TV with a crisp image. While certain cons such as this TV having one of the worst screw-in stands, a lack of tint customization and the TV’s audio which sounds really cheap even when tuned nay bug some, the overall image clarity and the viewing angle of this TV is fantastic. It has really vivid colors and again, produces a crisp image. It’s not bad to view TV on or watch Roku/Apple/apps, it’s great for gaming and it’s lightweight. This was a steal for Black Friday, but I could see myself buying this tv full price. The only reason I give it 4 stars is because of the stand and the audio. If it were possible, I’d give it a 4.5/5 but Amazon doesn’t have half point increments.
Edit (December 8th, 2013)
I also neglected to mention the following features of this Seiki TV. This TV features a memory store for color/audio and picture settings on each source chosen. In other words, If I picked HDMI 1 and set the color, then chose TV and set the color, then chose HDMI 2 or component or AV, it will memorize all color settings for each source chosen.
I have finally resolved the “Tint” issue with this TV and it’s a little weird. First, you’ll have to go to factory settings by pressing “Menu” and then hitting “0” four times. (then look for “Others” then select “Color Temp” and adjust IF YOU WANT TO. To exit this mode, simply press exit or menu twice. I am not telling anyone to go to the factory menu) Keep in mind that when entering this menu, you DO NOT WANT TO MESS WITH ANY SETTING THAT YOU’RE NOT FAMILIAR WITH. (I accidentally enabled “Burning mode” and got a screen full of colors until I held down the power button on the TV for 10-20 seconds and pressed it again to get it off)
Anyway, from the factory menu, there are settings to add “Green” “Red” and “Blue” or to “offset” Green, Red and Blue, and what I did was slowly add small amounts of Green and red to even out the tint.
The downside to doing this is that it will save it to one of the color picture presets and you’ll have to keep the preset in mind. I personally used this for the “Cool” temperature setting in picture settings just to knock the reds back a tad. (But again, that’s just me)
The good part about the factory menu is, there’s also settings for the “Backlight” which I’ve put all the way up to 100. There are settings to enable QAM as well. But I just wanted to speak on the QAM being enabled through the factory menu a second because I saw other recent reviews that are a little misleading. If you enable QAM, indeed, you’ll get a few more channels, but don’t expect every cable channel possible. For the antennae channel scan, at best you may get 10 or more extra channels. (at the moment, my tuner found 58 channels via antenna with QAM enabled, whereas, before, it found about 40 or so channels. It’s a difference, but it’s not a huge difference)
Also, there is an option available to scan cable channels, which I’m assuming works, but you’ll have to give Seiki an e-mail (which is provided if you call their customer service line. In fact, it’s an automated message and it’s literally the first thing they talk about before connecting a call), I got my code via e-mail in about a minute flat. (It seems to be an automated e-mail anyway)
I also resolved the TV stand issue by simply and carefully tightening the stand screws, and it wobbles a lot less.
Anyway, I still stand by my review. This TV has been great.