capsule review

Soyo SYXRT4791AB LCD HDTV

At a Glance
  • Soyo MT-SYXRT4791AB Crystal Series 47" LCD HDTV

    TechHive Rating

    The great price and good speakers don't make up for the poor picture quality.

The garish images displayed by Soyo's SYXRT4791AB relegated this television to seventh place out of nine competing 46- and 47-inch HDTVs in our image-quality tests. In this cohort of televisions, only the LG 47LBX Opus and the Sharp LC-46D64U performed worse.

Soyo's set seemed to produce a faintly reddish picture at times. One judge deemed it excessively dark in our HD test clip of American Idol, and another objected to its high contrast slightly oversaturated colors. Pirates of the Caribbean's opening fade-in lacked the details visible on most other sets we tested.

This is a basic HDTV with very few extras. You get picture-in-picture, split-screen, and freeze-frame, as you do with every other TV in this group, but that's about it. Another drawback is the absence of easy-access inputs on the side for quick hookups of digital cameras or other hardware.

The on-screen menus are small but easy to read, with some nice touches. For instance, when the menu disappears so that you can adjust a video setting, on-screen options appear to take you to the next or previous option. But at other times the menus are anything but clear. When you set up the Soyo and instruct it to search for channels, it defaults to looking only for standard-definition ones, and the command for including HD in the search is by no means obvious. (Every other set I've ever tried looked for both high-def and standard-def channels without asking.) The remote doesn't light up, has lots of hard-to-find buttons, and is not programmable.

The 43-page manual stints on some explanations. If you're wondering what the menu option 'OSD Transparent' does, for example, the manual doesn't tell you. (It controls the transparency of the on-screen menus, fyi.)

The SYXRT4791AB's sound impressed me. An audible hiss occurred when I turned the volume all the way up, but the sound when turned halfway up was clean and easily loud enough. The big organ sound in Phantom of the Opera had appropriate resonance, despite a tiny bit of muddiness.

This TV's good audio is counterbalanced by the set's reddish and ill-defined picture. In this case, you get what you pay for.

This story, "Soyo SYXRT4791AB LCD HDTV" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The great price and good speakers don't make up for the poor picture quality.

    Pros

    • Low price
    • Very good audio

    Cons

    • Disappointing picture
    • Unclear menus and manual
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