Kogan KEVIN37 LCD television

This Kogan LCD television has a smooth interface and good picture quality given its budget price

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Kogan KEVIN37
  • Kogan KEVIN37
  • Kogan KEVIN37
  • Kogan KEVIN37

Pros

  • Decent design and features, good picture quality, functional and stylish menu

Cons

  • No 100Hz, no dynamic contrast, low static contrast, single HDMI input

Bottom Line

The Kogan KEVIN37 has plenty of features and decent specifications given that it only costs $900. Don’t expect picture quality as good as a television costing a thousand dollars more, but the Kogan Kevin37 comes close to models that are significantly pricier.

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The Kogan KEVIN37 37-inch LCD television received a lot of publicity because of its novel advertising campaign and stimulus package–friendly price point. It is a great all-round budget television package for the price, with picture quality similar to brand-name competitors.

You can tell where Kogan has slashed dollars off the cost of the KEVIN37: it has the same dark grey, boxy design as the Kogan 1080P-47 which preceded it. While it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing design, it isn’t too horrendous and unless it’s directly next to something as luxurious as a Sony Bravia EX1 TV it shouldn’t stand out too much.

We don’t like the fact that there’s writing on the lower-right of the front bezel marking the power, channel and volume control buttons. The thin white text on the dark grey background looks cheap and it would have been nicer if the labels were on the side of the Kogan KEVIN37 with the buttons themselves.

When turning the television on for the first time, however, the budget feel goes right out the window. A smooth blue and white menu system is easy to use and navigate — a far cry from the blocky, ugly and unintuitive menus that are pervasive on other ultra-cheap televisions.

Basic video and audio adjustments are easily made, while channel scanning for analog and digital stations is a painless process. The initial channel scan was slightly slow but once set up the Kogan KEVIN37 was able to change digital stations in under two seconds, which makes it bearable for day-to-day use.

We paired the Kogan KEVIN37 with a Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming console to test high-definition playback. The Kogan KEVIN37 is a Full HD 1080p panel, although it only has a single HDMI input which may faze those with multiple digital video devices. DVI, VGA and component connections are available, though — all of these can support high-definition content with a negligible quality loss compared to HDMI.

When playing high-definition games and watching Blu-ray video content, the Kogan KEVIN37 is able to display scenes sharply and with no image quality issues. An adjustable sharpness level along with settings for contrast, brightness and saturation allow the tailoring of the screen to your tastes, though there are no preset modes available.

During standard-definition television playback and high-definition gaming and movies the Kogan KEVIN37 produces good colour and contrast. A static contrast ratio of 1200:1 — with no dynamic contrast setting available — is enough for day-to-day watching but there is evidence of detail loss in very dark and very bright scenes. This makes a screen like the Kogan KEVIN37 well suited to casual watching — perhaps as a second household screen — but video enthusiasts will want something more. That’s not to say it’s a bad screen, though. In our tests we found the picture quality of the Kogan KEVIN37 to be close to that of budget models from brand-name vendors.

Motion is well handled for a television lacking a 100Hz mode, but in scenes of fast motion there is evidence of some jitter and image break-up. Unless you’re watching sports or wildlife programming constantly — as this content usually consists of wide, panning shots — you will probably not notice this distortion often.

The Kogan KEVIN37 is a good television for the price. It is clear where corners have been cut — with the exclusion of multiple HDMI inputs, no 100Hz mode and a low contrast panel — but for the price it is a more than capable television.

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