Kogan Deluxe FHD42H LCD television
This cheap LCD TV has a 240Hz panel and good internal speakers
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H is a 42in Full HD (1080p) LCD TV with a 200Hz panel. Don't be suspicious of its $999 price tag — it's great for watching fast-moving video such as sports or action movies. Its inbuilt speakers are impressive and the USB recording function is useful if you don't want to buy a PVR.
- Versatile 200Hz mode is good for sport, nifty PVR capability
- Poor contrast in dark scenes, generic design
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H is by far the cheapest 200Hz LCD television we've seen. If you're an avid sports fan or watch a lot of fast-moving video content, the 200Hz mode is an invaluable addition at this price. The television's inbuilt speakers are surprisingly good as well, and television recording to USB saves money that you would have to spend on a PVR.
Price$ 949.00 (AUD)
The design of the Kogan Deluxe FHD42H isn't anything special. A piano black finish covers its front bezel, which is reasonably thin on the sides and top. A thick lower bezel hides stereo speakers and the simple Kogan logo is the only other feature on the television's front. The swivelling stand has a reasonable range of motion, which is useful if you've got a large living room and don't plan to wall-mount the TV. We'd probably avoid wall-mounting it, as at 11.4cm thick the panel will protrude significantly from the wall — it's not as svelte as something like the (admittedly far more expensive) Samsung Series 9 LED TV.
Around the back and on the side, you'll find all the usual video and audio ports including three HDMI, two component, one VGA and one composite video connector. There's also an S-Video connector, but we don’t know anyone who uses this these days (if you do, let us know!)
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H may not have a thrilling design, but switch it on and you'll be impressed. A year ago $999 bought you something like the Sanyo LCD32XR9DA: a 1366x768 pixel panel with no 100Hz mode. Getting a 42in, 1080p TV with a 200Hz refresh rate for this price is seriously impressive.
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H has a 1500:1 static contrast ratio, which isn't too impressive on paper. For real world use it's more than enough for television watching and most movies, although the television suffers from a bit of black crush — where detail is lost in darkness — in some movie scenes. Our The Dark Knight test Blu-ray movie displayed good image detail for most of the test, with only the opening sequences looking overly dark and bland. There is a dynamic contrast mode that bumps the ratio up to 25,000:1, but as the Kogan Deluxe FHD42H can only brighten or dim the entire screen we generally preferred to leave it deactivated.
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H handles fast motion better than any other sub-$1500 television we've seen. Sports and fast action video generally look smooth and are free of any juddering or blurriness. With some video content the 200Hz mode can be a negative rather than a positive, giving video an unrealistic feel, but this is a trait of 200Hz modes in general rather than a criticism of the Kogan Deluxe FHD42H specifically. You can always disable the 200Hz mode if you want.
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H packs in some surprisingly good stereo speakers. They may not have the room-filling, ground-shaking volume capabilities of a good home theatre system like the Orb Audio People's Choice, but for regular television watching the speakers offer well-rounded sound that has strong mid-range and good detail for dialogue.
Another feature we weren't expecting to find at the Kogan Deluxe FHD42H was its integrated USB recording. This is starting to become common on big brands' television sets, but it's great to see in a cheaper TV as well. It's simple to use, allowing you to plug in a flash memory drive or external hard drive and record digital television and play it back later. If you don't want to pay extra for a personal video recorder like the Topfield TRF-7160 and only want to record occasional programs, it's a great inclusion.
The Kogan Deluxe FHD42H is a great television for the $999 asking price. It has some features you would usually only see on significantly more expensive televisions from big brands, and if you can overlook the relatively low contrast it's a good set for watching digital TV and Blu-ray movies.
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