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Great Value

Finlux 55S9100-T review

Unbeatably priced but under-powered 3D TV

Any TV that puts BBC iPlayer, apps, 3D and Freeview HD on a 55-inch screen for under £1,000 has to be seriously considered, although we're not convinced that the Finlux 55S9100-T is the bargain big screen television it initially appears to be.

We liked

The remote control is well designed, if underpowered, and the user interface is at least functional. The media browser is easy to use, and file support is mostly impressive, as is network streaming. Freeview HD channels and 2D Blu-ray playback impress, while engaging 3D mode is a cinch. It's always good to see the BBC iPlayer and YouTube apps, too.

We disliked

The 'premium' design only just qualifies as such - it's a few years behind the times - and that impression carries on elsewhere. Disappointing 3D, ropey standard definition pictures and poor audio take some gloss away from its low price, while a paltry selection of apps and a generally slow, stubborn operation makes the Finlux 55S9100-T far from the slickest TV around. The images feature some judder and need some careful processing, but overall a TV of this size simply needs more grunt.

Final verdict

Underpriced but also underpowered, this attempt at a big screen TV bargain from Finlux would best suit someone who is desperate for as big a TV as possible to pair with a smart HD source such as a Sky+ box, TiVo or a Freeview HD recorder.

Granted, its provision of Freeview HD and BBC iPlayer are handy, but the Finlux 55S9100-T is slow to operate and its user interface is way behind the times. Despite this being a screen that's well-sized for 3D, it's with 2D that it excels. Those with this money to spend who are after pure picture quality but not interested in 3D would be wiser considering a 50-inch plasma.

Also consider

Forget finding another 55-inch LED TV that costs so little, but if you're set on such a large screen it would be wrong not to test drive a plasma TV, the most affordable - at around £1,300 (AU$2,065/US$1,977) - top quality option of which is the Panasonic TX-P55ST60B.

If money is less restricted, a top-end plasma is in order - and that means the Panasonic TX-P55VT50B, or the about-to-replace-it Panasonic TX-P55VT65B. Either way, a plasma TV such as this still - in our humble opinion - represents the last word in home cinema picture quality.

In the LED ranks is the affordable Panasonic TX-L55ET60, whose stylish good looks disguise a mid-range status. Our bias towards Panasonic as the most viable alternative to this Finlux 55-inch TV is primarily to do with price, but the brand has also developed the easiest to use, most feature-packed and most polished-looking smart TV platform in 2013.

However, there are some cracking LED-backlit choices at the high-end, but you'll need deep pockets. It's worth considering the Sony KDL-55W905A, which uses new Triluminos technology to deliver a much improved colour performance while preserving awesome contrast.

Other options include the Philips 55PFL6008 and Samsung UE55F8000, the latter of which produces one of the best images yet from a TV frame so small that you mostly forget it's there.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelA
Smart TVYes
Brand NameFinlux
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")
Aspect Ratio16:9
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption112 W
Standby Power Consumption500 mW
RMS Output Power24 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand804 mm
Width with Stand1249 mm
Depth with Stand300 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports2
3D TechnologyPolarized
3D ConversionYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Height731 mm
Width1249 mm
Depth36 mm
ColourBlack
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPVR (Personal Video Recorder)
ManufacturerFinlux
Product Model55S9100-T
Product Name55'' 3D/Smart LED TV, Full HD 1080p, 100Hz, Freeview HD & PVR (55S9100-T)
Manufacturer Part Number55S9100T
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.finluxdirect.com
Marketing InformationThe Flagship Finlux 55S9100-T LED TV offers breath-taking 3D action, hours of entertainment though catch-up TV services like BBC iPlayer and YouTube whilst you'll also get to enjoy stunning HD programming thanks to its Freeview HD tuner. Along with its sleek cross-stand design and ultra-slim bezel - did we mention it also boasts 100Hz technology to allow for smooth fast-moving action scenes and comes with 8 pairs of 3D glassesand a free Wi-Fi dongle too? It's not hard to see why we're so proud of the stunning 42S9100-T - our most complete TV to date.
Package Contents
  • 55'' 3D/Smart LED TV, Full HD 1080p, 100Hz, Freeview HD & PVR (55S9100-T)
  • 8 Pair of 3D Glasses
  • Wi-Fi Dongle
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
  • Product Manual
Response Time8 ms
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)20 kg