Kogan led55 review

The Kogan LED55 isn't exactly the prettiest TV you'll ever see. But nor is it ugly - not by any stretch of the imagination.

Its bezel may be a little wider and more angular than most televisions, but the glossy black finish is decent enough. It feels a little 'squeaky' with its build quality during set up, but once it's positioned on its heavy-duty, crystal-finished stand, it looks robust enough.

Some budget TVs tend to forget that most people want a very slim TV these days. But here again the Kogan LED55 gently impresses, with its respectable depth of just 50mm (off its stand).

A quest for connections uncovers a minor but certainly not deal-breaking disappointment in the shape of three HDMI inputs rather than the four now commonly found on big flatscreen TVs.

But you also get some pretty handy compensation from a USB port and its ability to both play back AVI, MP4, DivX4, DivX5, XVID, MP3, WMA, JPEG and BMP files, and record broadcast programming to USB HDDs up to 1TB in size.

As usual, you shouldn't really consider such USB recording systems to be a replacement for a more heavy-duty recording option, but it's great for 'pausing live TV' or simple timeshifting.

There's also a D-Sub PC port for simple computer connection, and a LAN port to support the TV's integrated Freeview HD tuner. It's a pity that this LAN port can't also be used for either taking the TV online or accessing files stored on a networked PC. But then the Kogan LED55 does, after all, only cost £750.

As noted earlier, the Kogan LED55's screen specifications seem mostly quite promising - especially its use of Edge LED lighting rather than CCFL, and the presence of 100Hz processing to reduce potential motion blurring from the 6.5ms response time panel.

However, it's not all plain sailing on the spec front, because neither the claimed 320cd/m2 of brightness nor the maximum 40,000:1 claimed dynamic contrast ratio stack up very well against the sort of numbers routinely trotted out by the more established TV brands. Hopefully Kogan is just being more honest.

Heading into the TV's on-screen menus, it has to be said that there isn't a great deal going on. You get fairly perfunctory - though actually not horrifically calibrated - presets; a trio of colour temperature presets; multiple levels of noise reduction; and actually that's kind of it.

The only attempt to cater for enthusiasts is the presence of a fairly rudimentary colour adjustment system that enables you to adjust between 1 and 100 the levels of the red, green and blue colour elements.

This relative paucity of set up flexibility is really to be expected on such a cheap 55-inch TV, though. And in some ways the only truly aggravating absentee is a dedicated backlight control to accompany the basic brightness adjustment.