Hyundai E465D review

A promising bargain is hampered by significant picture problems

TechRadar Verdict

It’s affordable, but not quite enough to excuse what amounts to a masterclass in the shortcomings of LCD technology


  • +

    Price, up to a point


  • -

    Bad picture with most sources

  • -

    Dodgy operating system

  • -

    Poor quality design

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Hyundai, after some success with its projectors, is mounting an assault on the affordable end of the flatscreen market.

The E465D is a 46in whopper that eschews fashionable, super-slim aesthetics and whiz-bang processing 'engines' in order to deliver giant sets within feasible reach of the mainstream.

Limited feature set

It won't take long to list the features on this TV, there aren't any. At least, none that will have you reaching feverishly for your cheque-book.

It's a full HD set, of course, but you'd scarcely expect anything less on something this size these days, and it has the regulation trio of HDMIs and an assortment of bog-standard supplementary AV sockets.

One mild oddity is a composite video output; show us a person with a use for this and we'll show you someone with far too much time on their hands.

Unattractive interface

The remote control is one of the ugliest we've seen for some time. It's a large, lightly tapered black slab crammed with disproportionately tiny and frequently obscurely labelled buttons, the most important of which aren't anywhere near your thumb's natural resting place.

It just doesn't look like something that should ever have been allowed to creep into a box with a mass-market set, and we'd advise against using it in a darkened room until you've trained yourself, SAS-style, to be able to locate the volume, channel and menu keys while blindfolded and under heavy enemy fire.

Not that you'll get much more joy from the drab operating system, mind. The graphical interface is sparse and blocky and compared to most rival manufacturers' systems, looks and feels incredibly crude.

The tweaks aren't particularly extensive, either, with just a few nondescript presets and the most basic provisions for adjusting specific areas of the video and audio on offer.

Illogical EPG

None of this would matter a jot if the stripped down user system worked well, but this doesn't prove to be the case.

Not with the built-in digital tuner anyway; the Hyundai manages to find every channel, but having done so, arranges them according to its own misguided interpretation of the standard EPG rather than the order in which any sane person might hope them to appear.

Channels are sorted, with a kind of obtuse logic, by provider, so BBC1 and 2 are simply followed by every other BBC channel (News, CBBC, Parliament and so on) with a few bizarre omissions and inclusions (an un-named channel 301 where you might have expected BBC3, for example).

You can, of course re-order everything to conform to the norm, but getting this sort of thing right from the off shouldn't be beyond a modern telly worth its salt.

Motion issues

If you think we are being a little over-sensitive as regards the operating system, then rest assured that we would forgive all if the picture were up to scratch. But sadly, the video performance hardly comes to the rescue of the E465D, whose all-round performance makes the £1,100 look a trifle optimistic.

It's hard to pick out any particular faults, because this set provides what amounts to a masterclass in LCD shortcomings.

The recent European football championships for example, were merciless in exposing the Hyundai's inability to deal with motion.

Players standing still were rendered in acceptable detail, but as soon as anyone started running about with a ball they became engulfed in a pixellated, Ready-Brek-style aura, with the pitch visibly fizzing and distorting underneath them.

Lacking in detail

The super slo-mo camera trickery that characterised much of the tournament's coverage was particularly unforgiving, with the mega-detailed images suffering horribly as the set tried unsuccessfully to keep up with the action.

Colour gradation was also clumsily handled, with the grass getting crudely divided into patches of similar colour, rather than blending seamlessly into a realistic whole, a fault that also manifested itself in unconvincing flesh tones and a generally poorly blended palette with whatever else you might be watching on Freeview.

Hi-def performance

Switching to DVD doesn't improve things radically, although the superior quality of the source material at least proves more stable to watch and irons out the colour blending slightly.

Detail is also better, but improvements in these areas are undermined by weediness with blacks that suddenly become apparent with movies.

HD, meanwhile, is as superior to standard def as DVDs are to Freeview, which is to say noticeably, but not so sufficiently as to cause any undue excitement.

Detail, it must be allowed, jumps up several notches, but the shaky movement ensures that this is only really appreciated with static images.

Unappealing package

A solidly average audio experience caps off a generally uninspiring performance and is hardly likely to convince you to put up with the utterly average pictures.

It's cheap, but not very good and how you weigh up this equation will be dictated by your priorities. Suffice to say, hardcore videophiles should look elsewhere.