Brimax T4200C 42” LCD HDTV Review

Brimax T4200C 42” LCD HDTV

Looking at the T4200C will immediately please you with its very sleek design and jet black colour. It’s another one of those large displays that make movie watching and gaming more fun for the home. Performance is of course an important issue as with any display otherwise you’re just shooting yourself in the foot if your ethos is picking out the cheapest of the cheapest. Read on to find out what we think of this 42” drama.

The T4200C stands firm on an oval shaped stand with a rather small footprint so surface space usage isn’t as much as some others out there which is nice. Even though this display is black all around you do see some of the silver trimming along the side which also reveals itself on the bottom edge of the display. This makes the whole thing look a little cheap. Still, a rather nice looking display nonetheless. As you can see from the above image, there are really no controls on the front except for an infrared receiver for the handset.

Brimax T4200C 42” LCD TV

Brimax T4200C 42” LCD TV Sensor

Here’s a close up of the centre of the display. You can see the infrared receiver along with the Brimax logo. The built in speakers are also fitted behind this on both left and right sides of the display.

Brimax T4200C 42” LCD TV Controls

On the side of the display you will find the main controls which allow you to navigate the on screen menu and the usual channel up and channel down controls as well as power and volume. There is also an input button which toggles between different sources such as TV, Composite, HDTV Component, VGA, Scart 1 & 2.

Brimax T4200C 42” LCD TV Connections

All of the previously mentioned inputs can be found on the bottom of the screen. There is one immediate downside noticed upon seeing this. Wall mounting this screen will be a nightmare because you will not be able to access the connections with ease since the inputs are located on a recessed area of the displays body rather than the side.

Brimax T4200C 42” LCD TV Halo

Powered on and ready to go, the T4200C in action displaying our favourite hero Master Chief.

Let’s take a look at the specifications of this display:

  • Screen size: 42”
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1336×768 pixels
  • Dot pitch (mm): 0.227 x 0.681
  • Maximum Colours: 16.7M (8 bits)
  • Brightness: 500 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
  • Viewing Angle: 178° (H) / 178° (V)
  • Response Time: 8ms
  • HDTV Support: 480i / 480p / 720p / 1080i

Interesting to note the screen supports a good few HDTV signals but doesn’t actually natively run at a true high definition resolution so all you will get is scaling and it’s not a good thing either, especially if you’re into gaming. After connecting out XBOX 360 and running it at 1080i we noticed how games didn’t look pin sharp. That’s not the only problem with the display though. The colours are just plain awful. Even if you try to customize the picture mode what you will end up with is a display with inaccurate colours. This is easily noticeable when switching from a screen that displays things correctly (we won’t mention manufacturer here for obvious reasons as this is a non comparative review). But you would at least expect accurate colours. We’re afraid to say that after much playing around with the menu we still could not get the desired colours.

Movies is another big problem with this display, I understand that LG are the supplier for the panels used for some of the Brimax displays but the performance we were seeing from the T4200C made us think otherwise. When watching movies you will notice the upper and lower black spaces (movies in letterbox mode) will change from light black to dark black as almost a flickering. This is caused by sudden changes in the scene of the movie for example a bright to dark or dark to bright sequence will have an effect on the rest of the panel which is an indication of a cheap TFT panel. No doubt this is rather distracting.

Running some pattern test screens on the display didn’t go too smoothly either with some screens showing very poor performance. The solid white test screen revealed some dark shading towards the bottom of the panel which was quite evident although on the black screen there wasn’t a major problem with the image itself except the blank space on both left and right sides being very light instead of dark. This of course has to do with the screen’s very poor contrast ratio. The aspect ratio rest screen was very good as it showed no signs of distortion and everything appeared to be correct uniformly across the entire panel. Our colour test screen showed some colour bleeding particularly with yellow and cyan.

Unfortunately it doesn’t get any better as the fine grid test screen showed us some strong ghosting of vertical lines which was noticeable even a fair distance away from the screen. The green, red and blue grids also showed the same ghosting and using a larger grid made the ghosting more noticeable.

Conclusion
I don’t know what to say really especially after being impressed by the 32” Brimax screen we reviewed not long ago. The T4200C sample we received proved to be less impressive lacking in mainly image quality. Colours are just so inaccurate at times it frustrates you greatly. Maybe the T4200C needs more time to mature, I am sure a lot of the drawbacks experienced with this screen were due to the fact that this product (at time of testing) is still under trial production and if that’s the case we can certainly conserve more of our intolerance. Putting aside the negatives we really do like the display’s very appealing design and easy to use menu system. Whether or not we’d spend our hard earned cash is yet to be seen in perhaps future revisions of this model because at current it needs plenty of work. I am surprised that the LG panel supplied performed so poorly, maybe calibration hasn’t been done effectively and quality testing isn’t as thorough as we’d like. Whatever the reason the 32” cousin has us smiling when all the way throughout the test phase.
Let’s see where Brimax takes the T4200C in the future.

Pros:

  • Excellent visual appeal
  • 42” of viewing pleasure
  • Easy to use, good menu system
  • Small but robust stand which doesn’t require a large surface
  • Wall mountable (but the design of this screen has a flaw)

Cons:

  • Poor colours
  • Poor overall image quality
  • Pulsing brightness on screen edges during movie playback
  • Inputs could’ve been located in a more suitable place like the 32” Brimax we previously reviewed (on the side of the screen)
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2 Comments
  1. Chronus
    December 7, 2007 | Reply
  2. September 17, 2009 | Reply

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