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Review: Sanyo DP19640 Television

Categories: OpinionEntertainment

Sanyo DP19640 18½ inch screen, 720p, 60Hz, $158 at Walmart.
March 7, 2011

The last television I bought was a CRT - cathode ray tube - the big, bulky TV of the past.  And mine had a VHS VCR built into it.  It was that long ago that I stopped watching TV.

But I finally broke down and bought a new HDTV.  Of course, I wanted a Sony, 1080p, 240Hz, etc. (I was surprised to discover that 480Hz is now available for those of you who want to watch light travel through the universe with no motion blur).  But I didn't buy one of those.  I didn't buy the cheapest, either.  But close.

I bought a Sanyo DP19640.  18.5 inch screen, 720p, 60Hz.  158 American bucks at Walmart.  It's a nice little TV, but I ran across some annoying problems within the first few minutes.

First of all, the autoscan feature worked well.  It picked up more channels than my Channel Master digital TV converter box was able to receive - both using the same set of rabbit ears.  That was a bonus.  Unfortunately, if I want to move the rabbit ears and add channels using the autoscan, there doesn't appear to be a way to do that.  I have to run the full autoscan again, which will remove the channels it had previously found.  To me, that's a major design flaw.

As if that's not bad enough, here's the real kicker: I know I can get NBC and the Universal Sports channels if I play with the rabbit ears long enough.  With my Channel Master box, I would set the box to channel 3.1, and move the rabbit ears until I got a signal/picture.  On the Sanyo DP19640, there doesn't appear to be a way to manually go to a channel that isn't detected in the autoscan.  Everytime I enter 3.1, it jumps to 5.1, the nearest channel with a strong signal.  This means that if I really, really want to watch downhill skiing, I must move the antenna, autoscan, and hope for a picture; move the antenna again, autoscan, and hope; move, scan, and hope...  By the time I finish repeating this procedure enough times to get a picture, the program is over.

Other than these two complete and utter failures on Sanyo's part, it's a nice little TV.  It fits well on my desk, and has a decent picture with good color and brightness.  Detail in the dark areas is lost a little, but the only way I noticed that was by comparing this TV to the others side-by-side at the Walmart display.  Without another picture to compare it to, I'll try to forget about this flaw.

If watching TV is important to you, I'd recommend paying the extra bucks and getting a Sony. (Sony products are made with alien technology - did you know that?!  No, these guys are really good.  But expensive.)  But if you just want a small, low-priced TV for the bedroom, kitchen, or office, the Sanyo DP19640 is an excellent value.

My real, from-the-heart recommendation: Get out of the house and live life rather than watching others live theirs through the TV.

"If you can't say something nice, let's hear it!"   — Joan Rivers

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