Suitable panel for price, obscure UI

Budget TVs today offer an exciting set of features, including smart capabilities, Android UI, 4K HDR support and more. A TV needs to make some compromises to maintain low price points. This can be with the TV’s build quality, UI and image performance. Today we have a 55-inch TV from Kodak, the 55 4K XPro costs 28 28,499. Is it worth your consideration?

Key specification at a glance

Panel size: 55-inch (also available in 43- and 49-inch options)
Panel type: IPS
Panel resolution: 3840 x 2160 – 4K
Panel refresh rate: 60Hz
HDR 10 support: Yes
Dolby Vision Support: No.
HDMI port: 3
USB port: 2
Bluetooth: No.
Wi-Fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Speaker: 2 x 12W
CPU: Quad-core A53 CPU
GPU: Mali-450 MP Penta Core
RAM: 1GB
Built-in storage: 8GB
OS: Android 7.1.2 (AOSP)
Price: Rs 28,499

Construction and design

By closing things down with the build and design of the TV, you would expect it from a sub 30K TV It’s all plastic and not too thin. The TV panels have black bezels around them and they have a glossy finish. Glossy borders can be annoying if you have a well-lit room and when the light is reflected from the bezel, it can interfere with the viewing experience. This is not a problem if the light is not reflected in the bezel, but keep in mind. The tabletop stand is metallic and holds the TV well. The legs of the tabletop stand on the Kodak TV are not too small, which gives you enough space to place a soundbar, set-top-box or gaming console under the TV.

Overall, what you expect on a budget is the construction of the TV. It’s plastic but it shouldn’t be a hindrance if you don’t move the TV around. The legs of the TV are strong so know that the TV feels quite safe when placed on a tablet.

Ports and connections

In terms of connectivity, the Kodak 55UHDXSMART 4K TV has 3 HDMI ports, all side by side with HDMI 3 with ARC support. Next, you have a good old antenna port and 2 USB ports Moving backwards, the TV has a headphone jack, Ethernet port, optical audio port, audio out and 2 AV on the port. The location of all the HDMI ports on the side makes it easy to reach, and if you plan to use the Fire TV Stick or Chromecast with the TV, it is also easy to get a USB port on the side.

Display panel and image quality

The display on the Kodak 55-inch 4K TV is a 4K panel with support for HDR 10. Although HDR is enabled, many budget TVs produce much darker images than making it a better experience for viewing content on the SDR. Here is the same feeling. If you are looking for a great HDR experience, you will not find it here. But the TV panel is only good for the 4K experience when you connect it to a good source. Let us elaborate in the following sections.

4K content HDR

We have resorted to our trusted XBOX One X for 4K HDR content. Be aware that to get 4K HDR output from the TV, you need to go to the TV settings and turn on HDMI 2.0 manually. After turning on HDMI 2.0, you have the option to turn HDR on or off separately. We saw shows from our test catalogs about modified carbon, our planet, and more, and the output was a bit darker than we liked. Turning off HDMI 2.0 to 1.4 has brightened the sequences. Turning on HDMI 2.0 and switching off HDR will wash out the image. It wasn’t a great experience. Watching 4K content on HDR means losing color as it should. The colors are washed off when HDR is turned off. Leaving the HDMI configuration at 1.4 was the best experience.

Overall, you can enjoy 4K content but the TV’s HDR performance is poor.

1080p content

Here the image quality again depends on your source. Playing movies like Mission Impossible or Spiderman Into the Spiderverse, and you’ll notice that the image looks brighter and the colors look better, even in standard photo presets. But try streaming similar content from a local streaming service on YouTube or TV, and you’re in for a rude awakening. The Event Watchman trailer was better when running on an external source than the TV’s native app. Once you have a good source, you can always go into vivid mode to punchier the colors, if you like.

One of the great things about TV is that it gives you access to settings such as backlighting, brightness, contrast and much more that gives you the ability to change the settings to your liking.

Gaming

In terms of gaming, our Xbox One X TV is recognized as a 4K TV with HDR. We played a few of our standard games, including Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4 and Doom. The results are the same as we saw with the movie / TV show performance. A game like Doom that has HDMI 2.0 setting on 4K SDR and looks good when TVs HDR toggle on. It makes Mars look orange and bright. Turn off the HDR toggle and the colors are washed out. A game like Forza Horizon looks good with details and color when HDMI 2.0 and HDR settings are turned on.

The worst experience was with our 4K HDR benchmark game, Gears 5. In the dark sequence, the game looked really dark with HDMI 2.0 and HDR toggles on. Turn off the HDR toggle and we have a washed-out black glow. The best experience was when we went back to HDMI 1.4.

If 4K HDR gaming is your priority, you might want to look elsewhere. But if SDR gaming is what you want, the TV works just fine.

Audio from the built-in speaker

The TV is also quite loud at 45 percent volume and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t crack until you turn it on quite a bit. This will fill the average sized living room with loud noise. News and soap operas should be seen on this TV. However, movies and music lack the expected thump. The dialogues with the movie are melodic but the sound is a bit confusing when mashing with the background score. If you want to enjoy a immersive movie experience, you should invest in your speaker or soundbar to enjoy the movie. Thanks to this, the audio connection options available on TV are good.

Built-in service and UI

The Kodak 55-inch 4K HDR TV runs on Android 7.1.2 (AOSP), but that has been changed. The UI is exactly what we saw on the 43-inch Kodak TV and you can see our review of that TV here. Press the Home button on the remote and you will be greeted with a detailed UI. You have access to your home, video, music, sports, app store and more. The Video, Music and Sports section will recommend popular videos from YouTube where the App Store will show you popular apps like Netflix, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, YouTube and more. The Netflix app on TV is the mobile version of the app, and to make the most of Netflix, we recommend using it on devices such as gaming consoles or devices like the Chromecast or the Fire TV Stick. The mobile version of a streaming service on a TV is not acceptable

The App Store gives you access to almost all the apps available for Android, and you don’t need to sign in to your Google Account to download the apps. As for the Google Account, some of YouTube’s content is age-restricted (game trailers, if you will) and we haven’t been able to sign in for the rest of our lives. This may be a problem with YouTube at the time, but we have another TV to review, YouTube sign-in was non-stop. Still, the TV’s UI is its weakest component and I recommend a streaming device like the Fire TV Stick to make the most of this TV.

When it comes to settings, your settings have the ability to control brightness, contrast, backlight and much more which is nice. You can control treble and bus which is good with CEC control. The UI for settings is easy to use and easy to navigate which is good for those who want to tinker with your own image and sound settings.

Overall, the TV UI is something we’ve seen on Kodak TV in the past, and AOSP is not only acceptable, especially when other brands are offering the full Android TV experience.

A special mention to the person who misspelled the UI. We will let you find the mistakes in the picture below

Remote control

The remote control you get with the TV is plastic, traditional and functional. It has a slight dimple on the back, which attaches to the grip. You have traditional channel controls and the home button smacks between volume and channel controls. You also get playback control. Overall, the remote is plastic, the buttons are rubberized and the design is functional.

The last row

With a budget of 30k, Thomson, iFFALLCON, TCL, Xiaomi and many more options, including a variety of screen sizes, resolutions, UIs and more. Kodak TV has a good 4K panel when used with an external source, the audio is acceptable but the UI is disappointing. To get the most out of this TV you should invest in a Chromecast or Fire TV Stick or any other streaming device. The HDR performance of the TV is inadequate.

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