December 23, 2009 by Dennis P. Barker
The Unisen 249 Series TVs also include integrated HD programming from popular video streaming pay service Vudu, which is built into the set. Vudu can be accessed via a standard Ethernet connection on the TV or an optional wireless kit from Vudu. Vudu also features popular internet applications like YouTube, Flickr, Pandora, Picasa, as well as an “On Demand TV” area with more than 80 channels to choose from. Vudu requires an internet bandwidth of 4.5 Mbps or higher for HDX 1080p HD video, 2.25 Mbps for 720p, and 1.0 Mbps or higher for instant SD video (480p).
And by the way, the sound was tremendous. The 249 Series sound projector won’t replace a full-blown home theater system, but it will provide a very pleasing sound experience to complement the nice visuals. Selected BD and DVD content such as Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind – 30th Anniversary Edition, Across The Universe, Celtic Woman – The Greatest Journey: Essential Collection (DVD), My Life in Ruins and Watchmen – The Director’s Cut sounded especially compelling, making this LCD HDTV a perfect match for those not setting up a complete home theater system or who can’t stuff six speakers in a room.
The aural performance rivals or exceeds many of the reasonably priced (under $750) stand-alone home theater speaker systems. And make sure you get the optional wireless sub, which can be positioned in a corner for extra oomph and depth. My only nitpick is with the poorly designed remote, which was cumbersome to use.
While not inexpensive, extended viewings with the Unisen are recommended for a terrific home theater experience.
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Dennis has been involved with Consumer Electronics forever it seems. His 25+-year career includes a 12-year tour of duty at Consumer Reports magazine, as well as stints as a product reviewer, market analyst, technical editor, and consultant for the electronics industry. He lives in Ossining, NY with his two children, one demanding cat and piles of A/V equipment.
AT A GLANCE
> Full HD 1080p panel with Ultra-Thin Frame
> 18-Speaker Integrated Sound Projector with included calibration microphone
> Bottom-mounted Soundbar-type speaker array (2-watt x 16 + 10-watt x 2)
> Integrated Vudu
> Variable Smooth 240Film Motion
> Plush 1080p 5G 18-bit Digital Video Processing w/6-Color Processor
> PerfecTint and Deep Field Imager
> 4 HDMI 1.3a Deep Color (36-bit) & x.v.Color inputs
> USB multimedia port (side)
> ISFccc Certified Video Calibration
> Optional 100-watt wireless subwoofer
> Energy Star 3.0 certified
> 46-inch: 31 x 42 x 12.9 inches; 68.4 lbs.(with stand)
> 52-inch: 34.4 x 47.7 x 14 inches; 85.1 lbs. (with stand)
> $2,599 to $3,099
> Excellent image quality
> Best TV-only sound available
> Integrated Vudu streaming HD video service
> Not ultra thin
> Hard to use poorly-designed remote with tiny directional keys
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