Olevia 747i 47-inch LCD HDTV
Say you're a relatively new TV company trying to make a dent in the U.S. market. When selling a product that's become as intensely commoditized as flat-panel LCD sets, you'd do well to find a hook, and fast. Blowing out units at ultra-cheap prices is one way to go, and Olevia has made national headlines for doing just that and shaking up the flat-panel biz. But it's taking a surprisingly different tack with its new high-performance 1080p panels, including the new $3,500 Olevia 747i 47-inch LCD HDTV.
Cosmetically, the 747i looks as good as (if not better than) any other LCD I've tested. Like sets from another high-end brand (one that begins with S), the entire front is covered by a glass sheet, but in this case the glass extends only out to the bezel edge and not beyond, giving the panel a more compact, subdued look that I prefer. The set comes with bottom-mounted speakers that can be detached or remounted on the side.
A wide range of inputs is located on the TV's side panel. Besides a pair of HDMI jacks, you get two component-video inputs and a VGA connection that doubles as a third one. There's also an RS-232 port for home control systems. And it has both optical and coax digital audio outputs to route Dolby Digital from off-air high-def broadcasts to an outboard receiver. There's even a subwoofer output!
There's nothing extraordinary about the Olevia's remote, but it's backlit and well-organized. My main gripe was the tiny keys near the bottom - I had to pull my eyes off the screen for several seconds to make sure I was hitting the correct one. You toggle through the set's 11 inputs with the Source button, which can be time-consuming. Likewise, you toggle through the display modes with the Aspect button; choices include a 1:1 option that displays the incoming signal with no scaling.