Last week I picked up a 42″ UHD TV for pretty cheap (Hisense 42K320UW, discounted because generally no one interested in a UHD TV is bothering with anything below 55″). It’s packed with functionality like most modern TVs, but of course the UI and remote are unbelievably shit, as I have come to expect from most electronic gear, especially cheapie brands.
Since the Panasonic plasma TV it is intended to replace is still mostly working (although some glitching on HDMI signals) I thought I’d give this one a tryout as a monitor first, replacing my old 2009 iMac which I was only really using as a display for my work laptop anyway.
Using a DisplayPort to HDMI converter (newish one supporting 4K via HDMI 1.4) I can run this TV as a monitor in full native UHD resolution.
- At only $550 this was cheaper than the cheapest 4K monitor I could find.
- 3840 x 2160 resolution!
- Feels excitingly huge!
- Feels uncomfortably huge! 42″ is just too damn big for a desktop monitor.
- HDMI 1.4 only allows UHD resolution up to 30Hz refresh rate, meaning there’s noticeable juddering and lag on cursor movements (the screen itself doesn’t flicker though)
- Unbelievably terrible UI… eg just adjusting brightness means about 5 or 6 clicks through the crappy menu.
- Using it in standard HD mode (1920 x 1080) results in higher refresh (60Hz) but weirdly much greater latency, even in “game mode” with bullshit features turned off. This would actually be a really bad TV for gaming.