If a really large screen TV experience is what you need, the 55-inch displays of Kodak and Sanyo TVs tick most of the checklist, though the affordable prices do mean slight compromises elsewhere
After impressing with the 2017 line-up of televisions, Sanyo and Kodak are building on that with the line-up of 4K TVs they will be selling to you now. When you walk into a store to buy a TV, Sanyo’s XT-55S8200U and Kodak’s 55UHDXSMART, despite some difference in the current price tags, do compete with each other for your attention with a rather similar set of features. The Sanyo XT-55S8200U is priced at Rs58,990, while the Kodak 55UHDXSMART will set you back by Rs41,999.
For starters, both of these are 55-inch screen size variants, which means both will have imposing personalities as they adorn the large table in your living room. There isn’t much difference in terms of the conventional designs as both manage acceptably thin bezels around the screen. Neither of the two TVs are exactly thin, when looked at from the sides. The Sanyo XT-55S8200U has a slightly lighter colour tone overall, which does look a tad better as ambient lighting glimmers off it. The big difference is with the design of the table-top stand in both cases. The Kodak 55UHDXSMART’s table top stand has a two-part design which installs at either edge of the panel—this means you need a table as wide as the TV, to be able to place this safely. The Sanyo XT-55S8200U has a more conventional design which many users who don’t want to buy new furniture may prefer—this stand attaches at the middle and is not very wide either.
Specifications have become important in new-age televisions since they need to run apps, ultra-high definition content and process HDR visuals too. The Sanyo XT-55S8200U runs a 1.5GHz dual core processor, while the Kodak 55UHDXSMART runs a 1.4GHz dual core processor. The former has 1.5GB RAM, while the latter has 1GB RAM. Both televisions have panels that run the 3840x2160 resolution, also known as 4K or Ultra HD, and support the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature too for content that has HDR effects. If you plug in an HDR-capable media device, such as a new Apple TV 4K or the Xbox One S gaming console, the HDR-ready content on Netflix and Amazon Video should work well.
On the Sanyo TV, you will find a bunch of apps preloaded—Netflix, YouTube, YuppTV and more—to get you started. The smart TV apps run on a software made from Linux, and the response is quite acceptable. Kodak, in fact, uses a more customized version of Android for running smart TV apps etc. The remote that Kodak supplies, in fact, has quick access buttons for Netflix, Amazon Video and Hotstar. While these will get the job done, none of these smart TV options come even close to the slickness that Google’s Android TV platform offers on the latest VU 4K TVs—it seems as if Sanyo and Kodak both missed a chance to really up the game.
In terms of the picture quality, both TVs are neck and neck. The brightness levels on both panels are similar, though the Sanyo panel does exhibit deeper black levels, but very slightly. Colours are rich, fast moving visuals are smooth enough and the rich detailing in 4K videos is quite noticeable. Sound is where both TVs suffer, what you will most certainly need is a separate set of speakers if you intend to watch a lot of movies or binge watch TV shows over the weekend.
One niggle with the Kodak 55UHDXSMART’s experience is the inconsistent response of the remote. As it turns out, the remote sensor is placed on the right corner of the panel (as you look at the TV) instead of in the middle (where most TVs have it). There will be many times when you may be pressing the buttons on the remote, but nothing happens, and that is because you need to aim the remote directly in the sensor’s direction for it to work.
These affordable 4K TVs give the large screen viewing experience, and don’t necessarily have the compromises similar TVs from last year had (such as limited 4K compatibility). We aren’t entirely sure about the extra money you will dish out for the Sanyo XT-55S8200U because the Kodak 55UHDXSMART pretty much does everything too.