REVIEW | Mass 32-inch LED-M600 budget TV

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Another budget TV on sale now is the Mass 32-inch unit, at a sale price of P4,799. It’s quite similar to the recently reviewed 32-inch LED TV from ACE. Below is my review from spending a couple of weeks with it.

Features and Setup

The TV is not smart, and thus after a Mass welcome screen goes straight to the last channel it was on. First time setup is simple, just connect an HDMI source or USB, and switch to that on the remote. That’s it, you’re good to go.

All connectivity is at the rear, comprising two HDMI ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two Component connections, a VGA input, an antenna input, a PC audio input, a composite output, and a 3.5mm headphone jack output.

On the rear right edge of the screen are the buttons for controlling the TV without the remote. But you’re better off using the remote. The button layout is different from the ACE TV.

If there is no signal for a while, the TV indicates it will auto switch off after some time, and does so. This is convenient if you’re the kind who watches something off a USB and falls asleep.

Design and Aesthetics

The Mass TV is not a serious looker; on the other hand, the design is just basic and more focused on being functional.  The included plastic feet have rubber dampers pre-attached to them. Other inclusions are remote with batteries, four screws to attach the feet to the TV, and some documentation.

The unit is incredibly light and can be easily moved around with one hand. This makes it super easy to flip over when screwing in the feet, and generally easy to place around the house.

Mass deserves credit for the plastic wrap on the feet as well as the edges of the TV, ensuring that the plastics remain black and shiny.

The remote is sleek and thin. The design is nice. This certainly trumps the remote of the ACE TV. Overall unit build quality is adequate — but not great.

Performance

The same lag which I’d noticed when starting up the ACE TV is present with this Mass TV. But it’s not a big issue and just means you have to have two seconds of patience. It’s limited to when the first video signal comes in, and not when skipping or scrolling through content.

Though the resolution is only 720p and not full HD (1080p), video content always looked sharp. This is likely due to aggressive sharpening by the image processing engine. This becomes evident if you go close to the screen, but at normal viewing distance, the picture remained sharp. I tried to set the noise-filter to high, to reduce the above-mentioned sharpening and grain, but it seemed to hardly make a difference.

Colors seemed to favor yellow tones, and I did modify the preset to be more neutral. The cold color filter also helps balance this out. I would recommend some calibration to get to a combo that best suits your preferences.

The viewing angles were not too great, with noticeable degradation when not directly facing the screen. Both off-axis viewing, as well as going above or below in terms of height seemed to have this effect.

These are the two areas where the unit differs from the ACE 32-inch TV, as that boasted more neutral color tones out of the box on its Standard preset, as well as good viewing angles.

As with the ACE TV, the sound was the weakest element of the unit. There was no bass and frequency response seemed to cover a limited range. In scenes with just one person speaking, or just one sound, it remained clear enough, but intense scenes with ambiance, dialog, and special effects tended to be a mish-mash, with audio clarity suffering.

When playing content off a USB drive, there is a basic interface for navigating Movies, Music, Photos, and Text. It also has a preview mode. Note though that while it can decode Mp3 audio, it was unable to play the audio in MKV video files with Dolby Digital or DTS surround soundtracks. The interface was identical to the one on the ACE TVs.

For our testing, I watched the extremely dark episode 3 of Game of Thrones Season 8. While not displaying rich blacks, there was decent definition in the dark areas, which was good. I also watched a few episodes of BoJack Horseman and experienced good vibrant colors.

Value

At an SRP of P12,999, I would not be inclined to buy this TV, but at its current sale price of P4,799, it’s a good deal. In fact, it sometimes goes for even less, during limited-time sales or festive season sales.

As for what you get, it’s a functional barebones viewing experience; sharp picture, decent colors, and sufficient connectivity. It does not have smart functionality and is limited to a resolution of 720p.

A comparable option would be the 32-inch TV from ACE that sells for a similar price; both can be found on Shoppee.

Closing Words

If you’re not very particular and are just looking for a cheap solution to have a TV at home, with both HDMI and USB, the Mass 32-inch TV is ideal. It could also serve as a cheap commercial waiting room TV. Thanks to its aggressive sharpening, video content is always crisp. Given the sale price, it’s perhaps not fair to expect more.

  • Model: M600 SMT-3207
  • Price: P4,799
  • Verdict: A functional TV with all the basics at a sale price
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