Every year, Polaroid are in the press, cornering the Black Friday sales with their unbeatable prices for a flat panel television. Last year, if you remember, caused miniature riots as crazy Christmas shoppers flooded supermarket chains for a chance to pick up a bargain. This year however, Polaroid are introducing something special into the fray. A 4K Ultra High-Definition flat panel, the 55″ P55D600 LED television. Are you ready for the Christmas rush? As it’s inevitable these televisions will be marked down. They’re currently priced at around £699 from retailers.
The television looks lovely, and would definitely add value to a living room set up. It’s majority black, with a stainless steel type frame which goes around the outside of the bezel which adds a sense of style. The Polaroid monster stands on two feet at either side of the stand rather than a pedestal which look good. However as we found, the television feet were too wide for our stand, so think about where it’s going to be going when purchasing. I would have prefered to see a pedestal, just for practicality issues.
There are enough ports on the back including four HDMI ports so all of your current products will find space so you won’t have to continually switch out cables. With this is mind, only one of the HDMI ports are 4K HDCP 2.2 compliant. This means that once 4K becomes a more standard household viewing, you’ll have to continue to switch out your 4K devices for that one port. Not very practical in my opinion. Never the less, I can see this television being a secondary television for a games room or dedicated console television thinking about its price.
You have several USBs, a component AV input, and a minijack to connect your scart cables (what’s a scart?) on the rear of the panel. Because the panel is so thin, it requires adapters, which are included, to use older connection types. A popular input present is an optical input for your soundbars and speaker systems to produce some digital sound. There is also an ethernet connection for your SMART TV services, or you can hook it up wirelessly using a 2.4 or 5GHz bandwidth.
Picture I must say is really sharp and crisp, and colour reproduction is good to some extent. It’s no Samsung or LG, but it’s not claiming to be. There are very little above your standard dynamic, cinema and game mode options for you to really adjust your viewing experience. In terms of refresh rates you really only have 50 – 60Hz to choose from which indicates that the image processing is more on the basic side. There is no colour correction in the option menus, only contrast, sharpness and brightness to name a few. This I didn’t see as too much of a problem as this television is aimed more at the plug and play market rather than tech heads and television perfectionists.
From the 4K content we watched we weren’t complaining. The more we watched the more we liked the television which as a good sign. There wasn’t really any juddering of the image and colour reproductions were strong. We didn’t really see any kind of artefacts around moving objects either indicating the panel could keep up with high motion picture.
A nice feature is its media hub. This enables you to plug in an external drive or memory stick to watch your movies and pictures. The Polaroid P55D600 supports all of your popular video, music and photo files including JPEGs, MP3, WMA, MKV, MPEG and AVI to name a few. DLNA is present here so if the television is hooked up to your network you will be able to see these files in your shared drive on your computer or laptop.
The SMART platform is strong, giving you access to all kinds of catch-up television like Netflix, BBC iPlayer among many others. The most popular options are accessed straight from the remote control so there is no fiddly menu systems to get lost in. One press and you’re on the homepage of BBC iPlayer within seconds, depending on your internet speed of course.
We found that you need to be directly in front of the television when viewing 3D. The 3D technology is passive which takes advantage of Polaroid’s huge resolutions as the image doesn’t look much quality. However, if the television is set up in a room surrounded by sofas, people sitting offset of the centre could experience some blurring around the edges of the off focus parts on screen. It’s great that the 3D glasses are so cheap too. It actually ships with several pairs so you can jump into the 3D world from the word go.
Sound was not great, but I think that is the case with most flat panel televisions now that they’re so thin. The Polaroid P55D600 features two downward firing tweeters which is enough to use during normal television use, but for movies, I would suggest an external set of speakers or a soundbar just to add some well needed depth to the sound.
Overall we liked the Polaroid P55D600. It’s a great looking television which offers some really crisp pictures at times. We weren’t very happy with sound production, but who is with a flat panel television? The menus look dated, and the SMART television functions lack some more obvious app choices. You’ve got to remember that it is a budget television, and more than likely going to be a secondary television in a house hold. With this in mind, we enjoyed our experience and time with the Polaroid budget panel, and would be happy to recommend it for anyone looking to get their hands on a deal this Christmas.