Devant is now getting to be a popular brand of choice for price-conscious TV-hunters. They manage to keep up with the latest TV technology while achieving good design and keeping the cost reasonably lower than competitors.
The Devant WIZ8 is similar to the iTV6 Smart TV we reviewed a few months ago but is clearly a step up in terms of looks. It is a Full HD TV capable of 3D viewing, has basic internet apps such as a browser, Facebook and Youtube, and can accept flash drives and external storage for content via USB. It also has a built-in ISDB-T receiver, a feature that’s rarely available in other brands.
What we have is the 55″ version but it’s also available in 46″ and 42″ if you don’t need your TV to be too big. It has an elegant look with its polished silver and crystal design. The thin bezel looks really nice on a screen this big as it lets you appreciate the content more with less distraction.
It also uses a sturdy polished X-stand for its base that spans more than half the length of the TV. The base will actually remind of you previous high-end Samsung LED TVs and looks good compared to traditional black slabs.
At the back you will be presented with a lot of terminal options. You have the basic component and composite inputs, a VGA for connecting your old laptop, 3 HDMI inputs, a LAN port for a wired network connection, and 3 USB ports which you can also use to connect the included WiFi dongle to enable wireless internet on the TV.
The remote control is easy to operate for normal TV/Media usage but is not that friendly for Smart TV functions.
So how’s the viewing experience? My dad who enjoys watching films visited us for a week and he was astounded the first time I played a 1080p video on it via USB. Although it was an animated flick, the colors were vibrant and crisp and viewing it on the 55-inch TV was just a breathtaking experience.
He then proceeded to watch an action flick, Skyfall, only in standard definition. I thought it won’t look that good on the big screen considering it couldn’t make use of the full HD resolution but I was wrong. At a comfortable viewing angle, you wouldn’t notice the pixelation (you will when you get close) and the 120MHz Vivid Motion made it look like you’re watching the flick straight from the set as actions become smoother and livelier, like the actors are popping out of the screen. Mom was just amazed with this feature.
Next up was a 3D Full HD version of The Avengers via a media player connected to the TV using HDMI. The included 3D glasses are the same as that of the iTV6 so it’s not as good-looking and streamlined as current 3D glasses of known brands. It is charged via microUSB though so you don’t have to deal with replacing batteries. Both my parents enjoyed it even if they’re seated at and angle but I doubt you will be using it that much. 2D to 3D conversion still remains to be a gimmick however as it’s not as good as watching real 3D content.
Connecting the WIZ8 to your wireless network is easy to do via the network settings. What I don’t like is having to set this up each time you turn on the TV (a pain if you have long passwords), something that’s prevalent from their old Smart TV. Best solution would to go with a wired connection unless you’re comfortable leaving your wireless network open without a password.
Devant still has a long way to go with their Smart TV apps. There’s only the web browser, DLNA, YouTube, Facebook, Picasa and Twitter. The browser is a bit slow and a pain to navigate to despite connecting a wireless keyboard/mouse. Perhaps the only useful app is YouTube so you could surf for videos straight on your big screen. I personally used YouTube here to get my recap of American Idol.
The biggest draw of the Devant WIZ8 Smart 3D Internet TV obviously is the design, picture quality, and price. The Smart TV feature can still use some improvements though that it’s better to treat it as an added bonus say for example you want to show the family a funny YouTube video you discovered. You won’t however, be disappointed in watching your favorite flicks on this TV whether they’re standard def, HD or Full HD.
The 55″ 55WIZ830 retails for Php109,950 and comes with your choice of mix of freebies from BluRay players, speakers, to a 42″ iTV6 Smart 3D Internet TV which costs almost Php30,000 already. The 46″ version (46WIZ830) retails for Php69,950 while the 42″ (42WIZ830) goes for Php46,950.