New Big W Po­laroid UHD TVs Shine

SmartHouse - - REVIEW | POLAROID - Writ­ten by Fer­gus Hal­l­i­day

It’s safe to say that Po­laroid aren’t ex­actly a com­pany known for their TVs. They’re a brand for whom in­stant pho­tog­ra­phy is more com­monly as­so­ci­ated than home en­ter­tain­ment. Thus, the ar­rival of Po­laroid’s new UHD TV range in ma­jor Aus­tralian re­tailer Big W marks a pretty con­sid­er­able mile­stone for them. Ma­jor re­tail play­ers like Big W and K-Mart have grad­u­ally shifted away from sell­ing tele­vi­sions over the last 5-10 years and the fact that they’re bring­ing the cat­e­gory back with Po­laroid says a lot about their con­fi­dence in the qual­ity of what’s on of­fer here.

And that con­fi­dence isn’t mis­placed. Th­ese UHD TVs don’t just com­mem­o­rate the com­pany’s move into Big W stores, they de­liver an ex­pe­ri­ence worth tak­ing no­tice of. Through both the pic­ture qual­ity and price-point at­tached to it, Po­laroid’s new UHD TV range make a com­pelling case for the com­pany’s place in the home en­ter­tain­ment space - even if it does come with a hand­ful of caveats.

There are seven sizes of dis­play on sale here from the low end 19-inch up the larger 65-inch mod­els. How­ever, re­gard­less of which model you pick up, you’ll get the same high-end ex­pe­ri­ence.

TVs in the range larger than 40-inches in size also come Smart-En­abled. The func­tion­al­ity here is very bare-bones in ad­di­tion to be­ing ham­pered by the re­mote de­sign. While boast­ing a neat dual-sided de­sign with a tra­di­tional re­mote on one side and a key­board on the re­verse, the re­ceiver on the TV isn’t quite re­spon­sive enough for you to ac­tu­ally get much use of it. The TV’s ba­sic smarts and you can load and play a me­dia li­brary us­ing a USB or through YouTube but what’s on of­fer here can’t re­ally com­pete with what you’d get out of a $60 Chrome­cast or FetchTV. All this said, it’s not so much of a deal-breaker. Just some­thing that you’ll want to keep in mind go­ing in.

It’s more a mat­ter of what size fits your home en­ter­tain­ment setup than any­thing else. They’re all 4K-ready and if you’ve yet to grad­u­ate from 1080p, that’s an ex­cit­ing thing.

4K Ul­tra HD has fast be­come the new stan­dard for TVs but once you make that jump any ad­di­tional tech­ni­cal in­vest­ments and ex­penses quickly be­come a case of di­min­ish­ing re­turns. It’s easy to imag­ine how much of a dif­fer­ence a quadru­pled res­o­lu­tion will make and eas­ier still to see it in mo­tion. Any­thing be­yond that is in­cre­men­tal. They’re less vis­i­ble and rid­dled with tech­ni­cal de­tail that isn’t eas­ily ex­plained, let alone seen – ex­cept when it comes to the price tag. It’s hard to imag­ine the dif­fer­ence that back­light­ing or mo­tion smooth­ing will make. It’s easy to imag­ine the dif­fer­ence an ex­tra five grand will make to your bank ac­count bal­ance.

The Po­laroid TV isn’t ex­actly the high-end lux­ury dis­play you’d find on the floor of IFA or CES but, for what it costs, it still man­ages to ac­quit it­self well as gate­way to the world of Ul­tra High Def­i­ni­tion. Colours carry more depth, en­vi­ron­ments more de­tails and im­ages a greater de­gree of fi­delity. When it comes to Ul­tra 4K video con­tent (avail­able through Net­flix, YouTube or se­lect Blu-ray re­leases), Po­laroid’s TV range ab­so­lutely de­liv­ers on the po­ten­tial of the tech and is up there along­side the mod­els that do ap­pear at CES.

Un­for­tu­nately, there are a few caveats. The range can play older res­o­lu­tions at an up­scaled rate but the dif­fer­ence is very ap­par­ent. Mo­tion smooth­ing also feels like an­other weak link for the TV. Our mileage with the dis­play var­ied a bit here but there were times where it def­i­nitely var­ied.

Mean­while, the speak­ers on the TV man­aged to fare a bit bet­ter. They sound bet­ter-than-you’d ex­pect out of the box - though those look­ing to re­ally push what th­ese TVs are ca­pa­ble of will likely want to pair them up with some wire­less speak­ers or a new Po­laroid sound­bar.


Po­laroid’s new TV range de­liv­ers qual­ity 4K Ul­tra HD video ex­pe­ri­ences at a bench­mark that’s im­me­di­ately vis­i­ble. Best of all, it does so at a pri­ce­point that’s hard to ig­nore. Once you’ve slipped across the thresh­old, from tra­di­tional high def­i­ni­tion video con­tent into 4K Ul­tra HD, it be­comes hard to un­der­state just how im­por­tant price-point be­comes. Sure, price-points are al­ways go­ing to mat­ter – but the way in which they mat­ter has shifted some­what with the leap for­ward in tech. While the Po­laroid range isn’t quite a gamechanger, it’s def­i­nitely a strong show­case for a brand at the top of its game.

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