In my experiences, I have found that you can usually tell a lot about the type of TV a company is manufacturing by the quality and functionality of the remote. The Westinghouse SK-32H240S offers up one that is not only full-sized, but sports a solid layout and has relative ease of use. The majority of the buttons were large, with several being oversized for directional, Enter, and both the Channel and Volume rockers. One nice touch is that all the Inputs have their own button.
I had a couple of nitpicks though, pertaining to the design, button labels and backlighting. When you pick up the remote, it is solid and well balanced with a great weight. The only issue is that due to its length and size, it feels like you are holding a chunk of wood. A little curve here and there would have gone a long way to offsetting the size.
I have never been a big fan of remotes that have unique images on the buttons for labels instead of the actual word. I suppose it is fine once you read the manual, but let’s face it, most people take a product out of the box and start fiddling without glancing at the manual unless they absolutely have to. Unfortunately, the SK-32H240S does just that for the mute, Closed Capt, sleep timer and a host of other buttons. After making a couple of educated guesses on some, I broke down and had to look up the others, but now I know.
With this size television (32” Widescreen), you would expect that it would get quite a bit of use in bedroom settings, which is why I was surprised by the lack of backlighting in the remote. It isn’t critical, but with the amount of functionality already included, adding the backlight would have been icing on the cake.
The biggest mistake consumer’s tend to make when purchasing a television is not adjusting it when they get it home. Almost all TVs are set at the factory for display on a sales floor, usually with the brightness or contrast turned all the way up for maximum “wow” effect to be seen across a large retail setting. It is important to set up the television to match the dynamics of your room, and, if possible, use a home theater set up disk from Avia or another company. While this won’t get you into the service menu for hardcore changes, it should be enough to provide a very concise picture.
I did make a few adjustments to the unit, turning down the contrast a touch, and knocking the backlighting down one level. While this made the TV less bright, it represented a better overall image and helped reproduce better dark colors and blacks on screen. Several of the games I tested looked much better once these adjustments were in place. I did not have a set-up disk handy, so I had to eyeball it.
Once the cable was plugged in out of the wall, the next step (which wasn’t listed in the manual anywhere I could find) is to find some channels. When utilizing any type of hook-up where a cable is plugged into the RF connection, you will need to enter the menu and run an Automatic Channel scan. This is pretty standard, but in my test lab, I plugged it in out of the wall and was getting a “No Signal” message until I ran the scan. Once this is kicked off, the TV will automatically scan all NTSC channels (analog) and ATSC channels (HD/Digital) and load them into the preferences. The unfortunate part is that the process can take as long as 10 minutes depending on how many channels are being scanned from the source. I scanned them on two separate occasions, and it took about six minutes each time. Once completed, the loaded channels (intermingled) could be added to the internal guide, keyed in or found using the up and down channel button.
The TV also has an Automatic Contrast Boost, which changes the black level based on the room characteristics. This may warrant a notch taken out as well if you think the TV is getting too dark (or white) during gameplay as it auto-adjusts the image.
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