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A budget telly with caveats

Coocaa's 40-inch LCD TV hits all its marks. But set aside some time for the initial, complicated set-up

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I'm very old school when it comes to televisions, using them until they die, which mine did recently. Since then, I used my computer monitor for TV watching purposes. This works fine and dandy but the smaller monitor produces less vibrant colours and has few ports. As a stingy person, I was looking for a nice budget TV. This Coocaa TV seemed to be a perfect match.

At the current price of 8,490 baht on Lazada, you'll be getting a bezel-less slim 40-inch LCD TV that comes with Android version 8.

The price difference of a 40-inch LED TV from this company compared to Samsung, the world's most popular TV manufacturer, is around 3,000+ baht.

Do be aware that Coocaa only sells its TVs on the Lazada online store. You will not be able to walk into an electronics store like Powerbuy to experience the real thing. Maybe this is how they can keep costs low.Also, finding support from Coocaa is pretty challenging, since they don't have an official website. Apart from the online shopping platforms, their Facebook fan page (facebook.com/coocaathailand) is the only way to contact them.

This smart TV comes with Android OS, which offers a bit of flexibility, but this Android version is slimmed down compared to the phones. Initially, I was expecting to load many of my favourite apps (and games) to the TV, but found that most are not available from the TV's Android Play store.

With a small price tag comes some compromises. The TV doesn't have a built-in digital antenna, which means you have to purchase a separate antenna or satellite dish. Fortunately, these are relatively cheap and easy to find in any department or electronics store.

The TV offers a feature blatantly advertised on its box saying that it can recognise voice commands, but is not entirely clear how to use it upon set-up.

The voice command function allows you to simply talk into the remote and make search queries to find the desired YouTube channel or videos. But the actual set-up is nowhere near straightforward. Eventually I found a way using the TV's e-manual, which instructed me to hold the remote's "home" and "right" buttons simultaneously to initiate set-up.

Since the TV does not support typing in Thai, I was forced to make use of this hard-to-set-up voice search function.

I mainly use the TV for gaming purposes and connected my Nintendo Switch console, which worked perfectly most of the time. I experienced connection issues twice, where I had to "reset" the TV in order to get the console to work, which wasn't hard to do but can be annoying.The screen's picture was vibrant and crisp. There was no ghosting (which may occur on cheaper TVs, showing blurred shadows following fast-moving images). Adjusting brightness, contrast and other TV functions though was not intuitive as there were no dedicated buttons on the remote or TV, and it required some messing around to actually find out what to do. To do so, you'll have to dig pretty deep into the TV menu which can only be done in some apps or modes only, it's not universal.

Wi-Fi connection on this TV is finicky and cuts off every now and then, but can be resolved by restarting the TV or simply pulling the plug out.

The TV's three HDMI ports should be enough for most situations.

This 40-inch Coocaa TV is a very nice entry point for people with ageing TVs in need of an upgrade.

SPECS

  • Screen: Full HD Screen (97% Screen ratio/1080p with 1920x1080 resolution)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi and LAN, USB-3, USB-2, HDMI x 3
  • OS: Android 8.0
  • Sound system: Dolby with DTS TruSurround
  • Price: 11,990 baht (currently on discount to 8,490 baht)

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