Top positive review
5 Stars, great TV
October 14, 2018
Firstly, YOU *CAN* CHANGE THE SETTINGS SO THE TV DOES NOT ALWAYS START AT THE HOME SCREEN when it turns on. I almost did not buy this TV because of all the negative reviewers who said it sucks so bad because there's nothing you can do about it......... that is simply not true. The TV does factory default to start/turn on at the Amazon Fire home screen, but THERE *IS* A DISPLAY SETTING for you to set the TV to turn on/start at the last input/channel you were on when you turned the TV off last. (See picture).
Now that being said, this really is a great TV; I am entirely happy with my purchase (and I have never really been that excited about buying a new TV). I remodeled my bedroom and I was looking to replace my 20-year-old tube TV for relatively cheap. This TV fit my budget, it sits great on my dresser, and because of the angle of my roof/ceiling I really could not fit a bigger TV even if I wanted.
At the same time I also "cut the cord" and got rid of cable in my house. I wanted a smart tv so I could use my streaming apps (DirectTV Now, Netflix) and I already had a Fire stick in my living room, so having the "Fire" platform built into the TV is a great option. There are certain things I don't like about Amazon Fire but having used other platforms (Roku, GooBang Doo/ MXII & XB-III/Android Box), Fire is the best option for my bedroom. And I didn't want to have additional hardware/boxes & separate remote controls to deal with in my room, so I love that it is all integrated into the TV and I only have 1 remote to deal with.
I have a fairly large master bedroom, and I have my desk at the other side of the room with a PC/router and a separate amp/speakers for the PC. Before setting up the TV I ran some wiring (3 wires) along the baseboards from my desk to the TV -- a Cat5 (wired network for TV), HDMI (video from computer to TV), and a RG6 coax (digital sound FROM the tv back to my amp). The TV itself doesn't have a digital coax output (it does have SPDIF out); a 50-foot fiber optic cable would have been way too expensive, so I bought a $20 SPDIF to coax converter for the back of the TV. I like that the TV has a wired ethernet connection, because I'm not a fan of streaming over wireless, especially when there are like 20 other wireless devices already on the network.
With my cabling in place, I was ready to rock-n-roll. Opened the box, plugged the tv & wires in, turned it on. We had lift off. There was a first-time setup video that played; I skipped past it but for the novice user it might be informative. On screen programming was fairly simple and straight-forward. The biggest decision was whether to set the TV to "Full" or "Basic" mode (which was probably explained in the video but I skipped past it). BASIC mode is just native OTA channels, inputs, and 6 built-in apps (NetFlix, PSVue, HBO, etc). FULL mode gives you access to the entire Fire application and app store, but you will need to already have or create a new Fire account. Obviously I chose Full mode.
From there, I was determined to show all the reviewers wrong by finding the setting that controls start up behavior. I knew it had to be there. It is. Settings > Display & Sounds > Power On > Last Input. GOOD, because I am one of those people that likes the TV to turn onto the last channel/input I was watching. So there we have it, my only real reservation to initially buying the TV was found and fixed. I went through all the other settings and set them to my preferences. Then I went to the App store and downloaded the apps I use. I also deleted the pre-installed apps that I will never use.
I also bought an OTA digital antenna. Since I've had cable for the last 20 years, I never dealt with that analog-to-digital conversion that happened 10+ years ago, and I never experienced all the new .2 and .3 digital channels there are now. Wow. After scanning stations, I had 84 OTA channels available. Honestly, there's enough on regular TV for me to watch that I don't really use the streaming apps. Why didn't I get rid of cable 10 years ago???
THE ONLY CON I have with this TV, is the way it displays OTA channels in the guide and in the quick-view bar.
1) The guide sorts by channel ID (alpha). I wish it sorted by channel number, or gave me the option to sort by channel #. In fact, it doesn't even show the channel # until you select a channel. I know in the modern era we are getting away from #'s. But I still like my channel #'s. If I want channel 9, I want to go scroll to channel 9, but instead I have to scroll all the way to the bottom to find WGN.
2) I miss having channel up and channel down buttons. Everything is through the "guide" now. You can press the down button, and you get a quick-select menu, which I find more convenient that the "guide." I would still rather flip from one channel to the next with 1 click and not have to go through menus.
3) YOu can set stations as your "favorite" and then show only favorites. But that only applies to the guide. The quick-select menu still shows every single station available. Since the quick select menu shows recently viewed stations first, my solution was just to go view each of my favorites, and then they show up first before all the other channels.
Given the few "cons" which are negligible, I would still buy this TV again, and I may end up buying a larger version of it for my living room the next time my projector lamp goes out. Definitely 5 stars for value received to cost.