With a marketplace that is so over-saturated with all kinds of HDTVs, all feverishly vying for your hard-earned dollars, it’s only natural that people tend to gravitate towards the brand names that they’re already familiar with. The downside to all of this is that many lesser-known – yet equally capable and less expensive – brands tend to fly under the radar unnoticed. One such brand is Nexus, which is a relatively new player to the Canadian electronics landscape. A quality American manufacturer, Nexus has been plying their trade for several years now, and is very popular with the US government, supplying them with lots of their electronics. And with a fine line of HD plasmas and LCDs attached to their name already, one such model, the NX3202 32-inch LCD television makes for a great entry-level foray into the home theater market.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS - Nexus HD LCD TV
Style & Appearance
In my humble estimations, this is one area where the NX3202 LCD TV really shines. Offering more connection input options than you can shake a stick at; you’ll have no issues whatsoever getting all your peripheral hardware connected to this. This unit offers inputs that include: HDMI (two), Component (two), RCA (two), and one for S-Video.
All of these inputs have been conveniently shifted from the more traditional rear portion of the television, to the right-hand side instead. Again, a nice design touch that puts an end to having to leave ample (and wasted) space behind the unit so as to not clutter all your cables. It also eliminates having to turn the TV around, or contort your body in strange and wonderful ways when trying to get behind the unit to attach all of the cabling. All of the inputs are clearly labeled and nicely arranged, although, if I had to offer up a minor gripe, I would say that when it comes to the first HDMI input, if you’re using one of those thicker, higher-end cables, you’ll likely find it a tad difficult getting plugged in as the space back there is a little tight and limited due to a screw that helps house the inputs unit being in line with the actual input connection. It can still be done, but it just requires a little extra effort to do so.
PERFORMANCE - Nexus HD LCD TV
In terms of setting up, the Nexus NX3202 LCD television is as simple and straightforward as taking it out of the box and placing it where you’d like it to be.
When it comes to a 32-inch size model LCD TV and setting up the ideal viewing distance, a good rule of thumb would be to use the “2 to 5” principle. This theory says that the closest seating position should be limited to twice the screen width (or specifically 1.54 x the screen width), and the furthest distance should be no more than five times the screen width. Hence the origins of the name, the “2 to 5” principle. The “1.54 to 5” principle – despite being more accurate – doesn’t quite have the same snazzy ring to it. Keeping those numbers in mind – and saving you all the advanced math work – in the case of the NX3202 LCD TV, I’d recommend having it no closer than 43.12 inches away (3.6 feet) from your seating area, and no further than 140 inches (11.7 feet) away. Like most things in life, these numbers are, of course, subject to personal preference, but at the very least, they'll give you an informed opinion on the matter.
Once you’ve physically placed it where you like, you then have the option to adjust various picture and audio settings to your liking. As shown below (Picture and Audio menus), the menus incorporate a very intuitive and easy-to-use layout, that, in addition to Picture and Audio, also have sections for Setup and Feature.
Out-OfBox PictureAs always, I initially tested the NX3202 by using all of the factory default display settings. Test material was BBC’s Planet Earth, connected via HDMI and Component, using a PS3 for Blu-ray playback. Between both of these inputs, I didn’t notice any striking differences in picture quality. As the various images of nature at play began to unfold before my eager eyes, I couldn’t help but think back to my initial sentiments of how many people will unfortunately miss out on a quality product such as this, just due to the simple fact of some people’s obsession and preference with name recognition. I thought about that because out-of-box picture quality with the NX3202 LCD was impressive: color gamut was rich and expansive, detail in bright and dark scenes was good, blacks were nice and deep, and overall image quality was vibrant yet realistic.
That’s very important.
You see, in addition to considerations such as contrast and black levels, those two items – vibrant and realistic images – are perhaps two of the most important factors in determining how good an image can be. When you walk into these big box electronics vendors who shall rename nameless, they often have all the HD playback on their televisions cranked to abnormally ridiculous and preposterous levels. One is to compensate for an unusually big and bright showroom, and the other is nothing more than to sell seemingly glorious eye candy. Everything looks super-bright and super-catchy that you can’t help but notice, and then ultimately, be sold, hook, line, and sinker. Then you take it home, away from the store’s lighting, with your itchy buying impulse now subdued, and you come to the terrifying realization that not everything looks like, or should look like, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and somehow, they managed to spawn a Disney Pixar film. Hence the need to tweak the factory default settings. To Nexus’ credit, their out-of-box settings didn’t suffer from absurdly cranked and super-bright image settings that you get with so many other TV manufacturers out there.
Moving on, with an out of the box picture that was above average, I decided to do some selective tweaking by eye.
I came to use the following settings from the Picture menu:
In the advanced portion of the Picture menu, I kept the default settings for Color Temperature (Normal) and Tint (50).
As I replayed some of the very same images, I found improvements in color detail and contrast pertaining to especially bright and dark scenes, and the black levels were a whisker better as well. Overall, a very impressive image that yielded exceptional results with just the most modest amount of adjustments.
One thing you’ll likely notice with LCD televisions – including the NX3202 – is the narrow viewing angle. That is a function of all LCD technology, although it is improving in leaps and bounds. The NX3202 has an advertised viewing angle of (H) 176 / (V) 176 (Typical), which is quite impressive, although I will say that if you're getting into viewing angles that are that wide, you'll notice some slight edge brightness, but nothing that would be deemed catastrophic enough to ruin your viewing experience. With LCD TVs, the trick is to set them up in such a way that creates more of a head-on perspective to them. If you can do that, you’ll be rewarded with a superior image to rival virtually any competing platform.
CalibrationAfter finishing up with all that out-of-box goodness, it was time for some pro-style calibration on the Nexus NX3202 LCD TV. While many of the test patterns generated by the digital video signal device exhibited a slight push towards the red (not unusual with many HD televisions), a few basic tweaks got everything back in order, one of which was adjusting the Color Temperature in the Advanced portion of the Picture menu to Cool. In the sub-20 IRE range, red and blue offset were virtually spot on, needing to be toned ever-so slightly before coasting into an ideal color temperature of 6526K. On the plus-70 IRE end of things, the NX3202 HD TV again proved to be quite a gamer, needing just a slight increase in the red and blue gains before clocking into an almost perfect color temperature of 6534K.
So how did the images fare after calibration? Quite well, thank you very much. Color detail in the very dark and the very bright scenes appeared more vibrant, images looked a little richer, with deeper contrast, and the black levels were a notch blacker. Color uniformity was impressive across the board, and there was only one instant (a particularly bright and blown-out scene featuring an extreme lens flare) – lasting a total of about 4-5 seconds – in which some color banding was noticeable. It was, however, nothing that would reduce your viewing enjoyment, and nothing that I hadn’t seen before on any other brand of HD television during that very same sequence.
Now, do you need to professionally calibrate or have your NX3202 professionally calibrated? The short answer: no. With a little picture tweaking straight out of the box, most people will be more than happy with the end result. The longer answer: if you’re one of those people who wish to have complete and total control regarding every subtle nuance of their image, then yes, as you will reap some benefits from doing so.Audio
Like virtually all their HD televisions, the speakers for the NX3202 run along the bottom of the TV set. You’d think sound would be better distributed by having speakers run along the left and right side of the TV, but this particular set up seems to work well with Nexus televisions. While no one will mistake the audio on this – or any other HD TV using stock speakers for that matter – for the dynamic range and all-engrossing capabilities that a 5-plus speaker and sub-woofer receiver combo can offer you, I will say that the audio on the NX3202 LCD TV does a more than admirable job. The menus allow you to adjust for standard stuff like bass, treble, and balance, and you can also tweak the audio output according to what you’re watching by adjusting the Sound Mode menu which includes audio options for: User, News, Music, and Movie.
Audio, much like picture, can be – and is – very user specific, and Nexus offers enough in the way of options to get the audio just the way you like it. I was able to pump up the volume fairly high on this LCD TV and had no issues whatsoever with distortion or static; everything was, in fact, crisp and clear.
FINAL THOUGHTS - Nexus HD LCD TV
At 32 inches in (diagonal) size, the Nexus NX3202 might be considered a borderline home theatre TV since that particular class is all about bigger being better, but in terms of sheer performance, image quality, out-of-box functionality, unbeatable price, and an unheard of full, 2-year, in-home, parts and labor warranty, the NX3202 is a definite winner. If you’re still searching high and low for the ideal HD TV (that’s perfect for bedrooms or as a secondary TV) and can’t afford, or have space constraints when it comes to the 42-inch and beyond class of HD televisions, stop searching and give the Nexus NX3202 a try. You will not be disappointed.
DETAILED SPECIFICATIONS - Nexus NX3202 HD LCD TV
Manufacturer Homepage: www.nexuselectronics.com
Ridley Acoustics EVIO852B
Sinclair Cube System
RF Link AVS-5811