Finlux 65FTE242S-T TV Review
For Blu-ray lovers looking for budget big-screen entertainment
What is the Finlux 65FTE242S-T?It’s a whole lot of TV for not a great deal of money, that’s what. You don’t see very many 65-inch Smart TVs at the sub £1,100 mark, even with the seasonal sales ongoing, so if it can perform something like the recently covered 48FT3E242S-T, then it promises great value. It is, in fact, more or less the same TV as that one, only the 65FTE242S-T doesn’t have any 3D capability. Let’s see if Finlux has pulled off a bargain of monster proprtions.
Design & ConnectionsAs you might expect, this TV is on the heavy side so please don’t attempt to get it set up on your own. As someone who has erected hundreds of TVs I thought I would have no problems but my back is still paying the price, largely owing to the weight of the base stand, which is solid metal. In fact the 65FTE242S-T boasts really good overall build quality, at this price-point. The narrow bezel design is very contemporary and the fact the stand allows for easy positioning is a bonus.
There are a good selection of inputs and outputs on-board this Finlux, including 4 HDMI and 2 USB ports. Your legacy video options are covered by Scart and Component inputs but, unusually, the digital audio connection is coaxial rather than Toslink, so if you’re soundbar or other audio solution only has the latter option, you’ll need some form of adapter.
Remote ControlThis is a rather more discreet affair than we’ve recently been accustomed to which has rubberised buttons and sits in the hand in a non-fatiguing way. The keys are positioned well, with good spacing in between, and there are dedicated shortcuts to Netflix and the various internet services.
More discreet than the usual Finlux Remote
Finlux Smart TV appsFor a more in-depth look at what the Finlux Smart TV platform has to offer have a look at our dedicated review but the Opera App Store has been added to the platform since then. That extends the options beyond the native Finlux apps, although not by a great deal in all honesty as most of what is there would not generally be regarded as big hitting. Still, you get Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Facebook and YouTube apps – amongst others – which will be enough for most. As an update, the Netflix performance has improved since last we logged in to the Finlux Smart TV platform but it’s still a bit more sluggish than we’re used to from other TVs and devices.
Finlux 65FTE242S-T Picture SettingsThere’s an important distinction that needs to be made here. If you’re watching from external sources, the default Natural mode is actually fairly palatable but you can do better by switching to the Cinema mode and changing the Colour Temp to ‘Warm’ in the Advanced Settings Menu. On the other hand, the inbuilt Freeview HD tuner defaults to Dynamic, which is horrific and must be avoided at all costs. For more detailed advice on TV setup you can follow our Picture Perfect Guides.
CalibrationWe can’t imagine many professional calibrators will be getting calls from Finlux owners and, in this case, it would have been near pointless to get one in. That’s not to say the out of box performance was perfect, just that the available controls proved insufficient to correct the errors here.
Namely, we had too much blue energy in the greyscale, near black, and there was a very slight yellowish tinge to whites. The colour performance improved very marginally by using the standard Colour control notched down a couple of levels but the fullest greens remained a touch garish and too bright. To be fair, with lesser saturated shades of green, it looked quite a bit better and whichever way you look at it, this is a really good out of box performance. It’s just a pity Finlux doesn’t give us better calibration controls to let them see what one of their TVs could look like when properly setup.
Input LagAfter the excellent performance of the 48FT3E242S here, we expected a little better from its monstrous big brother. An input latency of 50 milliseconds, or so, isn’t ruinous to most people’s gaming ambitions but it does make a difference and the twitchiest games will be that bit harder than if you were gaming on a really responsive TV.
Finlux 65FTE242S-T Picture QualityThe first thing to say about this Finlux is that it’s very intolerant of low quality sources. We’re not exactly sure what panel they are using but it appears to have low bit depth so if the source is of even moderately questionable quality, you are likely to see blocking and colour banding (strange hues in colour transitions) effects, especially in darker scenes.
To put that in to context, a 1080p stream of Extant from Amazon, via the Fire TV, could look distinctly ropey in the blacker moments but otherwise it did look really good. A good Netflix Super HD stream, on the other hand, would definitely look better but that is still nowhere near a match for what a Blu-ray can look like on the 65FTE242S-T. This is definitely a TV for disc lovers over streaming viewers, so take that knowledge with you during the decision process. We could also monitor some of the broadcasters adaptive bitrates by watching how the Finlux performed on certain content. For instsance, it was easy to tell that the BBC had lavished plenty of bandwidth on the Strictly Come Dancing Semi-Final (viewed only for evaluation), whereas a low-profile documentary on BBC 4HD doesn’t get quite the same treatment and resultantly looked far less impressive on the Finlux.
We saw above that colour and greyscale accuracy were good at default movie settings and the pictures are helped no end by the native black levels in this panel – low bit, or not. From a chequerboard pattern we measured average black levels at 0.03cd/m2, resulting in an ANSI contrast ratio of around 3,200:1. By current standards that’s actually really good, although blacks did exhibit something of a blue tint and detail in the very darkest shadowed areas was virtually non-existent. Still, the pictures still had plenty of depth and detail with the caveat, above, that the source is good.
Give it a good source and you'll be amazed - at this price!
The motion handling of the 65TE242S is about average for the technology but the bountiful screen real estate does mean that it’s fairly easy to spot the blurring of objects if they’re travelling fast. If you’re likely to be bothered by that, Finlux does provide some optional frame interpolation processing but it was a tad aggressive for us and we definitely leave it well alone for movies. It would be unfair not to mention that this sample displayed really good screen uniformity, both on dark and light scenes, so whilst the blurring might slightly jar, it’s far more preferable than the likes of a dirty screen effect or panel banding.
If you’ve not caught on to the gist of what we’re saying about the Finlux 65FTE242S-T, pictures wise, in all that went above, we’re trying to tell you that it can look really really good, especially with price considered, but it is fussy and needs a high quality source. It probably goes without saying, but we’re duty bound, that we wouldn’t recommend watching any standard definition material on this TV, it definitely doesn’t make for pretty viewing!
- Great native blacks
- Very good uniformity
- Excellent build quality
- Solid Smart features
- Unforgiving on lesser quality content
- Viewing angles aren't generous
Finlux 65FTE242S-T TV Review
Should I buy the Finlux 65TE242S?We have to admit that when we see such a big TV carrying such an affordable price-tag, our suspicions become aroused but, whilst it’s certainly not perfect, the 65TE242S-T did exceed our expectations. It has great blacks and contrast levels; the out of box colour accuracy will be more than sufficient for most and there’s a decent set of Smart TV apps, including Netflix, iPlayer and YouTube. The design is also pleasant and the build quality better than one would expect so it all combines in to a package well worthy of shortlisting in this category. We can’t stress enough that high quality sources are a must and standard definition is a complete no-no but if you’re a major Blu-ray buff on the look-out for bargain big-screen entertainment we would have no hesitation in recommending it to you.
What else is there?Frankly, we’ve reviewed nothing at this size anywhere near in the same price category so this is a tough one to tackle. In fact, having just looked through all our TV reviews in 2014, I can’t find a thing to match up. Oh well, take a look at some further Buyers Guides by way of compensation.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £1,099.99
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box8
Picture Quality Calibrated8
Ease Of Use8
Value for Money8
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