The 2018 Fifa World Cup is reaching fever pitch, thanks to wild endings (sorry, Germany; I actually had them winning it again, though defending the Cup is apparently that difficult, especially for the past three champions) and mouth-watering clashes ahead.
And while we're not among those lucky enough to be at any of the Russian pitches with a ringside seat to all the action, hanging out at a sports nest or the comforts of home watching the matches (also) live aren't exactly a bad idea - especially for the latter.
And you don't have to spend that much to enjoy all the kicks, offsides and goals of the mega event. Cue the affordable TV segment here; for this one, we had the opportunity to test out a couple that fit the bill from UK-headquartered Ctroniq.
The company is known for their budget-friendly devices that carry lots of spunk. In line with the World Cup, they're offering 32-(32CT3100) and a more generous 43-inch (43CT4100) options.
Both TVs share some common traits - a 16:9 aspect ratio, a PC port, 3D noise reduction and two each of HDMI and USB ports. Then this is where it diverges: the 32-inch version is high-definition, while the 43-inch option has full-HD capability. There's a negligible difference in viewing angle, 178 degrees versus 180 degrees. Both are almost edge-to-edge, so you'll be making the most out of digital real estate.
Now let's make one thing clear: these TVs aren't exactly your top-of-the-line sets; they're priced at Dh399 and Dh699, respectively, and are available over at Souq.com. But one look at them and you won't notice that they're at those price points.
I started watching some stuff on it and - for the more exciting part - I hooked up my Xbox One to both of them (not at the same time, of course) and it was pleasantly surprising that the colours are solid and I didn't see any screen burns. I did, though, notice lines moving across the screen when the display dims after it's been idle for some time. While that's negligible, it doesn't quite give a good look when you're staring at it (if you love staring at a dimmed TV).
So is it worth it? Though it doesn't obviously come with high-end features, it more than makes up for what you require - though it tends to respond slowly when you maneuvre through its settings.
And if you're not satisfied with either 32- or 43-inch version, there's some news for you: Ctroniq has announced that it'll be coming up with two larger versions of its TVs: 55- (55CT8100) and 65-inch (65CT8100) models. Even bigger news: they'll be the smart type and will support 4K UHD.
By Alvin R. Cabral
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Al Bawaba Business.
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