Say the name “Viewsonic” to most people, and they’ll likely respond with some variation of “they make monitors.” That the company also makes HDTVs, not so much. But the technologies that make for a quality LCD monitor can certainly play a part in making a low-cost, 24-inch LCD HDTV appealing. Especially when the form-factor is small enough for taking it with you pretty much anywhere a HDTV isn’t normally able to going. So lets say hi to the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV.
Right off the bat you can see how light it is; actually lifting it out of its box with one hand pretty much emphasises that. And with attention to the packing that’s covering the svelte glossy black design, I’m hoping that the insides will be just as attractive.
With it upside down, I snap the base onto the bottom stand — yep this looks a lot like I’m doing it for a monitor. Then a quick turn over lets the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV stand on its own. I see that I can tilt the base a bit, but swinging it back and forth — no go.
Now being that the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV is a fairly “basic” model (think of saying that even 5 years ago and what it meant then), I probably can forego the manual. But as that’s always a mistake, I’ll run through the pages while “running” through the menus.
First I’ll have to make some connections, so turning it around I check out the inputs: no Ethernet I see, and as there’s no WiFi either — that means no Internet capabilities. Okay, just use the ones in your Blu-ray player or game console instead. What I see doesn’t surprise me — HDMI, Component and Composite video inputs, inputs for a cable box/satellite receiver and external antenna and one for use with a PC (D-Sub). Plus a S-VHS input, something you don’t see much of these days.
On the audio side of things, there’s a stereo minijack input, a headphones jack as well as RCA stereo inputs. The inputs wouldn’t be there if stereo speakers weren’t built in — there’s a surprising amount of “oomph” you can get out of 5 watts per speaker, though to be fair there’s only so much bass that can be discerned without a subwoofer inside. Point of fact — since you can’t be that far away from the screen due to its size anyway, the sound will be fine.
Taking a quick look at the menus first, I can see two things: the first being that the large icons and straightforward approach to control makes perfect sense with this TV. As to what the menus can do, they provide the now-expected control over such things as contrast, color temperature (I prefer “Warm” on small screens) and picture modes (the “Cinema” type seems to work the best generally). There’s also a “Sleep timer” and a “Zoom” control, which frankly I have yet to see a point in using, but then that’s me. You can leave “Noise reduction” on if the TV picture warrants some help when viewing standard-definition (same for some DVD viewing), but in general I say turn it off since high-def is the future-now for all of us. The Audio menu is worth tweaking for the sound, by the way, especially if you’ve activated and are using the simulated surround sound effect.
So I plug in a HDMI coming from my amp so I can switch from a television box to a Blu-ray disc. Now a quick press of the remote turns the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV and illuminates the front LED a tasty blue.
Switching between “live” TV and some Blu-ray discs, what comes to mind is that uncompressed HD looks a LOT better than any compressed signal (sorry satellite). I tried playing an advance Blu-ray copy of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Love Never Dies,” because the production combines the elements of a live performance with high-definition and this can sometimes make or break a display. Sound aside, the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV performed like a champ with no artifact issues and no smearing of motion on the screen. Good job, this.
The ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV performs in a competent fashion with a fairly wide viewing angle, should you have a second person crowding in next to you. As is the case with most sets of this size, any signal interference generated by the video source will tend to show more readily — partly due to the fact that you are fairly close to the TV, as well as not having very intimate control over the image. But during a week’s worth of viewing, there wasn’t any time that I felt that the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV was being overwhelmed.
As to using the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV for a monitor, it’s easily set up for use (the back has the industry standard mounting plate for wall mounting too). Of course, you’ll need to tweak the image a bit. But keeping it as a second monitor pretty much means giving up all its TV functionality, so I don’t expect many owners to use it with their computers except for watching recorded materials occasionally.
Bottom line: At 15 pounds with the stand in place, the ViewSonic VT2430 24-inch 1080p LCD TV provides a high-definition image that no one can complain about. Especially when you take into account the discounting that goes on with the $359 retail price. While the functionality leaves out some of the newer “bells and whistles,” you won’t find any complaints when it comes to watching HD.
- High-def 1080p image
- Svelte design
- No Internet functionality
- No 3D capabilities
- Bottom-loaded controls difficult to locate
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.