Pandigital PANTV1512 Kitchen Technology Center

Pandigital PANTV1512 Counter Top Kitchen TV

The Pandigital PANTV1512 should have been the kitchen TV equivalent of the iPod. A totally unique and innovative consumer device that no kitchen would be complete without. Part HDTV, part recipe database, part digital photo frame and part internet device that has cool written all over it. Unfortunately, it suffers from too many shortcomings to make it the success it deserves to be.

At first glance the PANTV1512 looks like any number of other counter top kitchen TVs. It comes with a widescreen LCD screen and analog/digital tuner that can handle NTSC/ATSC and QAM unscrambled cable channels. There are a full range of connections including HDMI, component, composite, 15pin VGA and headphone jack. But this is where the similarities to a conventional kitchen TV end.

First off, it is the only kitchen TV available that can be used in any one of the three main mounting configurations right out of the box. Under cabinet, on a wall or sitting on a counter top. All the necessary mounting hardware is included. Unfortunately some of these mounts don't always work as intended. In some situations the screen droops under its own weight no matter hard hard you tighten the mounting screws. Be prepared for constant adjustments to maintain the right viewing angle.

Things aren't much better with the built-in speakers. They're barely audible and not much use for anything except background music.

The PC side of the PANTV1512's personality is in the form of 1Gig of internal memory, a USB 2.0 port and an included wifi adapter. You also get a 5 in 1 card reader that accepts memory cards in SD, MS, MS Pro, MMC and xD formats.

The built-in memory is sufficient to store several thousand photos which can be organized and displayed in a slide show using the touch screen user interface. Be aware that you can only load files in the jpeg format. Anything else will need to be converted beforehand. There is a similar restriction for movie files. Only AVI is currently supported.

If you have accounts with Google's Picasa or Microsoft's Live Frame IT you can use the included wifi adapter to stream pictures, weather and live news updates directly to the PANTV1512 via your home wifi network. The wifi adapter will also allow you to connect the PANTV1512 to your PC or laptop, but the setup procedure is overly complicated requiring third party downloads. A simple install CD would have been better.

The Pandigital PANTV1512 is a look into how kitchen TVs will evolve into the future with the convergence of TVs, PCs and internet connectivity. Unfortunately, a few more bugs still need to worked out. We suggest waiting for the next generation.


Useful Links

Pandigital PANTV1512 User Manual

Tags: 16in screen, countertop, internet, under cabinet, usb, wall mount, wifi,

(134/122)  (0.0112)