HDTV/DVD, PC Monitor, Digital Photo Frame, MP3 Player, USB Port

FAVI L1918A-V-BL Counter Top Kitchen TV

The FAVI L1918A-V-BL is more of a kitchen media hub than kitchen TV. Equipped with a dizzying array of connections and features it can accommodate just about any kitchen entertainment job you can think of - including playback of foreign DVDs with its built-in multi-region DVD player!

If you've never heard of FAVI you're not alone. The FAVI brand is virtually unknown to most consumers so this little company has its work cut out if it wants to compete with the big boys.

One tried and true method of doing that is to simply undercut everyone else. Or alternatively offer features that no one else has. FAVI have positioned the L1918A-V-BL to do both.

So let's begin with the TV side of things. The screen measures 18.5 inches diagonally and has a native resolution of 1440 x 900. HD picture resolution is a respectable 720p. You get dual analog NTSC and digital ATSC tuners plus clear QAM (useful if your cable provider offers unscrambled channels).

The channel scan feature will auto-program both analog and digital stations which you can later edit as you like. With a bit of fiddling on the remote we were able to replace the cryptic channel numbers with user friendly names and skip any channel we didn't want. As with most digital TVs, channel switching was painfully slow.

Picture quality varied greatly depending on the source. HDMI looked sharp and crisp but some TV programs were washed out and grainy. Not a big deal when watching the news while you make dinner, but less than ideal for a Superbowl party.

As far as we know this is the only TV with the aforementioned multi-region DVD player built in. This means the L1918A-V can accept both US and most foreign discs based on the PAL format. We tried a DVD from the UK and it played fine.

If you've been shopping around for a digital photo frame you already know how expensive they are. If you don't mind sharing this function with your kitchen TV the L1918A-V comes equipped with a SD/MMC card reader. Just pop in a suitable memory card with your favorite shots and set the slideshow feature and you're good to go. It can display any JPEG format up to 1280x1024. You can also use a CD or DVD disc in place of the memory card.

If you prefer a little music while preparing lunch you can use either the card reader or CD/DVD player to play MP3 audio files. The on-screen navigation menus are a bit clumsy and the instruction manual is incomprehensible at times, but with a bit of trial and error you should be able to get things running smoothly. If you don't have a memory card handy there is a USB port that will accept most USB memory sticks (again with the same clumsy menus).

The 'kitchen sink' approach to connectivity embodied by this TV continues with a built-in VGA connector that will allow the L1918A-V to do double duty as a computer monitor. It can accept up to 1024x768 and if your PC has a sound card there is also a PC audio in jack to play the sound through the TV's speakers.

The speakers themselves are 3 watts a piece for a total of 6 watts, which is fairly typical for a TV this size. If you have a noisy environment or need more volume the is a digital audio coax socket that will allow you to play the TV's sound through a separate receiver.

At last but not least the base stand is detachable allowing you to mount the screen on a wall with any VESA 100x100 compatible wall mount.

The FAVI L1918A-V-BL is the new kid on the countertop and has a lot of competition to contend with. With little to no history on reliability the company's customer service is going to be key in winning over demanding consumers. But with a impressive feature set and eye-catching design they are well on their way.

Useful Links

FAVI L1918A-V Product Page
FAVI L1918A-V Owner's Manual

Tags: 19in screen, card reader, counter top, dvd, kitchen tv, usb,

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