It seeems that budget TVs are now moving into the next phase – OLED. PRISM+, arguably the name most likely to be uttered here whenever the subject of budget TVs crops up, has just introduced a line-up of OLED Android TVs.
In addition, it has also announced its first pair of soundbars with Dolby Atmos or Dolby Audio Enabled features.
It is PRISM+’s first foray into OLED and that technically pushes it into the premium space, if only by virtue of the components used; OLED is considered a high-end feature after all.
The Alpha (AL) currently consists of two models – the 55AL and 65AL, priced $1,699 and $2,799 (promo price) respectively. Typically, save for the odd fantastic deal, the best you can do is often just under two grand (after discounts) for a 55" OLED example and typically three grand for a 65" OLED. True, you’re not too far off from picking up the likes of entry-level LG and Panasonic TV, but at the same time, you might have high expectations from those brands as well.
Making OLED more affordable
With OLED tech, PRISM+ is able to offer a slim TV as well. The new AL series TVs measure 3.8mm thick (it’s really thin) and also sport a near-bezel-less design.
In terms of specs on paper, these two TVs check all the right boxes, and possibly the most important bit for those uncertain about taking a punt, is that they’re using LG panels, so these TVs aren’t completely an unknown quantity.
The peak brightness is rated for 700 nits and you have all the benefits of per-pixel lighting. It manages up to 280 nits sustained brightness in standard mode, which I suppose has to be expected of a competitively prized TV. But the colour gamut covers 125% of the DCI-P3 colour space, so we’re good here.
The display supports both Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode, but note that it tops out at 60 Hz rather than 120 Hz, so no – this might not check off all the boxes for your ultimate console rig.
The in-built speakers (2x10W) feature support for Dolby Atmos and DTS TruSurround. If the TV is in a small room, you can just stick to the onboard audio.
Understandably, the TVs will be somewhat limited ports-wise, though you certainly will have enough for the necessary peripherals: three HDMI ports (2.0) with HDMI ARC, along with two USB 2.0 sockets. You also get one RF-in, one auxiliary in, and one optical out as well.
Other quality-of-life features include voice control for Google Assistant, inbuilt Chromecast, and not forgetting the ubiquitous MEMC Motion Smoothing for that Best Denki Experience. In addition, each TV also comes with free subscriptions to meWATCH (12 months), Viu (3 months) and iQIYI (3 months).
Overall, it’s a fairly decent package if you want the OLED look and feel but without spending too much.
Another first for PRISM+
The Flow and Symphony soundbars are also PRISM+’s first soundbars – or speakers of any kind. The Flow is a 2.1 system with 240W of peak power and Dolby Digital Plus support. It’s small enough to fit on desktops too. In contrast, the Symphony has a peak power output of 760 watts, which gives you more headroom and less distortion at higher volumes.
The extra $450 that you pay for the Symphony also gets you Dolby Atmos spatial audio and eARC for high fidelity audio playback. While you can easily pick out cheaper soundbars with Dolby Atmos support, you’d be hard-pressed to find one in a 5.1.2 configuration. The speakers on the Alpha TVs might be Dolby Atmos supported, but between the two, the Symphony is the one with actual twin up-firing speakers to create spatial audio.
Given that the stock TV speakers are decent enough in intimate settings and that the Flow seems pretty basic, I guess it makes more sense to consider the Symphony instead. While an extra $700 is a considerable sum if you are on a budget, this is pretty much a mid-tier ensemble.
Both soundbars connect to their subwoofers wirelessly, which is a great boon to those who hate having to deal with stray cables dangling off your table. It also gives you greater flexibility in determining the optimum position for the subwoofer. These soundbars can also be controlled via the TV remote for a more seamless experience.
The PRISM+ Symphony (Dolby Atmos) and Flow (Dolby Audio) will be priced at $699 and $249.
The PRISM+ AL TVs will go on sale at the PRISM+ online store and authorised online retailers at 6PM, 11 March 2022. The PRISM+ Flow and Symphony speakers will be available for pre-orders at 6PM on 11 March and are scheduled to ship by the end of March 2022.