In an era where streaming and smart TVs are at the forefront of our entertainment needs, finding the perfect combination of performance, convenience, and affordability can be a challenge. Smart TVs like Kodak 55CAPROGT5014, a 55-inch 4K Ultra HD LED Google TV are aiming to redefine your viewing experience. In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Kodak’s 55CAPROGT5014 design, display quality, smart features, audio performance, and overall value.
Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 4K smart TV review
Design & Connectivity (8.5/10):
The Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 features a robust plastic build that, while not the most premium in feel, is undeniably durable. Its design showcases a slim bezel encompassing the display, providing an almost frameless appearance that can certainly enhance the aesthetics of your living space. It’s worth noting that the bottom bezel, which proudly sports the Kodak logo, is slightly larger than the rest. While a slightly slimmer bottom bezel could have embraced a more minimalist design, it’s important to acknowledge that, given the price point, this is a minor consideration that doesn’t justify the complaints.
Included in the package of the Kodak CAPro 55 are all the essential components you need for a complete setup. Inside the box, you’ll find:
- The TV unit itself
- A remote control
- A Wall Mount Kit
- The sturdy table stands in a sleek deep black metal (iron) finish that complements the TV’s overall design
- A User Manual to assist you in setting up and using the TV
- Two AAA batteries for the remote control
Notably, there’s an added convenience with this model— the inclusion of an AV cable converter. Instead of traditional AV ports, the manufacturer has opted for an AV (female) to 3.5mm jack converter (male) cable. This versatile cable allows you to connect external devices like a Set-Top box for both video and audio inputs, aligning with the TV’s minimalistic design approach.
However, it’s important to mention that due to its slim design and limited protrusion at the back, accessing the rear ports can be a bit challenging, especially when the TV is wall-mounted. To make cable management more convenient, it’s advisable to connect all the necessary cables and USB drives before mounting the TV on the wall.
Display Quality (8/10):
The picture quality delivered by our 55-inch Kodak CA PRO review unit left a lasting impression, particularly when considering its 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution. This resolution, in comparison to Full HD smart TVs within its price range, sets it apart. The display boasts a high brightness level of 450 nits, making it well-suited for viewing in brightly lit rooms. The colors it produces are vibrant and lively, enhancing the overall visual experience.
The TV’s support for a 60 Hz refresh rate ensures seamless gameplay and enjoyment of fast-paced action scenes. Furthermore, the inclusion of HDR10+ support significantly enhances the contrast and dynamic range, breathing life into movies and shows. To further improve performance, the company has integrated MEMC Technology (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation), which adds extra frames to reduce lag during fast-paced gaming and action sequences. While it generally works well, some gamers may encounter motion blur in specific game scenarios. Notably, there is no Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) support, which might be a disappointment for serious gamers seeking the best latency performance.
For optimal picture quality, it’s advisable to use either 4K or 1080p content, as 720p content may not appear as sharp. The TV offers a generous 178-degree viewing angle, ensuring a good visual experience even when viewed from the sides. However, being an IPS LED Panel, you may notice some white shadowing on darker parts of the screen.
Out of the box, the TV’s color settings are configured to deliver rich and vibrant visuals. If you prefer customization, the TV provides a range of options. In the Picture settings, users can modify parameters such as brightness, hue, backlight, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. For audio, there are options to adjust bass and treble, enable DTS (Digital Theater Systems), and more. Notably, the TV competes with Dolby in the audio department, and users can activate DTS from the settings to enjoy surround sound effects. By default, DTS is not enabled.
When it comes to standard TV channels delivered via DTH, especially those still broadcasting in SD or 720p, the upscaling capability of the TV may not significantly improve the picture quality. It’s recommended to opt for high-definition channels for a superior viewing experience. Overall, the Kodak CA PRO shines when streaming 4K HDR content from platforms like YouTube or via a USB drive, delivering a smooth and enjoyable experience without noticeable jitters or noise when playing 4K videos.
Smart OS (9/10):
The Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 operates on the Stock Android TV 11 OS, which means no customization from the TV manufacturer side, hence responsive user experience. This choice of an uncustomized OS provides a streamlined and user-friendly interface. Pre-loaded with popular apps like YouTube, Netflix, Zee5, and Prime Video, the TV embraces a minimalistic approach to its interface design, ensuring you encounter no complications in navigating your content.
Now, let’s demystify the concept of Google TV. In essence, Google TV is not a separate operating system but rather an interface overlay on top of the Android TV OS, tailored to enhance user-friendliness and intelligence.
Google’s transformation doesn’t stop at the interface; it extends to the Play Store integration as well. Google TV seamlessly sifts through the Play Store to recommend and install only those Android apps that are compatible with your Smart TV. Beyond that, Google TV delivers an improved navigation experience, introduces new tab arrangements, and comes equipped with Google Assistant support. It also provides features like multiple-user account support, a kids mode, parental controls, a smartphone remote, and access to Google Photos.
For added convenience, if you use the same Google account on both your smartphone and Smart TV, you can directly add movies or shows to your Google TV watchlist while browsing them on your phone’s browser. This seamless integration fosters a smart entertainment ecosystem that simplifies your content management.
Regarding the installation of Android apps, there isn’t a dedicated application like the Play Store on your smartphone. Instead, the Play Store on the TV is seamlessly integrated, allowing you to search for TV-compatible applications directly from Google’s TV interface for hassle-free installation or removal.
Audio Performance (8/10):
To be absolutely clear, the Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 is equipped with Dolby Atmos, a remarkable feature for an enhanced audio experience. However, it’s important to note that the built-in speakers, rated at 40 watts (two 20 watts speakers), cannot deliver the absolute best audio quality. For an optimal audio experience, it’s advisable to connect external speakers.
That said, the default speakers do manage to provide a satisfactory audio experience for enjoying your favorite series and movies. However, at times, the loudness of these speakers can overpower the vocals, leading to some muffled dialogue. Music enthusiasts may find the bass lacking, but the treble performance is more notable. In the grand scheme of things, considering that this TV falls into the budget-friendly Smart TV category, one shouldn’t set overly high expectations for sound quality. Nevertheless, the built-in speakers are capable of producing ample volume to fill a room and ensure an enjoyable viewing experience.
Remote Control (8.5/10):
The bundled remote control is a noteworthy addition to the Kodak Smart TV package, designed to enhance the overall user experience. Its compact size and minimalist button layout make it a user-friendly accessory. Notably, you no longer need to aim the remote directly at the TV’s IR module for it to function.
This remote features only the essential functions that a user typically requires, including volume and channel control, access to the app drawer, menu navigation, mute, and intuitive navigation buttons. It also provides convenient shortcuts to popular streaming platforms such as YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. In this respect, the remote is perfectly designed, providing quick access to the core functionalities you need. Additionally, it includes a dedicated voice-assistant button for invoking Google Assistant, adding voice control to your TV interactions.
Furthermore, as a Google TV, users have the option to control the TV using their smartphones. Simply open the Google TV app on your smartphone, select the TV remote option, and follow the prompt to connect to your Smart TV. This adds an extra layer of convenience and flexibility to your TV control experience.
Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 Performance
The available storage space on the TV is somewhat limited, with a total of 11 GB of storage, out of which 9.9 GB is allocated for app installations. While this might seem sufficient at first glance, it’s worth noting that over time, app updates can gradually consume more space. Consequently, there’s a possibility that your TV could eventually run low on storage, requiring some careful management of installed apps.
In terms of hardware, the TV is equipped with a Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a Mali-G52 GPU. While this hardware configuration may not be groundbreaking, it’s more than adequate to deliver smooth performance, especially when it comes to tasks like switching between multiple apps. Additionally, unlike some previous Kodak TV models, this one doesn’t suffer from long startup times or delays when opening apps or navigating through its interface. However, as you accumulate more apps on the TV, you may encounter some occasional sluggishness.
When we installed several third-party apps using their APK files because they weren’t accessible through the TV’s Play Store, we did encounter some instances of lag. This could likely be attributed to compatibility issues arising from non-standard app installations. It’s important to note that not all applications found on the Play Store are guaranteed to run smoothly on every TV, which might explain why some apps aren’t available for installation through the TV’s official store.
However, in our extensive usage, the Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 performed somewhat satisfactorily for all streaming applications. It handled tasks such as sharing videos via Chromecast, screen mirroring, streaming YouTube at resolutions up to 2160p, and utilizing Google Assistant without any noticeable hardware issues. As of now, while writing this article, the TV has proven to be a reliable performer, offering a smooth and enjoyable user experience for a range of tasks and applications.
On the voice recognition front, there are no issues to report. The TV’s voice recognition, including Google Assistant integration, works seamlessly, much like what you’d expect from a modern smartphone.
When it comes to media playback, the TV supports a wide range of video formats, including MP4, MPEG, MPG, MKV, AVI, FLV, and ASF. For audio, it’s compatible with formats such as MP3, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG2.5, AAC, HE-AAC, ASF, and WMA, ensuring versatility in media consumption.
Overall, this combination of hardware and software results in fluid performance without noticeable lags, if you do not stuff it with too many applications.
Value for Money (9/10):
One of the most notable aspects of the Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 is its highly competitive price point. It manages to strike an impressive balance, offering 4K picture quality, the smart features of Google TV, and a generous screen size without putting a significant dent in your wallet. This TV presents an enticing choice for those who are budget-conscious yet yearn for a remarkable entertainment centerpiece that doesn’t compromise on quality or functionality.
In a market where most budget-friendly smart TVs typically offer Full HD resolution, the Kodak CA PRO 55 stands out by providing a genuine Android smart TV experience with 4K capabilities. Priced at ₹32,999 on Amazon, and potentially you can get it even more affordable during online sales, which would be around ₹29,000, it offers a compelling combination of affordability and a true 4K viewing experience without compromising on the essence of Android smart TV functionality.
What sets the Kodak TV apart is its thoughtful approach to app pre-installs. By avoiding bloatware and unnecessary apps, Kodak ensures that users have ample storage space to install the apps they truly prefer and need. This commitment to user convenience is a noteworthy aspect of this TV.
It’s important to acknowledge that while the Kodak CA PRO 55 delivers a commendable overall package, it may not be the ideal choice for professional gamers seeking premium gaming features. However, for those who are budget-conscious and looking for a cost-effective solution that excels in both personal and commercial settings, the Kodak 55CAPROGT5014 emerges as one of the top contenders in the budget-friendly smart TV segment.