By November 18, 2007

Polaroid 37″ Definia review

Have Polaroid developed an instant success with the Definia?


The Polaroid brand probably isn’t one that you would immediately associate with LCD televisions, however Polaroid have been making LCD screens for some time now. The Definia range is Polaroid’s first attempt at making it in to the mainstream LCD TV market.

Polaroid Definia

Polaroid Definia

It comes as a surprise to many, when you mention Polaroid as an LCD manufacturer. Polaroid have decided not to spend millions of pounds on fancy advertising campaigns, the cost of which would have to be bourn by increasing the price of their products. Instead Polaroid have given their LCD TV’s an excellent specification and have placed them along side the no-name brands in high street stores. The idea is that they will exceed the specification, but not the price, of the own-brand sets that you’ll find in store.

Available in 32, 37 and 42-inch flavours, the 1080i Definia range packs a number of features you’d expect in higher-priced heavyweights, such as detachable virtual-surround speaker bar, subwoofer out and a raft of AV connections, including 2x HDMI’s.

What’s in the box?

There’s a good chance that you’ll have seen my unboxing video of the 37″ Definia so I won’t go into a great deal of detail here. However you will find:

  • The LCD TV (I’d hope so!)
  • Infrared Remote Control Unit (with batteries)
  • Manual
  • Getting Started Guide
  • Mains Power Cable
  • Component Video Cable
  • Composite Video Cable

    The Definia LCD is housed in a rather unassuming matt black chassis and sits on a large, sturdy, black pedestal. The front of the unit is clean, with no buttons or controls visible. The only thing to be seen from the front is the power LED (more on this later) and the IR sensor.

    Definia Matt Black Finish

    Definia Matt Black Finish

    The right hand side of the screen is where you’ll find the controls. These include Power, Volume, Channel and Menu buttons to name but a few. Having these on the side helps to keep things neat.

    Definia Controls

    Definia Controls

    Also on the right hand side, but nearer the back of the unit, you’ll find the two HDMI sockets and next to these a VGA input connector and PC audio input.

    Definia HDMI/VGA

    Definia HDMI/VGA

    At the back of the unit you’ll find the main AV connectors. These include Digital Audio Out, Antenna, Component Input, S-Video, two Scart Sockets and a CI slot.

    Definia Main Inputs

    Definia Main Inputs

    Finally, on the left hand side of the unit, just behind the screen, is a proper Power Button. This means that you can switch the Definia OFF rather than leaving if in an electricity wasting Stand-By mode.


  • Good specification and screen size for the money
  • Great sound
  • Ease of setup
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Great colour reproduction

  • Analogue TV picture can be messy
  • Motion tracking not perfect
  • Excessively bright power LED
  • Matt black chassis not to everyone’s taste

    Unboxing the Definia is a straight forward affair but is definitely a two-man job. Lifting off the top of the box reveals the TV standing upright already mounted on it’s stand and with the speaker bar in place. This means that, unlike other sets that we have used, you don’t have to spend the first half an hour working out how to assemble everything. This we like!

    It’s then a simple matter of lifting the TV out of the bottom part of the box and removing the rest of the packaging. At this point the unit is ready to plug in for the first time.

    The quick start guide covers everything you need to get the unit plugged in and powered on. The steps are easy to follow (although I didn’t read them until later!). Within about two minutes we had the unit plugged in and turned on.

    The first time you power the unit up you are asked to go through the automatic setup procedure which searched for the terrestrial TV channels etc. This process takes about five minutes, long enough to make a cup of tea.

    After this you’re soon up and running. The Definia scores well on the ease of setup, I look at it from the point of view that even my dad could do it!

    The first thing we try is the TV tuner functions. The analogue TV tuner performance is rather poor to be honest, and was disappointing; noisy and high contrast scenes shimmery. This isn’t down to my aerial or reception as other sets we have are fine.

    Switching over to digital TV is a different story though. The picture colour is impressive high contrast scenes detailed and motion tracked more smoothly. With the digital change-over the analogue performance may not be such and issue.

    Next up we test the performance with a Blu-Ray film – Spider Man 3. The screen can accept 1080p signals but scales these back to 720p quite happily. The amount of detail in the picture is superb but, despite the Definia’s 8ms response time, fast motion scenes can suffer a little from motion blur which is especially noticeable when switching between very bright and very dark scenes. This is very common with LCD TV’s

    Hooking the unit up to a PS3 gives us the ability to easily test 720p and 1080i video sources. Plugging the PS3 in via HDMI is easy thanks to the side facing sockets, there is no need to scrabble around on the floor behind the unit.

    Blasting through fairly dark PS3 games such as ‘Resistance: Fall Of Matt’ yield pleasing results at both 1080i and 720i. The contrast is excellent and blacks are, well, quite black. Once again there are times where you notice some motion blurring or lag but this isn’t terrible and is not so noticeable after a while. The more cute and colourful games are rendered in a bright and rich fashion. Gaming is where this TV seems strongest.

    Finally we tested the Definia’s performance with regular DVD’s. Here the picture isn’t as perfect as I would like. There is a shimmering effect during some scenes which is especially evident on the trees during the opening battle of Gladiator or Kingdom of Heaven. I suspect that this is something to do with the scaling of the picture with the native resolution of the Definia at 1336 x 768.

    Time to talk about the sound. Polaroid have spent a lot of time working on the soundbar mounted on the bottom of the of the Definia and it shows! The high end has a bright, sharpness to it, decent midrange and, despite their relatively small size, a fair bass performance. Should you wish to get a better bass performance, there is a connector on the back of the unit for a subwoofer. I connected up my Kenwood subwoofer and there is an immediate difference.

    The Virtual surround performance is pretty good. Granted it’s no where near as good as a proper 5.1 or 7.1 system but it adds real depth and width to the audio reproduction. This coupled with an inexpensive external subwoofer will probably be sufficient for most people’s taste.

    My biggest pet-peeve with this LCD TV is the power LED. Polaroid have invested a lot of time and money into getting the design of the bezel just right so that you do not get any glare from ambient lighting that would distract you while watching the TV. This works well and even with the bright lighting in our lounge there is little light reflected off the matt black bezel. Where Polaroid have got it wrong then, in my opinion, is in using an excessively bright LED power indicator. When in standby the light is red and when powered on is a bright blue and is VERY distracting and almost negates the effort put into the rest of the design. In fact the LED is so bright that the light bleeds over in to the IR receiver.

    Definia Power LED

    Definia Power LED

    To their credit, once I commented on the LED to Polaroid they did say that they would investigate this and see if there was anything that could be done to alter things during production. That’s not to say that they will but it’s a step!


    I think that the Definia range offers excellent features and good value for money. In fact the feature list makes you forget that this is aimed mid-market and you begin to try and compare the Definia to higher end models. I have to remind myself that it’s not fair to compare this unit to the Bravia for example.

    If you are looking for an LCD TV and do not want to spend a fortune on it, while at the same time wanting decent features, something easy to set up and the backup of a recognised brand, then the Polaroid Definia is well worth a look.

    If you are looking for high end HD performance or you are fanatical about your films and DVD’s then this unit probably isn’t for you, but then you probably knew that already!

    The Definia is a good LCD TV if you are a gamer and want a second TV to play your Playstation or X-Box on.

    Review by: Matt

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    Posted in: Reviews

    About the Author:

    More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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