Onida Google Certified Ultra HD (4K) LED Smart TV (UIC)

I finally decided to get a 4k TV and the choice was between a custom Android MI TV or the latest offering from Onida which is supposedly Google certified and runs Android 8.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for the Onida offering since it was much better on paper as far as application compatibility was concerned and also the price.

Flipkart, like Amazon, is my on my trusted list of online vendors, unlike some others.

So, I placed an order for a 50″ UIC Onida TV on the 28th of August 2018 and it was delivered the very next day. The installation was scheduled for the 31st of August 2018.

The delivery personnel was professional and opened the TV box to show me that the TV was delivered in good condition and there was no physical damage to it. I could not see any damage as such and signed off on the delivery.

Since the TV was out of the box (which I could not have done alone), I decided to plug it in to make sure the unit was functional. The power light came on and I was quite happy that there was no damage and the TV seemed to work…

I put in new batteries on the remote and tried to power on the TV and nothing happened. Although I could see a light blink on the remote by pressing any button, the TV refused to respond.

That got me a bit worried and I called the Onida customer care only to get an assurance that the installation team would fix all issues once they came for the installation.

Not the kind of answer that comforted me after having purchased a brand new 50″ TV. I found no review or information on the net excepting for the Onida promo which I had already seen before placing the order.

RTFM I guess…Even though it was just 2 pages. To my surprise, I found that the TV had a physical on/off switch on the back of the panel. I immediately went to the TV and pressed the switch and lo and behold, the TV powered up.

I had a moment of joy hoping that all was okay and the TV would work after a start…Hmm…Remote does not work and the system is asking me to select the language as almost any such device would. The specifications on the Flipkart site are not quite accurate as it says IR and the feature say Bluetooth enabled. My first thought was that there was probably some secret combination that needed to be pressed on the remote before the IR would work.

Damn…Now I was feeling the challenge to get the TV to work since it was, after all, just an Android device. I pulled out a router and connected it to the TV ethernet using a spare patch cord, downloaded the Android TV app on my phone and put it on the same network.

Now things were looking better as the app managed to connect and work after a wait of around a minute. Needless to say, once I had the app working, the TV was set up and a pending update for Android 8 was also installed. Then I set up the rest of the options including the internet over WiFi (I have 3 of them).

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Wow! A sigh of relief. At least the TV was functional and the issue seemed to be non-functional remote. After searching around on the net for BT remotes, I finally hit the combination that sets this remote into pairing mode and paired it with the TV.

Now, the issue was between the IR on the remote and the TV IR. Which one was not functional? Fortunately, Google gave me clue about that from the play store. “Skyworth Globe” was the ID of the TV since I had already logged into my Google account on the TV.

I tried out this clue when the installation team came w/o any training or knowledge about the TV. I installed one on the universal IR remote apps and got a “Skyworth” option which did manage to power off and on the TV. Ultimately, it turned out that the remote was not functional.

The installation team was totally untrained excepting to physically install the TV and use a working remote to start up the TV. They had no clues on the TV or remote features.

Anyway, they took a complaint of the remote and were not sure about the next step. After they went off, I sent off an email to Flipkart support outlining the issue and have asked them a simple question. Do I get a new remote ASAP or do I return the TV? I should have an answer by tomorrow and will post an update on the same.

Meantime, I had also asked TataSky for an HD upgrade which they installed with 3-4 hours.

Now for the good part first…

  • The TV panel is quite good although I have some issues believing the 60Hz refresh rate on 4k.
  • The Audio is quite adequate for most purposes. Loud and clear.
  • Jio Cinema, Sony LIV, Zee 5, Hotstar besides the regular TED and YouTube work fine
  • My old Apple TV also works fine as long as I switch the option to control HDMI devices off in the TV.
  • The new TataSky HD box works fine over HDMI
  • Voice commands to the Google assistant also work fine although not as well as on any phone

The bad part…

  • For me, the remote does not work as expected.
  • The current OS does not support NetFlix and Amazon Prime which is a deal killer IMO…….
  • Needless to say, the panel does not quite match the quality of the twice as expensive panels, but, the overall colours and quality is quite acceptable.

Overall, If all you want to run is YouTube and the other mentioned apps earlier along with an STB, go for it. Otherwise, wait a bit till Onida can sort out their internal training and app compatibility issues.

Okay, the next day, I get a couple of calls from the Onida support staff and they land up with a replacement for the remote. That was really nice since most of our experiences with support staff is generally on the negative side.

Finally, all sorted out and working. The video quality is really nice. The audio is good and does not break up at louder volumes.

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The Onida Service Engineer with the spare remote

Overall, if you can live without Netflix and Amazon Prime for a while, then go for this TV. Given the support experience, I would highly recommend this spanking new TV.

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