XTREME MF-5500S: smart, surprising performance

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    THE largest TV screen at home is a 46-inch. Thus, in my mind, the 9-inch upsize didn’t seem much. That was until the folks at XTREME dropped off a 55-inch MF-5500s Smart TV for review.

    Common marketing thinking will compel us to believe that brand is everything, but after experiencing this Smart TV for several weeks, I say that it is the craftsmanship and performance that makes up for the lack of a popular surname. It is not a Samsung or the LG or a Sony, but it performs equally or even better, given its tag price.

    Let’s start with what it does not have. Which is really, nothing.

    In an apples-to-apples comparison to the LG, Samsung, TEAC, and Sony televisions at home, the overall performance is excellent. of its size and specs even show that it has more, like that rear-mounted console with intuitive buttons you can operate without looking.

    A redundant function, however, because every control needed is found on either or both of two remote controls. One remote controlled the TV part and the other longer one (clearly separated by the “Netflix” and “Youtube” buttons controlled the smart part of the TV, which by the way can also control the TV part if you wanted it to.

    It connects flawlessly to the home Wi-Fi and I tested it both using a LAN and hooking it up with Google Home. When linked to the Wi-Fi it becomes iffy (which means a restart is needed) when the connection drops but I guess that is common for all devices dependent on a good wireless connection.

    It is a 4K UHD thus the details are crisp and large. Feeding a Google Classroom stream into it wirelessly using the built-in Wireless Connection is satisfying, according to my dad who uses it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for his online classes.

    “At least their faces aren’t 1×1 ID size,” he comments.

    Let’s drop to that screen a little more. I play a lot of games and I tried to hook up the TV to my rig that runs AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, still fresh from the box arriving via Amazon just in time for Christmas. This graphics card is monstrous in capacity and performance and using a lesser monitor with a is a total waste of time. A TFT display can run it, but may not refresh as fast.

    The XTREME MF-5500s uses an IPS DLED display, which clocks quickly and runs flawlessly with my rig. If it were not for parental authority wielding in the room, I would have quickly sequestered this monster monitor and moved my gaming chair a full 10 feet back to enjoy it fully. According to the engineers at Suntouch Technology Corporation, this monitor uses more LED per square inch making the IPS panel colors more accurate and details sharper.

    Let’s focus that one last time on gaming. When playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) swift reactions and hand to eye coordination is crucial to whack the enemy. A slow monitor not only gains the anger of compatriots probably halfway around the world but also confuses the mind. A lesser screen resolution and speed would have caused great anguish.

    Now the rest of what is good with the XTREME MF-5500s has to do with the aesthetics, especially of the legs. Slender, long and shapely legs, which when installed raises the TV about 3 inches off the table. It however comes with all the necessary mounting hardware and a personal endorsement from the People’s Champ. He goes with XTREME products in every box.

    It has this feature called PureSound. PureSound is a built-in soundbar, which can dependably deal with most audio needs, gamer or not. My only real test is the boominess of the bass (when streaming Spotify music videos) or the crispness of the game sounds. The test would be the magical “can you tone it down a bit” instruction hollered from the house’s first floor. Within 3 minutes of the soundbar at near maximum my mom yelled those orders. So test one passed with flying colors.

    The other sound test is an app called Decibel which is quite accurate and what I used for my filmmaking and cinematography tasks. The results were astounding. Sound pressure levels until maximum had no breaks and the speaker held up well, from voice, to sound effects to music. Awesome surprise.

    I had no resource to connect it to cable TV anymore as a week before we got the 5500s for review, my dad had the service cut off. It was getting to be pretty useless especially because we watch most things on streaming platforms now.

    And the people at XTREME know this well. The booming growth of the home video industry is partly caused by the pandemic because people are forced to stay at home. However, the pandemic also cut down budgets and earning for most, so the cheapest 55-inch TV they can get would be in the P70,000 or so range. Something lesser would not be the same specification as the XTREME. The MF-5500S, by straight comparison, in all of the characteristics people look for in a Smart TV is at par or even exceeds the big boys.

    Thus the original P30,990 sticker price is already half the cost, but now the XTREME MF-5500s sells at just about P25,000 and is available over Lazada and Shopee. That is not only a steal, that is also like winning a 2-round boxing match with Manny Pacquiao. There are many promos running this holiday season on the popular shopping sites, which adds even more value to the proposition.

    And as I discovered, the many other products in the XTREME brand line up follow the same thread–no frills, no fuss, mind-changing appliances with a lot of oomph. The MF-5500s with its slim-bezel, chunky slots on the front fascia and those sexy legs that hold it up represents truly good value.

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