New TV advice needed, please..

  MAJ 21:15 31 Jul 2011

Not for me but for a mate. The trouble with knowing a little about computers is that mates think you also know enough about phones, TVs and other new gadgets, to offer recommendations when they need to buy one. He needs a new TV (not 3D) shortly, so I'm trying to narrow a few down for him. Freeview wont be available here (N.Ireland) until sometime in 2012, so he'll probably be installing Sky or Freesat (freesat+ box option). He's looking for something in the region of a 42" TV, as his sitting room is a good size, probably full HD?? is that the same as "HD ready"??

Has anyone any suggestions on makes and sizes to go for, Panasonic, Sony, etc.? Also any recommendations on freesat+ boxes?

  Woolwell 22:23 31 Jul 2011

Panasonic or Samsung are the brands that I like.

  carver 23:06 31 Jul 2011

I linked to that site only because it give you a quick answer between Full HD and HD ready.

If your friend has the time tell him to buy What Hi Fi mag that has a very good section on the latest TV's, it really does depend on how much he is prepared to pay, just tell him to stay clear of Sharpe TV's. Even though he may not get free-view yet it's worth spending a bit more to get a set with a built in HD free view decoder.

Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic all decent makes.

  Forum Editor 23:24 31 Jul 2011

Transferred to Consumerwatch from Speakers Corner.

  961 11:08 01 Aug 2011

Although he may not get Freeview yet, it makes sense to ensure that the new tv has a Freeview tuner. (Virtually all flatscreen tvs have)

However he needs to ensure that it has the updated DVB-T2 tuner that can receive High Def Freeview channels. Some old stock sets may not have this latest version, and will not receive High Def channels

It is possible to buy sets that have both a Freeview tuner, for terrestrial tv via a rooftop aerial, and a Freesat tuner, for reception through a satellite dish

You can find a full list of free channels transmitted by Freesat on their website

Both Panasonic and Sony stock sets containing both tuners, and these obviously save the cost of buying and running a separate Freesat set top box. The additional cost of the tv is often only a few pounds. These sets can, like other flat screen sets, be connected to a Sky box in the normal way

  MAJ 13:24 01 Aug 2011

Thanks, guys, that's the sort of info I need (TVs aren't my thing). So I'm looking for a 42" (or larger) screen, Full HD, Built-in Freeview HD, with possibly a built-in Freesat+ tuner/box. I assume HDMI sockets are standard, so that he can connect his laptop to the TV? What connections should I expect on the TV? Any suggestions on frames per second as I have heard about motion blur? Also, Plasma or LCD, which is better?

Budget, by the way, is up to £800 for the right TV.

As you can see, this is all new to me, so I'm hoping for your continued indulgence.

FE: Apologies, I thought I had posted in Consumerwatch, lord only knows where my head was last night.

  961 13:39 01 Aug 2011

Plasma or LCD? More words have been written on this question that almost any other in opinion and advice forums

You might like to peruse some of them here:-

Best advice is to read the reviews and stick to the well known brand leaders. Don't buy unknown or supermarket special makes

  MAJ 15:48 01 Aug 2011

Hi 961, I had a quick look on that forum, thanks for the link, I'll read a lot more later tonight when I get a little more time. Noisy fans are mentioned in connection with plasmas: Viewing distance, now there's another angle I hadn't taken into account, bah!!, bit of a learning curve I think.

  961 16:03 01 Aug 2011

You can (will?) end up sitting much closer to a good high definition screen than you think

46" can sit 10 feet away quite comfortably

Plasma screens are much heavier than LCD and MUST be transported upright. Best delivered rather than lugging in a car. Lie them flat, the screen can crack quite easily. Use quite a lot more power than LCD/LED. Can suffer from image retention/screen burn. Often give better blacks than LCD and softer, more natural image

LCD screens can suffer from uneven lighting/image clouding. Pin sharp pictures compared with Plasma. Lighter, use less power, can be moved flat in car

  ams4127 19:31 01 Aug 2011

I would advise not buying a TV with built-in Freeview or Freesat receivers. Buy a standalone box instead. If the receiver breaks down (and they do) you just buy another box. But if the receiver is in the TV and it breaks down....!!

  MAJ 21:59 01 Aug 2011

961: Looks like an LCD is the one to go for in my mate's case. I'm slightly concerned about motion blur so I guess I'll go for one with 100Hz rather than the usual 50Hz. I'll have to get searching and reading some reviews, although if anyone has any personal recommendations I will gladly check them out.

ams4127: I see your point, freesat is out by the way he doesn't like the idea of a dish, but if the Freeview HD tuner fails, is it not possible to just plug in a standalone box anyway?

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