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reddog

What brand of TV should I buy?

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Not looking for an exact model recommendation, but has anyone got any suggestions on the best brand of TV.

 

I was recently in an electronics shop looking at TVs, I showed interest in a Sony with Android TV, the salesman wasn't keen on Sony and instead suggested Samsung.

 

One thing that would interest me is a TV with a good interface/operating system (which is why I was interested in the Sony with Android TV)

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Most of the brands have their own specific type of picture. You can see clear differences between Samsung and Sony.

I personally prefer the Sony picture. I have a top of the range (at the time) SONY kdl 40w9000. Great picture and I've had no problem at all with it so far. It has amazing colour production, great for films, amazing Blu ray quality etc. Pretty good sound out of the box as well and full internet connectivity.

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5 minutes ago, reddog said:

I was recently in an electronics shop looking at TVs, I showed interest in a Sony with Android TV, the salesman wasn't keen on Sony and instead suggested Samsung.

Possibly he is on a Samsung commission scheme?

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I asked this question about three years ago and the answers were pretty unanimous: a Panasonic.

So we bought one and it has been great. The apps on it are limited though and never change much. Has YouTube but not 4oD for example.

IIRC if I use my laptop I can right click on a video and 'Cast to TV' though I don't often do this.

We have an Apple TV box, one of the old ones, with which you can pair an iPhone so the phone display comes up on the screen, or if you run a video (say Amazon Prime, 4oD) it will go full-screen at HD if available but the TV needs this supplementary box to do this. I think many have this, or a Google Chromecast stick thing which does something similar, or a Now TV box, or a Virgin Media box.

It does have a built in media browser thing so if you create playlists on your computer you can play them on the TV, served from the PC or a network drive, as long as the file types are compatible. The interface is basic at best and tortuous to "search".

However you can pair just about any mobile with YouTube on the TV's app directly, which is how we often spend an evening - watching music videos. This works pretty flawlessly. Select on the mobile and it plays on the TV.

I know I'll be in a minority here but I don't rate Samsung. The TV we bought actually rattled because of the crappy plastic surround they had glued on so that went back for a refund. The Samsung phone I had was dreadful. Good quality components in a rushed package where the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Then we bought the Panasonic one.

 

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TVs are going through a transistional stage at the moment re 4K, HDR, OLED, etc, etc. Sony have basically edged back into the lead over Samsung but Samsung are still fantastic TVs. Sony use Android as an OS and Samsung use their own. LG's are also good at the moment.

It also depends how much you intend to pay and what size you want.

My personal 2 cents - currently there is no need to chase 4K as a lot of TVs out there claiming to be 4K capable aren't really. They are doing 4K on a software level and not a hardware level. It is the same with HDR - most are doing HDR on the software side of things and I think only Sony has some hardware chips being used for HDR. Also, there are very few 4K content being broadcast at the moment and probably will not be for a year or two.

Size also plays a big part - unless you get up over 50 to 55 inches you really will not see the 4K benefits. Bear in mind, the larger the TV the further away from it you need to sit in order to get the benefits.

If I wanted a fab 4K HDR TV I would not consider buying one until Christmas of 2017 at least. Not this year.

If I was buying now - which I might be forced to do as my telly is playing up - I would take advantage of a good 1080P Samsung or Sony in a sale. Preferably a non-internet one.

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22 minutes ago, davidg said:

Just bought a Samsung 40", perfect. 320 euros in our local store.

 

Yep, sounds about right. Currys had some cracking 1080P Samsungs for as little as £220 in the Summer for 40 and 42 inches. I regret not buying one. Saying that, the 4K ones are falling rapidly in price. Is yours 4K?

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Will be hard  to say from viewing in a shop - as most will not be tuned to their best (and some cases the lower priced ones will be tweaked to look poorer than the expensive ones).

Personally, I've always gone with cheap ones. We have a 50 inch Polaroid that was about £300 a few years ago and has been fine. I have a 40 inch 4K Bush as a monitor in my office and that's also been great.  Even the speakers on both of these aren't that bad.

Whatever you buy - turn off all of the enhancements to get the truest (and often best) picture. Wouldn't bother with any smart TV  functions. An android box or Amazon firestick will be more useful. 

The content on the TV makes more of a difference to your viewing pleasure than the TV itself I reckon.

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49 minutes ago, DTMark said:

I asked this question about three years ago and the answers were pretty unanimous: a Panasonic.

So we bought one and it has been great. The apps on it are limited though and never change much. Has YouTube but not 4oD for example.

IIRC if I use my laptop I can right click on a video and 'Cast to TV' though I don't often do this.

We have an Apple TV box, one of the old ones, with which you can pair an iPhone so the phone display comes up on the screen, or if you run a video (say Amazon Prime, 4oD) it will go full-screen at HD if available but the TV needs this supplementary box to do this. I think many have this, or a Google Chromecast stick thing which does something similar, or a Now TV box, or a Virgin Media box.

It does have a built in media browser thing so if you create playlists on your computer you can play them on the TV, served from the PC or a network drive, as long as the file types are compatible. The interface is basic at best and tortuous to "search".

However you can pair just about any mobile with YouTube on the TV's app directly, which is how we often spend an evening - watching music videos. This works pretty flawlessly. Select on the mobile and it plays on the TV.

I know I'll be in a minority here but I don't rate Samsung. The TV we bought actually rattled because of the crappy plastic surround they had glued on so that went back for a refund. The Samsung phone I had was dreadful. Good quality components in a rushed package where the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Then we bought the Panasonic one.

 

Absolutely agree. Panasonic every time. I first bought one in 2004, the top of the range, beautifully designed plasma. I sold this last year because it reminded me so much of a loved one who died. I replaced it with a 40" LCD 4K in the living room and subsequently bought a smaller one for my bedroom. I can pair them with the Panasonic app in my phone and swipe video or pics from phone to tv, or tv to phone. 

Great tvs. Buy one now!

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Every time I haven't bought a Samsung TV in the past 10 years, I've ended up regretting it. Yes I've bought some cheap ones, Bush, Toshiba, Sharp, even a Panasonic.

But in my experience* Samsung are the only company left that care about writing half decent software for the EPG etc. The Toshiba was ******ing awful, had to take it back to John Lewis for a firmware update, even though it had internet, the firmware couldn't be downloaded. Awful TV, EPG was no better than an excel spreadsheet. it's in the kids room now, we only keep it as it's inbuilt DVD player is the last DVD player we will ever own.

* I'm sure other brands can write a decent GUI, but I'm not risking it any more.

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Samsung or LG I'd vote for and usually what I get. LG are my favourite of the two.

Panasonic aren't bad but are strangely expensive. Sony are shite, sorry Errol :P

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I clearly have no TV, but the recommendation for a neighbour from both the shop and a gadget geek friend was, as Mark and Bossybabe say, Panasonic without question.

That's not to say everything else is rubbish; just that was their first choice.

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1 hour ago, DTMark said:

I asked this question about three years ago and the answers were pretty unanimous: a Panasonic.

Mate of mine's a home cinema nut and he says exactly the same thing.

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36 minutes ago, Craig_ said:

Surely the correct HPC answer is to fix up that old teak veneer 22" one you've had for the last 40 years?

My TV is a 32" LG that I bought about 7 years ago for £150. I'm hoping that makes me 'King of the HPC Tight Bastards' when it comes to my television.

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  • Panasonic pretty much always good.  Sony usually at least okay.
  • Samsung variable (the cheap ones are rubbish, expensive ones good).  LG similar.
  • On TV software always going to be a compromise -- just think about using an external box.
  • IMO biggest differentiator between TVs -- Sound quality.  Cheap ones normally sound bad.  Expensive ones too sometimes (as though they expect you to use external speakers).  You won't be able to tell in the shop (too large an open space, too much external noise) so read reviews. 
  • Clearly, sound quality doesn't matter if you're going to be using a cinema-sound type system.
  • Lots of good cheap HD TVs going for sale at the moment as everyone upgrades to the 4k models, despite not really having much 4k source material.
  • 4k is nice to peer at, but once you're on the sofa and immersed in the TV programme/film you don't notice so much (if at all).

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2 hours ago, Craig_ said:

Surely the correct HPC answer is to fix up that old teak veneer 22" one you've had for the last 40 years?

That's a good way to dodge the TV licence detector unit. 'The last owner died in 1980 during an episode of Minder, we threw the tele out and haven't been able to watch TV ever since!'

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3 hours ago, Bossybabe said:

Absolutely agree. Panasonic every time. I first bought one in 2004, the top of the range, beautifully designed plasma. I sold this last year because it reminded me so much of a loved one who died. I replaced it with a 40" LCD 4K in the living room and subsequently bought a smaller one for my bedroom. I can pair them with the Panasonic app in my phone and swipe video or pics from phone to tv, or tv to phone. 

Great tvs. Buy one now!

Funny you should say that.

My Aunt sold her 14" Murphy because it reminded her of her irish ex-boyfriend.

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3 hours ago, Montecristo said:

Sony use LG & Samsung components.  They just stick their badge on and charge 50% extra

Yes, but the software used gives a different picture. Sony and Samsung use very different picture software.

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2 hours ago, JoeDavola said:

My TV is a 32" LG that I bought about 7 years ago for £150. I'm hoping that makes me 'King of the HPC Tight Bastards' when it comes to my television.

Same here. I think it might be time to treat myself to a new one.

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Actually I just worked out that it is actually 9 years old. Cost more than£150 though.

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