Samsung’s 5520 Series LED screens may lack the bells, whistles and 3D found further up the range, but if affordable performance tops your wants list, these models are well worth investigating. Not only is this 46-incher keenly priced, it also offers 100Hz picture processing and a decent on-line content portal, featuring BBC iPlayer, Lovefilm and Acetrax amongst others. There’s no integrated Wi-Fi though, you’ll need to use either the Ethernet option or an optional dongle.
In terms of design, the set looks far from budget; the slim grey bezel panel and ‘crystal’ pedestal contribute plenty to its wife acceptance factor. Audio performance is a little on the thin side, but image quality is terrific for the price. Pictures are sharp and contrasty with deep blacks and vibrant hues.
Reg Rating 80%
More info Samsung
Sharp Aquos LC-46LE831E
Sharp’s third generation Quattron TVs appear to be taking their own sweet time to arrive on these shores, which means this second gen model is now widely discounted. The set combines upmarket build quality with an above average picture performance. While the many menu options seem certain to fox unwary technophobes, the Quad Pixel panel is a treat, making greens in particular look lush in the extreme.
Although no 3D glasses are supplied in the box, the Active Shutter stereoscopy is actually pretty rewarding too. Unfortunately, the brand’s on-line offerings are less impressive. There’s only a basic selection of streaming services to pick over (YouTube, Daily Motion, BoxOffice 365), with the lack of BBC iPlayer, a potential deal-breaker.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Sharp
Next page: Sony Bravia KDL-46EX723
Re: Price of energy
Sorry, but that's bollocks.
Let's say you've not bothered to shop around much and are paying a stupid rate for power like 15p per kw/h. Let's say you watch five hours of TV a day on average. Let's say you've got a 46" set like many of those on test.
Difference in annual energy bills between an ultra-efficient LCD tv pulling circa 100W and a guzzly plasma set pulling circa 200W? £28.
If your idea of "significant" is less than £30 a year then what are you doing spending nearly a grand on a telly?
wiggers the ST30 is last years model.
However it doesn't alter the fact the ST50 is probably the best TV you can buy for under a grand and Reg Hardware completely ignores it.
More details please
TV sets one important question.
What is the picture like?
I've avoid the Philips
We have a three year old Philips 37PFL.
Last weekend the power button went inside the casing
A phone call to Philips revealed that they had no interest in fixing it and, even if they did, they'd charge £120 for an uplift
having nothing to lose, we took the back off. the offending bit is a flimsy, springy plastic fork that retains the switch, causes it to bend and trigger a microswitch. It is not fit for purpose and I have to assume they think you will keep it on standby when not in use. Googling proved it to be a known design flaw
We switch the thing on, restraining the switch and put a through power switch on the power cord. That was £3
Lesson learned, don't buy Philips
I got 2 Panasonic plasmas recently :-)
Picked up a "dumb" 42" (720p) Panasonic Viera plasma for 399 quid and a "smart" 50" version (1080p) for 599 quid - John Lewis with 5 year guarantee and free Saturday delivery. Both stay in standby until I use them because you're talking around 300W each with the screen active (though both can have audio only at much lower power usage if you're listening to digital/Net radio). Both are sweet sets, though suffer from the glossy screen effect if it's a bright day.
I remain fairly unconvinced about "smart TVs" - you're better off getting a dumb one and sticking a 200 quid media centre PC (with a couple of Freeview HD or Freesat tuners), which will give you a lot more than whatever the manufacture thinks you deserve on the set's Net connection.
Mind you, Panasonic are offering Eurosport Player for free for a month on their smart TVs - now I wonder if that'll hold out until late July, so I can see their Olympics coverage in addition the BBC's? :-)