Sony Bravia KDL-46EX723
While positioned as a keenly priced mainstream LED offering, the Bravia KDL-EX723 could pass for an escapee from further up Sony’s range. Its striking angled design and textured finish look inherently classy, and there’s access to the gated Sony Entertainment Network, home of streaming IPTV services both deep and shallow; Wi-Fi is integrated (firmware updatable to Wi-Fi Direct), which combined gives it an edge over many rivals here.
While the set sports a stripped back Motionflow XR200 picture processor, it delivers contrasty, detailed images that nip at the heals of the best performers. The panel can also display panoramic 3D snapshots, which is fun. If there is an Achilles’ heel, it’s with network file support, which isn’t as comprehensive as some of the competition. Still, the price tag remains surprisingly approachable.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Sony
Toshiba Regza 42YL863
While you’d never knowingly select this Freeview HD TV for network file playback, it’s certainly worth short-listing if you’re after above average high-def screen at a reasonable price. Designed by Danish auteur Jacob Jenson and built around Toshiba’s CEVO Engine picture processor, the slick, silver Regza YL863 delivers where it counts: its HD images prickle with fine detail, and SD is artfully upscaled.
The screen sports both Freeview HD and satellite DVB-S2 tuners, offers a moderately useful on-line portal (you get BBC iPlayer and YouTube) and features an eco mode that dims the screen when no one is around. ®
Reg Rating 80%
More info Toshiba
Ten... Freeview HD 42-47in TVs
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? :-)