Ten monster tellies to suit all budgets
Product Round-up If you’re gearing up for the London Games, a gargantuan new TV should be top of your shopping list. The good news is that there’s plenty of choice if you want to go large, with prices to suit most pockets: our Top Ten kicks off at a modest £480, before reaching a wallet-busting £7,000.
The cheaper end of the market has become a bolt hole for plasmas. Invariably these are 720p panels, but that doesn’t stop them from being terrific bargains for canny buyers. If your HD source is Sky+HD, VirginMedia or a similar STB, 720p need not equate to a significant dip in image quality at normal viewing distances – and these screens are surprisingly bright, thanks to those bigger pixels, and adept at handling motion. Of course, spend more and you will be handsomely rewarded…
When it comes to high-value flatscreens LED LCD can’t hold a candle to plasma. Thanks to economies of scale, 1024 x 768 resolution PDPs are monopolising the low cost big-screen brigade – and this LG is one of the cheapest. A cursory glance might be enough for many to move on – this 2D-only set lacks Freeview HD and any net-connected smarts – but its images are bold and dynamic.
The set’s glossy ‘Razor frame’ design is smart enough, although it’s not as slim as the LED competition. Plasma tends to need a little more TLC than LCD, but helpfully this 50in set offers a pixel orbiter and colour wash to combat image retention. All things considered, you get a lot of wow for your wonga.
Reg Rating 75%
More info LG
Panasonic Viera TX-P50XT50
While some 720p plasmas forgo modern day niceties, this 50in budget offering from Panasonic is rather more generous. It’s equipped with a Freeview HD tuner, so Olympians can be enjoyed in all their glistening glory, and connects to the brand’s Viera Connect ‘net portal, where you’ll find a wide selection a catch-up and subscription VoD. It even has an SD card reader, by crikey.
The panel itself may not be one of the brand’s natty NeoPDP offerings, but it still delivers a consistent black level and plenty of detail. Whether you’re buying for the London Games or The Hunger Games, it doesn’t disappoint for the price.
Next page: Panasonic Viera TX-P65VT50
"This flagship 55in LED LCD brings both voice and motion control to television for the first time, in addition to all the other techno-gubbins you’d expect from a high-end set. "
So how long after Apple launch their iTV before the patent spats start?
People are so wrapped up in having the latest and greatest, you can get older tech for cheap. I just bought a 52" Mitsubishi DLP for $100. It's 6 years old, but only has 2000 hours on a 6000 hour bulb. Sure, it's a bit bigger, but you would only know that if you looked behind it. I have it hooked up to a PC so I can watch anything with it. Normally I have it at 1280x720p, but it will do 1920x1080i and doesn't look to bad at that higher res. I just replaced a 10 year old 60" non HD Philips that I got for free. I had to throw in $25 of coupling fluid, and 3 hours of my time to get it working like new. We used that TV for 2 years until I found the Mitsubishi.
"Thanks to economies of scale, 1024 x 768 resolution PDPs are monopolising the low cost big-screen brigade"
1024 x 768 is not HD, it's not even widescreen!
How about TVs vs projector review?
You can get a very decent 100" projector setup (including a decent screen) for under a grand. Some of the new ones have fairly bright pictures, and a side by side comparison with TVs might be useful.
To me, over 2k pounds is clearly into home cinema territory - the only way I would have a TV of this value is if I won one in a competition. YMMV, of course, but I'm a projector enthusiast so even if I just had 500 to spend on a new "telly" I'd get a projector.