Sharp Aquos LC70LE836E
Sharp continues to push its super-size LED TV initiative hard, and with screens like this 70-incher it seems churlish not to offer encouragement. This monster is a sequel to the brand’s £999 60-incher and sits just below the veritable home IMAX which is its 80in stablemate. Sharp recommends a viewing distance of around 2.7m, and that’s certainly comfortable in practice.
Images are astonishingly bright and vivid, and with a good HD source look terrific at this size –sheer impact compensating for any unevenness in the backlight. Motion resolution though is average; this is a 100Hz panel without speedy refresh rate malarkey. The brand’s Net TV portal offers iPlayer and YouTube, and USB file support is broad. The LE836E should be considered enormous fun, in every sense.
Reg Rating 80%
More info Sharp
Sony Bravia KDL-55HX753
The largest of Sony’s head-scratchingly good value HX7 series screens, this glossy black 55in LED edge-lit Freeview HD TV combines blisteringly sharp high-definition with sports friendly Motionflow XR 400Hz picture processing, a combo more than able to keep fast moving sports razor sharp and artefact free (potential buyers should note that the best modes for this are Standard and Clear).
It delivers colours that are authentically vibrant and velvety smooth black levels. There’s a fine package of net connected streaming catch-up and movies on demand too. Wi-Fi is integrated, and there’s Wi-Fi Direct if you fancy some ‘throw and catch’ DLNA content shifting from a tablet. The only areas where this Sony stumbles is zero support for MKV and an audio performance that’s flatter than a whippet racer’s hat. Still, an impressive price for what you get.
Reg Rating 90%
More info Sony
Next page: Toshiba Regza 55WL863
"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.