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New TVs

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 chris_r 26 Mar 2021

I need a new TV. I last bought one in 2013 so I'm a little behind with the technology.

It looks like the same manufacturers (LG, Samsung etc) are selling 50" TVs for £450, all the way up to £1300.

I remember the massive jump in quality when I finally replaced my massive 28" CRT TV that took up half the room. Am I really going to see a similar difference between a £450 vs £900 tv? Or is it diminishing returns and I'd be better saving my cash to buy some shiny new Dragon cams?

 gravy 26 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

get the cams - they will bring you more joy

 NorthernGrit 26 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

If you’re not the sort to be obsessing already and don’t know your OLED from your QLED  or why 120Hz might be important to you- I don’t think you’ll care. A top whack TV will look great but it’s diminishing returns and if you shop around something at the lower end will still be miles better than what you’ve got.

Basically if you’re asking the question then it’s not worth it.

1
In reply to NorthernGrit:

Sounds sensible to me. 

To the OP, a friend of mine (an audio-visual pro who knows his gear) recommends this as a review site
https://www.rtings.com/tv

I've been thinking of upgrading for a few years, I have a 14-years-old 32" Panasonic Viera which is kind of fine, hence dragging my heels a bit. I fit NorthernGrit's description to some extent but am thinking of upscaling, not massively, maybe to 40"-43" (I forget what the standard integer sizes are). My mate has been recommending a particular LG model, knowing my requirements. He likes top-end stuff but the one he's recommending me, is about £440, rather than £1440. 

In reply to NorthernGrit:

> If you’re not the sort to be obsessing already and don’t know your OLED from your QLED  or why 120Hz might be important to you- I don’t think you’ll care.

This is where I was when I got my last telly (a Cello flatscreen) and it was noticeably crap. So next time I'll certainly get something more 'branded' like a Sony.

To the OP - I guess nowadays it's the extras that are more important - smart TV kind of stuff.

In reply to chris_r:

Damn you, you've now got me shopping, and I did not buy a television in 2013 so my knowledge is way behind yours. In fact I've never bought based on spec, really! My Panasonic was given to me, a hand-me-down. The last big TV I bought was a Ferguson 26" in 1996, and that was a Radio Rentals ex-rental at a keen price. 

The LG I mentioned is now obsolete but I had a look at the Richer Sounds site, filtered to LG and 43", so just one brand and size and one shop, and there are 6 models available, ranging £359 to £549, so not a crazy price range really, but the "basic spec" description is identical for all of them:
43 inch 4K Ultra HD HDR Smart LED TV Freeview Freesat HD

so I would then need to delve into detailed spec and even the dreaded "Internet review from random consumers", to see what the differences are. A quick check showed me that one of the dearer ones has a smaller depth footprint on the stand, which for me could seal the deal as it'll be great if I can just sit it on my (not very deep) mantelpiece. These are the details worth looking at. I guess for same standard technical spec, pricing might reflect "are the blacks deeper, is the sound richer" etc. 

In reply to chris_r:

Also consider what it is that you mostly watch. Since my previous post, I chanced upon this interesting thread. 
The OP seems very similar to me i.e. I have a vast DVD collection and I enjoy having this, and mostly watch DVDs and my few Blu-Rays.....and even VHS but that's a different issue. 
This has made me put the brakes on a purchase, at least until such time as I can go and get an actual demo in store. 

https://www.avforums.com/threads/definitive-answer-playing-dvds-on-4k-or-led-tv.2246101/

 Wilderbeest 26 Mar 2021
In reply to Toerag:

Our old TV went AWOL 3 years back so I bought the first 40” TV I could pick up that weekend. It was a good quality Sony and it turned out to be the dumbest “smart” TV out there 😀

We’ve got a ROKU streaming device now to circumvent the Sony’s menu....

 Philip 26 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

I bought a 43 inch Philips last year as an upgrade from 32 inch Samsung. Ordered matching soundsystem.

Unpacked, set up, turned it on, 30 seconds later speakers turned off.

Packed it all back, sent it back to Amazon. Gave up on TV at that point.

1
 elsewhere 26 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

See if you can gauge the reputation of the particular make of tv for showing adverts that might annoy you.

https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?id=1583755244&subaction=showfull

https://www.helpmegeek.com/block-ads-on-smart-tv-samsung-sony-lg/

In reply to chris_r:

Get the cams, there is nothing on anyway 

In reply to elsewhere:

that’s useful! thanks 

 Sl@te Head 26 Mar 2021
 Myfyr Tomos 26 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

Remember, - the clocks go forward this weekend, so less time for TV and even more need for cams!

 tew 26 Mar 2021
In reply to gravy:

Agree. Get climbing gear.

Not had a TV for 10 years. Don't miss it

2
 NorthernGrit 27 Mar 2021
In reply to Toerag:

Good point. I was talking about spending £1500 as opposed to £400. Buying something really cheap is a total false economy.

1
In reply to chris_r:

I've been doing a bit of reading up this weekend for my own purposes and it seems that the outcome / current status is:

I sit on my sofa approximately 2.6m from eye to screen

I won't benefit from 4K at this distance, on anything smaller than 60" according to a chart of optimal distances vs resolution and screen size
http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html

I may be happy (for "event" viewing like a really sharp film, BladeRunner 2049, Ghost in the Shell etc) sitting on my very comfy camping chair in the middle of the lounge floor. No joke!  I live on my own and can get away with this.
But this will still make my viewing distance ~1.7m. Any closer would feel silly and weird. I tested this set-up on Saturday night watching the DVD of Silent Hill and it was pretty cool, the reduced distance really made a difference (inverse square law). Remember DVDs are only 720 * 480 pixel. It looked fine on my current 32" Panasonic, an LCD television, which was very well reviewed when it came out in 2008. https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews/audio-visual/televisions/plasma-and-lcd-tvs/panasonic-tx-32lxd70-118563/review?fbclid=IwAR0RSdD7YX7eFA9YCuK_tCsm1uRL3O88nKeyJZLsvg0DX6lQOWuSMN3oWNw

Resolution is 1366 * 768

I tested the Ghost in the Shell Blu-Ray (Blu Ray is 1920 * 1080) and again it was crisp and sharp on my screen)

I am probably going to get a 43" screen. Aside from the calculations on viewing distance, another reason I won't benefit from 4K is that I don't have any 4K sources (possibly I'll end up with the occasional 4K Blu Ray but I am not going to seek them out). For streaming, bearing in mind I currently do very little streaming, my current Internet speed probably won't support 4K anyway. 

Most new televisions are sold as 4K; 1080 is "old" and being sold off. 

I still have a concern that the upscaling of a 4K screen might make my DVDs look awful. I may wait and see if Richer Sounds will let me test some models with my own Blu-Ray/DVD players and some sample movies from my collection. There are mixed opinions online about this effect and the overall answer is "depends on the specific combination"

There are a couple of 43" 1080 screens still available, at around £100 less than I was looking at for a 43" 4K (£300 instead of of the £380-450 range). I am not looking to save money, per se, and 4K gives me the option for, er, 4K in the future if my viewing habits change. At the same time, I'm thinking "why spend the extra on something you won't use". This budget will not stretch to OLED but all the sets I've shortlisted are HDR and, although my current TV is still good (apart from size), I'll admit the blacks are a bit "washy". 

This Techradar article is a good read. Your viewing habits / requirements are sure to be different to mine. If you are for example keen on watching sports,  and/or having "picture-in-picture" on the go a lot, then 4K will benefit you
https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/what-is-4k-resolution-ultra-hd

Post edited at 12:38
3
In reply to Blue Straggler:

As you mentioned you keep your tv for years, a 4k one will future proof that investment. The majority of new models will be 4k, as they make the LED panels in bulk. Also all those viewing charts that say, 'if your room is n x n meters, then you need no more than a 40 inch tv', are nonsense. Have you ever been to the cinema and sat at the front, with your entire vision filled with picture? Same thing at home.

You seem to like your films. If they give you pleasure, then investing in your entertainment is probably well deserved. Heck, if you live on your own, and go to Richersounds, check out the 5.1 or 7.1 sound systems. No one to complain that the sub woofer disrupts the feng shui of the room. Get that full immersive experience.

As for your low rez (specialist??) videos, they will look crap. Up scaling will mean that ~75% of the picture is auto generated. If your broadband wont support streaming today, it might tomorrow. There is a good chance you can media shift your old back catalogue. Some streaming service or other will likely have those films. When they upscale in the studio, with expensive kit, it looks lots better than the tv doing it on the fly.

>Remember DVDs are only 720 * 480 pixel. It looked fine on my current 32" Panasonic, an LCD television, which was very well reviewed when it came out in 2008.

Technology moves on. What did look good, one upon a time, doesn't cut it now. Please don't tell me that all your videos are on betamax, as it is superior to vhs...

Post edited at 13:30
 elliot.baker 29 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

I had to get my Mum a new tv recently and we got the cheapest 50" Samsung 4K available, I think it was only about £400. 

The image quality is fantastic, like you literally feel like you could fall into it. I only watched a few moments of TV on it, Disney+ in 4k, when the animals were running across the screen in the Lion King the "motion" wasn't fantastic, I guess there was some blurring there, I don't really have the vocabulary to describe it.

My Mum would probably never notice something like this.

I think a more expensive TV (like double to triple the cost) would have better motion and probably a faster processor for opening apps like netflix and disney+ etc., which would make general use a bit more pleasant. Not an issue though if you're just planning to get a £45 Amazon firestick. Sounds like you won't be streaming anyway though. 

 StuPoo2 29 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

Bought recently ... would recommend.

https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/samsung-ue55tu8000

£550-£580 range.

Edit:  Carried over Bose soundbar from old TV ... so cannot comment on the sound out the box.  Would recommend a soundbar incidentally.

Post edited at 13:35
In reply to dread-i:

Very good points. "Future proofing" is a consideration and I was thinking about that aspect already. All it is is that I got all in a panic reading about some peoples' experience with DVDs and non-4K Blu Rays on their new 4K televisions, and returning them and getting a 1080 and finding the experience better, and this in tandem with the scarcity of 1080 now, was setting me on edge a bit!

VHS, I just have a load of stuff taped off the telly, including a lot of classic 1940s B-movies that are of curiosity interest but not really worth splashing out £18 for a new restored Blu-Ray of "forgotten cult classic" like 'Action in Arabia' starring George Sanders

Watched Charles Bronson in The Mechanic last night, taped off Channel Five in 2002. Looked alright! I had to splice the tape first cos it had snapped at the leader. Full retro points! 

edit - I was checking broadband speeds on my mobile, in the small hours, and they were maxing at 25Mb/s but on repeat tests, the more common speeds were in the 12-18 range. This was in my lounge, downstairs from router. Have just tested with my laptop upstairs near router, and also in lounge. 32-36 Mb/s (at 14:45). On the mobile phone, 36Mb/s upstairs, 26 Mb/s downstairs. I had read that you don't want to try to stream 4K if your speed is less than 25Mb/s
I am the slower plan with my provider (EE), I could pay more and get it faster. 

 

Post edited at 14:45
2
In reply to elliot.baker:

>

> I think a more expensive TV (like double to triple the cost) would have better motion and probably a faster processor for opening apps like netflix and disney+ etc., which would make general use a bit more pleasant. Not an issue though if you're just planning to get a £45 Amazon firestick. Sounds like you won't be streaming anyway though. 

I don't know if chris mentioned his streaming plans, maybe you are muddling him with my comments. FWIW although I am not streaming much now, I have no idea whether this will change. My TV isn't smart but I have a tablet and a Chromecast, and I have watched a few things, I even tried Netflix for a couple of months before Christmas but I simply found that I wasn't really using it. It might have been that the tiny bit of extra faff with using the tablet as the interface, was a stopper. Consciously it wasn't but who knows what is going on subconsciously?! I also kept getting disappointed with the film content on Netflix. But I am interested in the BFI app and I have plenty of BBC to catch up with, which at least won't cost me anything. Just saying I am not "anti streaming" in any way, and maybe with a nice new TV and the interface ON ITS SCREEN I might change my habits. Actually one of my Blu Ray players is "smart", which I keep forgetting about, although it seems to be limited to the factory apps! These do include Netflix, Prime and BBC though. Anyway that's a bit of a digression from "4K or not 4K"  

1
 Iamgregp 29 Mar 2021
In reply to dread-i:

> When they upscale in the studio, with expensive kit, it looks lots better than the tv doing it on the fly.

That's because they don't upscale it, they remaster it from the film.  Even though the film has grain which that gives it some limitation on the sharpness that can be achieved, it's still way beyond the capabilities of 4k. 

 mishabruml 29 Mar 2021
In reply to StuPoo2:

> Bought recently ... would recommend.

> £550-£580 range.

+1, I bought the (very similar) UE43TU8500 this winter to get me thru lockdown. its been absolutely spot on so far

In reply to Blue Straggler:

>VHS, I just have a load of stuff taped off the telly, including a lot of classic 1940s B-movies that are of curiosity interest but not really worth splashing out £18 for a new restored Blu-Ray of "forgotten cult classic" like 'Action in Arabia' starring George Sanders

I cant tell you how to archive your media, but at some point it will no longer work. You mentioned splicing tape. If these things are important to you, then it may be worth finding an alternative source. Lots of George Sander full films on youtube, for example.

As for speed, you can plug your tv in via an ethernet cable. It will be less likely to suffer interference. If you cant stream at 4k, it will drop to 1080 anyway. But some providers will bump your speed, for no reason. My virgin line went from 70 to 100M for free. I didnt have to ask them for it.

The point remains that this tv is something you're going to live with for a while. You'll derive a considerable amount of pleasure from it. Scrimping or downgrading, for the sake of some legacy media, is probably a false economy.

In reply to dread-i:

Agreed. 4K it is (with a screen test, when that’s possible) 

 neilh 29 Mar 2021
In reply to chris_r:

Best thing we ever did was buy a sound for the tv. It dramatcally improved the quality... and we barely watch the tv.

In reply to neilh:

Mine feeds its output into a large Sony AV receiver driving some Wharfedale Diamond Pros. It's a bit of a "poverty workaround" (it's literally just the phono output from the TV), no clever separation of sound etc, but it works fine. At worst, the dialogue can sometimes feel too "bassy" but if I just play with the mix between how MUCH comes out of TV speakers and how much out of the Wharfedales, it's OK. It's a dedicated AV amp which was a sophisticated one in its day, a mate spent big money on it 20 years ago and sold it to me for rather smaller money last year as part of a clearout. I have the option to feed it in a more sophisticated way but I haven't looked into it much as I didn't want to be thinking about where to site all the speakers etc (I've had a lot of other home improvement tasks going in through all the lockdowns, and didn't want to focus too much on the low priority things like Dolby 7.1 or whatever it is now )

Post edited at 18:27
 elliot.baker 29 Mar 2021
In reply to mishabruml:

hah this is the same TV I was talking about. The chap told me the only difference between the 8000 and the 8500 series is that the 8500's come with a centre mounted stand (like "one foot") where as the 8000 has the two legs on each end (so you need a wider tv stand). In my mother's case we got her a TV stand that had a VESA mount thing, so you basically are wall mounting the TV on a stand with a shelf on it. Really nice looking thing and probably only about £50-80 off Amazon, and infinitely easier than actually wall mounting (if you have plasterboard like our house).

The 8000 was about £100 cheaper than the 8500 when we got it. 

In reply to dread-i:

Thanks for your input. It’s one of the uses of a forum like this, a “sounding board” to help focus some decisions. “Future proofing” and the observation that I keep my televisions a long time, were key phrases. It was only a year ago that I admitted to myself that the main thing I do in my lounge is watch movies so there is finally (after 16 years) no “shame” in moving it from the TV stand in the corners where it’s “out of the way” and onto the mantelpiece where it is a central focus! It’s not like it occupied less space before 😃

 neilh 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I just bought one for £120 and plugged it in...cannot be bothered with this techy stuff......lol. They are good though.  

Post edited at 08:17
In reply to neilh:

In my life the total I have spent on televisions so far is:
£120 (1996), ex-Radio Rentals Ferguson 26" CRT. Absolute beast of a thing
£20 (1998) tiny portable TV for a summer while my massive one was in storage
£30 (circa 2005) on a repair of the Ferguson
~£3 for a set of capacitors so I could effect the same repair in future, which I did, twice (capacitor occasionally would blow, near the power switch)
£0.00 circa 2013, when a friend of a friend was getting rid of a 32" Panasonic, which is still my current main set
£35 last year on a retro Grundig 14" CRT combi television/VCR/DVD as I was struggling to work out why VHS looks quite so grainy on my Panasonic. Soon afterward, I solved the issue with the Panasonic. I could probably make profit on the Grundig as people buy them as "retro console gaming monitors" and pay more than £35 for the pleasure. 

So that's £208 in 25 years. I deserve a treat. 

1
In reply to neilh:

> I just bought one for £120 and plugged it in...cannot be bothered with this techy stuff......lol. They are good though.  

Ironically what you've got, is a lot more techie than what I've got, and what I've described.

In reply to dread-i:

> Also all those viewing charts that say, 'if your room is n x n meters, then you need no more than a 40 inch tv', are nonsense.

Those charts tend to say the opposite! ie if your room is n x n metres then you won’t benefit unless you have this massive screen!

> Have you ever been to the cinema and sat at the front, with your entire vision filled with picture? Same thing at home.

Every time

Here is what I call the Viz Yorkshireman workaround based on a classic top tip about saving money on expensive binoculars by simply standing closer to the thing you wish to view 🤣

edit - oh yippee, once again a pic failed to upload...

Post edited at 09:18
1
In reply to Blue Straggler:

here 

edit - nope, failed again (thought power cycling my phone would sort this) 

Post edited at 09:24
 neilh 30 Mar 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Does not surprise me at all !

there we are. Before and after


In reply to dread-i:

Decision made. Panasonic 43" 4K thing for £450. Was going to wait until shops are open and go and test some at Richer Sounds but they don't have this model, which, from online specifications and reviews, looks like the best for me. It is at Argos who have a good no quibble returns policy anyway. 

Thanks again for input. 

Next week, look out for a "recommend me a good wall mount for a 9kg 43" television" thread  

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Update on this, for the OP's sake. I am not getting the Panasonic. If you look at Panasonic models, Google the model name alongside the word "Vestel". Some of the Panasonic models turn out to be cheaper low quality Vestel-made models, rebadged and given a massive price hike. And some don't, and are just fine!

I've gone LG in the end. 

 Maggot 02 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> there we are. Before and after


You could've moved a few bits and pieces around then we could've played spot the difference, unless of course you already have! 

 felt 02 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I've gone LG in the end. 

Good stuff. We bought a LG-43UM7500PLA last year and couldn't be happier. Well, we could, but it's nothing a telly would sort out. Which car crash of letters and numbers is currently in situ in Straggler Mansions?

 Hardonicus 02 Apr 2021
In reply to chris_r:

I rolled the dice on a Chinese Hisense last year. The picture seems pretty good and the interface is miles better than the crappy cheap Panasonic that the kids killed the back light on by squirting glass cleaner all over it.

In reply to Maggot:

Did you spot the difference though?

In reply to Hardonicus:

> I rolled the dice on a Chinese Hisense last year. The picture seems pretty good and the interface is miles better than the crappy cheap Panasonic that the kids killed the back light on by squirting glass cleaner all over it.

I noticed that Hisense popped up in all the credible major retailers and were well reviewed as a good cheaper TV if budget is really tight (I am not saying you personally are “cheap”!) which was interesting, so I clicked through to some reviews on good forums/websites and saw no negatives aside from, basically, “looks and feels a bit of a cheap build and not as refined as some of the ‘equivalents’ that cost 50% more”. Certainly not a brand to dismiss out of hand.  

 Hardonicus 03 Apr 2021
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Mines got a much higher external build quality than anything else at its price point (c. 400 quid), with a thin screen/bezel and all aluminum casing/stand.

I imagine in 5 years time OLEDs will be taking over even the lower end of the market as printed electronics really reduces the manufacturing costs for this technology. If it lasts that long I'll be happy.

Post edited at 08:43
In reply to Hardonicus:

Ok (re: your Hisense); I was only referring to a few comments about the specific model I was looking at. Sounds like there is some variation. 


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