Published on December 2nd, 2015 | by Gary Johnson


TV buying guide UK 2015

Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed there will be many consumers looking to purchase a new TV in the next few months and maybe in the January sales. Buying a new TV can be complicated though with the high amount of choice available so today we are providing a UK TV buying guide for 2015.

There are a number of TV brands available with many of the cheaper options using panels made by a manufacturer called Vestel. These include the likes of Hitachi, Goodmans, various supermarket offerings, and many others.

While many may see these sets as value for money they can often prove to be unreliable and if it’s picture quality that you’re after there is likely to be some disappointment. We have a variety of different technologies available to the consumer so let’s have a brief look at them;

One area that causes a lot of confusion is so called LED TVs, which are in fact LCD TVs that use LEDs to create their back light. LCD TVs used to use CCFL back lights but these are dying out in favor of the LED types that are slimmer.

These used to have the advantage of screen uniformity as the back light used to provide a constant coverage over the panel surface area without going darker at the edges or in the middle, but these did have poor contrast ratios and black levels as well as viewing angles.

Now the most common TV on the market is the Edge Lit LED LCD TV that has the LEDs placed in rows at the side or top and bottom of the screen edge, and this allows for the display to be very slim. While extremely popular it can lead to problems in terms of screen uniformity. As the LEDs are only on the edge of the screen there can be issues with light pooling as well as poor black levels and contrast performance.

LED LCDs that use either Full back lit or zoned back light technology can provide better picture quality with almost plasma quality black level response, but these sets are not as thin as the Edge Lit screens.

For years if it was picture quality you were after over anything else a plasma TV was the way to go, but unfortunately the technology is no longer a viable product for any TV manufacturer to make a healthy profit on with many ceasing production.

The better offerings of plasma TVs from the likes of Panasonic, Pioneer, and Sony would offer the deepest blacks as well as great motion reproduction. Despite Panasonic purchasing the technology of the great Pioneer Kuro plasma range it to ceased production last year.

OLED TVs are a more recent addition to the market which gives the high standard picture quality of a plasma TV while offering the slim form factor of an LED LCD TV. Trouble is at the moment as the technology is relatively new low production yields means high prices but as it improves it could be the main source in the future.

Choosing a screen size causes a lot of debates among some with a rule of thumb being suggested that you should sit a distance that’s 1.5 times the diagonal size of the your TV, but unless you have a room the size of a shoe box we recommend that you get the largest display that you can afford.

Once you have got your new TV home and taken it out of the box to get the full experience from your new set you will have to properly calibrate the screen, which can be done via a number of free guides available on the Internet or various DVDs that are available to buy. More recent higher spec sets come with software built in to help you set the screen up to improve your viewing experience.

One area modern TVs do suffer from is poor audio quality due to the slimness of them, but luckily there are plenty of options to improve this. One area that a lot of people get duped in their local retailer is expensive HDMI cables which in most set ups and cable lengths all work the same.

If you are concerned about reliability research owner’s reviews of your chosen model online, or purchase your TV from either John Lewis that will provide you a free 5 year warranty, or Richer Sounds that will give a 6 year warranty just for signing up free to become a VIP member.

Are you looking to purchase a new TV soon?

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About the Author

has a background in engineering and passion for motorcycles, gadgets, and home cinema. In his early years, his obsession for Hi-Fi technology would see him creating the perfect setup with a good ear for sound quality. He also has a love for smartphones and loves spending time with his family.

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