Author Topic: Buying a TV  (Read 1516 times)

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Buying a TV
« on: October 01, 2019, 05:00:01 pm »
So looking to replace the living room TV. Don't want anything too massive, about 40" to 50" should be fine.

What features to look for?
Seems just about all of them are 4K now. And most claim to be HDR, does that make much difference.

What about inputs? Most of them have a few HDMI sockets, worth looking for anything else?
I've got a couple of old games consoles, presumably can get some sort of adapter to HDMI as required.

And they all have various 'smart' features built in, I'm not too bothered about that, will probably just plug in a Chromecast anyway.

Are the TVs on offer at the supermarkets for £300 any good? Any brands to look for, or to avoid? I could spend a bit more for something, if it will last a few years.

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 06:38:17 pm »
According to 'Which' in their best buy review the ;

LG 49SK8500PLA


£480.00
Test score 76%;

Incredibly detailed display
Immaculate audio
Brilliant remote

Tech specs

Wifi
4 HDMI ports
3  USB ports
Digital audio output
Digital Audio optical output
Bluetooth

or

LG 43UM7500PLA 70% test score

£399.00

 'June 2019 It's one percent shy of a Best Buy, this is one of the best 43-inch TVs we've tested in a depressingly long time.'

Stocked by Curry's and JLewis



Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 07:03:58 pm »
We bought a (second) Samsung, a UE43RU7400 43” “smart” tv from Richer Sounds. £500. Recommended.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 07:04:24 pm »
We have a new 40 inch Sony from JL with proper sound bar in the lounge and i have a 1 year old 30+inch on the wall in the turbo room, cheap from Tesco.  The Sony is a brighter clearer crisper picture when I first look at it.  5 minutes later I do not notice any difference.  The sound is totally worth it though

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2019, 08:06:23 pm »
We got a 55 inch LG panel from John Lewis about a year or so back, some kind of OLED thing probably superseded five minutes after we bought it, but it looks awesome, blacks are black, and it's pin-sharp with marvellous colour. It was so detailed that I found it a bit difficult at first but now I can't tell (I presume that was 100Hz display or whatever). That said, I think it was a couple of grand and near the top of the range, but still, I'm worth it. There were cheaper models, I'm sure, and a year and a half probably means what we have is the cheaper model.

The smart features are actually quite good, runs Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. natively without faffing (we do have a Chromecast, but the TV is easier). We don't have terrestrial TV but I assume that works fine.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 09:27:31 pm »
basic TVs (eg from tescos) are OK if you are not fussy and/or you consider that the pace of change is such that you might be buying a new TV anyway in a few years.  I've got a 32" 'second set' and it cost less then £200, with a DVD player built in.  Its very watchable and the same thing with a 40" screen would be too.

But if you want a smart TV and/or one that will do as the centre of a home cinema system, you can be as fussy as you like.

 A tip is that if you want to connect older sources (eg using phono plugs or scart cables) is that you can plug these into something else (eg a PVR) and then use the HDMI output from the PVR to connect to a modern TV which only has HDMI inputs. You can buy converters but this way you needn't bother if you already have a PVR of some kind.

Its worth bearing mind that the hidden cost to a TV is, if you have it on much, electricity consumption.  This varies with size of course but modern TVs are far better now than they were  just a few years ago. This means that my 'main TV' (which is older and has a 46" screen) uses about ten times as much electricity as the more recent 32" set.    ~3hours a day ~ 1000Hrs a year, so a different TV (that uses less energy)  can 'pay for itself' sooner than you might expect, if you use it much.

cheers

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 12:12:30 am »
Thanks. A few people have recommended LG, they have some good value options. I'm sure OLED is nice, but about £1000 more than I want to spend.
Most of them have Google Assistant and Miracast, maybe useful.

Good idea for using a PVR for input. Though I don't want to make it too complicated, and needing multiple remote controls to switch anything on.

I suppose all of the new TVs have pretty crap speakers, will need some sort of soundbar / subwoofer. Got an old surround sound system, but not sure if its still working, would like something simpler with less wires around the room.

The old TV is 32" CRT, which gives you an idea of its age. So probably pretty high electricity consumption. Maybe not used that much, but finally time to replace it.

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 10:24:03 am »
If you want simple then Sony are good. Their TVs and soundbars / soundbases connect with a single optical cable. Good picture as well.
We have two the largest of which is a 40" and nearly ten years old now and would buy Sony again. The SmartTV part of the TV is clunky and slow now compared to modern ones but its fine for Freeview and we use an Amazon FireTV box for BBC iPlayer, Netflix etc which means we can ignore the ageing SmartTV functions.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 10:40:49 am »
re multiple remotes;  many PVRs have a section on the remote control that supports basic TV functionality (on/off, channel, volume, source etc).  This means that if you normally use the PVR as the signal source, you only need one remote for normal operation. [However you can't get rid of the TV remote completely, since it will have multiple functions that are not replicated on the PVR remote.]

The normal way of setting the PVR remote's TV control section is via a three-digit code from a list printed in the manual. Most TV manufacturers only use a few different remote codings, and for the basic functions they often continue to use the same codings even in the latest models.

 If there is an unknown code there is a method of testing which (from the codes that the PVR remote supports) is the correct code for your TV. Normally the remote retains the code in its memory for long enough to change the batteries for new ones, so it isn't a hassle re-entering the code on a regular basis provided the remote  batteries are not allowed to go completely flat.

cheers


Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2019, 10:50:13 am »
LG TVs work as PVRs on their own if you plug in a USB memory stick / hard disk.

The sound from the built in speakers on my LG is surprisingly good. No worse than a CRT.

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2019, 10:53:05 am »

Good idea for using a PVR for input. Though I don't want to make it too complicated, and needing multiple remote controls to switch anything on.


You don't, the Humax PVR remote we have can be used to turn the TV on and off - and in fact the TV & PVR on and off together.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2019, 10:59:27 am »
I have an LG soundbar and sub-woofer which connects via optical (the TV speakers aren't bad, but I need my BOOM! though Bad Cat is on a mission to disembowel the woofer, so I have to remember to cover the hole). The remote is a magic remote so it can apparently control other things, it mostly works on the old Samsung Blu-Ray we have. There's also a phone app so you can use your phone as a remote control (so if my wife and her mad friends start singing along to Glee or some nonsense, I can mute the TV from my sanctuary of solitude, though this can cause marital strife). Also, as the remote has a pointer (it works like a Wii-style controller), you can zip it back and forth across the screen to confuse and exhaust small felids who otherwise might become tempted to annoy you.

I think it has about a thousand HDMI sockets, USB, component, etc. Indeed, it should record normal TV to any available storage, though as I don't have an aerial, I've not tried it.

Everything connects via wifi, never dropped a frame when streaming, and the UI isn't actively awful.
!nataS pihsroW

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2019, 12:19:50 pm »
Its worth bearing mind that the hidden cost to a TV is, if you have it on much, electricity consumption.

My TV (a Panasonic) doesn't have a power on/off switch.  Is that normal these days?  I have set it up to stand by in a very dumb low-consumption condition but then it isn't smart enough to be switched on by Alexa, for example.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2019, 12:32:41 pm »
Our LG doesn't either, but you can, erm, turn off the stand-by LED. MLIR, innit.
!nataS pihsroW

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2019, 06:22:04 pm »
if you are worried about standby power consumption (eg from multiple AV components) then one approach is to buy an extension lead which has a so-called 'master socket' and 'slave sockets'.  The master socket is permanently live and connects to (say) your PVR.  Your PVR will be 'off' except when you are using it or when you are making timer recordings. When it is 'on' the current drawn is sensed in the extension and the  slave sockets come live.

You can plug your whole AV setup into the slave sockets apart from that one item (eg PVR) provided the various items don't do something odd when they are powered up again, or need to be permanently connected.  Most modern AV components don't (say) come on fully as soon as they are connected to power (they go into a standby state instead) but I suppose it is possible that some do.

FWIW many PVRs automatically come on once every few hours, in order to keep the EPG (electronic programme guide) up to date. Most TVs however don't so obviously refresh the EPG in the same way, (even if they have a PVR functionality built in). Often you can watch the EPG being populated in the first few minutes the TV is on. If your set does this (and doesn't get software updates whilst on standby, and  retains the channels etc)  it won't hurt to leave it completely disconnected.  So unless you are using the TV as a PVR or something, it may not be a bad idea to plug it (and nearly everything else) into switched  'slave' sockets. Obviously the extension lead itself  draws a tiny bit of power and you need to compare that with the saving. 

However there is also a safety argument; having fewer things connected to the mains ought to reduce the chances of having one spontaneously go faulty and start a fire or something.

cheers

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2019, 06:40:44 pm »
Those standby saver devices have a long and glorious history of using more power than the devices they switch off.

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2019, 06:49:35 pm »
One of the problems with OLED is the 55" minimum size (and price!).  I can only really fit a 48" max in my room, so I'm holding out for one of these next year:

https://www.avforums.com/news/lg-confirms-48-inch-oled-for-2020.16197

I'm fed up with missing half of what's going on in dark scenes, especially films.  OLED should get blacks back to where they were with CRT's.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2019, 06:52:09 pm »
Thanks to EU regulations, the standby power consumption for new devices should be pretty low. Though it seems 'smart' or network attached devices are allowed to use a bit more, so they are ready to wake up.

I have used those Intelliplugs previously, for TVs and PCs. They can be handy, once you figure out how to set them up. Gets rid of some of the annoying standby lights anyway.
Or just switch everything off at the wall.

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2019, 07:48:39 pm »
Those standby saver devices have a long and glorious history of using more power than the devices they switch off.

Thanks to EU regulations, the standby power consumption for new devices should be pretty low....

straying off topic a bit here but I think I've got a couple of switched extensions/surge protectors which look like this (and I think are the same model in fact)


Masterplug MSTPMS82MS

its an old design and I don't think it is available any more. I think mine are about ten  years old.  I don't remember the specs exactly but  IIRC it was worthwhile at the time. However as noted above it might no longer make sense to use one, esp. with newer kit plugged in, since most things use less standby power these days; I had a quick look online but I didn't find the consumption of that particular device. Does anyone know?

cheers
cheers

Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2019, 08:58:41 pm »
It really does depend on the individual telly but even my old 28" CRT used only 8W in standby. My new TV (32" Samsung) uses something around 2W.

The old telly using 4 times as much energy in standby sounds a lot but if the old maxim of 1W for an entire year = £1 still holds true then the old telly was costing me a whole £6 more a year for being in standby.

(I never bothered measuring the old telly when it was on.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2019, 09:43:49 pm »
One of the problems with OLED is the 55" minimum size (and price!).  I can only really fit a 48" max in my room, so I'm holding out for one of these next year:

https://www.avforums.com/news/lg-confirms-48-inch-oled-for-2020.16197

I'm fed up with missing half of what's going on in dark scenes, especially films.  OLED should get blacks back to where they were with CRT's.

My only disappointment is that I didn't buy the 65-inch. Fifty-five looked enormous (we upgraded an ancient Samsung LCD projection TV that was a peculiar 43 inches) but now, we're meh, call that a TV. So what if we have to take a detour to get to the kitchen. It's good exercise. Unless we take the bus.

It's the same with habitually watching movies on the IMAX, when you then get roped into seeing something at the local muliplex on screen 14, it's like TeenyVision.

The OLED is fantastic, the black is absolute and terrifying. Your soul could fall into it and you wouldn't even see a ripple. But yeah, it's pricy. To think, I remember when we had a 14-inch colour portable and a VCR. But it was a front-loader. I had a top-loader in the US, and that was special, because it could communicate with the dead via cryptic LED panel, like a microcircuitry ouija board. The teeming dead would recommend what they wanted to watch, and pretty much had a veto over whether it recorded anything.
!nataS pihsroW

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2019, 10:13:33 pm »
I am fortunate or unfortunate that I used to be a bit of a hifi buff. So I am prepared to get something good.

I started out wanting to watch dvds. I did this on my computer. Sound was  improved with a pair of small Sony active speakers. This a lot better than computer monitor sound.
I then decided I wanted a better screen so I acquired a 42" Philips TV.  This was placed behind my hifi. Now I have computer sound coming in from the side and a good  picture.
Obviously it would be better to get sound from the hifi speakers. Around this  time my CD player failed.  So I went to AudioT and listened to a Audiolab 8200CD which I decided was good enough and added an Audiolab 8200AP Audio Processor and a couple of 8200M power amplifers.   The telly can now be connected to the Hifi with hdmi.  A DVD player was added. Sound and picture were very good.
This made me interested in my hifi again.  So my bookshelf speakers (on stands)  were replaced with good floor standing speakers (Spendor A6R). A pioneer blu-ray player was added.
This was a very enjoyable system. It was a bit of a shock when a helicopter landed in an action film and my windows rattled.

Nothing good last forever.  The 8200AP died.   I had lost interest in films for a while. So I set my CD player to talk directly to my power amplifiers (you can do that with 8200CD( or 8200CDQ))

Amazon sent me an offer on prime day for a £2000 tv that had good reviews. So I paid £1100 the most I have ever paid for a tv. A Philips 55pos9002 OLED Smart TV was delivered. A big error by me, I knew I could fit a larger TV but not two sizes bigger. This was fortunate. The TV had to be placed against the opposite wall.  So furniture was rearranged and I ended up with more floor space because the hifi boxes arrived on my computer desk. A large desk for CRT computer monitor.  Plenty of room now we have LCD monitors. I had bad sound. I had connected to the wrong power amplifier connector. I thought I had broken them (There are dire warnings in the manual about this). I bought a pair of 8300MB power amplifers. No improvement, It wasn't the amplifers it was the cables. Doh! 

Now that I have a really good TV it is time to sort out the sound again. I purchase a Denon AVR-X3400H A surround amplifier. Plug everything into it TV, CD, Tuner, Blu-Ray, Computer. I am concerned about the CD quality through this Denon. The sound sounded a lifeless.   So I got some XLR cables and connected the CD play directly to the power amplifiers (which can be switched between XLR and Phono inputs) I now have a system capable of Hifi and Home cinema.

I am still 2 channel and 1080p from Blu-Ray.  I have a 4K Oled TV and 7.2 channel AVR amplifier. I am not making the most of this.

So the next thing that happened was I added Pioneer UDP-LX400 4k Blu-ray player. The 4K standard in itself is not that useful we are beyond the limit of human vision. However HDR colour is part of the 4K standard which is probably a good thing.

I have taken the picture as far as it can go. I am still 2.0 (with extremely good speakers)

So I add a Monitor Audio Silver C350 centre speaker inbetween the Spendors 3.0 now. Initially I used the Denon centre speaker output. Then I added A Audiolab 8300MB power amplifer to do the job. 

After a while I add Monitor Audio Silver 100 speakers as rear speakers 5.0.  I use the old 8200MB to power these the Denon does no heavy output just a controller.

I learn something about  AVR amplifiers.  When they set up rear speakers they set them up as "small" speakers. I suspect they do this because they may not be able to drive them in full. AVR amplifiers power rating is based on 2 channels driven so the denon claims 135W. It could be driving seven full range speakers and the power supply may not be good enough to do that.  That is not true in my case. I have plenty of power. I will do a manual setup with a sound meter once I have the rears in their final position. I need to put them on a shelf not on the floor.

-------

I have not commented on the original question yet.

Some TVs do not have all catch-up players. My expensive TV only has iplayer.

TVs have terrible sound, speakers need depth.

Sound bars are an affordable way to do that

Sound bars with sub woofer are a bad idea.  Its better to get a good one without a sub-woofer.  A few years ago a Yamaha sound bar with sub-woofer was awarded a five star review from What Hi-Fi. User feedback opined it was great watching films but when watching tv news they could hear the sub-woofer switch in and out when a male newsreader spoke. Which is not good.  This is not a bad implementation by Yamaha it is a problem of Physics.  Subwoofers work best when the main speaker can overlap the frequencies of the subwoofer that is not possible with the small speakers in a sound bar. They are much better than TV speakers but they are not good enough to work well with a subwoofer.

A compact AVR amplifier such as a Yamaha RX-S602 and a good pair of speakers such as Monitor audio Bronze 1 will sound better than any sound bar but is a more expensive than cheaper sound bars.   



Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2019, 05:19:40 pm »
quite a few AV systems have a remote subwoofer (amp and speaker in one box) and it usually has mains power and a single phono lead for signal.  The amp is in standby until the phono signal goes above a threshold, then the amp goes live and the sub works. The amp carries on working as long at it sees that signal occasionally. If the signal is below the threshold for more than a few minutes the amp powers down.

 You can usually hear the amp toggle between standby and 'on' because (as well as the sub working) there is a relay which switches the mains in and out of the power circuits, which makes an audible click.

It sounds like the soundbar mentioned above had the same kind of parts in it, just differently packaged.  With a fairly weedy soundbar I can see how it might switch itself in and out during normal viewing of the TV. However with a more ballsy AV system you are liable to have the volume turned up when watching movies etc and turned well down (or off altogether) when watching the news.  This means that the sub is less likely to turn on at all in normal TV viewing/listening.

Note also that the signal to the sub varies with the audio mode you are in as well as the signal it is presented with.  IIRC two channel TV sound is usually encoded with Dolby Pro logic or similar (thare are countless vatiations....), but your AV amp needs to be told how to decode it, and if the AV amp mode is changed the output to the sub is often changed too. 

cheers

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2019, 09:46:59 pm »
I wish I never saw this thread.  I bought a Marantz NR1200 and will buy some speakers probably Monitor Audio Bronze 2 or possibly Monitor Audio Silver 100 for the living room tv.  Bronze seems sense but silver matches what I already have.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Buying a TV
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2019, 12:46:48 am »
I see Tesco have a 43" LG for £250. LG 43UK6300PLB
But reading reviews, seems it is not great. It uses an 'RGBW' display, which means 1/4 of the subpixels are replaced with white. So it is only has 2.8K RGB pixels, not really 4K.
A video from Samsung saying it is not 4K. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rssh8FqMI_8
And a response from LG, claiming it meets the standards for 4K. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPEnUcQEKd0

RGBW may have some advantages, brighter picture, less energy consumption, but seems not quite as sharp. Apparently it is only the cheapest LGs that use this. Probably worth paying a bit more for a better model.