32" Choice for CRT Hold Out?


Standard Member
My SONY 32” CRT is on its last legs; to be honest, it has had problems for sometime, but I have put up with them because my limited experience of LCD & Plasma over the years has been less than encouraging. However, even I'm beginning to admit the inevitable, that my CRT will have to be replaced, sooner, I suspect, rather than later.

The vast majority of my viewing will be Freeview SD and mainland European satellite (Hotbird & Astra 19E).

Techradar's recommended size for my viewing distance (116”) is 62“ (not sure what the nearest TV size is to that), which seems like complete nonsense; although, for SD, they recommend 4 to 6 times the height of the screen, but I don't know what those heights would be, relative to the usual screen sizes?; given how bad some broadcasts can look on a 32“ CRT, I'm loath to go any bigger than 32“ LCD.

I've generally been a 'SONY' man when it comes to TVs, but their current line up looks particularly uninspiring; as far as I can see, you have to get a 3D TV (which I have no interest in, at all) to get anything more than 50Hz, which might explain why they have been receiving 'mixed' reviews, particularly for motion problems. The old 32EX503 seemed to be well thought off, but is now largely unavailable (the few that do seem to be available are ridiculously expensive); what about other models of the same vintage e.g 32EX703 & 713 – were they any good?

What models of TV from other manufactures would you recommend as 'worth checking out'?

Pretty much essential:-
Best possible picture quality (least 'digital' looking, most natural, least motion problems, able to 'not make too much of a meal' of the, often mediocre, quality of modern broadcasting, etc.)
Freeview SD & HD tuner
3, preferably 4 HDMI

Would like, but not a deal breaker:-
2 SCART, preferably both RGB
Decent on-board sound quality

Any hints, tips, advice, recommendations, for an LCD/Plamsa 'virgin', gratefully received.



The smallest available Plasma is 42", so you will have to choose an LCD, either CCFL or LED backlit.



Standard Member
The smallest available Plasma is 42", so you will have to choose an LCD, either CCFL or LED backlit.

As little as possible, really. ;)

Realistically, say £500, preferably less. However, if a substantial improvement in PQ is available for a bit more, them I'm open to suggestions.


Well-known Member
Viewing distance charts are usually based on viewing HD material and are also often used to distinguish whether you'll be able to tell the distance between a 720p (HD Ready) and 1080p (Full HD) set.

At your viewing distance (9'6"), I doubt whether you'd be able to tell the difference on a 32" screen but you may find that most screens of that size are Full HD anyway these days.

A 32" LCD will give you a larger picture than you've got currently but are you sure you don't want to go slightly larger ? A common complaint from people buying flatscreen TVs is that they wish they'd bought bigger sets ! Don't forget that the TV may end up being further away from you than your current CRT and as HD material gets more commonplace (extra Freeview HD channels/BluRays becoming more common etc), the picture quality won't suffer as much if you go larger.

IMO, you'd still get a good quality SD Freeview picture on a 37" set at your viewing distance but I can appreciate that not everyone wants (nor has room for) a huge TV.

You're unlikely to get what I would describe as good quality sound on any flatscreen TV these days, particularly the new, slimmer models. My Panasonic GT30 plasma is a great TV but my old Panasonic PD30 CRT wipes the floor with it in terms of sound quality ! Slim TVs just don't have the room for good quality speakers and it's usually bass that's lacking.

If you want decent sound quality (eg. for watching movies), you'll have to budget for a good quality soundbar or an AV system.

Your £500 should buy you a decent quality 32" LCD. Sony products can often be over-priced - try looking at Panasonic, LG or Samsung and, if picture quality is important to you, avoid cheap, generic supermarket-branded TVs.

Don't buy any TV without demo-ing first, particularly if this is your first HD screen after having a CRT. Plasma seems to be recommended for people wanting a more natural, CRT-like picture but you'll be limited to LCD at 32", so the difference may be more noticeable.

My advice would be to pace out your typical viewing distance and try and replicate this when you demo - most sets displaying SD content look poor when viewed close up !


Standard Member
@ mikej

As mentioned, my reluctance to go any bigger than 32” is because of the effect it might have on, already quite mediocre, SD broadcast quality; I don't have any Blu Ray, and won't be getting any, so the only HD will be FV; as most of my viewing is timeshifted, to SD recorders, even FV HD will form only a small minority of overall use of the TV.

I do have room for a 37”, and possibly a 42” (for plasma), just worried about how bad SD will look, given that, in the past, I've been less than impressed by any modern TV I've seen, but I suppose it has been mainly (but not exclusively) LCD that I've looked at.

It is possible that the new TV will be little bit further back, but not much.

Although decent on-board sound quality would be preferable, there's no problem setting up a stereo amp & speakers, if absolutely necessary (not interested in surround).


Well-known Member
That's fair enough - I hung on to my 32" CRT until June last year because I too wasn't impressed with the quality of SD Freeview material on most of the plasma and LCD screens I'd seen in the past either.

It was only when I got a PS3 that I decided to make the jump to an HD screen. Freeview HD, PS3 gaming and BluRay movies do all look fantastic on my 46" plasma - some SD Freeview channels look fine, but some can look quite poor (soft).

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