32 inch TV - are they all much the same???

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Morning all
Seems a very long time since I’ve needed to get involved with TVs but due to our Panny 37 inch plasma being ‘surplus to requirements’, the search is on for a 32 inch TV to replace it. It will be a second TV for bedroom viewing only, so many of the features I’d look for in a TV for the lounge are just not relevant.
in simple terms, when you get down to this size of screen, does the difference between HD ready and full HD really matter?
Are the various brands all “much the same”?
I’m guessing that someone like LG probably make a lot of the panels anyway.
Subject to the TV having the basic features I’m looking for, is it common sense just to buy on price?
Thanks
 

chancooluk

Active Member
If you're just looking for a TV to use Freeview, and maybe a bit of Freeview Play then yes, I'd go for the cheapest option you can find.

I've got an electriQ branded Vestel 720p TV in the kitchen and it's been great for the past 2 years considering it was only £115.

720p Vs 1080p is only noticeable on terrestrial TV sources if you are sat within a couple of feet of the TV.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
If you're just looking for a TV to use Freeview, and maybe a bit of Freeview Play then yes, I'd go for the cheapest option you can find.

I've got an electriQ branded Vestel 720p TV in the kitchen and it's been great for the past 2 years considering it was only £115.

720p Vs 1080p is only noticeable on terrestrial TV sources if you are sat within a couple of feet of the TV.
Thank you.
The TV will probably be about 2.5 metres from the viewing position, so the 1080 v 720 debate shouldn’t be an issue.
Probably more important is that the TV can play back from a USB pen drive and - ideally - record to it as well. There is no way we’ll be able to have any sort of set top box/blu ray player anywhere near the TV. So we’ll be totally reliant on picking up signals from Wifi (no TV aerial socket) and USB sources.
 

tvdavid

Well-known Member

mikej

Well-known Member
FWIW, I have a 28" 720p LG LCD in the bedroom which I view from around 6-7ft away and the HD picture on it looks great. When watching HD sources and Freeview HD channels, I can't tell that it's 'only' 720p and I suspect the same would be true of a 32" set at the same distance.

Saying that, there are a fair few 1080p options available @ 32", so you should have a reasonable choice of either size and it may just come down to price.

Speaking of price - unless money is really tight, I personally don't think it makes sense to just buy the cheapest available. While none of the 32" TV options available can be described as anywhere near 'premium', I suspect if you go too cheap then important aspects like motion handling, OS usability (etc) will take a hit, as will customer support in the event of problems.

As far as I'm aware, brands like LG, Samsung, Sony and possibly Philips make their own LCDs, whereas brands like Logik, JVC, Sharp, Toshiba and even Panasonic (in the smaller sizes / lower ranges at least) are rebadged Vestel TVs.

Be aware that the Samsung 32T5300 (mentioned above) uses it's own (proprietary) 'TVPlus' (instead of Freeview Play) and there were numerous reports of wi-fi issues at the time I was looking. Also - if you're wanting the ability to record to USB, then I don't think it has that option.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
@mikej
Thank you so much for such a comprehensive reply. Much appreciated.
We’re not trying to penny pinch, but as the TV will be used by my other half (who still regards VHS tapes as acceptable quality), it;s going to be important that we buy a set which will do what we need it to.
We don’t have things like Freeview play at the moment, but with no aerial socket available, this could be a feature we need.
Playing from and recording to a USB device (whether that is a stick or portable HDD) is probably a must have.
From what you’ve said our ‘safe’ options are probably Sony or LG.
Thanks again.
 

tvdavid

Well-known Member

mikej

Well-known Member
@mikej
Thank you so much for such a comprehensive reply. Much appreciated.
We’re not trying to penny pinch, but as the TV will be used by my other half (who still regards VHS tapes as acceptable quality), it;s going to be important that we buy a set which will do what we need it to.
We don’t have things like Freeview play at the moment, but with no aerial socket available, this could be a feature we need.
No worries. Thinking about it - if you don't have an aerial, then I'm not sure how much use 'Freeview Play' will be or whether it will even work properly without an aerial. That's because it essentially combines the usual Freeview EPG and access to previous programs (which would otherwise be accessed by the standard Freeview catch-up apps) in one user interface. Either way though, you should have access to the individual Freeview catch-up apps regardless of whether Freeview Play works properly without an aerial or not, so it probably doesn't matter either way.

Playing from and recording to a USB device (whether that is a stick or portable HDD) is probably a must have.
Most TVs should play back movie files from USB I would have thought but not all will allow recording, so make sure you check that option if it's important to you. On the ones that do allow this, I would check any specific requirements as it's possible that a separate, powered drive might be required in the event that the USB port can't provide enough power for an unpowered drive. A TV's manual may give an insight into this.

From what you’ve said our ‘safe’ options are probably Sony or LG.
I'm not saying you should rule out Samsung, but LG definitely had the edge for me over the two when I was looking. Sony's sets were either too old or too expensive or both !
 

Gallifreyan

Active Member
I'm also toying with the idea of upgrading a small tv, but Sony are having a laugh if they want £379 for a 32" HD Ready!
 

tvdavid

Well-known Member
maybe look at used TVs on gumtree or from Facebook then not much else we can help with.
 

danspree

Active Member
i think lg have the nicest operating system for a small tv
all about the same quality wise...sound a bit thin etc, theyre ok
as tv david said, you might be able to get a gumtree type one for cheap from the era when 32" sets were of a much higher build quality- i have a panasonic TX-L32ET5 i got that way and the picture and sound are great compared to 2021 models but almost no apps now work so would need a firestick or now tv stick
 

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