Help me choose a 26'' LCD/LED TV

80s

Banned
Hi,

I'm looking for help finding a suitable 26'' TV for my bedroom. I've chosen 26'' because my bedroom is quite small and I'll be sitting quite close to the TV as a result - if 32'' really offers the best value for money I'll probably take it, but 26'' would be better.

I've had a good look through Which?, What Hi-Fi, CNET UK and the broader web in general, but I'm struggling to find something that suits my needs. Here's what I'm after:

1) Budget: no more than £250 unless the TV is truly exceptional. Please, please, please don't encourage me to spend more because I really, really don't have the money. ;)
2) At least 2 HDMI sockets (one for my Grundig FreeSat HD box, the other for my Mac mini - if there's a third, I'll use it for my MacBook Pro)
3) Very good energy consumption - ≤50W/h (calibrated) doesn't seem to be an unreasonable request, according to my research
4) Good horizontal viewing angle: when using my Mac mini, I'll be sitting to the right-hand side of the TV, and this will be quite often (ie. when I'm working). Vertical viewing angle is less important.
5) The best picture quality possible for the price is desirable. In particular, I'd like to avoid ghosting and trails, which I find particularly annoying.

Not necessary:

1) 3D
2) Good-quality speakers (so long as I can use external speakers over a headphone socket or optical/digital output)
3) Full HD (it would be lovely but I doubt I'll get it at this price and size, so HD-Ready will be fine)
4) "Smart" or "Internet" functionality (between the Mac and the Grundig I've got access to all the catchup TV I'll ever need)

The purpose of the TV: I'll be using it to watch DVDs and iTunes HD movies from the Mac mini and MacBook Pro over a DisplayPort > HDMI adapter; and to watch mostly SD broadcasts from my FreeSat HD box over HDMI. There are only about four HD channels at the moment, and I seldom watch the SD versions as it is (BBC1, BBCHD, 4, ITV). I won't be using a gaming console of any kind.

Advice, suggestions & questions cheerfully welcomed. :)
 

80s

Banned
Ouch, 175 views and not a single reply. What is it that's making this difficult: the budget? £250–£300 really is my max. The size of TV—if I were to change this to a request for a 32'' TV would there be more advice available?

Thanks guys.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Probably is a bit of both

You say you've done research - what's on your shortlist?

Viewing angles on LCDs aren't great, especially lower end ones - Panasonic use the best panels for this, but cost more (no 26s, 24s or 32s)

For example, but need to up the budget by £100...

Panasonic VIERA TXL32E5B | 32 inch LED TV 1080p HD Ready Freeview HD | Richer Sounds

Check the viewing angles but this really should be sufficient for a bedroom :) Samsung UE32EH5000 | 32 inch LED TV 1080p HD Ready Freeview HD | Richer Sounds

Ghosting and trails, again these are 'features' of an LCD (especially cheaper ones), motion processing will help but puts the price up again - the Panasonic ^^^ ticks that box too

The Sony 32CX523 got great reviews last year, if you can find one
 

80s

Banned
I don't have a short list, simply because I struggled to find 26'' TVs. I posted here hoping to actually gain some choices. Looks like 26'' is too rare a size, though, so 32'' it may have to be.

The Panasonic really is out of my reach, but the Samsung isn't, and it also appears to have been reviewed by Which?. I'll check out the review using my library's online subscription to Which?, and go from there. If it's any good, I may try offering £250 to Richer Sounds in cash and see what they say…

Thanks for responding.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member

80s

Banned
Well, turns out the Samsung gets a 58% on Which?, with plenty of positive comments on the quality of the picture in both SD and HD. So, thanks for that recommendation :)

Only thing is, I popped in to a local John Lewis and had a look at it and some other 32'' TVs and it really hit home how big they are. 26'' or 27'' really would be more my kind of size. Oddly, most of the TVs around that size that I can find tend to be outwith my price range—I'm guessing that's because of the economies of scale that apply to 32'' production.

Can anyone recommend a good website for picking up out-of-date TVs for a little less—second-hand, ex-display, end-of-line, things like that? Might be the way to go.

Cheers :)
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Last edited:

80s

Banned
Yowsa, that Panasonic gets great reviews! Thanks for that, I think it may be my winner! I'll satisfy my curiosity with a few more reviews and try to see what other prices are available, but I like the look of that one a lot.

Cheers! :)
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
The E3 or the X5?
 

80s

Banned
The E3. I'm not yet entirely convinced 24'' is big enough, but I'm tempted for sure. The fact it's full HD is a selling point.
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
The E3. I'm not yet entirely convinced 24'' is big enough, but I'm tempted for sure. The fact it's full HD is a selling point.
Depending how close you plan on getting you won't need 1080p on such a small screen.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Although he says he may hook up to MacBook :)
 

80s

Banned
Yeah. This TV'll be serving double-duty as a second display for my Mac mini, so the full HD resolution is to be preferred. I currently have a 22'' Apple Cinema Display, and I'm looking for something bigger for normal TV and movie viewing.

My current TV is an old 28'' Sony CRT. The depth of it pushes it closer to me than I'd like, which is one reason I'm shopping for an LCD/LED TV. The second reason is power-saving: my TV draws about 150–200W. The third reason is that the CRT has noticeable trailing behind bright objects, even with minimal contrast and brightness. And the fourth reason: absolutely no support for modern digital connections!
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Sounds like you have spent your TV and electricity money on Apple stuff ;)
 

80s

Banned
You have _no_ idea… :D
 

80s

Banned
I've managed to find a Panasonic Viera TX-L32C4B for just over £200 with 12-month warranty. Which? rates it 58% and:
Pros: Easy to use, good HD pictures, simple to set up

Cons: Mediocre SD picture quality and sound, high power consumption
I'm tempted to go for this, but some opinions would be nice because the only review I've got is the Which? one.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Marantz SR7015 & NAD T 778 AVR + Mission LX2 MKII Speaker Reviews, AV & Film News and More
Top Bottom