Looking for a good 32" TV and PVR

mangobrain

Standard Member
Hullo all,
I've currently got a no-name 22-inch LCD that given to me for free, but it has recently developed a rather annoying fault; specifically one row of pixels about a quarter of the way down displays garbage. So I'm looking to buy a TV.

Now, I'm currently torn between just going out and buying another cheapo 22-incher, or going for something a bit bigger and better. In this day and age I thought going HD - and, if possible, 3D - might be a good idea, even if only for future use, because the longer I go without being tempted to replace it the better. :D What I am dismayed by, though, is the cost of a decent Freeview HD PVR - for example, the cheapest I can find the HDR-FOX T2 is £241 at Pixmania, but it's the only one I've seen with consistently good reviews. Looking at the average cost of a 32-inch screen, that's almost as much as the telly itself! Our current (non-HD) freeview PVR is pretty good, and I don't think I could live without its capabilities.

So... on to the questions.


  1. What 32-inch screens would people recommend wrt. response times (for gaming)?
  2. If I didn't bother getting an HD PVR, but got a "smart" TV (for stuff like iPlayer), would I be missing out? Is there a noticeable quality difference between HD content streamed over the net compared to HD Freeview?
  3. Are there any non-"smart" 3D tellies?
  4. Is it really worth the money getting a 3D TV for "future use", bearing in mind I don't currently have a PS3 or Xbox 360, or would I be better off concentrating on a decent 2D set?
  5. If I did go 3D, what are the chances of it working with my PC (Radeon HD6950)?
  6. Is it worth the extra money for 1080p on a 32-inch set?
  7. What other (cheaper) Freeview HD PVRs would people recommend? Fast channel switching & decent EPG are must-haves.
  8. When I looked at Samsung LED edge-lit models recently, I thought the lighting was generally very uniform, apart from - ironically enough - right at the edges of the screen, where it got noticeably darker. It made the edges of the image look rounded, not sharp, and frankly I found it more distracting than the odd bit of non-uniformity on cheaper sets. Is this a known issue, or just something to do with how they had the display models set up?
I've been looking at the following options:

  • Samsung UE32D5000. 2D only, non-"smart", but has rave reviews. Not cheap tho - cheapest I can find is £342 at Pixmania, which puts it at £583 :eek: with the HDR-FOX. Not sure what response times are like.
  • Panasonic TX-L32DT30B. 3D, "smart", and does recording over USB, but only one channel at a time. Cheapest I can find it (from anywhere I'd trust) is £499, so about £550 with a decent-sized USB hard drive. I've read mixed opinions on its black levels and response times - some threads here recommend it for gaming, but at least one reviewer said it wasn't great. 3D is apparently excellent, but I don't know if I would use it.
  • Samsung UE32D6100. Similar to the above - 3D, "smart", USB recording - but cheaper, at £426, so call it £486 with a USB drive. I assume it would be similar to the UE32D5000 in terms of image quality. Again I don't know anything about the the response times. 3D is apparently not stellar, but again, I don't know if I'd use it anyway.
Ideally I'd be spending £400 tops, but it looks like that just isn't going to happen if I insist on going HD without giving up my beloved recording abilities...


Any suggestions, opinions or questions welcome!
 

mangobrain

Standard Member
No responses... probably a bit of tl;dr :laugh:
Anyway, I went into Richer Sounds today, and very quickly reached a few conclusions: 3D is gimmicky IMHO (I hadn't actually seen it demoed before), "100Hz" and similar tech does make a visible difference to motion, and I can't honestly justify £400+ for something with adverts in the EPG (sorry Panasonic).

I walked away with an LG 32LV550T, and initial impressions are good. :) Standard-def Freeview looks pretty awesome, considering the source, but unfortunately I just found out today that I can't actually get Freeview HD in my area yet (bit of a :facepalm: for my research abilities there), so no comment on HD so far. Audio quality and viewing angles are about par for the course for a mid-level LED TV, i.e. acceptable but not fantastic; they are of course easily rectified by sitting in the right place and plugging in speakers, as with any other set.

Haven't done any gaming or proper low-light viewing yet, but the backlight looks fantastic so far, none of the dimming around the edges that I noticed on the Samsung edge-lit sets. Also the screen coating is matte, not glossy. :D

So far, so good...
 

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