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Question Need a TV up to 43", with no fancy gimmicks, just good quality picture

RMCF

Distinguished Member
So I am in the market for a new telly, and I think I can accommodate up to a 43" one given the space I have for it. I had a 37" Bravia previously.

So basically I am willing to spend around the 350 - 450 mark.

The essential things it must have are:
good picture
Freeview HD
good reviews
decent brand

Would be nice to have:
Ability to play movie files off a USB
Ability to record to USB

What I don't really need:
4K
3D
Smart
Android OS
Smart remotes

Any suggestions?
 

Old Bones

Established Member
You've got a 37in, which is always an awkward size to judge to replace. You can normally go up one size, so a 40in to 48in would be fine, but with 37in, there just isn't....

So 43in it is. You have a decent budget, and the four big brands pretty much all have something for you. Freeview HD is standard. And most sets will record to and from play from a USB (although since they generally only have a single tuner, you can't watch one channel and record at the same time).

However, the kind of things your rejecting make it a lot harder to get the best picture, and really restrict your choice.

The fact is that TV's come in levels. Non smart 2D TV's are basic entry sets, with 2 HDMI's. Thats fine, but there isn't much choice there, and little (if any) in a 43in. The Samsung 40J5100 would fit the bill, but isn't the right size.There might be an LG in a 43in, but you'd have to go look. 2HDMI's is a bit skimpy these days, and could restrict you in the future.

Next level up generally have 3 HDMI's and are smart. This level has far more choice, certainly in 43in sets. You'll often find a slightly better panel as well. The Samsung 43J5500, the Sony 43in W75 and the LG 43 LF630 would all fit the bill, and all within your budget (about £350-400). All have decent 100hz ish panels, and are well reviewed.

If you want the best picture quality, your looking at the mid level. Thats 3D, 3-4 HDMI's, plus smart. Not worry about the 3D part - its the better panel your paying for. The classic set would be the Samsung 40H6400 (and at £399, an excellent price), but thats a little small. However, the Sony 43in W8 would be perfect. Currently £499, but wait about 3 weeks and it might well come down to around the £450 mark. Again, very good reviews.

I wouldn't automatically reject Android. Firstly, remember that the Sony is a popular make, and the number sold are large, so you have to put that in the context of the number of negative comments. Yes, many people have complained, but there are certainly positive (or certainly not negative) comments as well. Since your not really interested in smart anyway, the only thing your interested in is can you change the channel and the inputs easily. If you can, then dont worry about the other stuff. And even if a TV does have a smart remote, you dont have to ever use it (or the 3D).

At the £399 mark or less, the 2D Sony,LG and the Samsung are all decent models. However, a better picture would come from buying the Sony W8.

I would suggest measuring up to make sure your not a 48-50 (if your 11-12 ft away, then you probably are), but if 43in suits, go and look at them in store, and perhaps try the EPG etc to see if they work for you. Keep an open mind, and see what works for you.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the detailed reply.

To be honest, I might be able to go bigger than 43", its just that there is a space already made in a hand-built shelving unit for the TV, and I was just guessing that 43" might be as big as I'd fit into it. Of course with bezels being a lot smaller than on my old Sony I might squeeze maybe bigger than 43 in, I would need to measure the absolute max size I could accommodate.

To be honest, I am not really rejecting all those features, its just that I think I would not use or have use for them so I didn't want to be paying extra for say 3D when I won't watch it. But if it was to come as standard or add no extra cost, I am not adverse to taking them. I just don't see myself needing a SMART TV or 3D etc, and thats what I thought maybe if you concentrated your money getting the best panel possible with less 'gimmicks' or extras then you could get a better quality set for the same price? Maybe I'm wrong.

I'd be open to a 40" TV to be honest, its not much of an increase in size from my old one, and it might not look bigger at all since the actualy TV unit itself will probably be smaller with the reduced casing and bezel size.
 

Old Bones

Established Member
To be honest, I might be able to go bigger than 43", its just that there is a space already made in a hand-built shelving unit for the TV

I have to admit that might heart slightly sinks when a customer says 'its got to fit in this cabinet'. Thats mostly because its generally designed for a 20in CRT, and the customers are 20 ft away from the cabinet. So they will need opera glasses just to see it. The best thing I can suggest is to measure the distance - 11-12ft way and you've really got to go larger.

If your around 10 feet, then get the largest screen you can into the space available. Measure the cabinet space very carefull, including depth, and then take a measuring tape with you when you go look at them. Quoted height meaurements might include the stand, but they might not! And although stands generally will have a certain depth, some are larger than others.

Although a 40in set would be fine for most (and if you had a 32in, would work very well), a 37in is so close in terms of size that I'm not sure you'd feel any real benefit. I suspect 42-43in would at least give you a noticeable screen increase.

As for the features, they largely come with the set these days.
I just don't see myself needing a SMART TV or 3D etc, and thats what I thought maybe if you concentrated your money getting the best panel possible with less 'gimmicks' or extras then you could get a better quality set for the same price? Maybe I'm wrong.

Sadly, thats generally not the way it works. Getting a better panel is the main reason for going from entry to mid level, but if someone is buying a more expensive set, its expected that they dont want to do without those extra features as well. If your buying a Ferrari, you can't get a model with cheap upholstry - it will be nice, full stop. And things like Iplayer are actually pretty useful

I'd get a set with as many HDMI's as you can reasonably get (makes life easier - you'll tend to end up using them for PVR's, soundbars, etc), thats got a decent remote and you can change the channels easily, and has a useable EPG. After that, its up to you what level you want to go for. A decent entry level set like the Samsung 43J5500 might be fine. However, if I can get a better panel and perhaps an extra HDMI for not much more money, then its worth thinking about. How often do we buy a TV?

Go and have a look at the ones mentioned, and see what you think. Your buying the best blacks and movement you can, so film credits are always a hard but useful test.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
Thanks again.

I know it sounds sad to say about a designated space, but it was only last year I got a joiner to come in and build some shelving in the landing to house a lot of stuff, including the TV, so unfortunately thats the way it is, there is a space and I can't start cutting bits away to accommodate a 50".

I was only mentioning 43" as I thought that would be the biggest possible. But of course I will measure up and probably end up getting the biggest that'll fit into the gap. I ain't going to put a 32" in the space when there was room around my old 37" that was there.

Appreciate that if I go for a mid panel then I will probably get extras that I'll never use. But you know where I was coming from, I want good picture first and foremost, rather than extras. But I suppose if they come as part of the deal, I'll not reject a TV because of them.
 

Old Bones

Established Member
I know it sounds sad to say about a designated space, but it was only last year I got a joiner to come in and build some shelving in the landing to house a lot of stuff, including the TV, so unfortunately thats the way it is, there is a space and I can't start cutting bits away to accommodate a 50".

I know how you feel - just measure the space, and go from there. As you say, get the biggest set in the gap that fits the room size overall. Life is the art of the possible!

I want good picture first and foremost, rather than extras. But I suppose if they come as part of the deal, I'll not reject a TV because of them.

Thats a good way to think about it. And you never know, those extras might come in handy!
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
Now......which model to buy!!

Will probably wait for the Jan Sales, see whats out there. I expect a lot of good deals as I am sure 4K will be getting pushed heavily in 2016.
 

Smeeble

Established Member
Samsung 40h6400 is good for the money, but would have to say the Sony 43w755/6 range has the best picture for that kind of price and size.
The black levels are unrivalled for that money, good skin tones, is android should you ever want to use it, and bang on the 43" size.
My money would go on that for your specification.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
I have always liked Sony TVs, I will keep an eye out for deals on them in Jan.
I have got a recent 32" one for the spare room, think its a 705 and must say impressed with the picture on that.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
Just checking some Sony prices:

40W705 = £379
43W755 = £399
43W805 = £429

Whats the main differences between these 3 models (other than size) and does it make it worth the extra money? I think I probably wouldn't buy the cheapest, since an extra £20 will get me a larger panel, but wondering if its worth another £30 to go from 755 to the 805?

Edit: seems 3D is the only real difference.
 

Smeeble

Established Member
755 over 705 has motion processing, better black levels, larger screen and runs android so more catchup features etc.
755 to 805 is basically just adding 3D, no other major difference.
 

Old Bones

Established Member
Whats the main differences between these 3 models (other than size) and does it make it worth the extra money? I think I probably wouldn't buy the cheapest, since an extra £20 will get me a larger panel, but wondering if its worth another £30 to go from 755 to the 805?

Edit: seems 3D is the only real difference.

I had this question the other day with a customer bettween the two W7 sets. Smeedie is right, although I suspect its simly that the 40in 705 is in effect 2014's version.

3D is the giveaway bettwen the W7 and the W8 - your getting a better panel. The Refresh rates on Sony's are sort of confusing, but if you look at the two next to each other, the W8 has a better refresh, which is what your really paying for. To be honest, I'd never buy a set off Ebay, although thats a very good price. However, if the W8 comes down to below £450 (which is where the W75 is in the High Street right now), then thats the better deal in the long term. Having said that, the W7 is a really nice set, but alwasy get the best you can for your money.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
I see argos are selling the LG 43LF640 now for 399.

Choices, choices. Although I suspect it night be false economy buying this 4k set to feed it with SD a lot of the time
 

Old Bones

Established Member
I see argos are selling the LG 43LF640 now for 399.

Choices, choices. Although I suspect it night be false economy buying this 4k set to feed it with SD a lot of the time

I'm always slightly suspicious at a TV largely sold at Argos (and its not a place that I'd want to really buy a TV from anyway), but its also somewhat cheap. And cheap is not cheap, expensive is not expensive. The average price for a decent entry level 4K is about £500, so whats not there?

And your right to wonder about upsacling from SD to HD to 4K - its not going to be pretty. And if you thought that the refresh rate is important in an HD set, its really important with 4K, because the bulk of viewing will be in HD at best. On another thread, Andy 1249 observed:

'If buying a UHD or "4K" set right now, the quality of the scaler is hugely important as there is precious little native content for such sets and how SD content and HD 720/1080 content will look depends entirely on the scaling circuitry, so it should be no surprise that budget UHD models simply dont cut it.'

Thats excellent advice, and since you dont regard Smart functions as vital, 4K is perhaps for another time.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
I'm thinking Sony.

Have you experience if both? Which would you recommend, forgetting about the extra couple of inches.
 

Old Bones

Established Member
Both totally fine - I'd look for myself. However, if you've got a 37in already, the 43in would be more of a step up, since I suspect the 40in might be just slightly larger than the current set. However, you not going to go wrong with either.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
Can I ask why you wouldn't buy from argos?

Surely a TV bought from there is no different than one bought elsewhere.
 

Old Bones

Established Member
Can I ask why you wouldn't buy from argos?

Surely a TV bought from there is no different than one bought elsewhere.

Its a reasonable question. If your buying a TV of a certain make/model, it should be no different to that bought from any other retailer - its a boxed item. However, there are reasons why I wouldn't buy one from them, unless I knew the market.

Its not that I work for another retailer, although I'm happy to admit that I do. Its more to do with information, range, value and price.

I dont mind a cheap shop, which is why my daughters flatpack bookshelves came from there, but when I went to collect them, I had a look at the TV's. What I noticed that the limited number of TV's on display were relatively low end, and although Panasonic, Samsung, etc were there, there were also (once highly sought after) brands that dont crop up much on many stores elsewhere, like Philips, Hitachia and Toshiba. And I've never heard of Seiki,etc.

Now if you were buying a new TV (which we seldom do), and wandered in there, you might just chose one there and then, and off you go. However, these sets were generally low level sets from the big four (LG, Sony, Samsung and Panasonic), or those other companies, or their own brand, Bush. If you think that a TV is a Tv is a TV, thats OK. But I am wondering what sort of value someone will get by buying a Hitachi 48in combo for £299. True, its got Freeview HD and is smart, but I know that the decent Samsung 48J5500 is available for £409 at the moment. Whats not there to allow them to sell it for that price? And of course since the TV is probably not going to be on display, what does it look like?

The same goes for a 40in Philips 4K for £399 - the entry Samsung J6400 is £499 at best, so what the difference in spec? Its doesn't mean people are being ripped off, but its difficult to sort out whats the best value for someone, especially when they know relatively little about TV's. The bits on the back are one way to economise if your building sets, but its a pain when the customer actually needs to use them.

Their descriptions are sometimes problematic. A couple of years ago, a site I'm on would regularly get the question from someone 'why can't I get HD on my new HD TV?' 95% of the time you already could guess the answer, but you'd ask for the model and make anyway. When they replied, you'd google it, and most of the time the first hit was Argos. And in big letters on the website would be 'Full HD', whilst in tiny letters would be 'freeview only'. From next year thats no longer legal, but its sailing close to the wind.

Argos have got better on price, with the Samsung 48J6300 being the same price as the High Street (£539). However, I notice that the Samsung 43J5500 is £389 on their website, but the High Street price today is £359. Argos used to prep their prices months in advance, but obviously the way the prices rises and falls in the market can mean those prices were obsolete. Now its better, but its not an automatic assumption that Argos is cheaper than elsewhere (people think the same for supermarkets, Amazon and Ebay).

My caution about Argos for TV's is that they are basically moving boxes, which is fine if you understand what your getting in that box, and are getting good value for it. I use the word decent about a set (rather than good/bad) because a cheap TV is not always a bad TV - as long as it meets the expectations on price, does what it should do, and is good value, I'm happy.

My worry is that many people automatically buy a set, but are not sure what they are getting for their money, and that long term, they either might be paying more than they need, or are laying out a fair amount of cash for something which they might have to add to, in order to get what they actually wanted.
 

RMCF

Distinguished Member
An informative answer, and agree with so much of it.

But basically my point is that if I decide on either a Sony 805 or a Samsung H6400, then buying it from Argos is no different for me that buying from another retailer.

With the added fact that Argos is one of my convenient retailers. Other option is Currys/PC World. Other than that, its either order and collect from Tesco.
 

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