Newby - Help!



Hi everybody,

I'm new to all this, but I've found these forums helpful - thank you, everybody. This posting could be quite long because of my ignorance about these issues, so I apologise ahead of time.

Our TV has almost died, so we need to get a new one. From what I've read, I reckon widescreen is the way to go. I have a VCR (a cheapie) and SKY (basic - not films or sport). I don't have a DVD player yet, largely because I feel it's a wee bit early to buy one.

Picture quality is vital - I have an eye condition which can result in epileptic fits if I see any source of flickering light. We'd like a TV which has good sound. We also want it to be "future proof" as far as possible (e.g. be able to take a DVD player, cope with technology which is emerging, etc.).

I have some other questions.

1. I've been to John Lewis and have seen some widescreen TVs. It seems like we're restricted to a 28" screen because of the size of our room.
Is there a real difference between the picture quality on a 28" screen compared with a 32" screen? (At John Lewis there didn't seem to be much, if any, difference, but the TVs might not have been set up as well as they could be in the shop.) We are prepared to compromise and change the layout of our sitting room if necessary, but only if it will really be worth it.

2. We can't spend much more than £600.00. Can we get a widescreen TV which meets our requirements for that amount?

3. While I was waiting on my forum membership being confirmed I looked at recent reviews. The October 2003 review on the Toshiba Strata 28ZD26 (£600) seems very favourable, although the reviewer criticised the lack of RGB Scarts and a slight lack of bass.
Does anyone out there have one of these TVs? If so, what do you think of it?
Alternatively, did any of you consider this TV and reject it in favour of another? If so, which TV did you buy, and why? Is it living up to expectations?

4. When I was at John Lewis I looked at 2 TVs in particular - a Panasonic TX28-PS12C (£499) and a Sony KV28-FQ70 (£795).
The Panasonic was the first one I looked at, and it seemed quite nice (to a newby like me). I looked at the Sony merely to get a comparison of picture quality, etc.
Having looked at them both, and checked the info. sheets that John Lewis gave me, I'm wondering how the Sony can cost £300 more - it doesn't have some of the features the Panasonic has, and when you compare them feature for feature, the Panasonic seems to have better features.
Any comments - is the Sony a better quality set, for example?

Thank you for the time you have taken to read this posting. Please feel free to comment as much, or as little, as you wish in response to my queries. All comments, advice, etc will be very gratefully received.

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