TV buying advice please

Dutchy122

Novice Member
Hi,
My 12 year old Hitachi 42PD5200 finally succumbed to old age yesterday so I now have to find a replacement. Because I still have the old white Sky+ box and a LG PVR/DVDR as well as a PC to connect, I need at least this:
2 scart (or 1 scart plus component in)
at least 2 hdmi

I'd also like 40-43" screen size,
4K (or do I only need HD ready? Thoughts on this please)
Smart
wifi
speakers

I had a good look round last night and again today - Richer Sounds, PC World/Currys, AO, Argos etc but nobody seems to have a comprehensive requirements filter. That means going into the specs of every tv to check if they have scart.

Any advice would be gratefully received - please?

Ta,
Ken
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Sony XD80xx series if you can find a good price. Its a 2016 model so should be at a good reduction now if you can still find one. It also uses a high contrast panel at 43".

No harm going UHD if your sources aren't SD. If they are SD then they will likely look worse to you on an UHD TV, but you should demo this yourself if you can.

Its hard to get specifications thats for sure, I had to do the same with the Sony XD80. If you create a shortlist of the best TVs though at that size its no so hard.
 

Dutchy122

Novice Member
Thanks for that. Unfortunately they are mostly SD inputs so I suppose I ought to really go just 1080P.

I found a couple of contenders:
Panasonic TX40DS500B
Toshiba 43L3653DB

But after spending ages going through the specs, reading the manuals and coming to the conclusion that the Panny was the one I want, the darn thing is out of stock everywhere I look! :-(

So it looks like it's going to be the Toshiba - anyone got any experience with them?

Cheers,
Ken
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
What is your maximum budget? Have you considered also getting a separate sound system? If you get an amp/receiver you can use that to switch your analogue inputs to HDMI. There are also devices like this: Scart to HDMI Adapter | eBay

You're going to be extremely limited in choice finding a decent TV with those connections still, so I think there is a good chance you might end up with a stinker.

Toshiba don't make their own TVs anymore, they are made by Vestel in Turkey and usually aren't the greatest. I have a Toshiba TV made by Vestel and I wish I never bought it...although that is a few years old now.

You would be better off upgrading your sources or using an adaptor and getting a TV like the Samsung 40K5500 or 40M5500 instead. Today many tv's have PVR functionality built in and in the smart era, providing you have internet access a PVR may not even be needed.

The best FHD TVs would be the 2015 LG 910V OLED if you can still find one but I am not sure that would be in budget. It has the inputs you need (with a scart to composite adaptor).
 

Dutchy122

Novice Member
Food for thought, thanks.
Max budget is about £600 or so. The last Hitachi cost me £2000 but I'm now a pensioner so no way am I ever going to be able to pay that sort of money again.
I do actually have an amp for when I used to listen in 5.1. Unfortunately it frightens the poo out of the parrot so is boxed away (no, seriously). The most I would get away with is probably a sound bar. :-(
Re connections, the deeper I look, the more I find suitable - so far 5. The criteria after that will be quality and features such as decent Freeplay, ability to connect to a home network streaming server etc.
I knew that Hitachi outsourced to Vestel a few years ago but didn't realise Tosh had too. Still, they have a brand name to protect so probably insist on pretty good QC. Looking online, it seems most brands apart from the big three or four are made by Turkish or Slovenian factories now so I suppose it's down to the parent name to enforce standards.
Regarding upgrading to get modern connectors - I've been a Sky customer for about 20 years now but it seems loyalty doesn't count for much these days and they want me to pay for extras if I want to upgrade my box. Sorry Sky, no.
I totally agree about the PVR though - I don't think I've even switched it on in 3 months. It doubles up as our DVD player though and just occasionally the boss will suggest watching something from the DVD collection, so I suppose it gets to stay.

The search continues in the morning...
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
They just don't make FHD tv's like they used too. The push to UHD has also raised prices. With your budget in 2012-13 you could have bought new a very good plasma tv. In 2014 and 15 there were no plasma tv's anymore but 1 or 2 decent FHD LCD tv's.

Now they are average at best, a tv like that Toshiba will more than likely be poor.

But this is the problem, even going for an UHD tv with your budget means you won't be getting good pq. Really I would say you are much better off buying a second hand plasma t.v. Or a 2014-15 FHD tv like the Samsung h6400, j6300 or Sony w805b/w805c/w755c
 

Dutchy122

Novice Member
OK, I'm getting there slowly. :)

I've bitten the bullet and am upgrading all connections to HDMI:

  • PC - new NVidia gfx card installed and working (into our standby 19" kitchen tv).
  • Sky+ will be upgraded to Sky+ HD with wifi and HDMI. Just waiting to see if my brother has a spare, if not then it'll be a quick trip to Evilbay. Apparently you can get them with 2Tb HDDs now which should satisfy The Boss's Scandi-Crime recording habits.
  • LG PVR/DVDR - already had HDMI. Who knew LOL.

So all I need now is a 43" Smart TV, 1080 HD, wifi able to connect to my streaming AV server, Freeview or similar, with at least 3 HDMI sockets for under £600.
I found a few posibilities:
  • LG 43LJ624V
  • Samsung 43M5500 - with PlusTV
  • Samsung 43M5600 - with Freeview
I read on here that contrast is none too good on LG's and that, considering we sit almost front-on about 6 feet away, the Samsung might be better. I don't really want to go down the Sony route (a but like buying Apple IMHO) but are Panasonic or any other make worth looking at too?

And can anyone recommend a good review site these days please? Things have changed a lot since I last looked for anything AV related.

Cheers,
Ken
 
Last edited:

Dodgexander

Moderator
I'm not so sure the Samsung isn't also using an LG panel, they started using them this year.

Whilst last years 40K5500 was 40" in size and used a Samsung VA panel. This year the replacement has changed to 43" and 43" is an LG IPS Panel usually.

I think you would be better off with the Samsung 40K5500, it should be cheaper too.

You don't need viewing angles head on so no need to go with an IPS panel TV, although if you mainly are just watching TV with the lights on it doesn't really matter so much.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
If I had a penny for every time that website was wrong I'd be a very rich man. I didn't even have to click the link.

Do not trust displayspecifications.com !!

They don't know anything more than you or I.

Their info is not sourced from a credible source. It's either guesswork or based on contacting manufactures which is not a reliable means of determining panel type at all.

The info just isn't available, tv reps don't get it, customer service departments get information wrong and panels can differ even when on the same model tv.

The only way to know is to check pixel structure yourself with a highly magnified camera or read a review where they have measured contrast ratio or used a camera themselves! Even then there's no guarantee!

They even have a disclaimer on their website.

See: LG Display to start providing Samsung with LCD panels from July

Samsung have even changed panels on existing model tv's later on. It really wouldn't surprise me if they even started using LG panels on the older models too like they did when they started to ship 60hz panels on the J6240 or PLS panels on the KU6000.
 

Dutchy122

Novice Member
Well, finally we have a new TV.
After paying a visit to Currys and seeing LG and Samsung 43" beasts next to each other I plumped for the Samsung 43" 43M5600. The colours and refresh rate just looked so much better to my untrained eye. Of course SWMBO was quite insistent we only needed a 40" - until she saw just how small they were in comparison. Overall I'm very pleased with it.

But one cannot just go out and buy a new TV...
The final tally is:
Swivel stand from Amazon (wasn't expecting much but have to say I'm very impressed).
Samsung sound bar from Tesco.
Sky+ HD box from Ebay.
New HDMI gfx card for the PC from Ebay.
And of course the LG DVDR screwed up, so a new Samsung BluRay player, again from Tesco.

Thanks everyone for the invaluable advice.
 

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