Question Virgin Box+ Smart TV - is the Smart TV Redundant?

Discussion in 'What Is The Best TV For You?' started by lemmy, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. lemmy

    lemmy
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    I want to upgrade my 10 year old Sony Bravia 26 inch to a 32 inch (it's for a small living room). On hunting around, Sony still seems among the best products with Samsung very similar, both for facilities and picture quality.

    However, I have Virgin cable and use their V6 Tivo box. Is the smart TV aspect of the TVs wasted? About the only thing I can't do via the box is access Amazon Prime video. Freeview would be wasted, presumably? Would I get any benefit from a smart TV at all? Having said that, I'm aware that most high quality picture TVs do seem to be smart. Any thoughts welcomed!
     
  2. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    Choice is pretty looked at that size. Is 32" the max you can fit? 55" or even 65"is preferred in this uhd era :)
     
  3. lemmy

    lemmy
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    I wasn't really seeking advice on the size of the screen sincw a 55inch screen would be ridiculous in the room. I'm sorry if the question wasn't clear.
     
  4. zeppelino

    zeppelino
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    Have you measured your current screen from corner to corner? It’s probably got sizeable bezels so perhaps you could go to 40”?
     
  5. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    The question was clear but I was just checking, sorry. I struggle recommending small TVs. There aren't really any fantastic TVs at lower prices so it's always hard to make a recommendation.

    The problem is manufacturers don't care about smaller sizes anymore like they once did. The best you can get is a low-range budget model. Different from the days not so long ago where you could pick up some very well performing TVs in smaller sizes. Between all the models available new now I usually suggest one of the Sony WE series ones if you need wide viewing angles otherwise the Samsung FHD series is better if you only view head on.

    They are all around the same quality, not anything spectacular but the best you can get at that size.

    Sadly even at 40" the situation isn't too different.

    To answer your questions, yes smart TV will be more or less redundant so you may as well get a non-smart TV. Both Samsung and Sony sell non smart versions. For Samsung its the M50xx range and the M40xx range and Sony the RE (rather than WE for smart).

    Having said that, usually these don't cost that much less than the smart TVs both companies have on offer, so it's certainly not a bad thing to have smart TV if you don't use it because it often doesn't carry a premium. Simply looking for the cheapest price, smart or not smart is more important...although who knows with smart TV you may find one or two more apps, Amazon being an example.

    A tuner - well every TV will have one, even if you don't use it.

    Sticking purely to smaller screen sizes, you may actually find better TVs on the second hand market that are a few years old compared to those you can buy new today.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. lemmy

    lemmy
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    Thanks for all the advice - very valuable. I'd been looking at the Sony Bravia WD756 which looks pretty good in the store and that seems the way to go for me in the light of what you say. Thanks again.
     
  7. BobTheViewer

    BobTheViewer
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    What smart options does the Tivo box have( I am still on an old VM box),
    mine only goes back a week on catchup but the chanel players have loads more content accessible on-line.

    I added a NOWTV box to my setup which added the players and things like youtube along with a load of sky content MUCH cheaper than what VM could offer.

    Now we have a "smart tv" it has duplicated some of the NOWTV box features and we use the TV versions.

    when you say your room is small how far away do you view and how big is the TV(real size not screen size)?
     
  8. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    The WD series is the same series from 2016 instead of 2017. Its about to be 2 generations old. It won't really be any better or worse than this years models though so if you can find a good price on it then go for it.

    I'd say price matters more than anything at lower sizes, probably one of the cheaper supermarket TVs won't be too much worse at this size.
     
  9. lemmy

    lemmy
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    I can get a decent price on the Sony. I have to say, though, that compared to a £125 supermarket TV I can see a great deal of difference from even my present 26" Sony. I'm a professional photographer/ video and well geared up to image quality. We all see differently, so while I'm not getting twice the IQ for twice the price (whatever that would mean!), it's worth paying for.

    My present TV overall size is 31" diagonal so the 32" model is a little bigger. Viewing is from about 2 metres. One factor for me is that TV is not a big factor in my life and the TV is part of the furniture rather than a centre of it. It's one of the reasons I'm changing sets - the new ones with their smaller bezels are prettier! That makes me deeply shallow, I know :)

    The new Tivo box is slicker in use than the old one, faster and works especially well with my Samsung S8 phone for accessing YouTube etc. I got my upgrade free, though I know some people have paid for it. I have no idea what criteria Virgin use, they seem to move in mysterious ways.
     
  10. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    I think one of the Sony's will be more than good enough. They should have a step up in picture processing/build quality from the supermarket brands.

    Here is some filters I used on pricespy, quite a difference between all the prices: TVs

    The Samsung FHD range are more likely to be using VA panels which will give you superior picture quality head on to the TV with blacks deeper and contrast ratio being higher but at the cost of the picture looking worse to a tighter angle compared to the IPS panels on the Sony. Some of the Samsungs are quite a bit cheaper so you may consider those instead if you don't want smart at all/don't need wider viewing angles.
     
  11. lemmy

    lemmy
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    Very interesting - thanks, The wider viewing angle is more important to me - my wife prefers not to sit next to me :) That was useful information you gave on that subject in your previous reply. With the smart TV, since it's ten years since I bought my last TV, I may as well pay the extra. The Sony has a RJ45 input so that'll future proof me if new streaming services turn up.

    On good thing about Virgin is that I should get 150Mbps but actually speed test at 164Mbps - always. Even on Wi-Fi, in the same room with their bog standard router I get 45Mbps with 5g and in the furthest reaches of the house 30Mbps with 2g.
     
  12. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    That's good regarding the connection speed. Yes if you find you need better smart TV then you can always buy that separately for one of the HDMI ports. The RJ45 is an input to hard wire the TV to your network if you prefer that instead of WiFi but it's probably not needed on a TV because your usual smart TV stuff doesn't use much bandwidth. My TV is faster on WiFi than it is wired although wired has less latency but it's not important really.
     
  13. lemmy

    lemmy
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    I ordered a Bravia from John Lewis yesterday evening and picked it up from Waitrose this morning. Plugged it and Sony soundbar into the mains, HDMI connected to Tivo, optical to soundbar because I didn't have spare ARC/HDMI and it was up and away in 5 minutes.

    Looks good and - more important - my wife doesn't have to learn anything new to use it all. I'll set up the internet connection when I can be bothered, though the only purpose right now would seem to be the Amazon Prime video.
    thanks again for your help.
     

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