Question Which 49” - 55” TV?

thegoat46

Standard Member
First off, a huge thank you for all the invaluable advice and articles on this site. I’ve read and reread countless advice on here and links to elsewhere, but I would appreciate thoughts before hitting the ‘Buy’ button…

We are looking for a new 49” - 55” TV for our lounge after our 2011 Samsung UE40D5520 became faulty. We are currently borrowing a similarly aged Sony KDL-40NX703. We are using the opportunity to finally upgrade to a larger screen. Ideally, we don’t want to spend over £650 (which rules out the Sony 49XE90) and I’ve read on here that spending £800 has very little improvement over £500. We have narrowed our list down to the following:

£623 Samsung 55MU7000 | UHD | VA panel | 10-bit | 120Hz

£508 Panasonic 50EX700B | UHD | VA panel | 8-bit + FRC | 60Hz

£559 Sony 55XE70 | UHD | VA panel | 8-bit + FRC | 60Hz

£465 Sony 49WE753 | FHD | ADS panel | 8-bit | 60Hz | with TRILUMINOS Display

£420 Sony 49WE663 | FHD | ADS panel | 8-bit | 60Hz

We will be purchasing from either John Lewis or Richer Sounds due to their extended guarantees (preferably John Lewis as we can get discount).

We have ruled out both the Samsung UE50MU6120 and Hisense 50N6800 as potentials.

Our viewing mainly consists of YouView (HD & SD), NowTV Movies & Entertainment (720p) and YouTube. Our movie collection is 99% DVD’s with a few Blu-Ray’s chucked in. TV viewing consists of sport, movies, documentaries, comedies etc.

Occasionally we have the TV on in the daytime, but normally viewing is at night and preferably in the dark.

Sound isn’t an issue as we use a separate Panasonic SC-HTE80 sound bar.

No HD gaming – just Xbox 360 and Wii.

We want a Flat screen, not Curved.

We sit around 2.5m – 3.5m away from the screen. From this distance I understand that we would have to be looking at 70” upwards for UHD to be worthwhile.

We have been to John Lewis and Currys a couple of times to have a good look at lots of TV’s. We couldn’t tell any difference between sets with a VA panel and those with IPS panels - the VA sets still looked great when viewed from very acute angles. Although we don’t sit perfectly straight on to our TV we therefore feel VA will be okay for us.

We are unlikely to be interested in 4K or HDR until they become mainstream. We would hope this TV will last us 5-6 years or more and will keep it until it breaks.

I have looked on PriceSpy at the price history of similar sets last year to see if the prices are likely to drop any further. I’m not sure they will and though we don’t need to purchase immediately, we would like to while we have Price Match’s in place and before stocks begin to dwindle.

Having read Dodgexander’s excellent article UHD vs FHD amongst others, it would appear from our criteria that we would be better off sticking with a FHD TV. However, the only FHD TV’s that we like and are currently on sale are the Sony 49WE663 and 49WE753. Would one of these two be our best choice or would one of the UHD sets on our list be a noticeable step-up in quality? We don’t want to go for a UHD set if the up-scaling quality of SD material will look dire, or is this not so much an issue given how far we sit from the TV? The 55MU7000 looks the best on paper and we'd be happy to pay more if it will give a big improvement over the others.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I look forward to hearing people’s advice and am always open to suggestions.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
You are in a similar situation to many and as you have already seen, FHD models aren't popular anymore. Its actually hard to even find one running in a shop for a demo.

My concern really is your viewing distance, its very far from the TV, even for HD content so I would say you should place the most importance of getting the largest screen you can.

Sadly that takes away all the FHD models apart from the Samsung 55" models.

So my recommendation would be one of these, and failing that to forgo a little better upscaling for the Sony XE70xx given your sources. Will you notice at your distance poorer quality upscaling on a 55" TV? Well, I would, but some people may not.

One thing is for sure, DVDs won't look anywhere near as bad SD TV/catch up will.

Sadly JL don't stock any of the Samsung FHD models. Here they are listed elsewhere.

What you may consider if you aren't sure is taking a DVD or ask them to put on some normal TV so you can draw your own conclusions of the quality of SD quality.

I certainly don't think its worth you stepping down to the FHD Sony's to a smaller screen size just for that.
 

thegoat46

Standard Member
So my recommendation would be one of these, and failing that to forgo a little better upscaling for the Sony XE70xx given your sources. Will you notice at your distance poorer quality upscaling on a 55" TV? Well, I would, but some people may not.

Thank you very much for your help. We've taken a look at the Samsung FHD's, but we much prefer the style of the XE70 and MU7000 and we can get discount at John Lewis. I was just wondering why you would recommend the XE70 over the MU7000? Will the XE70 upscale SD content better than the MU7000 would?
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
Thank you very much for your help. We've taken a look at the Samsung FHD's, but we much prefer the style of the XE70 and MU7000 and we can get discount at John Lewis. I was just wondering why you would recommend the XE70 over the MU7000? Will the XE70 upscale SD content better than the MU7000 would?
I don't recommend it over the MU7000. For most people though the MU7000 isn't going to be an improvement.

It has a higher Hz panel which is useful if you want to use motion enhancements and a wider range of apps built in. It's been reduced a lot and wasn't long selling for £1000.
 

thegoat46

Standard Member
I don't recommend it over the MU7000. For most people though the MU7000 isn't going to be an improvement.

It has a higher Hz panel which is useful if you want to use motion enhancements and a wider range of apps built in. It's been reduced a lot and wasn't long selling for £1000.

That's great thank you for clarifying - I've just ordered the MU7000 from John Lewis. We may never use the extra features but for the little extra cash we thought it was probably worth it. Thank you again for all your help, and all of your articles were invaluable.

Out of curiosity, where did you see the 55" mu7000 for £623

It actually works out at around £580 in the end. John Lewis price matched Gardiner Haskins to £674.99. I've paid the majority of it using £50 John Lewis vouchers purchased from Morrisons, effectively giving a further £93.75 off (which I found on HotUKDeals).
 

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