WHICH guide LCD TV Dec 06

mwillerton

Standard Member
I thought that some of you might like to read the WHICH guide to LCD TVs so have popped this thread in. Just incase you don't know WHICH test lots of different products, they are independant and the products they test are "off the shelf". I.E. they take them straight out of shops and don't allow manufacturers to send them models for testing. Well worth a look if you are thinking about spending ££££ on a new product.

Tests are available online but you have to sign up, first month is free and you can cancel after then, otherwise it's about £7.00 per month. They also have good information on reliability.
www.which.co.uk

They have recent tests on portables, plasma, widescreen, projectors and loads more.

WHICH tested these models of TV:

LCD TVs reviews
Daewoo DLP-3212
Hitachi 32LD6600 26LD6600 B
JVC LT-32DX7BJLT-40DS7BJLT-26DX7BJLG
RZ-15LA7032LX2R37LC2D
Loewe Xelos A 32Xelos A26
Panasonic TX-32LXD60TX-32LXD52TX-26LXD60
Philips 26PF9946/12 32PF5520D/1032PF7520D/1032PF9830/1032PF7521D/10Cineos 32PF9631D/1032PF5521D/1026PF7521D/1026PF5521D/10
Sagem AXIUM HD-L32 T/2
Samsung LW15M23CX/XEULE32R73BDLE40R74BLE26R74BD
Sanyo CE27LD6-B
Sharp LC-32P50E LC-32P70EAquos LC-32GA9E
Sony KLV-27HR3KLV-L32M1KDL-S32A12UKDL-W40A12UKDF-E50A12UBravia KDL-32S2010Bravia KDL-32V2000Bravia KDL-40S2010Bravia KDL-40V2000KDL-26S2010
Toshiba Regza 32WLT66Regza 32WL66P


The Best Buys came out as follows:

Sony KLV-L32M1
Price: £1,410
Score: 64%
This 32-inch LCD TV from Sony really impressed our expert viewing panel.

The colour balance, depth and sharpness of the picture make for fine viewing. Teletext and still photo quality are both good, too. Ease of use is acceptable. It's let down by the disappointingly mediocre sound but is still good enough to be a Best Buy.
Sony KDL-W40A12U
Price: £2,500
Score: 62%
At 40 inches, this Sony Best Buy is one of the biggest LCDs we've ever tested.

It's ready for both digital and HDTV, so is a good purchase if you want to keep up with the latest TV developments. The picture has good depth and detail but colours are a little weak, and fast panning or movement isn't the best. High definition pictures are great, offering good levels of detail.
Panasonic TX-32LXD52
Price: £1,200
Score: 67%
This 32” LCD from Panasonic is ready for both HDTV and digital - and it's a Best Buy. Picture quality is good across the board and it is one of the best LCD choices for audiophiles.

The picture boasts especially sharp resolution, that picks out detail colourfully well without too much compromise on movement. Viewing angles are a bit narrow, but if you want to watch HDTV it's one of the top choices. The picture is highly detailed, giving an almost 3D effect. The only drawback are the below par black levels.
Sony Bravia KDL-40S2010
Price: £1,200
Score: 60%
Another Best Buy from the popular Sony Bravia range, this HD-ready LCD comes with a Freeview box built in and a sizeable 40-inch screen.

Picture-wise it's our favourite larger-screened LCD, but the muddy and lacklustre sound split our expert panel between average and disappointed camps. Pictures are detailed and especially pleasing when watching in HD.
Panasonic TX-26LXD60
Price: £592
Score: 62%
This HD ready 26" LCD IDTV ran the Sony Best Buy close, but couldn't quite match it for picture quality. However, our expert panel remarked upon its good colour reproduction and resolution. Sound quality is OK - but could be muffled at times.

It's got a simple, yet stylish, design with a matt black and silver surround. It comes with a matching stand though it can be wall mounted if a suitable bracket is bought.
Sony KDL-26S2010
Price: £650
Score: 64%
This HD ready 26" LCD IDTV was top of the pile in this test with unrivalled high definition picture quality. The standard picture is very good too; our expert panel were impressed by the realistic colours and good detail. Sound quality is OK - slightly 'nasal' but clear.

It's a smart looking telly, with matt gunmetal coloured plastic surround and silver trim and comes with a matching stand - though it can be wall mounted if a suitable bracket is bought.


A guide to how WHICH test:

Picture quality
As well as subjecting our TVs to a barrage of technical tests, we use an independent expert viewing panel to assess picture quality under the same conditions in a dimmed, tungsten-lit room.

Brightness and contrast levels are set as equally as possible and the sets all receive the same-quality picture signal.

To ensure continuity and impartiality, the same experts take part each time, we conceal the brand names and, of course, the panel members are not allowed to discuss any aspects of the testing.

We show a test card and eight different video clips – each helps the experts assess a different aspect of picture quality. For example, a moving train helps highlight any problems with panning and movement.

A still image of a vase of flowers shows sharpness, detail and colour reproduction. We also view the TVs in HD mode via satellite.

We award each image an individual score and each TV an overall picture score.

TVs that score well offer a good compromise between different viewing demands. For instance, a sharp, detailed picture is less than appealing when it causes stuttering motion.

Likewise, smooth motion shouldn't come at the expense of picture sharpness. Picture quality accounts for 40% of the overall test score.

Sound quality
We use a similar mix of technical measurements and expert opinion to assess sound quality.

Our experts listen to, and score, male and female voices, classical music, pop music, jazz and a TV drama under controlled conditions. Benchmark samples from previous tests are used to ensure continuity.

Technical assessments include measuring the characteristic background noise (e.g. a low-level buzzing) and the maximum sound levels from the internal speakers. Sound quality accounts for 20% of the overall score.

Ease of use
A TV with good picture and clear sound is a priority but it needs to be easy to use too. Two lab experts assess the televisions according to a variety of realistic scenarios – from initial set-up to using advanced features via the remote control and the buttons on the TV.

They rate how easy it is to use onscreen menus and to program functions, whether everyday tasks such as using the remote control are simple and if instruction manuals are clear. Ease of use accounts for 20% of the total test score.

Power
Modern TVs can be a drain on the environment and on your wallet. We test the power consumption of each TV in a variety of viewing modes and also estimate the annual running costs. TVs which guzzle power are marked down overall.

We measure the power usage during normal 16:9 (widescreen) mode, during stand-by, economy mode and even when the TV is switched off.

If the TV features a built-in ambient light sensor we assess its energy saving capabilities. Our experts have found that adjusting the settings (see ideal settings for each model tested) can reduce power usage considerably. Power use accounts for 5% of the total test score.

IDTVs
For integrated digital TVs, we also test digital text, subtitles, and electronic programme guides (EPG).

Hope this is of interest.

Matty
 

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