Choosing a 32" TV

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  • Choosing a 32" TV
  • Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I have a huge, free from a mate, Sony mahoooosive old fashioned thing. I have nothing to offer in advice, other than I don’t get spending lots of cash on a new one.

    I have first hand experience of one of these. I initially bought a Samsung UE32H5000, and it was awful – shocking blue ghosting on any kind of motion. So bad I thought it was faulty. That went straight back for another of the same – which was just as bad. So that went back as well.

    I changed it for a Panasonic TXL32E6B which was a few quid more expensive, but has been bob on. Great picture and quite a nice looking box too. I don’t think you could do much better for the money.

    That said, I’ve heard very good things about the Sonys though I’m not sure exactly what model, and the more expensive Samsung may have a better panel.

    Milkie
    Member

    There are 3 makes to choose from, LG, Sony & Samsung. I prefer Samsung LCD’s, go and look at them in a shop and see which one you prefer.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    I was reasonably impressed with the picture on that Panasonic when I saw it…

    How many HD channels will you have available – as Samsungs seem particularly pants at upscaling SD pictures. I also don’t like their skin tones.

    I’ve got a Sony and it is pretty good, although strangely (for a company that makes broadcast equipment) their colors are often a bit too rich and it is worth looking on the web for someone that has calibrated the set you buy so you can crib the settings.

    I have also seen a number of Sharps that I think have decent pictures, although some of that is because their colors seem to be reasonable from the start.

    Also consider that glossy cases can look bad if they get finger marks on and glossy ‘anti-glare’ screens are poor if you have a light source behind them (I think that Panny is a matt screen).

    I also have a Virgin Tivo but note that sometimes I get better definition from Netflix if I pull it over the net rather than through the Tivo, and also some Freeview HD channels are also 1080P whereas the Tivo box might pump them out at 720P.

    I also seem to get slightly better results using the smart apps on the Sony than if I pump the pictures in through a computer, which is probably a refresh rate thing.

    keppoch
    Member

    Thanks for these comments so far.

    It seems like I have hit the point where all the models are in a state of changing which is not helping, along with the random string of letters and numbers.

    I have been to John Lewis and looked at the pictures but the issue was that they were all showing different things and I think that was distracting. The Samsung had a Samsung video emphasising the picture quality, the Sony a similar promo video (football focussed) and the Panasonic just had the news on (presumably non HD).

    Not all of my channels or watching will be SD so the upscaling (I am guessing that means stretching SD to fit on an HD screen?) is a valid point.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    The upscaling is basically the computer processing i the TV to try to convert the PAL picture which is 576 lines (roughly) and interlaced to a progressive 720 lines or 1080 lines.

    To do this it analyses each frame and tries to ‘invent’ the detail that is not there.

    This can be particularly hard with moving images, and you can get motion artifacts which can be quite distasteful.

    In my opinion Samsungs are pretty useless at anything involving upscaling and motion enhancement, although nearly all of the manufacturers aren’t great.

    I saw a Sony demo where image enhancement was turned up the max and it made Judi Dench look like The Thing from the fantastic four, quite ridiculous.

    I recommended a Samsung to my sister once and it just about lasted a year before the screen developed faulty areas, and I since seen a few Samsungs that were similar.

    keppoch
    Member

    Hi,

    I’m a bit out of the TV technology loop having sold the last one I had (small Grundig CRT) for £15 five years ago.

    With the coming together of some long term work on the house I am going to buy another one. It will be 32” size as the room is small.

    My requirements:

    – Does not look awful when turned off (will be in a very fuss free room)
    – Picture looks good when turned on
    – Sound not critical as it will be plugged into a stereo (but needs to have either optical input or phono plugs to do this)
    – Smart features not that critical as I have a computer and all the TV functions (pause, record, catch up) will be done by the Tivo box I have just got
    – Not interested in 3D
    – Budget not critical but <£500
    – For just general TV watching, a bit of everything. I am not a sports or films obsessive but I do watch them.

    The contenders seem to be:

    Panasonic (The TXL32E6B seems to be the outgoing model)
    TXL32E6B

    A Samsung (there seem to be several and I am struggling to understand the exact differences, this UE32H6400 looks like the top end of the 32” ones)
    Samsung UE32H6400

    Sony (the KDL32W7 seems like the option here)
    KDL32W7

    Opinion, real world experience and any other options welcomed.

    toby1
    Member

    Personal opinion is always go Panasonic, I have a 37″ e5b (couple of years older model than the one you are looking at) and it’s the best picture of any of mine or my friends TV’s.

    Samsung look nice for HD, Sony I have a massive loathing of in general. LG also worth a look, but do you really want a TV where the loading screen tells you “Life’s Good” everyday? It might end up with a shoe through it in my house!

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    And LG doesn’t even stand for that, or didn’t – it was Lucky Goldstar – which I always though meant that your were lucky if it kept working for long…

    Yes, don’t discount the Panny – decent colors and I don’t think it was a glossy screen on the one I saw.

    Premier Icon mmannerr
    Subscriber

    It would have to be very small room to require 32″ instead of 40″ – 42″.

    keppoch
    Member

    OK, this is good. My preference before posting was:

    1. Panasonic
    2. Sony
    3. Samsungs

    My last TV was probably 20″, the room has not grown so I figure 32″ will be fine. I would rather have good quality 32″ than a lesser 40″ that dominates the room.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    I quite like our Samsung. The Smart TV bit works well (all the usual media player and on demand stuff and Eurosport too) and it has built in wifi, which is handy.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG – all good. At the relatively small size you are looking at IMO the relative differences are small. I am a Sony fan personally but have had Panasonic and Samsung too. I would agree that just buying the best tv is the way to go, the typical buyer changes their tv every 10 years so best to keep the smart technology outside (apple TV £100, Chromecast £30, who know what will be developed a few years from now, easy/cheap to change the box outside).

    John Lewis only sell decent stuff and with great warranty’s so a good place to purchase

    Be careful about be wow’ed in the shop as they feed in very specific images to make the tvs look as good as possible, this is especially true on the big HD tv’s and often the detail is a total waste if all you do is watch regular tv.

    If you like watching sport, on a big tv you do need the hd feeds otherwise it can look very grainy

    As for size, I would err toward larger. 40 may look big now but it doesn’t take long to get used to it, also latest TV’s don’t have the large bezel around the outside so are smaller in size than older sets for a given screen size.

    Happy hunting.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    When I bought our tv I got to stand in John Lewis and play with a bout 4 tvs all showing the same thing.

    They all started off looking quite different but a quick play with the remotes had them all looking the same. I was changing saturation brightness etc. If using the TIVO you on’t be using the in tv upscaling

    So I think it doesn’t matter that much

    If it helps I bought a SAMSUNG and the picture is good from our youview box or Apple tv

    I don’t think a lack of 1080 will matter much on a 32 inch set

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    And edge-lighting is not a feature, so don’t let the sales guy try to tell you so – it just keeps the tv thin at the expense of uniformity of backlighting.

    empy
    Member

    I’ve had the Sony for a few months, small room too, and its great. However it doesn’t have ITV player or 4OD – which Samsungs do – so bear this in mind.

    oldboy
    Member

    Sorry, but I can’t understand why anyone would buy such a small screen nowadays, except maybe for the kitchen. Most modern 55/60″ TVs are wafer thin and if you hang them on the wall are completely unobtrusive when turned off, and the picture quality in HD is sensational. Of course, if your house is full of antiques and the sort of junk they sell on the Antiques Road Show you might have a problem with my comments!

    toby
    Member

    I found Richer Sounds particularly helpful when TV shopping.

    I (and my parents) bought a Sony, but as that was a couple of years ago I doubt the models are even remotely comparable.

    One thing I’ve been disappointed by is the lack of updates on the “smart” side of things. In future I’d prefer to go for a regular TV, or even a computer monitor with decent input selection and use an external media device, which would be far easier to upgrade.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Samsung led hd. I don’t think Sony even make there own screens anymore. We have two Samsung’s both led, both been very good.

    rogg
    Member

    How can a black rectangle measuring five foot across the diagonal be ‘unobtrusive’ no matter how thin it is?

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    wafer thin doesn’t really matter much unless you sit and watch the tv from the side.

    If you get too big a screen for your viewing distance then all you will see is scaling artifacts unless you feed it with good quality HD all the time.

    So how far do you sit from where the screen is going to be ?

    I sit about 10 feet from a 40 inch screen and when it shows SD it is OK, a bit fuzzy but at that distance the edge enhancement can make the picture look like it has more contrast than it really has, but if you sit much closer you can start to see all the pixelation mess than it creates.

    So for 7 or 8 feet viewing distance and some SD channels then a 32 inch set is a reasonable choice.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Samsung led hd. I don’t think Sony even make there own screens anymore. We have two Samsung’s both led, both been very good.

    The panel is a small part of a modern TV so it doesn’t really matter who they buy there panels from.

    see http://www.displaysearchblog.com/2011/12/samsung-and-sony-close-the-s-lcd-joint-venture-what-next/

    for instance Sony has Tri-Luminous so why don’t the other manufacturers than Sony buy their panels from?

    and why is the picture processing so gash on Samsungs but a lot better on Sony’s – it’s in the electronics and nothing to do with the panel.

    sharkbait
    Member

    We’ve had a Samsung which went bang after 4 years and my brother has a 2 nor three year old Samsung – only the 4OD and iPlayer are any good, the rest of the ‘smart’ stuff is utter rubbish (ITV player may work but I’ve never tried it) and the picture tries too hard to look fake 3d…. very annoying.

    We replaced our Samsung with a Panasonic which is great and we need to buy a TV for another house and will be getting the Sony KDL42W7 (bigger version of the one your after) which looks good, gets great reviews but only has 2 x hdmi ports which may be an issue for you. Price at Costco is £470 inc 5 year warranty.

    Ignore the ‘smart’ features as they’ll prob not work in a few years. Go for a good picture and use a chromecast/AppleTV/Raspberry Pi/something else to supply the smart stuff – you’ll be much better off.

    Edukator
    Member

    Whatever you buy it’s as much the source as the size of the room that matters. A 102cm Samsung with an HD fibre source or DVD looks fine standing only 2m away, but an 82cm Samsung fed from a non-HD sat channel isn’t great at 2m. I use a 94cm Samsung TV as a computer screen which is currently about 80cm in front of me, tis great, though I do sit back a bit when watching Youtubes full screen.

    Cletus
    Member

    It would make sense to consider the number of HDMI ports the TV has for plugging in media devices – my Panasonic has four which is just enough.

    Also think about whether you want things like USB or SD slots to allow cards from cameras to be inserted (also check image format support).

    Finally also make sure that you like the remote and find it easy to use – Panasonic are the best and Samsung the worst in my experience.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    The recent Sony screens are really good, good colour and motion.
    Sound is useless on almost all new TV’s these days because they are so thin.

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Subscriber

    I recently got a 32″ toshiba smart tv full hd with built in wifi and five year guarantee for 320. Was at costco but wasn’t much cheaper than the normal shops

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    The recent Sony screens are really good, good colour and motion.

    yes, the only thing that seems iffy about my W9 40 inch is the edge lighting isn’t brilliantly uniform when the screen is showing black, i.e. it is not completely black all over the screen. And the W9 has all the local dimming gubbins that means it is supposed to overcome the edge-lit problems.

    Spent ages comparing it to a pany plasma in the shop, with both the screens properly set up, and decided there was nothing much in it so I would avoid the danger of screen image burn and get the LCD.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Sorry, but I can’t understand why anyone would buy such a small screen nowadays, except maybe for the kitchen

    Cost @oldboy, cost

    sharkbait
    Member

    And the W9 has all the local dimming gubbins that means it is supposed to overcome the edge-lit problems.

    I’m fairly sure that the W7 is actually back lit which is partly why the picture is supposedly so good.

    wombat
    Member

    Last month I bought a 32″ Sony for the front room, Full HD, Smart, 200hz and a 5 year waranty for £349 fom my local indie electrical shop. I’m very happy with it.

    “Sorry, but I can’t understand why anyone would buy such a small screen nowadays, except maybe for the kitchen”

    I loooked (briefly) in CurrysPCWorld for a bit of research and the yoof that was showing me what their options were basically said this. He took the hump when I pointed out that some people actually get off their ar5es every now and again and don’t perpetually worship at the alter of telly in their leisure time…..he was about 5’6″ tall an must have weighed 18stone

    EDIT: We don’t tend to watch sport or films at home so don’t feel the need for a bigger screen

    stoffel
    Member

    We have that Panasonic. Side by side in comparison with the Samsung, it was just better. The thin bezel helps it to be slightly less obtrusive. The Sony was good but has a proprietary stand/mount, which isn’t as versatile as the VESA system.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Sorry, but I can’t understand why anyone would buy such a small screen nowadays, except maybe for the kitchen

    TV size should be dictated by how far from the TV you are when viewing it. Go too big and it’s like sitting on the front row at the cinema.
    Obviously willy waggling takes over the minds of some people when they’re deciding which to buy.

    Bimbler
    Member

    +1 for get a bigger screen

    very happy with our Panasonic e6b in terms of picture quality but ui is a tad slow and only “catchup” service available is iPlayer. Also there’s a minor but annoying bug on the Netflix ap where you have to reconfigure the digital out (sound) with each new program, grrrr.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Go too big and it’s like sitting on the front row at the cinema.

    except that the picture at the cinema doesn’t have the possibility of upscaling nasties…

    tonyd
    Member

    I have an older Panasonic 32″, it was about the best of a similar range of options when I bought it about 6 years ago.

    Go back to the shop and ask them to put the same channel on, also be aware that they use some special setting in the shop to make everything look richer (shop mode or something). Maybe ask them to turn that off and put on a standard TV feed so you can compare properly. Any decent TV shop should be able to do that for you.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Any decent TV shop should be able to do that for you.

    that’s Currys out, Richer Sounds and many others.

    Sevenoaks in Weybridge had all their sets configured with decent, non-shop mode pictures.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    when i bought our current tv, i had a fixed £500 budget in my pocket, and went along to our local curries store.
    i decided that i would buy the one that looked best within my budget, regardless of brand.
    ended up with a 32″ lg, and £200 change.
    had it 3 years now, still working perfectly.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    I’m fairly sure that the W7 is actually back lit which is partly why the picture is supposedly so good.

    I think it has edge backlighting – as it is so thin.

    hora
    Member

    Someone in the industry told me those razor-sharp images you see on TV’s on store might not be the same in your home….due to some stores having a satelitte ariel/boosted thing to make it all look great.

    My TV looked great instore at Richersounds- it looks average at home.

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