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Better-Reviews Top 10 Televisions

This page is dedicated to our Top 10 Televisions, and is listed by screen size in order of largest, through to smallest. We are satisfied that as of early 2012, these televisions represent the best value HD Televisions on sale in the UK.

Before you read the reviews, you may want to read our buyers guide which is designed to clear up some of the jargon and misunderstandings surrounding flat panel TV's.

The buyers guide can be found Here

You may also want to note (due to the dominance of Samsungs TV's in these reviews) that we are not earning a commision for promoting Samsung. Korean mega-giant Samsung Electronics is the world’s largest manufacturer of flat-panel displays, shifting millions of units each year. Add to this the company’s extensive LCD research, and it becomes obvious why their more recent additions, with higher quality video processing and comprehensive configuration options are now very tempting indeed.

Only the new ranges released by manufactures in the Spring will compete to knock Samsung off their current pedestal, and while Samsung must be confident that they will retain market dominence (with their own Spring releases), we personally think that Panasonics Spring range may well dethrone them. We will of course update this page as the new models prove themselves.

 

Lets start with the largest screen on review, a 55 inch model from, yes, you guessed it, Samsung:

Please click on one of the following links if you would prefer to look at other screen sizes:

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Samsung UE55D8000 55-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 3D 800Hz LED SMART Internet TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD

Please note that you will need to be sitting at least 3.5 metres - 12 feet - away from a screen of this size for optimal viewing.

Samsung’s Series 8 LED TVs are minimalist. With a sliver of a bezel just 5mm wide, it virtually hangs the image in mid air. At 29.7mm deep, the 55inch UE55D8000 reviewed here is a superb example of engineering design. Yet despite its thinness, this 3D ready set bristles with features: it has Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, integrated Wi-Fi and Samsung’s new internet connected Smart Hub platform, which offers access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Lovefilm and other apps.

With live video there are no obvious hotspots. Samsung calls it the ONE Design. You’ll be left wondering just how a border of LED bulbs can illuminate such a huge LED panel so effectively. Connections include four HDMIs, a VGA PC input, stereo audio minijack, plus SCART and component (both via adaptors). There are also three USB inputs, Ethernet LAN and a digital audio optical output. Everything is located on the back of the panel. The UE55D8000 is DLNA compliant and will scour your network for attached devices. AVIs can be played, but without SRT subtitles. Audio compatibility is limited to MP3. However, things become easier if you play the same content directly from a USB drive, as it adds compatibility for MKV and SRT subtitle files.

3D picture quality

The UE55D800’s 3D performance is outstanding when it comes to image brightness and colour fidelity. The zombies from Resident Evil 3D get totally in your face! Less welcome is a different kind of video nasty: 3D crosstalk. A Depth Perception control allows you to dial out either positive or negative parallax ghosting, although minimizing one always emphasises the other. The best results were obtained when we reduced the backlight and contrast, and edged back the sharpness. That said, it is probably the best 3D to be found on any LCD TV to date.

2D picture quality

2D high definition pictures are awesome. Black level is excellent and there’s plenty of shadow detail. To improve moving picture resolution and smoothness Samsung offers a variety of Motion Plus picture processing modes. All deliver 1080 lines of detail. For best motion resolution, we suggest users opt for the Motion Plus Custom setting, with Blur Reduction set to 8 and Judder Reduction set to 0. Switch Motion Plus off and moving picture resolution drops to around 650 lines.

Sound quality

The rear mounted, downward firing stereo speakers are pretty good. There is a surprising amount of volume and the sound is good enough for casual viewing. That said, as ever with super-slim flat-panel TVs, the sound fails to live up to the brilliant picture performance, so for audiophiles, a speaker system would need to be added. these are easy to connect.

The Pros

The UE55D8000 is a spectacular LED screen. Its pencil thin bezel makes 3D more immersive, while the set’s 2D HD picture bristles with detail. The new Smart Hub is offers great functionality, with more apps on offer than ever before. When turned on this TV used about the same amount of electricity as a 70 watt bulb, and when on standby, hardly any.

The Cons

Being cutting edge it is quite expensive, costing the best part of £2,000.

SD pictures in 2D can sometimes suffer from banding, though HD and 3D are not affected (Banding is a problem where horizontal lines of different brightness cross the picture). Sound quality is better than average, but only just, so additional speakers will be a must for many, and finally, the Internet features demand a consistantly high speed broadband connection if they are to function to their best ability.

Click here to see current Samsung UE55D8000 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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Next is the Samsung UE46D7000 46-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p 3D 800Hz LED SMART Internet TV with Freeview HD and Freesat HD

This 7000 series TV offers everything we have mentioned in the Samsung UE55D8000 above. The 46 inch screen is as vibrant as that of his bigger brother, and the pros and cons remain the same.

What's not to like about this TV?

It's slim, beautiful and offers great image quality. Its 3D images are among the best we've ever seen on an LCD TV .

It's not cheap

But cutting-edge tech rarely is, and this is another expensive TV, costing around £1,350.

This TV is a big improvement over the already impressive C series models, especially where 3D playback and sound quality are concerned, and its 2D pictures are great. This TV really is a great all rounder. The only thing wrong with this TV is that we don't own one.

Click here to see current Samsung UE46D7000 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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Next up is a Great value 42" offering from Panasonic, the TX-L42U3B 42-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD TV with Freeview HD

Panasonic have put thought into the design. At less than £500, this TV is finished in a luxurious shiny black gloss that will look amazing wherever you decide to use it. With the purchase of a wall bracket you can also hang it on the wall too where it would look great.

A great viewing angle

 

With a lot of LCD TVs you usually have to sit in a particular place to get the best picture but as with the Samsung models, this is not the case as the Panasonic TXL42U3B has a wide 178° viewing angle and its backlighting provides excellent contrast between light and dark and improves motion-image response.

Great economy and great for the environment too

As well as giving superb picture quality, Panasonic have also considered the environment too as the backlighting on this TXL42U3 uses less energy in comparison to conventional LCD panels and additionally doesn’t contain any harmful mercury so you can be safe in the knowledge that as you are watching television you are also looking out for the environment too.

Good connectivity

Panasonic have thought about connectivity too by providing 2 HDMI inputs. HDMI allows easy connection with one single cable transferring both HD pictures and sound without compressing them so you don’t experience any loss in quality so you don’t have to worry about having different types of cable. With VIERA Link as well this gives you the option to control different sources with the one VIERA remote control so no more looking for that lost remote.
An SD card slot on the Panasonic TXL42U3 will allow you to easily view full HD images. All you have to do is insert an SD Memory card to display your photos and full-HD videos on the large 42 inch screen.

High Definition Freeview

There is built in Freeview HD Tuner allowing you to watch a whole array of free channels subscription free. It is simple to use, all you have to do is connect a digital TV aerial to begin enjoying the amazing selection of channels and all in stunning HD. Reception of course relies on the digital switchover having successfully completed in your area. If you area does not have the service yet, worry not, as it is due for nationwide completion in late May 2012, so not long to wait.

A gaming mode

A great feature for those of you who like to play their games consoles is the Game Mode, as in Game mode the resolution drops slightly in favour of a much quicker image response. This increases your gaming enjoyment and if playing online could give you a distinct advantage over your adversaries. Also whilst playing games darker images in the games are produced more clearly as well.

The Pros

This is a great LCD television, which is easy to use, as a massive gaming screen, or both, and is great value at under £500. HD pictures are amazing, and sound is good.

The Cons

Standard definition pictures are good, but not inspiring. Sound is only average, but this is a common problem with flat screen TV's, which is easily rectfied by adding a home cinema system.

Click here to see current Panasonic TX-L42U3B prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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Next comes the first of a strong group of 40" models, unsurprisingly, it is the Samsung UE40D8000

As you may have noticed by now, if you have read the reviews for the larger screen sizes, the current range from Samsung is excellent at all screen sizes.

Samsung’s Series 7 and 8 LED TVs are minimalist. With a sliver of a bezel just 5mm wide, it virtually hangs the image in mid air. The UE40D8000 reviewed here is another superb example of engineering design. Yet despite its thinness, this 3D ready set bristles with features: it has Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, integrated Wi-Fi and Samsung’s new internet connected Smart Hub platform, which offers access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Lovefilm and other apps.

Connections include four HDMIs, a VGA PC input, stereo audio minijack, plus SCART and component (both via adaptors). There are also three USB inputs, Ethernet LAN and a digital audio optical output. Everything is located on the back of the panel. AVIs can be played, but without SRT subtitles. Audio compatibility is limited to MP3. However, things become easier if you play the same content directly from a USB drive, as it adds compatibility for MKV and SRT subtitle files.

3D picture quality

The UE40D8000’s 3D performance is outstanding when it comes to image brightness and colour fidelity. Less welcome is a different kind of video nasty: 3D crosstalk. A Depth Perception control allows you to dial out either positive or negative parallax ghosting, although minimizing one always emphasises the other. The best results were obtained when we reduced the backlight and contrast, and edged back the sharpness. That said, it is probably the best 3D to be found on any LCD TV to date.

2D picture quality

2D high definition pictures are awesome. Black level is excellent and there’s plenty of shadow detail. To improve moving picture resolution and smoothness Samsung offers a variety of Motion Plus picture processing modes. All deliver 1080 lines of detail. For best motion resolution, we suggest users opt for the Motion Plus Custom setting, with Blur Reduction set to 8 and Judder Reduction set to 0. Switch Motion Plus off and moving picture resolution drops to around 650 lines.

Sound quality

The rear mounted, downward firing stereo speakers are pretty good. There is a surprising amount of volume and the sound is good enough for casual viewing. That said, as ever with super-slim flat-panel TVs, the sound fails to live up to the brilliant picture performance, so for audiophiles, a speaker system would need to be added. these are easy to connect.

The Pros

The UE40D8000 is another spectacular LED screen from Samsung. Its pencil thin bezel makes 3D more immersive, while the set’s 2D HD picture bristles with detail. The new Smart Hub is offers great functionality, with more apps on offer than ever before. When turned on this TV used about the same amount of electricity as a 70 watt bulb, and when on standby, hardly any.

The Cons

Being cutting edge it is quite expensive, at around £1000. SD pictures in 2D can sometimes suffer from banding, though HD and 3D are not affected. Banding is a problem where horizontal lines of different brightness cross the picture. Sound quality is better than average, but again, only just, so additional speakers will be a must for many, and finally, the Internet features demand a high speed broadband connection if they are to function to their best ability.

Click here to see current Samsung UE40D8000 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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The next 40" contender is the Samsung LE40C650 - 6 Series LCD TV - Widescreen - 1080p (Full-HD)

At around £840 the LE40C650 it's much more affordable than the UE40D8000 reviewed above.
Online services abound. Not that it's particularly obvious in the design. Also, it's not particularly thin, but the ‘C650 looks pretty smart with its glossy, red-tinted finish, and it also boasts Freeview HD, access to YouTube and Lovefilm (and soon to BBC iPlayer), wireless networking, and DivX (even DivX HD) movie playback via USB.

A superb LCD panel

Select the Home mode when you first install the TV, and very little additional picture calibration is needed.
Under the bonnet of the LE40C650 you'll find a LCD screen with none of the LED goodness of the models reviewed above. This LCD panel, however, is a class above the rest. It is capable of the kind of wide contrast and deep, believable blacks that we expect to see only on high-end plasmas and pricey full LED-lit panels. And the picture? For the money, absolutely brilliant

Impressive detail and performance

Detail levels are impressive, the Samsung delivers slow pans and fast action with impressive stability and solidity. It's a vibrant performer too. Switch down to a standard-definition DVD and the results are similar, although it's worth turning off the Motion Plus feature to avoid any unnatural characteristics. it also copes well with broadcast TV
The overall vibrancy of the picture also works well with Freeview, especially when it comes to the bright images of BBC HD. It also handles BBC iPlayer and LoveFilm, both of which offer on-demand content with admirable performance. The quality is only just above average on standard-definition, but the Samsung does a good job of upscaling it fairly cleanly. Finally, there's the sound, which again is better than you might expect.

Pros

With Freeview HD and useful compatibility with DivX HD files. Sparkling HD and SD picture quality, access to Lovefilm, History Channel, Twitter, Picasa, AccuWeather, GettyImages, USA Today and YouTube. SRS TheaterSound and SRS TruSurround HD, this set shows that standard LCD sets can still outclass their rivals.

Cons

The fully updated Internet@TV interface now provides a rather cluttered interface. Also, to connect wirelessly you have to buy an extra adaptor.

 

Click here to see current Samsung LE40C650 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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The last of our 40 inch Recommendations is the Samsung UE40D6530
Full-HD 1080p 3D 400Hz LED SMART Internet TV with Freeview HD

When compared to the company’s top end D8000 LED LCD television, it doesn’t appear that much has been trimmed off of this more cost-conscious 3D TV. At around £700, and sitting in the middle of Samsung’s LED TV range, this 6530 series model is very impressive, with its host of intuitive and interactive features.

Samsung’s Smart Hub provides four applications, Your Video, Search All, Web Browser and Social TV, and between them they ensure that you can find whatever content you are looking for, while also letting you communicate face-to-face or via SNS (Social Networking Services).

The visual experience is bolstered by advance technologies like the Ultra Clear Panel, Clear Motion Rate 400 and Wide Colour Enhancer Plus. This Samsung 3D LED TV delivers a premium 3D experience right into your living room.

3D picture quality

The 3D picture quality is average. The pictures almost jump out of the screen and have HD detail. The blacks are solid, but in dark scenes can sometimes be a little too dark. Not a major complaint as it performs better than much of the competition in this area.

HD picture quality

2D High definition content is displayed with cinema quality results. It is astonishingly good

SD picture quality

Standard definition picture quality is best in class, with SD digital channels upscaled just about as well as can be achieved, though it is worth remembering that when switching from such high quality HD images to these SD images, there is always going to be a dissapointing drop in quality.

Sound quality

Sound is average. There are sound modes to choose from: Movie, Music, Clear Voice, Amplify but none of them truly excel. In standard sound mode though there is the ability to change the base, treble etc. and adjusting these can help. There is also SRS surround sound.

Smart TV

This is the user interface where you can access all of the internet enabled services such as BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm, Facebook, YouTube, BBC News, Skype, Twitter and more, bundled together with the TV guide, favourite channels etc. The inbuilt Wi-Fi works really well.

Gaming

This TV has a game mode. Game mode turns off the video processing features of the TV in order to improve gaming response times. With game mode enabled the input lag is dramatically reduced and to the cost of some of the resolution, games play normally. However, avid gamers might find the hardly noticeable delay that remains is still just enough to put them off this model.

Pros

This TV shines in some important areas such as high-definition and standard definition picture quality. It is also a very sleek and stylish set, which many would agree is more pleasing than Samsung’s 8000 series models. To have 3D included for this price is a bonus.

Cons

No 3D glasses are included, so you’ll have to factor in around £45 for each pair before you buy. 3D performance is only average, and likewise, sound quality is basic.

 

Click here to see current Samsung UE40D6530 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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Now we have a 37 inch model in the shape of LG's 37LV355T Full HD 1080p
LED TV with Freeview HD

With decent change from £500, the 37 inch LV355T provides a ultra-high quality HD picture. Combine that with an ultra slim design, a USB connection for access to your favourite pictures, music and videos, a rock solid SD picture, and low power consumption. It doesn’t take long to realise that this is a market leading TV. Featuring LED backlighting, 1080p resolution and a Freeview HD tuner, you can be assured of impressive performance. This 37 inch model features a top quality LED screen, with an impressive contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1. The HD is so realistic you feel like you could touch the picture. Improving the picture quality still further is LG's Intelligent Light Sensor. This automatically controls the brightness and colour of your TV, in response to the ambient lighting in the room. It not only gives you superior picture quality, but helps save power, too. What a bargain.

Sound

The LV355T uses an invisible speaker system with Clear Voice II and LG's Infinite Surround, the LV355T sounds clear, precise sound, with quite some depth. Add to this the twin 10w power output, and you will find that it is able to hold its own in most room sizes. However, adding a home cinema sound system will bring sound up to the level of quality to match this sets awesome picture.

Connectivity

There is a USB connection to allow you to connect a hard drive, your phone, or even your camera. Then there are three HDMI sockets, one of which is mounted on the side to allow easier access for external peripherals such as a camcorder. Add to this a SCART, component and VGA input and you will find that you will not be short on connections.

Design

The LV355T is only 3.5cm thick. This is around half the thickness of standard LCD TVs. The overall appearance is one of classy, sophisticated style, with a brushed-metal style bezel, making the LV355T much more appealing than many of its rivals.

Internet services

With solid performance, you can access the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, DailyMotion, AceTrax, Cartoon Network internet content, Hit Entertainment, AutoCar and more.

Pros

Superior High Definition, Great connectivity, Good internet features, and really low power consumption.

Cons

As befalls all flat screens, it’s the speakers… they are OK, but the addition of a home cinema system is a must to bring this TV up to the standard of the other features. Also, it does not have a socket for a standard aerial.

 

Click here to see current LG 37LV355T prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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Next we have the first of two 32 inch models, Samsung's UE32D6530
Full HD 1080p 3D 200Hz LED SMART Internet TV with Freeview HD

The UE32D6530 is one of the most affordable Samsung LCD TV’s to offer 3D, and for around £600 you get a lot for your money.

There’s Wi-Fi built in, allowing the ability to surf the web, access to BBC’s iPlayer, LoveFilm’s online movie service, access to YouTube, Facebook and much much more.

The TV itself is ultra-thin, but combine this with an ultra-thin bezel, and you have a very small looking TV. Yet when you turn it on, the image appears to almost float in mid-air, which makes for an impressive experience in its own right.

Connectivity

There are four HDMI inputs, three USB ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a digital audio optical output and the usual selection of legacy terminals.

DNLA network support allows streaming of movies and pictures from your PC or other network source. USB connectivity allows USB flash drive and Hard Drive connectivity, for viewing films and pictures, and more remarkably, the ability to record TV using the inbuilt EPG (electronic program guide) direct to your hard drive. This function allows pausing and rewinding of live TV, the ability to tape what you are watching, or even to tape a show, or whole series while you are out. Much in the same way as Sky TV’s Sky plus functionality.

Freeview HD

The Freeview HD built into this set is outstanding. Providing a mix of excellent functionality with superb image quality. A real best in class receiver.

3D

3D pictures are a tiny bit above average. However, this set doesn’t offer the depth of 3D that the higher end TV’s produce. That said, it does a good job of 3D upscaling. 3D upscaling is where 2D content is converted to 3D. Considering the price this is the best all-rounder, and represents the best performance for your money.

Power

This TV uses the same amount of electricity as a 60 watt light bulb in normal use, dropping to less than 2 watts on standby.

Pros

This set is visually stylish and classy. HD pictures are nothing short of exceptional. SD pictures are also extremely good, and broadcasts received using the built-in Freeview HD tuner have a distinct quality to them.

Cons

No 3D glasses are provided with this TV so you need to factor in this extra expense. Also, sound quality is average. While it will suffice for use in smaller rooms. A home cinema kit would be the only way to bring the sound quality up to match the cinematic quality offered by the screen.

 

Click here to see current Samsung UE32D6530 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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The second 32 inch model to make the grade is Samsung's LE32C650
Full HD 1080p 100Hz Motion Plus Allshare Internet LCD TV with Freeview HD


Retailing at around the £500 mark, the 32LEC650 is undoubtedly the best High-definition TV in Samsung’s Non-3D range. It may not be the thinnest TV you will find, but it is brimming with top notch features. There might not be LED back-lighting, but the video processing and some of the best calibration controls available combine to more than make up for it. The 32LEC650 is a very strong performer, again proving that a high end LCD panel is far superior to a mid-range LED.

Connections

The 32LEC650 has four Anynet+ compatible HDMI inputs for connecting any HD accessories. The addition of Anynet+ means that the TV and compatible devices such as Blu-ray players, can be controlled via one remote. It also has two Scart sockets for standard definition, but only one supports high quality RGB video. It has a digital optical output, allowing connection to a compatible home cinema system, a headphone socket, and a USB 2 socket. The USB socket allows to access media from a memory stick or hard disc. Compatible file types are: Jpeg, Jpg, MP3, DivX, WMV, H.264, Mpeg1, Mpeg2 and Mpeg4. In addition to all of this, the TV can stream media from your home network via a DLNA enabled ethernet port. Though to connect wirelessly you have to buy the wireless adaptor, which costs about £45 extra.

Appearance

This set has a transparent strip, running all round the frame, giving it a distinctive appearance which is enhanced by a red-tinted bezel. The supplied stand is of a heavy glass construction and swivels both easily and generously.

Picture Quality

Excellent with both SD and HD content. The picture shows great quality, and excellent black levels.

Internet connectivity

Once you have purchased the additional wireless adaptor, you can also access LoveFilm, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter and many more. You can also add a webcam to add the ability to use Video Skype via the TV.

Pros

Great build quality, low power consumption - around 72 watt when running, and hardy 1 watt when it is on standby. Add to that, an amazing picture and great internet functionality what’s not to love?

Cons

You have to pay extra for the wireless adaptor. Also, as with nearly all flat screen TV’s, sound is only average, so as is the norm, the TV would benefit from the addition of a home cinema system.

 

Click here to see current Samsung LE32C650 prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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And Finally... The Panasonic TX-L24C3B. A 24-inch Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV with Freeview HD

The first thing you will need to note, is that this is a HD Ready TV. Offering the reduced HD standard of 768p rather than the full 1080p . With the larger screen sizes, this would be a potential show stopper. However, 768 lines on a screen of this size, gives the same HD appearance as 1080p on a 40 inch model, and for just £230, this 24 inch TV is a really great deal.

Picture performance

While SD images are nothing to write home about, it is the HD content that makes this TV shine. Especially content from the built-in Freeview HD tuner.  Or a Blu-ray source. Our only criticism would have to be the narrow viewing angle. For example:  If this TV was in the corner of a room, it would not be a real problem, but put it against the middle of a wall, and you would be able to move out of optimal viewing range.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of this TV is surprisingly good, with reasonable bass, mid-range, and high frequency response. If you were to use this TV in a kitchen, or a bedroom, you would find the sound more than up to the task at hand.

Connectivity

There are two HDMI sockets, an RGB capable Scart socket, and both composite and component video inputs. Add to this, optical digital audio output, a headphone socket, and an SD memory card slot, and you have quite good options. The SD memory card slot can take SD, SDHC or SDXC cards of up to 64GB in size, and allows you to view  JPEG photos, listen to MP3 and AAC audio files or view the AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) video files produced by some HD camcorders.

Pros

A great HD picture, nice sound, and a good EPG (electronic program guide).

Cons

Due to poor viewing angles, this TV is only really suited to corner of room placement.

 

Click here to see current Panasonic TX-L24C3B prices on Amazon.co.uk

 

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