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Sony Bravia TV with VAT back - worth getting?

(10 Posts)
QueenofWhatever Sun 28-Nov-10 14:44:03

Comet and John Lewis have got a deal with Sony where if you buy one of the Bravia TVs before Christmas you get the VAT back. I've been planning on getting a new TV between Christmas and New Year in the sales and before the VAt increase, but is this a better deal?

I have a flexible budget of #300 based on wandering around John Lewis vacantly. I am geekily challenged on this sort of thing and the only thing I know is that I want HD.

This one works out as #348.09. Is it any good? I have a Sky+ HD box so am sorted for that bit.

I've heard before about using this TV to watch stuff on the internet, but don't really understand. Is it worth having? I really don't understand the rest of the description; am I paying for something I don't need or want?

NetworkGuy Sun 28-Nov-10 18:37:36

Probably as good as any other, 32" full HD set.

It has an internet connection (presumably for getting software updates) but I don't think it includes iPlayer yet (which might be on TVs in 2011).

If 300 is the sort of flexible budget, then a bit of time looking around may find something else which is suitable and cheaper.

Being nosy, (roughly) where are you ? In some areas there are 'Richer Sounds' shops which have a wide range of kit (hi-fi, AV Amps, home cinema, TVs) while online you might see some bargains from (owned by BT), etc

NetworkGuy Sun 28-Nov-10 18:54:38

~300 to 310 quid - Samsung LE32C530

~295 to 325 quid - LG 32LD450

One plus with the Sony from JL is the 5 year guarantee. Richer Sounds shows two prices for items where they also offer a 5 year guarantee.

I suppose the fact it has HD Freeview (even if you will not use it) would add a bit for second-hand sale price if you decide to swap to something newer.

NetworkGuy Sun 28-Nov-10 19:00:51

In case you want a look at other Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) TVs, then find Richer Sounds at

Incidentally, they charge 329.95 for the Sony Bravia KDL32EX403 and 362.94 including 5 year guarantee - so if JL sells out you have an alternative source at a similar (lower) price.

QueenofWhatever Sun 28-Nov-10 20:06:07

Thanks NetworkGuy, I'm in Bristol, and there is a Richer Sounds a couple of miles from me. Still don't understand the bit about the internet connection - why would a TV get software updates? Also why do I not want the 32" Samsung LE32C450 for #270 that Richer Sounds have on their home page?

I also don't know if 32" is a good size, I have a small living room and was initially looking at 22", largely because it's bigger than the one I have now and cheaper. However friends told me this would be a false economy. The sofa is about 6' - 7' foot from the TV.

NetworkGuy Sun 28-Nov-10 21:25:25

Regarding the cheaper Samsung model, I looked at detailed info on the AV Forum and it shows the TV is "HD Ready" (vs Full HD).

(I had initially included that set, because of the price, and then when I searched a bit longer, saw it was not 1920 x 1080. Once I found that info, I went looking again!)

"HD Ready" means it is still in the right widescreen proportions (16:9) [ vs the older style TVs with 4:3 width:height ] but with 1366 x 768 there are fewer pixels on the TV, so the screen has about half the pixels on it, and picture quality is reduced.

It will show the picture and fill the screen OK, but as you have Sky HD, it would be worth paying more so when you select an HD channel you should get a better picture from the Full HD TV, and LCD TVs are giving good pictures (where 2+ years ago, plasma sets were significantly better, but costing up to 1500 pounds).

As for size... well, I would think a 32" should still be considered. I have a 28" widescreen TV that is perhaps 5 or 7 years old, very deep and quite heavy. When I replace that TV, I will be able to have a screen at least 1.5 feet further away (I generally view from about 8' to 9' away), and would be looking to get 37" or 42", sitting it on a stand about 6" above the carpet if necessary!!

It will depend to some extent on where you will put the TV. Clearly many older TV stands put the bottom of the TV screen around 18" from the floor.

As you will probably want the vertical mid-point of the TV screen to be roughly the same height as now (so you are not needing to bend your neck awkwardly to look up or down when viewing the screen), the stand would probably need to be a bit lower.

I'd say your best bet is to get a tape measure and note the distance from the carpet to the bottom of the visible picture and also the distance from the carpet to the centre of the screen.

Then visit Asda Living / Comet / Currys / Tesco - whichever is most convenient, and check the height of the screen. You can then see how much larger it is vertically than your existing TV and judge the new (lower) stand you would need. Also, you can work out how much higher the top of the TV will be compared with now. I have not sat down to calculate the sizes, but obviously the width increases more than the height.

Also, depending on the height of the TV, would it be visible outside your home - walking past a house near me, the TV screen is massive (50" or larger), and, along with 4 tall speakers, it could be "begging" to be stolen as there is no way to hide it, and the family cannot even see around it (to spot me noting how many cables they have )

NetworkGuy Sun 28-Nov-10 21:40:53

Re software updates - these days a lot of home cinema and hi-fi kit is getting "internet ready" as many functions in devices are under microprocessor control.

At home, we have plenty of computer controlled devices, but they are normally 'specialist' in what they can do - my washing machine has maybe a dozen different things it can do (different wash cycles) and doesn't need to be flexible.

However, with a TV, they could add extra languages to menus, add timer functions to let the user programme the TV to switch channels at particular times, change some of the audio or video processing to give better sound/video, or be able to accept a new standard for DVDs, say, where an update via the internet would mean they would not need to recall hundreds of thousands of TVs, just to cope with a new DVD format, or satellite service, or UltraHD signal that has 10 times the number of pixels, say.

NetworkGuy Mon 29-Nov-10 04:54:08

Just spotted another option (sorry) at 170 quid from with a 2 year warranty.

It is a 25" LCD, with 2 milliSecond response (faster than quite a few LCD panels) and Hannspree / Hanns-G have been around for some time making LCDs for the PC market. This has a socket suitable for PC output to be fed into it.

It gives you another option if you decide a 32" TV will be too big, and if you did buy this but felt disappointed by the audio then you could put what you have saved towards a suitable amp and speakers.

After 2-3 years if you decide you want a bigger TV this could be moved for use with a PC or laptop (some laptops have a socket so you can combine laptop screen and another screen to have a larger 'desktop'), or sold as it can be used as a standalone TV as well.

QueenofWhatever Mon 29-Nov-10 20:10:57

This is why I love Mumsnet, I would have given up ages ago.

I have a TV unit (from IKEA obviously) and it is 19" high. It's then about 63" from the bottom of the sofa to the bottom of the unit, I don't have a longer tape measure. Felt a bit stupid measuring it, but the cat enjoyed pouncing on it and the tape measure has now been thoroughly killed.

Security is a good point. I live in a cul de sac and there are small walls at the front of our houses, so someone would be have to be peering in in quite a conspicuous way to see the TV.

So shall I just go to Richer Sounds on my day off and buy a 28" or 32" full HD TV?

NetworkGuy Tue 30-Nov-10 00:37:25

I was planning to do some sort of drawing to show how an old style 22" TV and 28" or 32" TVs might compare, but then had a go at estimating the dimensions and think

the old TV would probably be 18" wide by 14" high,

a 28" TV might be 23" by 17" and

a 32" TV may be 25.5" x 20"

so the vertical height should not be too much of a problem - to keep the vertical mid-point at the same height above the carpet, your stand would need to be only 3" lower half the height difference, so (20 - 14) / 2 and a 3 inch height difference at perhaps 75" (as the flat screen can be further away from your sofa) won't have you looking much higher tyhan you do now...

So yes, pop into RS and see which one you like the most.

However, best to print off the short list from the web before going, so if you see the price in the shop is higher, you can beat them down to the price on the web!

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