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Help - TV virgin needs urgent basic advice

(11 Posts)
hester Tue 28-Dec-04 20:55:32

Well, not a virgin exactly, but have relied on cheapo portable TVs for years (OK, all my life). Current cheapo has just broken down; I want to hit the sales tomorrow for a new set but have had a browse and am completely confused by the choice on offer.

I want something cheapish (certainly under £400), smallish (under 21") and not too big. I live in a small flat and have a horror of a big TV set taking over the room. My choice seems to be:

- another tiny portable (becoming less and less easy on the eyes)
- a regular TV about 21", but these are so bulky! I'm horrified at the depth of them - most seem to be around 50cm deep
- a swish little LCD flatscreen TV - I love how slim these are but they are staggeringly expensive , about £350 up

So please, could somebody give me advice? Are LCD TVs worth the extra money? Are there any particular features I should be looking out for, on any model? Anything else I should know?

I realise this must be the day's most boring thread and I will be SO grateful if anyone responds!

JanH Tue 28-Dec-04 21:03:19

Well, if you were getting a conventional TV you should be looking for a widescreen these days, and although you can get 24" (we have one) they are few and far between and generally cost more than a 28". Our living room is about 13' square and 24" doesn't intrude, however next door's room is more like 11' square and she has a 28" and it doesn't either! FWIW Sainsburys have a 28" Daewoo widescreen atm for a silly price like £170.

They are huge though, esp in depth. You probably would really appreciate one of those swish little flatscreen ones (I know I would). Our 24" Panasonic widescreen cost £400 so £350 for a smaller slim one sounds fair to me.

mishiclaus Tue 28-Dec-04 21:03:55

dh works for comet and has suggested

the sound is rubbish on cheap lcds(under £400) and u cant tell in shops but they r quite tinny and awful

if u want 14" portable u cant get widescreen so if u watch widescreen film its no good e.g dvds etc

of 21" the vast majority of electronics in tvs are all made by same turkish company just have different peoples logos iykwim so there isnt any particular one better than the other. Apparently regardless of name they r all the same so he said sony is just as likely to have problems as a goodmans or a grundig.

he would recommend getting a warranty but he always buys one for our tvs and as someone who works for comet and knows pros n cons it must be worth it with theirs but he says currys is not so good..but u need to look carefully at the warranty


dah dah...dh is happy now to have imparted some tv knowledge...lol

JanH Tue 28-Dec-04 21:05:32

mishiclaus, what if you plug in external speakers on a cheap lcd? Does that improve the sound?

mishiclaus Tue 28-Dec-04 21:08:33

yes it does....apparently
but u get the tv cos its flat etc then u have t get huge speakers to go next to it....dont think DH is a fan...pmsl

hester Tue 28-Dec-04 21:14:46

Blimey, that's brilliant advice - and so fast! Yay for the power of Mumsnet! Thanks so much, Jan and mishiclaus. Feeling a bit scared of it all now - may retreat to the safety of another cheapo portable!

hester Tue 28-Dec-04 21:16:35

Oh, and mischiclaus - pls thank Mr Claus from me; I do love a man who Knows Things!

JanH Tue 28-Dec-04 21:16:36

Which magazine says

<<Our verdict

Plasma, LCD and DLP technology all need to improve and drop in price before they’re serious contenders for living-room space in most households. There’s also the important question of longevity: we don’t yet know how they’ll fare long-term. At the moment we don’t know how long plasma and LCD screens last or whether they degrade over time. They haven’t been on the market very long so we don’t yet have a sample big enough to analyse in our annual reliability survey, so we can’t comment on how they’ll fare in the long-term.

Given the considerable cost, and the fact that much of the technology is still in its infancy, we don’t yet feel the time is right to splash out on one of these sets.>>

Maybe you should get a large portable to be going on with, eg this 17" one from Philips ? (Unbeatable are a good company, I have used them a few times.) Before we got a widescreen we had a Toshiba 17" portable and it was OK. The sound is far better on the Panasonic 24" though.

JanH Tue 28-Dec-04 21:19:30

Or they have this Toshiba 24" widescreen ...

hester Tue 28-Dec-04 21:20:57

Now you've REALLY convinced me, JanH. I couldn't make the link work, but will go and do a good search for slightly larger portables. Thanks again!

SueW Tue 28-Dec-04 21:28:52

We've got a Sharp Aquos small size (15" maybe?) which we bought a ocuple of months ago in John Lewis. It was on price match so reduced from their usual price of £599 to £399. We bought it to go in a small space and to be portable round the house and it is very much so, particularly since it has a handle on the back.

It's a nice little telly but if you watch the credits they smear up the screen iyswim. Not entirely sure if that is a problem with the TV or that its reception is through a Phillips wireless TV link so we didn't have to have another aerial point/sky box put in.

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