Christmas is looming like a tinsel strewn iceberg dead ahead of us and with Christmas comes the warm fuzzy feeling when you sit with your family, friends, hangers on and watch those films that you’ve seen at least forty times. So this year why not treat someone special (or yourself) to a whole new viewing experience by buying them a TV?
And with that tenuous link out of the way let’s take a look at the top five best, moderately priced LDC out there.
This 23 incher is a (deep breath) full HD PC monitor, digital TV with built-in DVB tuner, and if that wasn’t enough it manages to transform your old media into stereoscopic 3D for you. There’s an IR remote thrown in to. The LG DM2350D also comes with a HDMI port so any High Def hardware (PS3, Blu-Ray Player etc) can be connected with ease. The clarity of the TV picture is good but for a full HD picture an external HD tuner will need to be connected. As a PC monitor the use of an LED backlit screen keeps the image sharp and vibrant. The 3D aspect of the TV is good but does require some bum shuffling in order to find the right viewing position. For a slim 23” TV that packs in so much it’s a bargain at under £300!
A 32” Full HD LED TV with built-in Wi-Fi that allows connection to Toshiba’s brand new smart TV viewer Places. Full networking capabilities, 100Hz processing, Freeview HD tuner and a sleek design all add up to a superb package. A multitude of connections (four HDMI inputs, an Ethernet jack and twin USB ports) gives this TV excellent adaptability. Toshiba’s smart TV portal Places gives access to BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Toshiba Places aside from that the features and apps are fairly limited, a few slightly leftfield TV channels and access to Flickr. A slightly redundant built-in camera allows for facial recognition so family members can customise presets like volume and favourite channels as well as go into a standby mode if there is no one present thus saving power. The picture is excellent on whatever preset you use with HD channels looking especially crisp.
32” LCD Screen and a veritable plethora of features as well as jaw droppingly clear picture makes the Sony KDL-32CX523 a very exciting goggle box. A smartphone app lets you control the TV using your iPhone, wireless connectivity (via an add-on dongle), USB recording and the ability to use BBC iPlayer, Sony’s Qriocity, Demand 5, YouTube, Eurosport, Sky News and Lovefilm via the Bravia Internet Video suite. Sound quality is amazing for what is marketed as an entry-level TV with very little distortion even at high volume levels. Overall an excellent package with good build quality for a decent price.
Another 32” LED screen but this time it boasts a screen depth of just 30mm. Samsung are busy taking over the world with their top quality electronics and this little gem is no different. Despite its puny dimensions the UE32D5000 manages to pack in four HDMI inputs, two USB ports, component/composite video input, optical digital audio and headphone outputs, 15-pin D-Sub PC input with separate audio input and an RGB Scart input and an Ethernet port. True the PC and Video inputs need external adaptor cables but even so I’m sure there are Mafia bosses with fewer connections. The downside to its size zero nature means that the UE32D5000 lacks a built-in Freeview HD tuner or support for any 3D content. On the plus side it does support DLNA media streaming so you can access music and video from any PC hooked up to your home network.
For decent quality and a very good price you can’t go wrong with Toshiba’s 22BV501B. Coming in at under £160 the 22BV501B gives you a USB port which supports most media formats (MPEG-1, MPEG2, and XviD), a HDMI input, a D-Sub PC connection so it can act as a PC monitor. For a budget TV 22” LCD the build quality is surprisingly good, a glossy and robust set that would go well in any bedroom.
Image courtesy of LG and Toshiba