There’s never a better time to buy a new TV. Once the preserve of the super-rich, HDTVs are now a lot cheaper than they used to be and come with a plethora of added functionality including catch-up TV services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Lovefilm. You can even surf the internet on them, too, as well support for 3D films and sport. Basically, there’s never been a better time to upgrade your television.
The next revolution in TVs isn’t that far away, Ultra High Definition TVs are already in the works and will even go on sale this month, but for an eye-watering $25,000 – so you’d be a fool to jump on an emerging tech so early on. But this is actually good news if your planning to get a normal HDTV this Christmas, as this shift means current TVs are becoming more and more affordable. For example, the latest slew of LED TVs are brighter than plasmas, they’re thinner and there’s a lot more variety on show.
Here’s a selection of the best 46-inch LED TVs that are sale at the moment.
Toshiba’s 46TL963 is a very good TV for the £800 asking price, in fact it’s very cheap for all the functionality you’re getting. It comes with 3D playback and online smart functionality like Netflix and Lovefilm and is quite the looker, too, featuring one of those slim designs which are incredibly popular at the moment. There’s solid USB functionality with the ability to watch almost any media format of a USB pen drive. The picture is punchy, with deep colours and is very sharp considering its lightweight price tag.
3D does suffer from a bit of cross talk and its DNLA wireless streaming is a little limited, but for the price you can’t go wrong with the Toshiba 46TL963. Though the lack of built-in Wi-Fi won’t impress some.
Panasonic have always made very good TVs and their ET5 series is probably one of their best. It features passive 3D, which on the whole works very well and eliminates a lot of that annoying cross talk. Better still it comes with 4 pairs of glasses and produces 3D images that are clean, crisp, bright and colourful. It’s 2D capabilities are just as good and with crisp playback of Blu-Rays with deep, punchy blacks.
There are some niggles: 3D images aren’t in full HD and standard definition looks a bit washed out. But for anyone looking for a cheap 3D TV with the a decent amount of glasses you can go wrong with the Panasonic TX-L47ET5, especially as it’s only £830, which is a lot of bang for your buck.
Sony’s TV department is in disarray, but if they keep churning TVs out as good as the KDL-46HX753 then everything will be ok. It’s might not be as good as the 46HX853; due to the lack of a high-end local dimming system. But what it does do, it does very well. It’s has a wealth of online services, with plenty of new ones being added every week. 3D playback is very good and colour and sharpness are also very good, too, with the 3D playback is among the best we’ve seen, delivering all the HD advantages of the active 3D format while displaying little evidence of the negatives.
It’s a little pricier that its competitors, but for the money you get the all important Sony badge and a much better online service than most, which means you’ll never be short of something to watch.
If were brutally honest our favourite TV manufacturer at Gaj-it is: Samsung, and their UE46ES6800 is precisely why we love them. It’s bite the back of your hand beautiful and while it might not have the gesture and voice control of its flagship brother, it more than makes up for it with Samsung stunning picture quality in both standard and high definition. Make no mistake this is a great HDTV, especially excellent is its online functionality. It’s a little more expensive that the rest, but you’re paying for a TV that is almost certainly to last 100,000 hours which is a lot of Strictly or Downton Abbey.
Hitting that top of our price range LG’s 47LM7760T is a great TV, there’s the fashionable non-existent bezel, gorgeous glistening finish, slim rear and distinctive cut out stand. Everything about this set oozes quality.
Picture-wise you can’t go wrong as it has bold colours, deep contrasts and pin-sharp HD picture quality. For the hefty price it comes with 5 pairs of 3D passive glasses. Elsewhere it has bullet-proof multimedia playback and impressive online functionality.
Rising even further above above the rest in terms of price the KDL-46HX853 is a Sony’s current flagship HDTV. It has the best picture quality we’ve seen from an LCD and comes with all the advantages of being LED backlit. Sealing the deal are excellent colours, loads of video content among its online services, unusually powerful audio and a surprisingly reasonable price tag. Again Sony showing us that they can’t compete on price, looks and functionality.
Panasonic’s TX-L47WT50 can’t be called value for money, but for the £1,500 price you get a futuristic TV set that wouldn’t have looked out of place on Blade Runner. There’s a super-slim glass and metal design, and it also has multiple processors so you can have 6 apps open at anyone time. It’s more a computer than a TV – but that’s the way we like it.
Last but not least there are the L47WT50’s pictures, with excellent contrast, rich colours, scary amounts of detail and the cleanest 3D pictures the LCD world has to offer. The only problem is some instability and light blocking during dark scenes.
Phillips 46PFL7007 is a great mid-range set, it catches the eye with it’s stunning design which includes a tiny bezel, super slim form factor and chrome finish. It’s picture quality is also as dazzling with excellent contrast ratios and deep colour palette. There’s solid multimedia functionality and but there are some downsides: there’s a little crosstalk with 3D, online features are limited, you only get one free pair of 3D glasses, and it’s a bit expensive. But this is still overall an excellent mid-range television for serious tech and picture enthusiasts.
If your really looking to splash the cash you can’t go wrong with Samsung’s UE46ES8000 – it has everything. There’s the incredibly thin design, the world’s most content-rich online service, voice and gesture control, expansive multimedia control, 800Hz motion processing system and top-of-the-range micro-dimming system.
You need to reduce the TV’s backlight output substantially from all the provided picture presets if you want dark scenes to look convincingly dark and evenly lit, and the gesture/voice controls can be fiddly. But nonetheless this 46in TV is another Samsung star.
While the price tag might scare, the quality of picture is frighteningly good. It has a moth-eye filter tech, which aims to completely remove any on-screen glare or reflections. And combined with local dimming the direct LED system produces stunning HD and SD pictures. This is the Rolls Royce of TVs, but at over £2,000 many will just walk past and pick a cheaper one – but, still, it’s nice to dream.