As we enter the season for shops to begin stockpiling the latest TVs, the latest edition of Which? magazine reveals that four brands stand out when it comes to producing the best TVs.
Out of the 15 TV brands and over 100 televisions tested in the past year, Which? experts picked out LG, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung as the most consistent performers at its test lab.
TV brands pros and cons
All four brands produce TVs with good pictures – images that look good not just in HD but normal standard-definition too. They’re all generally easier to use than other brands and mostly energy efficient. Which? TV expert, Mike Briggs, said: ‘Though none of the top four brands have unblemished records (they’ve all produced plenty of non-Best Buys), they are the most consistent performers in our tests.’
Which? puts TVs through a demanding, six-week test programme combining technical tests, expert viewing and listening assessments, and ease-of-use evaluations. This level of controlled comparative testing puts Which? in a unique position to pick out the best on the market.
Test highlights include:
- Panasonic is the best for 3D TV but Which? has spotted subtle flickering on its 600Hz plasma TVs. See all Panasonic Viera TV reviews.
- Samsung’s internet TV interface is currently the best, but its LED TVs tend to sound synthetic and unnatural according to Which? experts. See all Samsung TV reviews.
- LG TVs are hard to beat if you’re on a tight budget but are often missing some basic features. See all LG TV reviews
- Sony TV’s are usually well made and gadget-loaded but Which? ergonomics experts don’t rate their awkwardly designed remote controls. See all Sony Bravia TV reviews
For individual results on specific models check our LED, LCD and plasma TV reviews. For more information on the leading TV brands and retailer own-brands read our Best TV brands page.
Buy a new TV now or wait?
Which? also revealed that now could be a great time to buy a new TV. Electrical retailers are busily shifting out last year’s stock to make way for the new 2011 models. As a result many 2010 era TVs are hundreds of pounds cheaper now than they were when they launched.
For the inevitable hike in price, if you hold out to buy a new TV from a newly launched 2011 range, you won’t necessarily be getting a whole lot extra. Manufacturers add a socket here or a new bit of software there, but rarely make any huge leaps in picture or sound quality.
Internet TVs in 2011
The exception here is likely to be Internet TVs. Which? had a preview of the next generation of sets at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in January. On first impressions, the full web browsing TVs looked exciting, and may be food for thought if you harbour ambitions of turning your next TV into a home media hub.
Which? TV reviews
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