Advice Guide

How to buy the best 32-inch TV

by Andrew Laughlin All guides

Ideal for living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens, 32-inch sets are the most popular TV size. We explain what to look for when buying a great 32-inch TV.

Price

32-inch TVs cost anything from under £200 to around £700.

  • Find out what makes a good 32-inch TV and how to buy the best one
  • From picture quality to smart TV features, we explain the most important things to think about
  • We also outline what you probably won't find in a 32-inch TV

Why choose a 32-inch TV?

Perfect for those who want a medium-sized TV for their living room, kitchen or bedroom, 32 inches is the most popular screen size for TVs. If you'll be watching in standard definition (SD), a 32-inch TV is best viewed from about two and a half metres away. In high definition (HD) you can get even closer, about two metres is ideal.

Within this size category, you have lots of options in terms of budget and features. Check out our 32-inch TV reviews, which cover televisions costing from under £200 to around £700.

Head to our Best Buy TVs to find the right set for you. 

What makes a good 32-inch TV?

  • Top picture quality: The quality of the picture is one element of your new TV you won't want to compromise on. The best will blow you away with plenty of detail, vibrant but natural colours and a good balance between sharp detail and a clean-looking image. Our tests reveal the best TVs for standard and high-definition (HD) picture quality - an expert viewing panel assesses all TVs under the same conditions using a series of clips via different sources, from Freeview to Blu-ray DVDs.
  • Full HD display: To allow for the best picture clarity, look out for a 1080p, or Full HD, display. An HD-ready TV will let you view high-definition content but it won't be at as high a resolution as Full HD. It should be fairly easy to see from the logos on a particular TV which one it is.
  • Built-in HD tuner: Remember you'll need HD content in order to enjoy your high-definition display. The easiest way to achieve this is to make sure you have a built-in Freeview HD or Freesat HD tuner which will allow you to get subscription-free digital TV channels. Some TVs even offer the choice of both, which could be handy if you live in an area that can't get Freeview.
  • Smart TV features: Not essential, but certainly a nice bonus feature. It may add to the cost of your TV but the option to use online apps to view catch-up TV services and stream films could be a tempting one. Make sure you read our advice on buying the best smart TV if so.

What won't I get?

  • Great sound quality: Unfortunately great sound quality on flat-panel TVs is the exception rather than the rule, so don't expect to get great audio from your TV. If sound is important to you, you could always consider adding a soundbar or hooking your TV up to your hi-fi speakers.
  • Large-screen experience: With larger 42-inch, 47-inch and 50-inch-plus TVs becoming more common, you might feel envious if you pop to a friend’s house and their TV has a bigger screen than yours. However, spending a decent amount on a high-quality 32-inch TV is a far better idea than spending the same amount on a not-quite-so-good 42-inch one.