How we test TV DVD combis
By Tom Morgan
Our expert TV DVD combi reviews help you spot the good models from the bad. Discover how we test in the Which? lab.
To help us uncover Best Buy TV DVD combis, we perform a series of unique and rigorous tests for each model inside our lab.
This means that you're left with all of the information you need to know when picking out a new TV. Our collection of expert combi reviews will help you answer the most crucial questions when it comes to picking up a new set, including:
- What is the TV DVD combi's picture quality like?
- What does the TV sound like?
- Is the device easy to use?
- How much power does the combi use?
- Should I buy it?
Every TV DVD combi we review goes through the same four-week testing process in our lab. Using technical measurements and assessments conducted by our expert panel, we rate the quality of each combi and give you a comprehensive review that you can easily understand and trust.
Find the perfect new TV for you with our TV DVD combi reviews page.
What is the TV DVD combi’s picture quality like?
Inside our test lab, a TV's picture quality is rated by two expert viewers under controlled conditions. Brightness and contrast are set to equal levels on each product tested, and every device gets the same quality picture signal to ensure consistency.
We play a range of different video clips on various formats - including Freeview and DVD - to assess each combi's picture quality. Our experts look carefully at sharpness levels, ensuring films and TV have plenty of detail and characters on-screen don't look too orange.
With sports and films in mind, we check if watching fast-moving action on a TV DVD combi causes blurring or distortion. Top-performing TVs must provide detail even in shadows, and colour accuracy needs to be impressive, with no unnatural shades in sight.
What does the TV sound like?
A great TV DVD combi sounds as good as it looks, often providing an experience you'd expect from a more expensive device. However, as modern flatscreen TVs have become thinner, manufacturers have struggled to make speakers slim and powerful enough to produce excellent audio, particularly on smaller models.
We test each TV's sound quality using technical measurements and feedback from our expert listeners. These audio specialists repeatedly listen to clips - from music tracks to movies - on each model in order to give a precise, well-researched verdict.
For more on TVs with top audio, take a look at the best TV DVD combis of 2017.
Is the device easy to use?
Two ergonomic experts test our TV DVD combis to see how easy they are to use on a daily basis, and also for more advanced tasks, such as operating the TV's PVR features.
Our testers run through various everyday scenarios that reflect how you use your combi, meaning we're able to highlight any problems you need to know about. We set up the device out of the box, studying the instruction manuals and on-screen prompts. Focusing on the DVD player, we look at inserting / ejecting a disc, menus and playback controls.
Once a combi is set up in our lab, our testers check how easy it is to find a channel or use the remote, also running through advanced tasks like controlling smart-TV services.
How much power does the combi use?
We measure how much energy each TV DVD combi uses while you’re watching TV normally and while the eco mode is activated (if the TV has one). We also look at power use while the TV is on standby.
All of these ratings help make up an overall power score, so you can see which models won't increase your energy bills too much.
The Which? difference
We test TV DVD combis of all types, sizes and prices - from budget picks right up to premium models. We speak to manufacturers and scour the market to make sure that we test all of the most popular sets in stores or online.
If we find a serious fault, we'll purchase another model and retest it. If we run into the problem again, we'll speak to the manufacturer and ask them what they plan to do about it.
The score a TV DVD combi needs to earn to be considered a Which? Best Buy
Should I buy it?
We give every TV DVD combi that passes through our lab an overall Which? test score, which means you'll be shown the best and worst models on the market. Below is a breakdown of what makes up our test score:
- 65% Picture and sound quality
- 20% Ease of use
- 10% Features
- 5% Power consumption
A TV DVD combi has to achieve 70% or more to earn our Best Buy recommendation, and anything scoring below 40% is highlighted as a Don't Buy that we think you should avoid. Our How to buy the best TV DVD combi advice page has more tips on picking the model that's right for you.
Looking for a great bargain combi? Visit our TV DVD combi reviews page.