TV DVD combis: FAQs
By Tom Morgan
Whether you're buying a new TV DVD combi or you're looking for some advice on an existing model, our FAQs guide is here to help. Read on for tips on improving your TV's sound, watching content abroad and fixing a cracked LCD TV screen.
See which combis have soared through our tests by heading over to our Best Buy TV DVD combi reviews page.
Full-HD vs HD-ready: Which TV DVD combi should you buy?
A Full-HD display is a great selling point, considering you can watch Blu-ray films at their highest quality. In saying that, most people use combis to watch standard-definition DVDs, so you might not need to splash out.
Sets marked as 'HD-ready' can handle Freeview HD TV (just not in quite the same picture quality), and they have no problem playing DVDs. If you're not too fussed about Blu-ray, a HD-ready combi could suit nicely.
Our TV DVD combi reviews page has more on the models worth considering.
Can I get Freeview on my TV DVD combi?
Nowadays, all TV DVD combis have built-in Freeview tuners, which can receive standard-definition channels. If you buy a combi with a Freeview HD tuner, you can access subscription-free HD TV without a separate set-top box.
Some combis come with personal video recorder (PVR) support, letting you pause and record live TV or record one programme while watching another. You can set this up by connecting an external hard disk drive via the TV's USB port.
Which Smart-TV apps can I use on a combi?
It depends on the make and model. Thankfully, more and more budget-priced combis now arrive with a range of Smart-TV apps pre-installed. That means you'll have access to popular streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Netflix, all accessible from the apps menu. The JVC LT-32C655, for example, offers app support and a built-in web browser.
To add more online channels to your TV, you can pick up an internet streaming device such as the Google Chromecast, and plug that into the combi's HDMI port. Doing so will also allow you to mirror content from your PC or laptop screen to your TV.
Can I use a TV DVD combi on holiday?
Some TV DVD combis feature 12/24 volt adaptors, which means you can use them in a campervan while you're away from home. You'll need an aerial to get a good reception, so visit our indoor aerial reviews page to find a good fit for you.
Freesat tuners are present on some models, so if you have access to a satellite dish on a caravan, for example, you can receive subscription-free satellite TV. If you own a mobile home, see our guide to the best TV DVD combis for caravans, which offers tips on picking a suitable telly for your travels.
While you're away on holiday, you might be tempted to pick up a cheap DVD. Note that DVDs released in one country won't always work with DVD players sold in another. DVDs and DVD players use a system of regional coding, so look out for 'Region 2', which covers Europe.
How do I improve my TV DVD combi's sound?
As modern flat-panel sets have become slimmer, their sound has suffered because of a lack of space in the cabinet for proper speakers.
If you own a separate amplifier and speakers, you can hook them up to the TV to boost the sound, or invest in a soundbar or home cinema set-up. Our TV connections wizard has all the information you need on decoding TV jargon and connecting your devices to your combi.
Head to our Best Buy home cinema reviews to upgrade your viewing experience.
Can I hang my TV DVD combi on my wall?
As they're usually on the small side, most combis can be mounted on a wall. Few come bundled with mounts, though, so you'll have to buy this separately. Depending on the size of your display and the type of mount, kits can cost from £20 to over £100.
When buying a mount, look out for the VESA Mounting Interface Standard (MIS), a set of industry-wide measurements for mounting flat-panel TVs. For safety reasons, it's a good idea to get the job done professionally. In the event of any damage to your TV, the warranty or guarantee may be invalidated.
Can I fix a cracked LCD TV screen?
Yes, but it's not easy. There are plenty of tutorial videos online, but we wouldn't recommend attempting it yourself - better to leave it to the professionals. If your TV is under guarantee or warranty, find out whether you're covered for a cracked screen. If not, check your home insurance for potential cover.
Alternatively, you can pay a TV repair firm to fix the problem. Tread carefully, because it can cost the same amount to repair a cracked LCD TV panel as it would to buy an entirely new TV. Although it's not the most environmentally friendly solution, most people opt to get a new set instead.
If you’re looking for reliable local traders to fix your broken tech, visit the Which? Trusted Traders website. There, you’ll be able to search for companies endorsed by our Trusted Traders assessors.
My TV has broken and it isn't under guarantee - can I get it repaired?
It depends. Modern TVs aren't as easy to repair as old-fashioned 'big-box' sets. If your combi has died or is stuck in standby, it could be a power-supply fault and therefore potentially fixable.
For a fee, most reputable repair firms will make an assessment of whether the TV can be saved. Before that, we suggest you check the manufacturer's website to see if any common problems, fixes or software updates have been listed.
Even if your TV DVD combi isn't under warranty or manufacturer guarantee when it breaks down, you may be able to get it fixed free of charge under the Consumer Rights Act. To find out more, head to our Which? Consumer Rights guide to the Consumer Rights Act.
Our guide on how to buy the best TV DVD combi will help you pick the perfect model for you.