LED, LCD and plasma TV reviews: FAQs
Buying a new LED, LCD or plasma television
What's best, LED, LCD or plasma?
Each of these three types has its own pros and cons, but often internal software has more influence on picture quality than the type of screen.
LED, LCD or plasma TV - find out more about the main types of TV and what you should look for
Does a higher screen resolution mean the TV has a better picture?
Screen resolution is the number of pixels or lines displayed on the television screen. Expressed as width x height, the highest screen resolution currently available is 1,920x1,080. These are often badged 'Full HD'.
Full HD is desirable for use with high-definition material, but it doesn't necessarily equate to the best pictures for watching normal TV broadcasts or DVDs.
In any case, internal software plays a bigger role than screen resolution.
Is the contrast ratio of my TV important?
The contrast ratio is the difference between how dark and light the LCD or plasma TV display will go.
A high contrast ratio should mean deeper blacks and whiter whites, with a good range of subtle colour gradients in between.
However, it’s difficult to compare contrast ratio claims from one manufacturer to the next because of the variety of measuring methods used. And just like screen resolution, higher numbers do not necessarily mean better pictures.
Contrast ratio is not a linear value – so 12,000:1 is not ‘twice as good’ as 6,000:1.
Is it worth getting an extended warranty for my LED, LCD or plasma TV?
LED, LCD and plasma TVs do break down and develop faults, but they’re still fairly reliable products.
Annual reliability survey - see how all the main TV brands fare
Given the low risk of your TV breaking down, we wouldn’t recommend shelling out on retailer extended warranties, which can add hundreds of pounds to the cost of your LCD or plasma TV.
And it’s worth bearing in mind that if your new LCD or plasma TV does break down, you are covered by the standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Extended warranties - find out more about them, and your rights
My TV isn’t under warranty, can I get it repaired?
Modern TVs are not as straightforward to repair as old fashioned 'big-box' TVs.
If your LED, LCD or plasma TV has simply gone dead or is stuck in standby it could be a power supply fault, and is probably fixable.
However, if the TV has developed an obscure picture problem, it is more likely to be a digital processing glitch, which is a much bigger problem.
For an estimate charge of around £50, most reputable dealers will make an assessment of whether the LCD or plasma TV is fixable.
Before that though, check the manufacturer’s website to see if common problems, fixes and software updates have been listed.
Even if your LED, LCD or plasma TV isn’t under warranty when it breaks down, you may be able to get it fixed free of charge under the Sale of Goods Act.
Setting up and using your new LED, LCD or plasma TV
Do I need a set-top box to get digital TV on my LED, LCD or plasma TV?
No. All TVs have Freeview, Freeview HD or Freesat HD built-in so you can watch TV straight away.
To record TV, however, you'll need a PVR.
Which uses more power – LED, LCD or plasma TVs?
Plasma TVs use considerably more energy than other types. An LED TV will use around one third the energy of a plasma TV of the same screen size.
Also, remember also that bigger screens consumer more energy than smaller ones. A typical 32-inch LED will use 40% less energy than a typical 42-inch LED.
TV energy running costs - find out how much you can expect your TV to cost.
Can I hang my LCD or plasma TV on the wall?
Most LED, LCD and plasma TVs can be mounted on walls. However, the vast majority don't come supplied with the wall-mounting kits required.
These have to be bought separately and, depending on features, construction and the size of your TV, can cost anything between £20 to £300.
For safety reasons it's a good idea to get this done professionally and also worth bearing in mind that in the event of any damage your warranty may be invalidated.
Most TVs and kits match the Vesa standard – a set of industry-wide measurements.
Can I record audio description with my new TV?
Yes, most PVRs have this function.
- PVR reviews - find out more about PVRs and read reviews of the latest models
- Cheap TV - see reviews of TVs costing under £500.
- Sale of Goods Act - TV out of warranty? You may still be able to get it fixed free of charge