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Rated by our independent expert viewing panel when watching standard definition material (DVD and broadcast TV) via both RGB (Scart) and RF (aerial) inputs.
Rated by our independent expert viewing panel when watching 1080i (satellite) and 1080p (Blu-ray) HDTV pictures via the HDMI input.
Rated by our independent listening panel's verdict. Older TV ratings (2008 launches) are based on a combination of our panel score and technical tests and may appear slightly higher.
Overall ease of use
Overall rating for ease of setting up the TV, everyday ease of use, using the instruction manual and EPG, operation without the remote control and accessing the more complex functions.
Based on the power usage when being viewed and in standby and the presence and effectiveness of power-saving features such as a light sensor or radio screen blanking. Power usage can vary massively. Large 42-inch plasma TVs use about twice as much power as 32-inch LCD TVs. But even larger screen LCDs are more energy efficient than power hungry plasmas.
Overall rating for number, functionality and versatility of features.
LED TVs are actually LCD TVs but with one crucial difference. The screen is illuminated by hundreds of LEDs rather than a handful of traditional lamps. LED displays tend to be more energy efficient than ordinary LCD and especially plasma TVs.
Freeview HD and Freesat HD models can receive high-definition channels without monthly subscription fees.
This is the size of the screen in inches, measured diagonally across. We weight ratings slightly differently for 15-23-inch TVs - more emphasis is put on standard defintion than high definition.
The TV is capable of displaying 3D broadcasts from Sky and 3D Blu-ray movies
Active shutter technology provides Full HD 1080p video to each eye when you are watching 3D content, though you need to wear active shutter glasses, which can be bulky, expensive (£50+) and may not always come packaged with the TV. Passive 3D requires cheap polarising glasses (typically costing £1-£4), though you do not always get such detailed and immersive 3D visuals.
Allows you to access a selection of internet 'apps' - micro sites of web content such as video catch-up and movie download services. Some more advanced 'smart' internet TVs allow full web browsing.
Headphone volume control
The most versatile headphone outputs allow you to control headphone volume independently from the main speakers, but listen to both. Useful if you're hard of hearing.
This means the TV can decode an audio description signal. AD is an additional narration for visually-impaired people that describes significant visual information, such as body language and scenery.
If you have problems distinguishing human voices from background noise (such as music) on your TV, voice-enhancement software could help. Many brands have developed software to boost or emphasis the human voice.
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