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How do budget TVs measure up against big brands?

Latest batch of Which? TV reviews - with video

Which? TV video reviews

Mike Briggs reviewing the Samsung UE40B8000 LED TV

The latest batch of Which? TV reviews saw budget TVs from Argos go head-to-head with the top brands such as Sony and Samsung. The results also revealed some contradictory energy-saving claims.

The latest lab-based test featured models from big brands Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, and LG and from Argos‘ own budget brands: Bush and Alba. The sets on test all had screen sizes between 40 and 50 inches.

Sharp’s first LED TV

Of the eight models reviewed, there were three Which? Best Buys and one Don’t Buy. Of note was the 40-inch Sharp LC-40LE700, the manufacturer’s first LED model, which when ‘on’ consumes only 50 watts of power – an impressive energy efficiency score that’s less than many 26-inch models.

Less impressive, however, was the Bush S642F. This 42-inch LCD has an Energy Saving Trust (EST) sticker – yet our research found that the model doesn’t meet the EST’s guideline. Which? will be contacting both Bush and the EST to clarify the use of the EST sticker.

Mike Briggs, Which? TV expert, said: ‘Splashing out on a big ticket purchase can be a a daunting task. The models in the latest Which? test cost between £500 and £1,800 each, but the results varied even more wildly – between a 39% Don’t Buy and the top-scoring 73% Best Buy. This shows how important it is for consumers to do their research before buying a TV. If they don’t, then they could end up spending a lot of money on a TV that’s no good.’

The Philips model on test features a variety of Net TV widgets plus a full web browser, while the Samsung and Sony models on test each boast 200Hz processing capabilities.

TV reviews

To find out how each model fared in our tests, and which models were awarded the coveted Which? Best Buy accolades, check out our full reviews of these TVs:

You shall also find full video reviews of the Sony, Sharp and Samsung models, as well as useful advice on brand reliability and features explained.

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