Choos­ing a... TV

Computer Shopper - - RANTS & RAVES -


A 32in Full HD TV costs around £200 and will suit smaller liv­ing rooms. TVs look much smaller in the shop than in your home, so mea­sure the space avail­able be­fore you buy.

Curved TVs are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly more com­mon, but bear in mind that th­ese typ­i­cally take up more floor space than a tra­di­tional flat set.


A 1,920x1,080-res­o­lu­tion TV can dis­play a 1080p im­age. You can still buy TVs with a 720p (1,366x768) res­o­lu­tion, but they’re no cheaper and the im­age won’t be as sharp. 3,840x2,560 Ul­tra HD res­o­lu­tion, or 4K, TVs are fi­nally avail­able at rea­son­able prices, al­though you’ll still pay a pre­mium for one over a 1080p model.


Con­sider the num­ber of in­puts you’ll need to con­nect the rest of your equip­ment. Two HDMI ports should be the bare min­i­mum, but many TV sets come with four HDMI con­nec­tors. You’ll need HDMI 2.0 if you want a fu­ture-proof 4K TV, as this is the only way to get 60fps video play­back from ex­ter­nal sources at such a high res­o­lu­tion.

If you want to plug a PC into your TV, you’ll need to use ei­ther HDMI or VGA in­puts. Be aware that some TVs only let you use a PC on an ana­logue in­put, and oth­ers won’t dis­play the Win­dows desk­top at the TV’s high­est res­o­lu­tion.


The con­trast ra­tio tells you the dif­fer­ence be­tween the dark­est and the bright­est shades that the screen will be able to dis­play. The higher the num­ber, the darker the blacks and the brighter the whites. A screen with a high con­trast ra­tio is more likely to show a wider range of de­tail.


HD con­tent is now be­com­ing fairly wide­spread, but if you want Ul­tra HD con­tent your op­tions are more limited. Most Ul­tra HD TVs have Net­flix built into their smart TV sys­tems, but only BT is cur­rently pro­vid­ing live Ul­tra HD video, with BT Sport Ul­tra HD.

Ul­tra HD Blu-ray players are due to ar­rive in 2016, but in the mean­time Ama­zon’s Fire TV set-top box will stream its In­stant Video ser­vice at Ul­tra HD res­o­lu­tions.

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