Choosing a... TV
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.