back to article GAME ON: Top 10 tellies for a World Cup kicking

Rich on spectacle and pulsating with atmosphere, you can’t beat watching huge sporting events on a shiny new TV. But which set should prospective buyers splash the cash on? While events like the World Cup and Wimbledon provide a rock solid excuse to upgrade the gogglebox, the variety of screens and technologies available is …

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  1. Gav

    Expensive & pointless

    "one of which could well be your next TV…"

    Sure. Just drop 4k into my bank account first and I'll nip down the shops.

    Also; they look nice, but ultimately the curved screens are a pointless gimmick. If they are any benefit at all, it's to only one person, directly positioned in front of the tv at the optimal distance. Everyone else gets a distorted image that's actually worse than a flat screen.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Expensive & pointless

      Have you tested that hypothesis - I've not seen a curved TV in person to check?

      I find it hard to believe that it would be so directional a typical family sofa would be a problem, which is probably quite a wide slice of the market.

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Expensive & pointless

        > Have you tested that hypothesis

        Have a read of Ars Technica's article from the beginning of 2014 that blows holes through the myths of the benefits of curved screens.

        http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/01/whats-the-deal-with-curved-tvs/

        They give a very detailed analysis of what most people instinctively know,

        1. smartypants

          Re: Expensive & pointless

          Perhaps one advantage of a curved screen is that it reduces the obviousness of reflected lamps and other people in the room in the room, such as your mother-in-law with her feet up on the poofe by the fireside.

          Sure, the best solution to such problems is to have a matte screen (helps but doesn't cure), turn the lights off and remove family members from the room, but some of us don't want to to watch a pristine picture in the pitch black on our own (not all the time at least!)

          We bought a sony telly whose only initial irritation was that the screen was tilted back a couple of degrees. It was only when sitting down that you realised that it stopped the irritating reflection of table lamps (which you could only see if you stood up).

          Whether by design or by luck, the non-planar designs may have a better chance of breaking up obvious reflections, or at least of turning the reflection of the table lamp and the mother-and-law into a less irritating sausage shape!

      2. Pahhh

        Re: Expensive & pointless

        No idea why JDX got down voted. Amazing how venomous the objections are considering none of people that posted appeared to have actually seen one. Pathetic really.

        For reference, I have seen the 65" curved set and I thought it looked very nice. There were other large 4k sets to compare against and for whatever reason, the curved one was the one that felt more appealing.

        I tried viewing it from various angles. Predictably at some point the curvature made the viewing worse but surprisingly you didnt need to be dead center to enjoy the image.

        Curved screens won't be for everyone but I think as a corner set or if you have a large room I think it they would be quite good. Consider that if you got enough space to house a 65" and can afford the set, you likely to have a large room I can see their value at the high end market.

        The set that made no sense to me is the Sony that increased the width of the set by putting speakers on the side. Most people who really into their home cinema will have a full surround sound setup. The ones that arent that bothered will have a sound bar.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Expensive & pointless

      Curved screens suggest a single viewing position at a focus point.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Expensive & pointless

        Also, if you throw a ball at the screen in anger, it just rolls round and throws it back at you.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Curved screens suggest a single viewing position at a focus point.

        Have you worked out the focal length of such a TV based on the curvature? If not you are not providing any more valid data than the marketing hype about curved sets.

        I should clarify, since the down-voters seem unable to distinguish a request for objective information from an endorsement of the technology, I don't see the point of curved TVs either. But the claim they only work in a very specific sweet spot should be verified - is this the case or do they work over a larger "sweet area"?

    3. PassiveSmoking

      Re: Expensive & pointless

      That title applies just as well to football as it does to the tellies.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF is this "article"?

    An attempt to find the 10 most expensive TV's around? For real people?

    Where is the objectivity in the article? Absent

    1. AceRimmer

      Re: WTF is this "article"?

      It's aimed at contractors

      HTH

    2. lurker

      Re: WTF is this "article"?

      Pretty standard stuff from the reg really, like all the reviews of the "latest macbook" they churn out whenever there's a new model, which always conveniently overlook the pricetag while banging on about how great it is.

      I think anyone sane knows that this is not a place to come for detailed product reviews, let's just let them have their fun - my guess is that this might give them some leverage to try to get hold of some cool toys for the office 'for review purposes, you know!'.

    3. AbelSoul

      Re: WTF is this "article"?

      > attempt to find the 10 most expensive TV's around?

      Whilst £699 isn't exactly loose change by any standards, for a net-connected, 50 inch goggle box it's not too bad at all. (IMNSHO)

    4. Ian 55

      Best 'smart' TV

      .. any dumb 1920x1080 screen with a spare HDMI socket and a Raspberry Pi attached to it.

      The £200 TV + £25 Pi here craps all over a friend's £700 'smart' TV of the same size.

  3. Anonymous Coward 101

    The names...

    Why do electronics companies insist on giving their non-smartphone products such terrible names? They look like high quality passwords, and are about as difficult to remember. What are their marketing departments thinking?

    What is wrong with [company name] [cool series name] [size] ? The 'Panasonic Screenia 55 inch', for example?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: The names...

      Because you can have too many TVs of a size due to features, seen one manufacturer have 5 at one screen size

    2. King Jack Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: The names...

      When you are dropping huge amounts of cash you need a string of numbers/letters to show how good you shiny new set is. Your mate may have the same set but yours has an S on the end so its better.

    3. Fuzz

      Re: The names...

      It's to make price comparison impossible, you provide individual stores with their own models so Curry's will sell you a SV55WEKs where as Amazon only have the SV55WEKt, what's the difference? probably nothing but it makes a price comparison very tricky.

    4. hardboiledphil

      Re: The names...

      Don't know about the other brands but when looking at Samsung last year and filtering by 1080p, 3D, net connected, LED, 40" on the website there were still something like 16 variants to choose from..... That much choice you can't just call them 40" premium/normal/el cheapo but need to start using combinations you'll never remember, just like the password you keep forgetting as the sysadmin has set a crazy strict password policy at work...

  4. Stu

    4K!?

    So which innovative channel will be broadcasting the footy in 4K then?

    That's right, nobody.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4K!?

      Stop answering your own questions. Especially when you are completely wrong.

      Correct Answer.

      The BBC (hint use google)

      They will also be broadcasting to Cinemas for the 3 matches that will be broadcast in 4K for people without a yearly car budget to spend on a telly.

      1. Stu

        Re: 4K!?

        So you call THREE programmes a worthwhile investment, even if you do have the money!? No word of any other broadcasts or plans in the pipeline.

        Just look back to HD broadcasting, unless you had a Blu-Ray player, it was totally pointless to buy an HD set because no stations committed for years and years, even when they did do it it took time to get a good set of native HD programming to provide actual worthwhile content...think BBC HD preview channel.

        To buy a 4K set just for the footy is borderline tech fanboism. I give it about three more years at the least.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: 4K!?

          The article mentioned that Netflix is also already supporting UHD although what they define as UHD I don't know.

          1. Lionel Baden

            Re: 4K!?

            im on FTTC and get around 6MB 6.2MB and struggle to get 1080 off youview and Iplayer.

            And what if I have the wrong provider and netflix havn't paid off the ransom. Really screwed then arn't I.

            UHD is pointless at the moment.

            If i get a 4k telly now, by the time the services are in place for it the TV will be to out of date.

            1. JDX Gold badge

              Re: 4K!?

              Well if you don't have the bandwidth, they should can the whole idea. Nevermind all those millions in inner cities with superfast connections, let alone plebs like me with regular ADSL who get 15-20Mbit which would probably be enough (we can watch HD streaming on 3 devices at once).

    2. Bluewhelk

      Re: 4K!?

      Your point is entirely valid but the BBC are doing trials, not broadcast but internet streaming ...

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27713243

      Not generally available yet and you need a stupid fast connection but one to watch for the future perhaps.

      Pfft, AC beat me to it but not entirely correct as you still wouldn't get it even if you did buy a 4K TV.

      1. Michael Duke

        Re: 4K!?

        Not sure about the UK but even down here in NZ 20Mbps national is not that hard to acquire.

        Any DOCSIS3, VDSL2 or Fiber connection should suffice.

  5. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Reality bites

    OK, here comes the paring knife.

    Let's forget about 4k. As the BBC says "They [ the 3 matches they will stream ] will only be made available to a limited number of TVs at BBC sites". So a 4k telly is bugger all use. That knocks out #1, #5, #8 (doubly so for being curved) and #10.

    Curved screens are a classic "because we can" that have no practical use - unless you're a billy no-mates and watch everything by yourself in a completely darkened room. Just make sure you don't trip over your cat (of which, no doubt, you have many) when you stagger out to recycle all the tins of strong lager that are now pressurising your bladder.

    And for the rest: oooh. a huge screen - over-compenasting, much?

    Oh yeah, a projector, too? I suppose that works if you want to spend the whole match time trying to get the picture "right", while not projecting it onto that vase in the corner of the room and avoiding both the door (makes the action go away when someone opens it) and the curtains.

    To summarise. You already have a perfectly good TV. You probably have several. Just sit down, make yourself comfortable: six-packs on one side, crisps on the other, remote somewhere safe and the phones off the hook.

    Enjoy.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Reality bites

      Um, 50" is hardly showing off. We have a fairly paltry 42" but the difference it makes to a 32" is massive with sport, sitting on the far side of the room.

      And projectors are proven technology, hardly some new gimmick. Many people have houses big enough for them.

      1. theblackhand

        Re: Reality bites (HDX)

        Given the choice between blowing £600+ on a TV that is marginally better than the one I have to be able to see more detail of my team losing or blowing it (or a small portion anyway - it doesn't take much these days...) on alcohol to dull the pain of watching my team lose, I know which I'll choose...

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Reality bites (HDX)

          Well that depends what TV you had to start with, duh. We got ours in the days when full 1080p was not ubiquitous and ended up with HD-Ready 42"... I am not convinced splashing out on a modern 1080p or even UHD would be worth it, unless we moved into a house where 50"+ made sense.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Reality bites (HDX)

            Short answer is it wont. 720p is perfectly good enough at normal viewing distances. I have 2 Panny plasma's, near top of the range in there day, one 1080p the other 720p, and the difference is almost imperceptible, even when viewing blu-ray.

  6. Elmer Phud Silver badge
    Pint

    Best telly?

    Pub

    Lock-in

    Sorted

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Best telly?

      Why do you need a lock-in when pubs are getting licenses to open later, and most bars can already stay open late?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. jason 7

    So much money.....

    ....to spend on so much disappointment.

    I mean really, how do you motivate a bunch of nightclub thugs who earn £200k a week to give a damn?

    I bet all of them are told by their 'real' managers who pay the wages to not take any risks and to get back home ASAP.

    Expect a lot of nil-nil draws in Qatar for the next one if it goes ahead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So much money.....

      Not quite, Russia is the next one... Qatar is the one after

  9. MJI Silver badge

    I'll stick with my Sony 46"

    And my PS3 and PS4, lots of games and lots of films.

    Pity Destiny is not released sooner

  10. Len Silver badge

    Why? Who?

    I have to say I personally would never spend more than 300 quid on a TV. Then again, I probably watch 20 minutes of TV once every two weeks or so and haven't owned a TV for the last eight years. If it weren't for moving in with my GF I still wouldn't have a TV now.

    Clearly I am not the target audience for these kind of devices. However, I wonder who is specifically at these moments. Either you are a big football fan which means any time is a good time to spend this much money on a TV, or you only care about football when there's a World Cup on. In the latter case, why not just watch those handful of games at a special venue with special screens etc. The pub comes to mind.

    I understand that this is an attempt by device manufacturers in an ultra-thin margin sector to latch on to events to drive sales. I believe the sales figures typically prove it works too. I am just a bit puzzled about the demographics of these buyers.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Why? Who?

      I'm sure loads of people think "I could do with a new TV one of these days". Pushing sales around a big TV event like the World Cup or Olympics makes good sense really - catch all those would-be buyers.

      I don't think many people would suddenly develop an interest from nowhere in a new TV, but it could well be a trigger for the many who watch TV but could do with a little push or "special occasion" to justify getting a new one (to themselves or perhaps their wife).

  11. Arachnoid

    Footy overpaid madonas bah watch the other side

    So is the Reg going to give one away for the best none footy related comment?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Basic specs

    It would be nice if this article gave even the most basic specs. e.g. I had to google to find that the Samsung UE40H6400 is 40" and 1080p, so not in the same league as the 4K sets. (Having said that, it's £449 from a certain dealership that won't make you Poorer, so it's still a bargain)

  13. AMBxx Silver badge

    Early night here

    Kickball? No thanks.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Urg...

    The Sony KDL-50W829 might have an awesome screen, but why pair that with what looks like a twisted coathanger for a support? Kills the elegance right there...

    1. Shell

      Re: Urg...

      Flipped around to the back as a wall mount, it's rather neat.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Urg...

      I thought that too,

      Mind you I do not like the curved ones.

  15. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Sir

    I'd like to see an article about the best available tellies that don't try and do everything for you and get it wrong most of the time.

    All I want is the screen and the inputs, plus some menu driven settings for tweaking etc.

    I don't want it to connect to the internet (my HTPC does that and I'm in control of when that gets updated for a start).

    I don't want half a dozen obscure settings that conspire to turn the thing off and on based on what it thinks it needs to do, and I don't want voice or gesture control either.

    I just want a good TV without feeling like I have an intruder in the house all the time.

    1. Lionel Baden

      Re: Sir

      I would LOVE that article !!!!

      Screen quality and Sound Quality.

      As many types of input as possible.

      1. Down not across

        Re: Sir

        It is rather unfortunate that the number of inputs is directly related to features (and price). So to get more inputs you end with more of the unwanted "smart" crap. Shame the manufacturers don't do a mid-priced unit where they scrap all the smart stuff but then cram in loads of inputs.

        1. Lionel Baden

          Re: Sir

          Maybe i should of defined "hardware" inputs.

          My apologies

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Sir

      The good TV has the good image processing chip in it that costs £100 more than the other. Well, it costs you £100 more. However, because it costs you £100 more, they don't put it in the basic TVs, they only put it in the fancy ones.

      Therefore, if you want the best picture, you're going to need to need to buy one with a bunch of stupid features that you won't use, and probably don't even work that well.

      Don't expect anything to ever get fixed on your TV. If it doesn't do it when you buy it, it probably won't ever - so demo if there is a specific feature you want.

      When you do go buy a TV though, don't worry. Pick one that is cheap enough for you to not cry and has a good enough picture, and then get it home. Looking at racks and racks of TV screens trying to say "this one is better" and then "no wait, this one" is a disaster, pretty much they will all look fine when you get home.

      Finally, don't buy any of the TVs listed here. El Reg is only listing new models of TVs, save yourself a fortune and go to Richer Sounds and get the model that the new model replaced - roughly the same features, roughly the same spec, around half the price. Even the cheap one El Reg listed, you can get a better cheaper one if you don't buy the very latest cheap model!

  16. phil dude
    Joke

    If you're watching England playing....

    Take a tip from Zaphod...

    http://hhgproject.org/entries/perilsensitivesunglasses.html

    P.

  17. Tom 38 Silver badge

    with a nod to Sony’s FIFA sponsorship there’s a dedicated football mode which fine-tunes audio

    ..which detects when you're viewing ITV and mutes the commentary.

  18. Blubster

    How much!!!!!?

    Well I was contemplating getting a new 40" TV for around 600 quid but you've managed to make me feel cheap after seeing these rich man's playthings. Don't think I'll bother now - back to my old set. :o(

  19. Shell

    The Sony KDL-50W815 (silver version of the KDL-50W829) is superb - picked up one of these couple of weeks ago from John Lewis - they're doing a deal with a sound bar for £889. It has lots of fancy features I don't care about, but the picture quality, once adjusted (there are some excellent guides on t'interwebs), is really lovely. I'm not a fan of the whole 3D thing, but I was pretty impressed with Prometheus (shit film, but the 3D is well done). What really made this TV shine was playing Trine2 (PS4) in 3D. Really, really gorgeous.

    I confess I don't really care for football (that's, like... sport) but the remote has a Football button. I've no idea what it does. Maybe it /ignores the up-coming football saturation...

  20. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Wot no 3D?

    I notice 3D capabilities are glaring in their absence. Is that fad over?

    Are any games even going to be broadcast in 3D. Are curved screens and 4K the next 3D.

    The answers next, but 1st a word from our sponsers

    1. Tromos

      Re: Wot no 3D?

      I suspect that 3D capabilities are there in all of the televisions covered (possibly not the projector). It has just become ubiquitous and is no longer a major selling point so it gets glossed over.

  21. Cyberelic

    Got a new Panasonic 4summat before Xmas.

    Excellent toy.

    Would have got the Sony if it hadn't had the kinky stand.

    I am a great believer in wall mounted stands, and mounted high enough up to avoid heat issues.

    Spent time playing with the Sony but could not wall mount it when tilted down to point directly at my sweet spot.

  22. davemcwish

    Being an impoverished new dad

    supporting a team that didn't get anywhere close to qualifying I'll give these a miss unless anyone wants to swap their fancy thin one for my 36" CRT. You come and collect though as at 72kg I ain't dhifying it as it's heavier than me.

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