TV's Buying Guide

With TV these days, it's not just a question of what to watch but what to watch it on! With so much innovation such as Digital TV, HD TV, 3D TV and home cinema we understand what a big decision buying a new TV is. Here you will find our guide to helping you choose the right TV for you. Just click on a link below, to jump down to further information about the TV area you're interested in:

TV Introduction

The traditional TVs we've been watching for last 50 years always had to have a bulky 'cathode ray tube' (CRT) for us to get a picture. Now these traditional style TVs are being phased out in favour of super slim plasma and LCD screens, both of which not only save on space, but also can give better quality sharper pictures with no lines or flickers. In fact they are so thin, you can even hang them on the wall like a picture.

So what do you need to know to make an informed decision?

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3DTV technology is the next step in TV viewing where crisp images appear to leap out of the screen – you won't just be watching the action, it'll be going on all around you!

You'll need a 3D-ready TV, a 3D Blu-ray player to play your 3D movies plus a special pair of 3D glasses to watch them with. These 3D glasses are different to the free pairs of glasses usually used at the cinema. Instead they are fitted with batteries and use shutter-style lenses that rapidly blink on and off so each eye sees its own slightly different high definition image to give the full 3D effect. All our 3D-ready TVs include at least one set of 3D glasses (don't forget that you will need one set of glasses for everyone who wants to watch the 3D TV).

Plus you'll still be able to watch normal 2D programmes on your 3D-ready TV in stunning high definition (no glasses needed).

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LED (light emitting diode) backlit LCD TVs

These super-thin flat panel TVs use the latest LED backlighting technology. Ordinary, bulkier fluorescent backlights are replaced by separate, individually controlled LED clusters for brighter images, superb clarity and improved contrast. Blacks will be deeper, whites will be brighter and there'll be more subtle colour graduation in-between. Plus they're more environmentally friendly, saving you up to 40% less energy than previous LCD TVs.

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LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) TVs

Great for brightly lit rooms and ideal for wall-mounting, these slim flat panel TVs come to life when light behind the screen is shone through the TV panels matrix of coloured liquid crystal cells, building up a picture. They give you a brighter picture than conventional 'tube' TVs and offer the widest choice of screen size from small screen (15 inch) right up to a huge 60 inch screen.

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Plasma TVs

An alternative flat panel TV where an array of tiny gas cells sandwiched between two sheets of glass produce the picture. Each cell acts like a mini fluorescent tube, emitting ultra violet light which strikes red, green and blue spots on the screen. These spots glow to build a picture. Plasma TVs are available with screens from 37 inches right up to 58 inches. Sure to appeal to sports fans – they're great for fast-moving pictures and they tend to provide a better viewing angle than many LCD TVs so no one in the room has a bad view.

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HD Ready or Full HD TVs?

High definition TVs give you a sharper, crisper picture with up to 5 times the amount of detail you can see on a standard definition television, with richer more vibrant colours. Every dot on your television screen is called a pixel and, just like in your digital camera, the greater the number of pixels the better the quality of picture. The display resolution of a digital television is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. On a 'standard definition' TV there are just over 400,000 pixels, but with a full high definition TV you can have over 2 million and that's why a high definition TV is so amazingly life-like.

  • Full HD Television resolution = 1920 x 1080 pixels

  • HD Ready TV resolution = 1280 x 720 pixels

  • Standard definition TV resolution = 720 x 576 pixels

A Full HD TV (sometimes advertised as a 1080P TV) has twice the resolution of a HD ready TV. As High Definition images are sharper and more detailed than standard images, you'll need a TV that can display HD pictures in all their glory. HD TVs have specially designed digital sockets (HDMI or DVI) to connect to a SKY HD box, Freesat HD, Freeview HD set top box or Blu-Ray player or recorder to ensure the best quality connections between all your digital equipment.

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The most popular way to get digital TV in the UK. No subscription. No Contract. Through your aerial (Note: an upgrade to your aerial may be required). Up to 48 free digital channels, over 20 digital radio stations and interactive services via the red button. You can get Freeview digital channels on a TV with a built-in digital receiver or add either a digital DVD recorder with built-in Freeview receiver or digital set top box to your new or existing TV. Don't miss out on digital TV – all of the UK will have switched over to digital by the end of 2012.

Visit or call 08456 50 50 50 for more information.

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That's Freeview via satellite for FREE digital TV channels covering the whole UK. Plus the glorious detail and clarity of FREE HD television from the BBC and ITV. Enjoy over 140 TV and radio channels plus catch up on the last 7 day's TV with BBC iPlayer Beta. Getting Freesat is easier than you think, there's just one initial payment.

NO subscription, NO monthly bills. If you don't already have satellite, you'll need our Freesat installation service plus either a TV with built-in Freesat receiver or a separate Freesat digital box. If you already have a satellite dish, you can connect up yourself to either your HD TV with built-in Freesat receiver or connect your dish to a separate Freesat digital box which will connect to your HD ready or full HD TV. Then simply sit back and enjoy.

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Blu-Ray Players and discs

Blu-Ray, also known as Blu-Ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs. This extra capacity offers consumers an unprecedented HD experience, with superior picture and sound quality compared to conventional DVDs. All Blu-Ray players will also play your old standard DVDs.

Why should I upgrade to Blu-Ray?

The simple answer is HDTV. If you've ever seen high-definition (HD) video on an HD TV, then you know just how incredibly sharp the picture is and how vivid the colours are. In fact, HD offers five times the amount of detail compared to standard-definition (SD). The problem with today's DVDs is that they only support SD and don't have the necessary storage capacity to satisfy the needs of HD. That's where Blu-Ray comes in, it offers up to 50GB of storage capacity and enables playback of HD in all of the HD resolutions including 1080p. In addition to the greater video and audio quality, the extra storage capacity also means there will be plenty of room for additional content and special features.

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