Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.
Buying anything on Amazon? Please use the Geekzone Amazon aff link.




170 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Subscriber

Topic # 64040 6-Jul-2010 19:09 Send private message

I would be interested in any feedback on the best/most appropriate 32" TV to buy.  I am about to upgrade our TV, now that I have installed a NAS device (QNAP) and want to stream digital media.
I understand that I need a TV with an ethernet connection and my research suggests that either a  Sony or Samsung seems to be the way to go.  The size has got to be 32" as we have a small lounge and any bigger would be too dominating for the size of the room.  100Hz also seems to be recommended, even though I don't watch a lot of sport. Both brands have models with Freeview built in, which seems a plus, although it does mean a redundant Freeview tuner (eXtra Terrestrial) .  Am I correct in thinking that a built in tuner is better? I see that Sony offers models with Internet Video and dlna , which I assume is a dLAN connection, options. Are these worth the extra dollars, or is this just marketing hype?  

Ideally, this television should last a good 5 or so years. I know, a lifetime in the current environment, but I will trouble convincing my signficant other of another upgrade any time soon. I am leaning towards a Sony KDL-EX700, but then, that seems to be on the "archive" part of their site, so I am assuming it is an out-of-date model.

Any thoughts or comments are most welcome.  

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
1163 posts

Uber Geek


  Reply # 348549 6-Jul-2010 20:49

Tinshed: I would be interested in any feedback on the best/most appropriate 32" TV to buy.  I am about to upgrade our TV, now that I have installed a NAS device (QNAP) and want to stream digital media.
I understand that I need a TV with an ethernet connection and my research suggests that either a  Sony or Samsung seems to be the way to go.  The size has got to be 32" as we have a small lounge and any bigger would be too dominating for the size of the room.  100Hz also seems to be recommended, even though I don't watch a lot of sport. Both brands have models with Freeview built in, which seems a plus, although it does mean a redundant Freeview tuner (eXtra Terrestrial) .  Am I correct in thinking that a built in tuner is better? I see that Sony offers models with Internet Video and dlna , which I assume is a dLAN connection, options. Are these worth the extra dollars, or is this just marketing hype?  

Ideally, this television should last a good 5 or so years. I know, a lifetime in the current environment, but I will trouble convincing my signficant other of another upgrade any time soon. I am leaning towards a Sony KDL-EX700, but then, that seems to be on the "archive" part of their site, so I am assuming it is an out-of-date model.

Any thoughts or comments are most welcome.  


Sony outrank samsung in terms of relibabilty, according to consumer. YOu won't notice much, if any difference with standard vs a 100/200Hz one , so unless they are almost the same price, I would go for the cheap option. The KDL-EX700is an LED backlit one, so you pay a premium for it, and I don't think it really offers much more than a standard LCD, unless you want a thinner screen. Within a year or so, they will all be LED. They could be due for a refresh of the models soon.
I have a 32 inch sony, normal LCD, with freeview built in and DLNA and it is as good as any I have seen.

2270 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 96

Subscriber

  Reply # 348554 6-Jul-2010 21:13 Send private message

Tinshed:

Sony outrank samsung in terms of relibabilty, according to consumer. YOu won't notice much, if any difference with standard vs a 100/200Hz one , so unless they are almost the same price, I would go for the cheap option. The KDL-EX700is an LED backlit one, so you pay a premium for it, and I don't think it really offers much more than a standard LCD, unless you want a thinner screen. Within a year or so, they will all be LED. They could be due for a refresh of the models soon.
I have a 32 inch sony, normal LCD, with freeview built in and DLNA and it is as good as any I have seen.


The KDL32EX700 isn't actually backlit, it's a side lit model. However it is a current model (2010).
Take a look at the Panasonic TH-L32S25Z. It's 100Hz, full HD and features everything from Skype ($250 for a camera though) through to USB hard drive recording of Freeview.
I think the colours look better than the Sony, and reliability wise, Pana's always seem to come out on top. The SD card slot is a bonus too.
The downside?
Possibly the price and the lack of format compatibility via USB?

1163 posts

Uber Geek


  Reply # 348556 6-Jul-2010 21:18

Dunnersfella:
Tinshed:

Sony outrank samsung in terms of relibabilty, according to consumer. YOu won't notice much, if any difference with standard vs a 100/200Hz one , so unless they are almost the same price, I would go for the cheap option. The KDL-EX700is an LED backlit one, so you pay a premium for it, and I don't think it really offers much more than a standard LCD, unless you want a thinner screen. Within a year or so, they will all be LED. They could be due for a refresh of the models soon.
I have a 32 inch sony, normal LCD, with freeview built in and DLNA and it is as good as any I have seen.


The KDL32EX700 isn't actually backlit, it's a side lit model. However it is a current model (2010).
Take a look at the Panasonic TH-L32S25Z. It's 100Hz, full HD and features everything from Skype ($250 for a camera though) through to USB hard drive recording of Freeview.
I think the colours look better than the Sony, and reliability wise, Pana's always seem to come out on top. The SD card slot is a bonus too.
The downside?
Possibly the price and the lack of format compatibility via USB?


Yeah the LEDS are around the edge, but they use prisms to reflect the light behind the LCD layer. That is how they are able to be far thinner. Panasonic and Sony both rank well for reliability, I believe consumer rank them both up there, however I think Sony are better, as design wise, they look a lot nicer. The samsung ones look quite nice, but they aren't ranked well for relibility.



170 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Subscriber

  Reply # 348565 6-Jul-2010 21:42 Send private message

Dunnersfella: 

The KDL32EX700 isn't actually backlit, it's a side lit model. However it is a current model (2010).
Take a look at the Panasonic TH-L32S25Z. It's 100Hz, full HD and features everything from Skype ($250 for a camera though) through to USB hard drive recording of Freeview.
I think the colours look better than the Sony, and reliability wise, Pana's always seem to come out on top. The SD card slot is a bonus too.
The downside?
Possibly the price and the lack of format compatibility via USB?


I hadn't considered Panasonic so will take a closer look.  I am still not sure whether the Internet capability is really a plus, or just marketing hype. I guess I am the only who can answer the question, "Will you actually look at "YouTube" on your TV?". Still, I would be keen to hear from anyone who uses one of the internet-capable TV's.

219 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 348584 6-Jul-2010 22:15 Send private message

Hey there

How far away would you be from the tv? People quite often underestimate how big a tv would look nice in their room, if you got a 40" in a few days I reckon you wouldn't be regretting it. Bigger is always better they say lol :P

Be aware that you don't have to go for a tv with an ethernet connection if you want to save a bit of money, devices like the WD TV live can do the same thing but probably better as usually tvs are limited in what formats they can play and because it's an external box it's able to be put on other tvs too.

As for 32" tvs, 100/200 hz gives your tv a certain look, akin to a soap opera I say, some people like the ultra smooth effect some hate it and say it ruins the original picture. My advice, get someone to let you have a side by side comparison with two tvs that are as similar as possible to not have any bias and then put on one 50hz and one on 100/200 hz and see if you like the effect.

In built tuners are better in terms of space but if you already have a spare external use that, it gives you greater control and lets you record freeview which inbuilts(panasonic aside) do not.

As for the internet apps you've answered your own question, only you know whether you'll check youtube and the weather etc on your tv haha.

With sonys it seems that they're only good cheap this year, the more expensive ones have poor picture and uniformity issues for their price point. The EX400 is good value but if you want a nicer picture I'd look elsewhere, samsung usually has a few good models like the C650 and LG has several very good models this year. Definitely check out a few models, in store viewings are more useful with LCDs than plasmas as they don't get washed out as much but still it take with a grain of salt. As far as reliability goes, any tv bought now should last you until you want to upgrade it so I wouldn't worry about that too much.




Desktop: i7 920, GTX 275, asus P6T, antec 1200, 6gb ram, 1tb spinpoint f1, 1tb spinpoint f3, Logitech Z2300, Zero DAC, Shure SRH440
Laptop: Toshiba satellite, T5300, Go 7300
Home Theatre: 32" loewe CRT, Harmon kardon amp, dvd player, image 418 speakers, rega planar 25 turntable :)



170 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Subscriber

  Reply # 348587 6-Jul-2010 22:30 Send private message

samwooff: Hey there


In built tuners are better in terms of space but if you already have a spare external use that, it gives you greater control and lets you record freeview which inbuilts(panasonic aside) do not.



You see, this is the sort of thing you don't see/read/know until you find out the hard way.  I hadn't picked this up reading any of the documentation.  So to be clear, you can not record a TV program onto an attached DVD recorder using the in-built Freeview tuner in a Sony Bravia (which is/was my preference)?  This would be a major disadvantage to me. 

Infrastructure Geek
3768 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 111

Trusted
Microsoft NZ
Subscriber

  Reply # 348600 6-Jul-2010 23:26 Send private message

built in usb, internet and other options are a bit of a gimmick, really. sure they can be useful, but most of the ones i've played with have user interfaces that could use some work. there is something to be said for consistent user interfaces - wives, especially, tend to prefer consistent UI's. having said that, i do find that the built in usb does work well on my samsung lcd screen..

i'm a big fan of the media center in windows 7 coupled with an xbox for an extender. similar setups are possible with other media center software. this is one way to get a consistent UI around the house.

as for the samsung reliability - i've not had any issues with anything i've owned from samsung. i'm not sure whether the reliability calc was based on number of repairs, or % of repairs per units sold... if it was purely on numbers of repairs then i'd take the stat with a grain of salt.

i do think its worthwhile having a freeview tuner built in, even if youre going to have an external recording device (or media center) attached.




Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ
about.me/nzregs
Twitter: @nzregs


219 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 348604 6-Jul-2010 23:35 Send private message

Tinshed:

You see, this is the sort of thing you don't see/read/know until you find out the hard way.  I hadn't picked this up reading any of the documentation.  So to be clear, you can not record a TV program onto an attached DVD recorder using the in-built Freeview tuner in a Sony Bravia (which is/was my preference)?  This would be a major disadvantage to me. 


Nope, they (everyone except panasonic as far as i know) do not put a set of outputs on their tv so you actually have no physical way of even connecting it to a recorder lol. I've had quite a few people come to me with that issue only for me to tell them they can't do it.




Desktop: i7 920, GTX 275, asus P6T, antec 1200, 6gb ram, 1tb spinpoint f1, 1tb spinpoint f3, Logitech Z2300, Zero DAC, Shure SRH440
Laptop: Toshiba satellite, T5300, Go 7300
Home Theatre: 32" loewe CRT, Harmon kardon amp, dvd player, image 418 speakers, rega planar 25 turntable :)

1233 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 100

Subscriber

  Reply # 348672 7-Jul-2010 10:42 Send private message

I have a Panasonic TH-L32X20Z and personally, I think it's excellent. I also have a small lounge and this is a nice big telly for the space.

It's my first LCD TV and to be honest, I just can't fault it.

The freeview tuner is a bonus and it has multiple inputs/outputs for all your needs (3 x HDMI, 3 x AUX, SD, etc)

I'd certainly go take a look at the Pana range.




Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

1428 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 309


  Reply # 348843 7-Jul-2010 20:13 Send private message

I have the Panasonic TH-L32S10Z, which is a full HD 32" model, as my second TV and I think its great.

Personally, I would recommend concentrating on buying a TV that is selected for just being a great TV, with a freeview tuner, a great picture, and lots of input options. Trust me, you can never have too many inputs! I wouldn't worry about making the choice on the basis of ethernet, youtube, DLNA, USB or anything else (even sound quality) - particularly if you have to trade off basic TV quality to get a model that has these within your budget. Get full HD, picked for a having the best picture, with at least 3 HDMI connectors, 2 component connectors and 2 AV connectors.

Firstly, as Regs says, all these extras are a bit of a gimmick at this stage. Secondly, the digital media space is changing fast, any anything you go for is likely to be obsoleted fast. If you go for something cheap and capable, like the Xstreamer or WD TV Live (which can be had for under $300 on sale) they will do what you want, likely much better than the TV will in terms of codec support, future firmware upgradeability and connectivity options. Plus, if things evolve, you are left with replacing one small cheapish component, rather than having the expensive centrepiece of your set up obsoleted.

That's why I like buying bits seperately rather than all in one solutions (like the integrated TV/DVD/VHS units you could get a few years ago). You get to pick the components that do precisely what you want rather than accepting a "one size fits all" integrated compromise, you can upgrade one bit at a time rather than having to replace everything at once as technology evolves and/or as your budget permits, and if something breaks you haven't lost everything. Plus, as you upgrade, you can pension the old gear off to the bedroon, spare room, kids room or whatever.

Doing it this way does involve a bit more time, research and cabling. But you get a much better outcome, without necessarily having to spend significantly more money. Over time, it can even work out cheaper. For about $1,300 you should be able to get a good 32" model, plus a WD TV Live (or similar) that will connect to your NAS box and play just about anything you throw at it.



2270 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 96

Subscriber

  Reply # 348844 7-Jul-2010 20:14 Send private message

To ad to the Freeview recording aspect...
The Panasonic 32" S25 allows users to plug a 160GB - 2TB hard drive in to record free to air TV too.
It's a fairly cool feature... but mainly to pause live TV with.



170 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Subscriber

  Reply # 349035 8-Jul-2010 11:44 Send private message

Thanks for all your helpful comments and suggestions.  I especially liked the comment by Regs that wives prefer a consistent UI, How true!  As the comments that given the rate of change, keeping options open and flexible is a good way to go.  Looks like the Panasonic options are the best.  

11500 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 662

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 349152 8-Jul-2010 17:15 Send private message

The inbuilt stuff was very underwhelming when I tried it out. Not sure if it is a limitation of the TV or the upnp media server, but it was slow and annoying to find anything on it in a large music collection. Limited formats too.

I was considering a WD TV live, but have had no feedback on its UI yet.




Richard rich.ms



170 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Subscriber

  Reply # 349355 9-Jul-2010 08:46 Send private message

richms: The inbuilt stuff was very underwhelming when I tried it out. Not sure if it is a limitation of the TV or the upnp media server, but it was slow and annoying to find anything on it in a large music collection. Limited formats too.

I was considering a WD TV live, but have had no feedback on its UI yet.


I placed an order with Ascent yesterday for a WD TV Live device :-) From what I have been able to work out I may not even need a new TV if this does what I think it does i.e. stream media from my NAS and from the Internet as well.  On of the pluses for me of the WDTV Live is that it can handle VOB files whereas this doesn't seem to be the case from any of the inbuilt stuff I saw.  I'll let you know about the UI in a week or so!

Infrastructure Geek
3768 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 111

Trusted
Microsoft NZ
Subscriber

  Reply # 349577 9-Jul-2010 16:18 Send private message

Tinshed: On of the pluses for me of the WDTV Live is that it can handle VOB files whereas this doesn't seem to be the case from any of the inbuilt stuff I saw.


if its a VOB from a DVD, then simply renaming it to .MPG works in a lot of embedded players :D




Technical Evangelist
Microsoft NZ
about.me/nzregs
Twitter: @nzregs


 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic




Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





Trending now »

Hot discussions in our forums right now:

forgot how to unlock a car door
Created by joker97, last reply by joker97 on 18-Dec-2014 19:51 (37 replies)
Pages... 2 3


Spray Foam Insulation
Created by AACTech, last reply by timmmay on 18-Dec-2014 16:19 (28 replies)
Pages... 2


Has Spark (Telecom) locked their iphone 6 ?
Created by anewguy2014, last reply by michaelmurfy on 17-Dec-2014 14:32 (25 replies)
Pages... 2


In defence of cats
Created by Rikkitic, last reply by DarthKermit on 17-Dec-2014 15:40 (68 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Lightbox launches on PlayStation 4
Created by freitasm, last reply by Bobdn on 18-Dec-2014 21:31 (21 replies)
Pages... 2


Slaughter of Innocents
Created by networkn, last reply by networkn on 18-Dec-2014 20:08 (43 replies)
Pages... 2 3


Couriers starting to charge for redelivery
Created by mattwnz, last reply by raytaylor on 18-Dec-2014 02:27 (77 replies)
Pages... 4 5 6


How is iParcel these days?
Created by peejayw, last reply by JoshWright on 18-Dec-2014 21:34 (18 replies)
Pages... 2



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.