PHILIPS 32PFL7404. What. Up.

Buying a new TV is such a minefield. You read all the reviews, you ask your mates, you compare the specs and then you make your choice.

I was looking for a new TV which had to meet the following criteria (any other features would be considered a bonus):

  • Freeview;
  • Full HD;
  • 32″;
  • 100Hz;
  • LCD;
  • > 2 HDMI connections;
  • < £600.

I narrowed the list down to three.

SHARP AQUOS LC32LU700: I liked the Sharp because it uses a grid of LEDs to backlight the image, meaning better contrast and greater energy efficiency. The new Samsung LED TVs (you know, the crazy thin ones) use a line of LEDs around the edge to achieve a similar effect, but this means that the light drops off towards the middle of the picture leaving it noticeably darker.

PHILIPS 32PFL7404: 5 stars from What Hi-Fi.

SONY BRAVIA KDL32W5810: Uses the Bravia 3 engine, which came highly recommended, and comes stacked with a bazillion extra features (including FreeSat HD, DLNA). Only really in my price bracket because it is about to be discontinued.

I eventually chose the Sharp and collected it yesterday morning from my local Richer Sounds. Bad decision. The TV itself felt very well built and the picture was stunning, but the remote felt cheap, the audio was poor and worst of all (and the reason it went back this morning) there were serious audio sync issues. If you’ve ever seen “Rumble in the Bronx” (a Jackie Chan film dubbed badly into English) then you’ll get the idea. If you turn off all of the image enhancing functions and watch the built in Freeview tuner then you might be able to live with it, but turn any of that stuff back on, or try and watch an external source and you just want to cry. The guys at Richer Sounds were brilliant (highly recommended) and allowed me to switch the Sharp for the Philips without any fuss. The Philips is awesome, so much more simple to set up (particularly liked the eye test style image setup, “Which do you prefer, number one… or number two?”), sounds amazing and has a much nicer remote. It’s going to take me a while to set up all of the features nicely, but I’m well chuffed with my purchase.

MW2 in 1080p with mad audio is a truly legendary experience. True story.

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