TV Buying Guide
At Finlux, we know there are new TV technologies and features being introduced regularly, so our Finlux Buying Guide is here to help you understand their purpose and clarify any confusing terminology. To make your experience even easier, all our TVs come with free delivery and a free 12 month warranty.
Although these days, smaller screen sizes are predominantly used more for kitchens and bedrooms where viewing distances tend to be shorter, today’s higher resolution larger TVs can also be comfortably viewed from reasonably close up.
A tip for those with smaller living rooms - a great way to create extra space is to wall mount your new TV. This will allow you to hang your TV flat up against the wall and create extra space to enjoy the full effects of a larger screen TV.
When selecting the perfect screen size for your home, it is important to consider how far you will be sitting from the screen and also the resolution of the screen. A higher resolution will allow you to sit closer to the TV without noticing the pixels.
Our recommendations on viewing distances is shown here, however these are just guidelines and the screen size you choose should ultimately be based on your personal preference.
The larger the TV, the more immersive the viewing!
Resolution and Picture Quality:
There are various screen types available these days, to help you understand the real value and purpose of each we have provided a brief explanation below.
In a nutshell:
- Now considered an entry-level standard
HD Ready TVs are designed to display content that offers a picture resolution of 720p. The 720 refers to the number of horizontal lines that the TV can show. HD Ready TVs cannot display the enhanced picture quality of Full HD 1080p or Ultra 4K HD content.
In a nutshell:
- Over 2 million pixels
- Extra detail compared to an HD Ready 720p TV
Full HD 1080p TVs:
Full HD 1080p TVs have the potential to offer greater picture clarity, as they can display footage that has been developed in 1080p resolution. They are ideal for showing Blu-ray DVDs and video games, which are often produced in higher resolution.
4K Ultra High Definition TVs:
In a nutshell:
- Unrivalled picture clarity
- Four times better resolution than Full HD 1080p
- Much higher pixel density means viewing distances can be reduced
- A more immersive picture
- Future Proof
4K Ultra HD is the latest resolution in television screen types. Allowing images to be seen in greater clarity, 4K TVs create images using 8.3 million pixels - that’s four times the amount of a Full HD 1080p screen!
With all these additional pixels making up the picture on your TV screen, the brightness of the colours, the sharpness of the images and the overall clarity of the picture are greatly enhanced.
4K TV models provide unrivalled clarity, equipped to display footage that is made in a 3840 x 2160p high resolution. Allowing images to be seen in greater clarity, 4K TVs work best for larger screens, where the images can be viewed in more detail. Although currently there are no live broadcast channels on Freeview and Freesat in 4k, many programmes, films and sports events are now filmed in 4K and content is becoming much easier to access via 4K streaming channels. As more 4K TVs begin to penetrate the market and supersede Full HD 1080p models, broadcasters are looking at the quickest and best ways to bring broadcast 4K channels to the masses.
Another advantage of 4K TVs is that due to the incredible pixel density, you can sit much closer to a TV without noticing any pixilation than you would be able to with a Full HD 1080p or HD-Ready model. This means that the recommended viewing distance can be much shorter meaning that bigger screen you always dreamed of is now a practical solution!
There are various TV screen technologies or features available these days. To help find which best suit your needs we have provided a short explanation below.
The latest and best TV advancement, as well as beautiful aesthetics, Curved TV screens can improve your viewing experience by creating an almost wrap-around effect, entering slightly more into your peripheral vision and thus drawing you deeper into the world you’re watching. The concave design also helps to cut down on screen reflections and improves side angles, so no matter where you are sitting, you’ll have the best possible viewing experience.
Curved screens started appearing with Full HD 1080p resolution but to truly appreciate the on-screen picture that fully complements the great look of the TV design, make sure you seek out a 4K version which will make whatever you are watching come alive!
In a nutshell:
- Eye-catching design
- Creates a wrap-around effect
- Concave design reduces screen reflections
Smart TVs connect to your home internet connection, allowing you to browse a wide range of applications and additional online content that you may not otherwise have access to from the comfort of your sofa.
These applications (often referred to simply as “Apps”) include catch up services such as BBC iPlayer and movie streaming options such as Netflix. You can also access social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, YouTube for video sharing, plus a whole host of other lifestyle and news apps.
In a nutshell:
- Access online content on your TV via your home broadband
- Wide range of apps such as BBC iPlayer & Netflix
- Look for WiFi connectivity to avoid additional cables
- Access digital content (video, photos, music) from other DLNA compatible devices around your home
On many Smart TVs, including Finlux ones, there is even a web browser so you can access your favourite websites on the big screen.
Finlux Smart TVs come with either built-in WiFi or a supplied USB WiFi dongle which allows you to connect your TV to your home broadband wirelessly so you don’t need to worry about having a cable long enough to stretch from your home network point to your TV. However, if you prefer to connect via wire, then all you need is an Ethernet cable.
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is another feature that is offered on Finlux Smart TVs and allows you to access your photos, music and movies from your PC across your home network from a compatible device. For example, you can access your digital photo library on your PC and view a slideshow of your holiday pictures on your TV!
In addition to 2D viewing, Finlux 3D TVs bring breathtaking action to life with immersive 3D, allowing you to watch movies and sporting action with exceptional added depth.
How 3D works:
To see the additional third dimension of 3D footage, each eye has to see slightly different information as though viewing from a different angle. This means that the right eye should not see the information that is meant for the left eye and vice versa. There are 2 types of 3D technology: Passive and Active which offer a different way in which information can be blocked and presented to each eye.
In a nutshell:
- Bring breath-taking action to life with immersive 3D
- 2 types of 3D technology; Active & Passive
- Requires use of 3D glasses (supplied)
- Requires a 3D source
Passive 3D TV: These use passive 3D glasses which work to polarise the pixels on-screen, so that the left eye sees the odd lines and the right eye sees the even ones. Their operation helps to ensure that they can offer flicker-free images. Passive 3D glasses require no batteries for their operation and are lightweight and therefore extremely comfortable to wear.
Active 3D TV: These use battery-operated active 3D glasses which are equipped with 2 shutters – one for each eye. These shutters are rapidly opened and close to reveal only the information required by each eye.
Whichever system you choose, to watch 3D content on a 3D TV you will need a 3D source such as Sky 3D or a 3D compatible Blu-ray player.
In a nutshell:
- TV with built-in DVD player
- Less cables required
- Look for multi-region DVD playing capabilities
TV/DVD Combi models are TVs that have an integrated DVD player built into them and offer a single unit alternative to a separate TV and DVD player. With all the features you would expect of a stand-alone DVD player but with the added convenience of requiring no additional box or cables, these are a great space-saving option, turning your TV into a complete entertainment system and are especially popular as bedroom TVs. Finlux Combi TVs feature an integrated multi-region DVD player meaning you can watch not only UK DVDs but discs from around the world.
In a nutshell:
- 12V power ideal for caravans, motorhomes & boats
- Most have standard 240V plugs too so can be used at home
12 Volt TVs come with a supplementary 12V compatible power supply, which means they can plug in perfectly to a caravan, boat or motorhome and function like a normal TV, subject to reception of course.
Finlux 12V TVs also come with standard 240V mains plugs too so they are perfect for home or away!
LED TVs use LED lighting to illuminate the pictures on-screen. This form of lighting makes a big difference to the look and energy efficiency of a TV, offering a slim-line form of illumination that is designed to consume much less power than standard light sources. Thanks to the compact design of the LED lights, LED TVs can offer the most contemporary, sleek and slim designs available. They can also provide greater contrast ratios, capturing and displaying the vividness of each colour in the on-screen picture.
The LED lighting of back-lit LED TVs is positioned directly behind their screens, helping to illuminate the on-screen images more evenly, so that no unseemly hotspots develop.
Designed to offer LED lighting along the edges of their screens, edge-lit LED TVs are generally made with slimmer bezels. However, the positioning of the lights can affect the clarity of the on-screen image, and in some cases, it can lead to the creation of hot spots.
LCD TVs work by shining light through a panel of tiny liquid crystal cells, which are designed either to block or expose light, depending on the lighting requirements of the picture on-screen. The predecessor of LED TVs, these models tend to offer bulkier and less energy efficient designs.
Plasma TVs used to be renowned for their fast refresh rates, which are ideal for keeping up with high speed action footage, offering smooth and rapid transitions between the images. However, the latest LED TVs are now designed to rival their refresh rates so Plasma TVs are seen as a dying technology.
Other TV Features:
The refresh rate refers to how quickly images change on-screen. Refresh rates are designed to be fast, in order to create the illusion of motion on-screen. Blurry motion pictures can be the result of a poor refresh rate.
The contrast ratio refers to the breadth and range of colour gradients available. Offering the most accurate way in which to determine the scope of gradients available, the native contrast ratio describes what colours the display panel can actually show. Dynamic contrast ratios can often be misleading, referring to colours that the panel itself cannot display.
Input lag refers to the delay in milliseconds, between a TV receiving a signal and displaying its results on-screen. Especially important for gaming, minimal input lag helps to ensure faster response times from players, allowing them, for example, to see enemy targets much sooner, and to use their controls more accurately, so that weapons can fire and strike instantaneously.
Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
EPGs allow viewers to see all available programming for the week ahead. They also ensure that viewers can compare and contrast which transmissions each channel is broadcasting, enabling them to browse through immediate viewing options via the “Now” tab as well as programmes that are scheduled for later via the “Next” tab.
USB PVR Record
Offering a cost-effective recording function, the USB PVR function enables content to be recorded onto an affordable USB stick. This feature also enables viewers to pause and record live TV, helping to ensure that viewing can be suspended and resumed at any time.
Built-in Freeview/Built-in Freeview HD
Most TVs these days come with a built-in Freeview tuner, offering a cost-effective and hassle-free alternative to investing in a separate Freeview set-top box. Some models now offer Freeview HD tuners which offer a number of HD channels, making use of the TVs high definition capability.