It’s time for a mid-year review of the best TV brands and models they’ve released this year. With the ever increasing market for new & upcoming technologies new players coming in, there is huge competition among brands to capture your attention and money.
So which one should you choose? Let us help you with our guide on the best brands and their prominent features. We will be rating these brands on the market share, customer satisfaction, reliability, software platform or operating system and technology.
Table of Contents
Emerging Leader in Electronics
This South Korean electronics giant is quickly becoming the biggest market share holder in the UK. They offer a wide range of LED backlit LCD TVs from puny 19 inches to giant 100+ inches and have ceased plasma TV production.
Samsung is leading the 4K race with their flagship SUHD technology and boast having one of the best smart TV user interfaces. It has a brilliant track record of producing reliable products using good material. For the past couple of years they are consistently producing some of the best TV screens for UK market even at prices as low as £500.
Samsung Smart Hub interface and Tizen OS are the best in the industry and feature a plethora of apps such as catch up TV, BBC iPlayer, Youtube, Spotify, Vudu, Netflix, Amazon Instant, Plex, Dailymotion and more.
Though they are usually pricier compared to other major brands and are unpopular for high energy consumption,Samsung is a reliable brand and delivers some of the best products.
OLED OLED OLED!!
LG is another Korean Electronics conglomerate and has the most diverse line-up of screen display sizes powered by LED backlit LCD, Plasma and OLED technologies. LG was the first brand to enter OLED technology in 4K. This got LG rave reviews in past half a year or so and worked wonderfully in its favour. LG TVs have much deeper blacks and whites than your standard LED/LCD TVs, higher energy efficiency and no refresh rate related problems. This enables LG TVs to display the smoothest fast paced action and sports videos with minimal or no motion blurs. OLED technology also helps LG TVs display the widest viewing angles, great for the big rooms where seating is spread across a wider angle with respect to the TV screen.
The platform WebOS 2.0 (soon to be upgraded to WebOS 3.0) is a bit cluttered and is not the easiest to use. However it’s blazing fast & offers a lot to tech savvy customers. It has all the regular apps like catch up TV, BBC Iplayer, Youtube, Spotify, Vudu, Netflix, Amazon Instant, Plex, Dailymotion and more excluding ITV Player and Channel 4.
LG TVs are not cheap, but usually have superb user reviews in terms of reliability and picture quality. They have usually low end sound quality, but nothing that can’t be fixed with a nice set of speakers, sound-bar or a home theatre system.
It’s in the name
Once a giant known for delivering style and substance, this Japanese TV maker now ranks behind Samsung and LG. It still produces some excellent TVs under its flagship –Bravia series. Their TVs excel in image quality – especially their ultra HD (4K) range, aesthetics and build quality. Sony TVs have great sound quality and their inbuilt speakers are simply unbeatable. Compared to OLED, Sony TVs may not have the deepest blacks and the brightest whites, but it has recently announced that it is venturing into a new back-lighting technology that will create 4 times the brightness compared to the current LED backlit LCD screens while also adjusting the brightness on the darker areas on the screen. We will have to wait for some time to see how it fares against the OLED technology.
We have found that the Android platform, although not the simplest to use, is a very powerful platform that enables use of Google voice search, photo casting and video streaming and console less gaming with android devices.
Apart from the Sony Select Services (Netflix Amazon Instant etc.) users have access to Google Play store, access to Play Videos & music.
Sony TVs were known for their high prices but that has changed in the recent past..
From the time of old CRT TVs Panasonic has been a consistent brand with good customer service and reliability. They have changed with the times and have one of the most versatile range in terms of technology and screen sizes. Though not a flag bearer in the 4K race, it still has good range of ultra HD TVs and its Smart Viera technology is one of the oldest and has passed the test of time.
Smart Viera platform on Firefox OS offers all the features of an ultra-smart TV, and has multiple apps like Amazon Instant, Youtube, Netflix, Accuweather, Calendar, Catch up TV, BBC iPlayer andITV.
Panasonic TVs are the most energy efficient sets in the market. Apart from some motion blur complaints, Panasonic is a consistent, reliable brand with a lot of potential.
Best Value for money
In the recent years Vizio has gone past its teething troubles, acknowledged its short falls and has worked towards establishing itself as a preferred brand in the UK low priced smart TV market. This brand is not quite there yet because it lacks the high image and sound quality, but it has not given up its lower prices even when the quality has been constantly improving. That’s the reason why it was termed the best bargain TV brand in the UK.
Hit and miss
Toshiba has a wide range of TVs across its catalogue including small screens, mid-sized screens, DVD combis and ultra HD 4K TVs. Toshiba, along with its own production line, also brands & sells some TVs manufactured by third party manufacturers. There are many sets that have fabulous user reviews but unfortunately there are many that don’t. Toshiba has regularly featured as a brand to shy away from. We think you must make your own decision based on the TV model you’re buying.
Not that sharp anymore
On Toshiba’s lines Sharp has started branding smaller TVs from third party manufacturers, while continuing production of latest technology high end sets. It seems that Sharp has given up on the TV race with its declining market share and stiff competition. The company has scaled down its production considerably.
This Dutch technology company tied up with a with a Chinese TV manufacturer to get a fighting chance in the cut throat market of TVs. Since then there is an increase in the number of TVs it has rolled out in the market. They have now a wide range of screen sizes and technology, however whether the tie up will fetch the results they crave for is yet to be seen.
Cheap TV Brands
When bare minimum needs are the concern
Need a TV for a shared accommodation or college dorm? Or want to buy a cheap TV for that extension you built last year? Or you want entertainment package for your caravan/motor home? There are some situations where money might be the prime concern and you might be able to compromise a little on the quality. Below are the brands which might suit your needs.
For a brand supplying low priced TVs Bush seems to have a surprisingly large range extending up to 58 inches. Selling majorly at Argos in the UK they have 4K UHD TVs priced as low as £499. If you want all the latest features on a TV and can compromise a little on the build, image and sound quality then this is the brand for you.
Logik is mainly an in house brand for Currys PC World and Dixons. They only make small sized TVs maxing out at 32 Inches. Some of these have a built-in DVD player. There are good user reviews of this brand and pleases people who know what they are bargaining for. The low price means lower than average image and sound quality, subpar materials and durability.
Supplied mainly by Sainsbury’s in the UK, this brand specialises in small screen TVs. They also sell mid sized and large screen TVs upto 50 inches. Celcus has a variety of TVs featuring smart technology, Full HD, HD ready and DVD Combi. Picture quality is on the warmer side and sometimes suffers from too much motion blur.
Alba manufactures small size TVs from 19 to 24 inches. Mainly sold at Argos, this brand has inbuilt DVD as an option if that’s what you are looking for. Most of their Tvs feature in under £100 price range. There have been questions on reliability as the user reviews are dotted with problems in DVD players, connectivity issues, and pixilated picture quality.
Once a manufacture itself, Hitachi stopped manufacturing long ago and now just brands TV from the third party manufacturers. They have a huge range in terms of size and panel technology and are one of the cheapest in price. However, they’re not always considered the best buy due to inconsistency in quality.
In the recent years Technika has grown steadily as a preferred brand in low cost TV sets. Featured mainly in Tesco, these TVs offer big screen sizes for a very low price. It has a good reliability score but the low price comes at the cost of many missing features like extra HDMI ports, Free view etc. which are an obvious given in other big brands.