Top TV Brands

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Battle of the Brands
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Battle of the Brands

The big TV brands are all competing for your attention and cash - but which should you choose? Find the right TV brand for you with our expert guide.

When it comes to common faults across all brands, problems with a TV's picture is the main one. Software faults with smart TVs is now the joint second most common fault, alongside problems with sound.  Great new smart functionality must not come at the cost of more unreliable TVs. 


Samsung TVs

As the biggest and most popular TV brand in the UK, Samsung offers a wide range of LED-backlit LCD TVs in screen sizes ranging from 19" up to mammoth 105" sets. Although it has launched a few plasma TVs in 2014, Samsung will cease plasma production very soon. Alongside HD TVs, Samsung also makes 4K (ultra-HD) TVs. The company is at the cutting-edge of smart TV and has one of most extensive and easy to use platforms available. Samsung TVs often have good picture and a strong range of features, but it can sometimes drop the ball, too. 

I myself, have a Samsung 58" LED Smart TV as my main TV. Had this for a year now with no problems so far (touch wood).

LG TVs

LG is now only just behind Samsung in the battle to be No.1 in the TV market. LG offers a huge range of HD TVs, including LED-backlit LCD televisions and plasma sets. Just like the other big brands, it is actively producing TVs with 4K ultra HD resolution, with four times the detail of a HD TV. LG is also forging ahead with a new type of TV screen technology called OLED. On the whole, LG does reasonably well in terms of reliability. However, it's not all plain sailing - for example, users often criticise LG TVs for being tricky to use.

Panasonic TVs

Panasonic now produces a large range of high-definition TVs, ranging from 24" sets up to huge screen televisions. The company has stopped producing plasma TVs, and now just focuses on LED-backlit LCD TVs. It also offers a growing range of 4K ultra HD resolution TVs. While Panasonic’s smart TV are not quite up there with the best brands, such as Samsung and LG, it's improving.  Panasonic has the potential to create a fantastic television, but it can also have the odd off day. In terms of reliability and customer satisfaction they are the best.

Sony TVs

Japanese brand Sony has scaled back its TV ranges in recent years to focus on fewer models. It still offers TVs going from basic 32" mid-sized LED-backlit LCD TVs right up to flagship, large screen models with smart TV and other features. Alongside HD TVs, Sony also offers 4K (ultra HD) televisions in sizes going up to 84". The Japanese brand has the ability to create a TV that matches style and substance. However, Sony can also occasionally miss the mark and often its TVs are tricky to use, for example:
My Second TV is a Sony 40" LED TV with Freeview HD. So far so good, but it was very tricky getting used to all the settings and where to find them.

Rest of the "reputable" brands

Philips: Don't bother.  

Toshiba: Toshiba makes a wide range of TVs itself, but also puts its branding on some TVs that are actually produced by third-party manufacturers. Toshiba TVs come in a variety of flavours, including basic mid-size sets, fully-featured smart TVs, 4K ultra HD sets and TV DVD combis. Toshiba TVs are very popular, however, they sometimes fall rather flat.

Sharp: In the face of a declining TV market and stiff competition from rivals, particularly Samsung and LG, Sharp scaled back its TV business a few years ago. It now offers a smaller range of Sharp-branded TV sets, ranging from basic 32"models to premium sets with 4K UHD picture quality. The higher-end models tend to be made by Sharp, but the lower-end, cheaper sets are sometimes made by other companies. 

Premium TV Brands (the Mercs & Beamers of the TV world)

If you want stylish design, unusual features and bragging rights with your friends, then premium TV brands such as Bang & Olufsen and Loewe may fit the bill. However, be aware that these TVs have big price tags, but they may not always deliver the best overall value for your money.

Bang & Olufsen: Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has a reputation for crisp and clean design using premium materials. Its flagship BeoVision TVs look striking, but can cost over 10 grand. B&O also offers the BeoPlay 'mid-range' models; smart TVs that can hang from the ceiling and feature dedicated docks for Apple TV. They're cheaper than BeoVision, but still cost over £2K for a 32" model.

Loewe: Built with distinctive Danish design, Loewe TVs tend to feature high quality sound systems and top-end features, such as built-in personal video recorders (PVR). That all comes at a price - a Loewe 32" TV can cost well over £1,000.

The Final Word...

We've been through a few good (and not-so-good) brands so far but in terms of reliability & customer satisfaction the best TV brands are:

1. Panasonic

2. Sony

3. LG

4. Samsung

5. Toshiba

Thanks for reading, more tech guides to follow in the near future.

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