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Old 28-05-2013, 16:22
grimtales1
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Hey,
I was thinking of buying a bigger TV and new HD surround sound to replace my old analogue speakers. Only thing is I'm not sure exactly what I want - whether it has to be a Smart TV or whatever (what do they do?)
Cant decide whether to go with LCD or plasma but am happy with LCD now TBH so I think that'll be fine.

Ideally I think Panasonic is good because its what I have now
Would like Freeview HD built in (does it have all the SD channels as well?)
42"-47" in size I think (this is bound to show off HD better than 32")
But not sure what to get What I have is a good set (its a few years old).

Apparently the Sonos soundbar is really good for HD sound No more wires trailing on the floor.
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Old 28-05-2013, 16:55
davidge62
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Hi. I've been looking for the same for a couple of weeks and have spent ages trawling the internet. I've only been on the forum for a few days.

I know very little about techie stuff, but am happy to share what I've found.

As you mentioned the Sonos soundbar I assume your budget is a lot greater than mine but I bought an LG BH6200S on offer for 149.99 in Argos. I'm very happy with it, but it is my first home theatre system and you do have the wires around the room.

Most advice on this, and other forums seemed to be that Plasmas are still better than LED, especially if you watch sport, as long as the room isn't too bright. However, a full HD Plasma is out of my price range so I have decided on an LED.

I wasn't sure about 3D, but after trying it out in Currys did decide to look for a set with 3D. Because I wear specs I am only looking for passive, and was quite impressed by the LG 3D I saw.

I don't need a Smart TV, but most of the good sets on sale now have this capability anyway.

My only decision now is whether to pay more for a 42" Panasonic or to go for an LG.

LG's are around 600 or so and Panasonics rather more - add about 100 or 150 if you decide on 47".

Have fun looking!
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Old 28-05-2013, 17:59
grimtales1
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One thing I'm not sure about is if I get that soundbar thing does that mean I dont need an amp/speakers
I wasnt sure about which is better - LCD v Plasma, a 47" Plasma sounds OTT, LED will have to do
I dont really "need" a Smart TV but I thought Panny Viera sets did that anyway?
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Old 28-05-2013, 18:21
davidge62
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yes the Panasonic and new LG all seem to be 'Smart'. I've only found a couple of older LG models for sale that aren't.

The main Panasonics seem to be:
PANASONIC VIERA TX-L42ET60B Smart 3D 42" LED TV at around 750 and PANASONIC Viera TX-L42FT60B Smart 3D 42" LED TV at around 1100.

I'm not tech-savvy but the difference seems to be much more 'smart' - faster processor more online options??? Also, I think there's an extra tuner.

LG seem to have quite a few slightly different models from around 630 up to a grand. Differences seem to be mainly processors etc - but I'm not certain!

In my case, I'm looking at one of the 2 cheapest models. Just not sure which.


PS I'm pretty certain that most soundbars are 'self-contained'. Connect them to the audio-out from your TV then you can hear anything connected to your TV by choosing the right source on the TV. Many have built-in sub-woofers though you can get them with a distinct one if you prefer. Guess it depend on how much room you have.

I went for a system rather than a soundbar so I could get surround sound etc. I think the jargon is 5.1 rather than 2.1 with a soundbar (5 speakers plus sub-woofer rather than just 2).
There are plenty of techies on here that know far more than me about this.

Last edited by davidge62 : 28-05-2013 at 18:41. Reason: Extra info.
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Old 28-05-2013, 18:43
grimtales1
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This one looks good I think:

http://www.richersounds.com/product/...pana-txl47et5b

You pay much more for the later model though (the 6B) - and I'm not sure about Richer Sounds saying "Condition may vary" on some of them, I want one which is brand new
Not sure if I want to buy 850 for the 47" 6B
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:04
davidge62
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I'm pretty sure this is the 2012 model - the first time Panasonic did LED 3D - rather than the 2013, hence the lower price.

Sounds like they may be display models???

Guess you'd have to visit a store to find out.

A couple of reviews:
http://www.digitalversus.com/tv-tele...2994/test.html

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/tvs/1...era-tx-l47et5b

The only store near me where I can actually see the TV's is now Curry's!!! There's also an Argos to buy from or I have to buy online 'sight unseen'.

Last edited by davidge62 : 28-05-2013 at 19:08. Reason: add links
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:08
grimtales1
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Can you not get surround with a sound bar? I want surround for BD etc so will have to buy some speakers then?
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:25
davidge62
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Read this:
http://peripherals.about.com/od/spea.../whatis_ss.htm

As I said, I'm NOT a techie and I think we're mainly sharing our ignorance here

For proper surround sound you need speakers all around you (5.1). Soundbars aren't proper surround sound (just 2.1) but are much better than just the TV.

I'm really pleased with my system. I thought it would be on DVD's or Blu-rays that I'd notice the difference but even on broadcast TV the difference is huge. The dialogue is much clearer and the background noises come from somewhere else in the room!

If you don't want all the wires you can get wireless ones - but I don't think they're cheap.
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:41
grimtales1
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Thanks. I think I'll get a speaker system then as I want an HD version of 5.1 that can take advantage of the sound on BDs (at the moment I just have analogue 5.1/DTS if you like) and trying to get all that with the soundbars is just insane and would be way out of my budget.

Not quite sure about what TV to get or what the price of the 2013 Pannys are. 3D doesnt bother me.
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Old 28-05-2013, 20:00
davidge62
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2013 Panasonics seem to be close to a grand (or certainly over 900) for a good 47" though I did find a couple of 50" a bit cheaper (800-850). The cheapest 47" I actually found was the 3D one!

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-dvd-...89371-pdt.html

With the 10% off that would be about 860

That's just with Argos and Currys as I know their websites.

I can't find any full HD Panasonic PLASMA at a decent price only HD ready but you can get a 50" Full HD LG Plasma for 530 and a smart plasma by LG or Samsung for under 800.

John Lewis have the same TV you found at Richer Sounds for 769 with a 5-year guarantee.
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Old 28-05-2013, 21:16
grimtales1
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Are the 50" 2013 ones, any good? Might investigate them or the 42" one. No point going from 32" to 37".
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Old 28-05-2013, 21:18
grimtales1
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This one looks good, just not bothered about 3D
The 47" version is 200 more

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...s=home-theater
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Old 28-05-2013, 21:28
davidge62
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I was just looking at the same TV on John Lewis. The model number is 61 instead of 60 but I think that's just a special for JL so they can claim price match. It's the same spec exactly. It's 699.95 but they give a 5-year warranty with all their TV's and free delivery. At the moment, it's probably the favourite for me - unless I save 120 and buy LG!!

Don't know if the 50" are well-reviewed or not as I knew they were too big for my room so haven't looked at them at all.
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Old 28-05-2013, 21:46
grimtales1
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I think 42" or 47" would be fine for my room. 5 year warranty sounds a good plan.
As for speakers, I cant seem to find any that come without a free BD player I already have one.
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Old 28-05-2013, 22:15
davidge62
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Most of the ones I've seen run through either a blu ray or DVD. I have seen some cheap ones that have an active sub-woofer instead. Don't know if you can get a decent one?? Search for home cinema with "active sub-woofer" and see what you find.

Really don't know how they compare.
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Old 28-05-2013, 23:45
chrisjr
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I think 42" or 47" would be fine for my room. 5 year warranty sounds a good plan.
As for speakers, I cant seem to find any that come without a free BD player I already have one.
Here you go

http://www.richersounds.com/product/...96/yama-yht196
http://www.richersounds.com/product/...98/yama-yht398
http://www.richersounds.com/package/...eals/pah011076

Depending on how deep your wallet is.
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Old 29-05-2013, 00:11
grimtales1
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Thanks
I've been thinking could I just use the speakers I already have (I know theyre about 11 years old ) and get a new amp for HD audio? Would they work? Just means no extra rewiring needs to be done or anything.
The speakers themselves seem fine.
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:05
grimtales1
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Would I need to buy a full amp/speaker package for HD sound for BDs or could I get a soundbar (plus 3 speakers?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-SC...keywords=HTB65

It sounds like the soundbar is more for TV though, not movies really.
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:35
chrisjr
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Thanks
I've been thinking could I just use the speakers I already have (I know theyre about 11 years old ) and get a new amp for HD audio? Would they work? Just means no extra rewiring needs to be done or anything.
The speakers themselves seem fine.
What speakers are they? If they came off some old all in one system (ie built in disk player and amplifier) then best to give them a decent burial and treat your new amp and your ears to something decent.

There are several reasons for not using the set of speakers that came with an all in one. First off they may well be very low impedance. I've seen 3ohm speakers on many such systems. Some AV amps are spec'ed into 4ohms, some 6 and a few 8ohms minimum. So a 3ohm speaker may not be best suited to such an amp.

Then there is the power handling. Some manufacturers seem to pluck a number out of the air and give it some largely meaningless name like "peak power". Which means that the power handling of the speaker may not be as high as you think so you could end up damaging the speakers if you crank the amp up to 11

And then there is the sub. Most AV amps are designed to work with an active sub, ie one with it's own amplifier built in. Many all in one systems use passive subs, ie no built in amplifier. You cannot plug such a passive sub into an amplifier designed for an active sub.

And another reason for getting new speakers even if your old ones are OK is that the old speakers may be a bit shot. One thing that can happen is the tweeter in the speaker blows. I've known this on several pairs of speakers I have used. Sometimes you don't even notice that the higher frequency sounds have gone until you replace the speakers and suddenly the cymbals on the drum kit pierce your ears You can often tell if the tweeters are OK by sticking your hand over them and listening for any difference in sound quality. If there isn't any then either the tweeters are shot or your ears are
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:38
grimtales1
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Not sure if I should go LED or Plasma now (If it was LED it would be a 2013 model).
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Old 29-05-2013, 09:44
chrisjr
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Would I need to buy a full amp/speaker package for HD sound for BDs or could I get a soundbar (plus 3 speakers?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Panasonic-SC...keywords=HTB65

It sounds like the soundbar is more for TV though, not movies really.
And where would you plug the extra speakers in? Soundbars are self contained speaker systems, they are not intended to be used as a direct replacement for an AV amp and full 5.1 speaker system.

They are simply a single box with two or more speaker units and associated amplification designed to sit under the telly. They are a completely different animal to a full 5.1 system and address a totally different market.

If you want a full on surround sound system then you need a proper AV receiver and a 5.1 or even 7.1 speaker system (obviously the receiver has to be 7.1 as well for a 7.1 speaker set).

Blu-Ray can have a 7.1 surround sound audio track. Then again it could be 1.0 (mono) or even 0.0 (ie silent ) all depends on the movie.

If all you want is something better than the (usually) crap built in speakers on the telly and don't care too much about full on surround sound then a soundbar will do the job. As would plugging the telly into a stereo amp and speaker pair. Or even using a pair of "PC" speakers.
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:20
davidge62
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I'm not surprised you're confused - I've been looking for 2 weeks now and the more I learn the more uncertain I am!!

If you'll accept some advice from a novice!

The simplest solution to your sound requirements is to buy a blu ray home theatre system. You could get a HD/3D/Smart blu ray system for under 200 and use your current blu ray as a spare in another room. Even if you went for an extra-super-super system you'd be paying about the same as for a really good sound bar or a sound system with receiver. If you really think you'll be happy with just a sound bar (much better than Tv sound but NOT surround) then you don't need an amp.

As regards TV. I respect the real techies on here who nearly all say that Plasma pictures are better. If you are used to LCD/LED though then it may look a bit dim at first and you need the room to be not too bright. From looking around, Plasma prices are now very good compared to LED. It does look to me, though, as if the big chains (certainly Currys) see Plasma as on the way out. I'd guess that future developments are going to be mainly in the LED field. You can get HD ready plasmas very cheap now(314 for 42") but don't think they would really be up to Blu-ray standard!

In my case, I've just remembered that there's a Panasonic shop near me so I'm going to see what they've got later.
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:39
grimtales1
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Thanks for that OK I think I'll go for a new system of speakers/amp for BD I dont want to use my current Blu Ray as "spare" though but rather a main one because I had it chipped so it was multi-region for BDs
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Old 29-05-2013, 11:04
Nigel Goodwin
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Thanks for that OK I think I'll go for a new system of speakers/amp for BD I dont want to use my current Blu Ray as "spare" though but rather a main one because I had it chipped so it was multi-region for BDs
I would suggest that you're FAR better doing that, keep your BD player separate from the amplifier - it's never a good idea 'putting all your eggs in one basket'.
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Old 29-05-2013, 11:54
davidge62
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Panasonic store salesman very helpful. Though their prices were higher than elsewhere!
My conclusions after confusing myself for a couple of weeks:

If you don't want bluray or gaming then HD ready plasmas are the best buy at the moment.
eg
http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/tv-dvd-...89379-pdt.html
This was 314 on the weekend and may be available for that somewhere else.

If you watch bluray or do gaming then go for LED full HD.
If you are sure you don't want 3D as an option then this is excellent value:

http://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-v...?colour=Silver

If you want 3D just in case then:
http://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-v...lasses/p450103

The 3D I watched in the Panasonic store was not very good. I thought the one I saw in Currys was better. As the Panasonic and LG use the same 3D panel, I guess it was just the disc/programme they were showing. I will probably go for the 3D option just in case. You can't add it to the Tv later!

As a novice in tech stuff, my gut tells me that Plasmas are going the way of Betamax. All the real techies say they're better but the market goes in another direction!

Anyway. Think I will buy the plasma for my parents (they only watch Sky so don't need full HD) and the 3D LED for myself. Have to wait a couple of weeks though!
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