Samsung 48-inch UE48H8000
Aping the bend of its UHD brethren, this Full HD curved Samsung is clearly aimed at fashion buyers prepared to pay a price premium for "the next big thing". In truth any possible argument for immersion (often cited as the main reason to buy a curved telly) is immediately negated by the modest screen size. What’s more, you’d be nuts to buy this Full HD model over the nearly priced HU7500T.
That said, this Series 8 screen doesn't shirk on features and there’s much to like about the brand’s Smart Hub connected services. It comes with two remotes, one with integrated microphone for voice interaction. 1080p image quality is high, with plenty of fine detail, verdant colours and a reasonable black level. Our advice is to wait for the inevitable discounts, and then pose like mad when the Joneses come round for tea.
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Sony 42-inch Bravia KDL-42W7005B
Sony has regained its TV mojo of late, with a string of corking sets at both ends of the price spectrum. This Bravia W700B series model is a fabulous entry-level 'net-connected set that combines fashionable cosmetics (loving the wire-frame pedestal and micro bezel) with a crisp Full HD image bolstered by Sony’s detail-enhancing X-Reality Pro image engine. Motion-handing, even via low-end Motionflow XR200 processing, is surprisingly effective and the set offers rewardingly deep blacks and shadow detail.
While the TV lacks a full complement of catch-up services, Sony’s One-Flick search and navigation bar prove intuitive to use. In addition to content suggestions for upcoming TV, YouTube and Sony’s own Video Unlimited movie offerings, you can create bespoke searches with keywords. Less compelling is Social View, a Twitter implementation that pours tweets across the bottom of the screen. Connectivity, which includes four HDMIs, is good. The set isn’t 3D compatible (if you need that, step up to the W800B series), but that caveat is unlikely to deter many. Overall, brilliant value for those looking for a high performance set that won’t break the bank.
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