With the World Cup 2010 finals in South Africa just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to upgrade your TV. If you’ve been holding out to make the jump from a standard definition telly to a HD one, the World Cup always leads to some great offers from retailers and manufacturers. Knowing full well you’ll be glued to your goggle-box for the best part of a month, stores get competitive with their pricing, so shop around right now and you’ll grab yourself a televisual treat at bargain prices.
We’ve pooled together here 5 great TVs, from the budget friendly to the pricey, each with at least one stand out feature that would make it a great set to watch the tournament on.
You may also notice that none of these TVs feature any 3D technology. That’s not a snub caused by the hype surrounding the new waves of TVs, its merely just down to the fact that no World Cup games are going to be broadcast in 3D during this tournament. Head back in 2014 if you’re looking for that particular round-up.
Sony Bravia KDL-40EX503
Sony’s Bravia KDL-40EX503 40 inch LCD TV is their first model to feature a built-in Freeview HD receiver, meaning you’ll be able to catch all the full HD World Cup coverage from the BBC and ITV without needing to splash out on a separate Freeview HD set-top box. As well as offering up superb 1080p images through its 4 HDMI ports, it also features Sony’s re-vamped Bravia Internet Video platform, one of the most comprehensive web TV services we’ve yet seen from a web-connected TV. There’s also a 37 inch model available now if that’s more pocket friendly for you.
(£749 from Amazon )
Samsung’s 40 inch UE40B8000 LCD LED Backlit TV was one of the finest TVs Tech Digest have had the pleasure of reviewing for quite some time. 4 HDMI ports, DLNA home networking and web-connected widgets, plus a Mega Contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1 combine for a set that also delivers some real crisp visuals and deep black levels. 200Hz technology also means you’ll be hard pressed to find a TV that offers a smoother viewing experience when matches pick up pace. It’s one drawback is its somewhat lacklustre speakers, which should have offered a little more boom for your grand-and-a-bit’s worth of buck.
(£1,249 from Amazon )
Toshiba Regza 2RV635DB
If you’re on a tight budget, the 32 inch Toshiba Regza 2RV635DB is far more exciting that it’s price tag should ever allow it to be. With a built in Freeview tuner, this budget set also manages to squeeze in four HDMI ports, a USB port and worthy upscaling tech in the shape of Toshiba’s Resolution+ feature. An absolute steal at just shy of £350.
(£349.99 from Amazon )
Sharp Aquos LC46LE821E
Sharp’s 46 inch Aquos LC46LE821E is really something special. Not only does it have built-in Freeview HD and anti-motion blur features similar to that found in the Samsung set, it also has Sharp’s proprietary Quattron colour technology. It gives an extra yellow sub-pixel to the traditional red, green and blue pixels of normal LCD TVs. That means that you get more vibrant colours than with any other set on the market, and will be perfect for capturing all the vibrancy of a World Cup stadium full of flags and colourfully dressed supporters. It may be the priciest set on our list, but you wont find a finer set to catch all the glorious colours of the Cup in full swing with than this.
(£1,999 direct from Sharp )
Hannspree HANNSsoccer 28″ Full HD Digital TV
Sorry, we couldn’t help but throw a novelty TV into the mix for our Top 5 World Cup TVs rundown. In some respects, HANNspree’s HANNSsoccer 28 inch Full HD digital TV, with its football shaped bezel, is the most fitting of all the TVs listed here for watching the World Cup on. While it wont set the world alight with its image processing, it does admirably throw out a 1080p picture, and comes complete with a built-in digital tuner. It’s shape makes it the perfect centrepiece for a World Cup party, but its relatively high price means you’d probably be better off spending your cash on one of the above sets with their more impressive functions and image processing technologies.
(£399.99 from Misco )