Need to buy a new (UK) TV set?


Remote control

If you want to control the TV with your Sky remote control, make sure you have the latest version Remote and make sure the TV make/model is one that is listed with a code.

Make sure the TV remote does what you want, such as putting the TV into standby.

Check how much power the TV uses in standby and when ON.


Make sure the TV has a Freeview tuner (and an analogue tuner, if required). If you need both tuners, make sure you can switch between analogue and digital with a single button press. Some TV sets force you to navigate various menus to change the "input source".

With the signal shared between two tuners, the TV may be slightly "deaf" compared with a single-tuner TV, although good design will normally make this effect negligible.

An analogue tuner's intended function NOW is to allow the TV to display an RF output signal from, say, a Sky Digibox in another room. As such, it does not need to be sensitive (a feature that would increase its price). So it may not tune in analogue stations very well from your aerial if the signal is weak (even if your old TV did.) Although analogue TV is soon to be (or may already be) switched off in your area, you may still need an analogue tuner if you plan to "pipe TV" signals around your house from other equipment. (Sky Digibox or VCR.)

The Freeview tuner inside the TV is subject to more interference than it would be if it were in a separate Freeview receiver, so it may seem a little "deaf". In addition, the TV emits interference which can get into adjacent cables if they are not fully screened. This can add to the apparent "deafness" of the internal tuners. Read more information about interference: Click Here.


A modern, thin TV set has barely any room for loudspeakers and hardly any air space. Consequently, the TV's own speakers are likely to produce only a "tinny" low-volume and often distorted sound. Be prepared to pay for an external loudspeaker system.

Moving Abroad

If you plan to move outside the UK, do not buy a TV set here. It is less likely to be a "multi standard" set and may not function properly in your new country.

Since the UK currently uses PAL-I standard for UHF analogue transmissions, and few other countries do, there's no point in taking a UK TV abroad unless you are certain that it is "multi standard". If, however, you simply want to connect it to a satellite TV receiver or DVD player via SCART or HDMI lead, then it should be fine.

Aspect Ratio

Some modern TV sets are based on computer monitors and do not have the correct number of "lines" to display 16:9 (wide screen) correctly. Often, the monitor is designed for a 16:10 aspect ratio, so it will either stretch the picture vertically (undesirable) or leave a black bar top and bottom.

High Definition

Many modern TV sets purport to support High Definition. Dependent on your requirements, consider the need for:-

HDMI input (more than one is desirable)
DVI input (doesn't carry audio)
Scart input (more than one is desirable)
Ability to "upscale" a standard definition picture and produce a good quality picture
Blue Ray support (for Blue Ray DVD viewing)
VGA input (for connecting a computer).

Please note that no current HDTV set (December 2008) is capable of producing an HD picture "off aerial" because there are no UK Freeview programmes being broadcast in High Definition. Such broadcasts are planned for 2010 beginning with Winter Hill transmitter. A new design of "HD Freeview" TV (or an external HD box) will be required.

2011 Freeview HD TV sets are now available.

You can currently buy a Freesat HD satellite TV receiver (no subscription) or a Sky+HD satellite TV receiver (subscription). These receivers can be connected to the HDMI socket of your HDTV set. Both systems require exactly the same dish pointing the same way, but you may need to upgrade the LNB on the dish to get additional connections. (You can't simply split the cable). See more info.

Screen size

Screen size is measured diagonally from corner to corner. A 19" wide screen TV appears to be smaller than a 19" Standard 4:3 TV. You will normally want to sit about three times the screen size distance away from the TV.

Picture shift

Some TVs shift the picture left or right, leaving a black margin, when the Sky Digibox is set to output RGB.

LCD or PLASMA or...?

Technology is changing rapidly. What was "best" last week may not be "best" today. The speed of screen "refresh" is improving. The problems of "screen burn" are diminishing. In addition, picture quality is very subjective and depends on the picture settings. The default settings might make the picture look awful (to you).

The best advice I can give is to make a list of your requirements; read reviews; ask questions in the various discussion forums; get the opinions of people who already have a TV similar to the one you want. Above all PLEASE see demonstrations in shops, such as "Richer Sounds". There is no substitute for being there and using your own eyes and ears!

Note: I'm not a "Hi-Fi" expert. If you are, and if you have any information to add to this page, I'll be happy to receive your comments.

Here's a LINK to another site discussing how to choose a TV.

Here's a link to an Amazon Kindle BOOK.

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