TV Buying Guide
Welcome to our no-nonsense guide to TV technology, designed to help you choose the features to suit your lifestyle. With TV these days, its not just a question of what to watch but what to watch it on! From LCD to HD and 3D, Smart TV and also coming soon - Google TV and OLED TV. Not forgetting Blu-ray and DVD.
Just click onto one of the links below to find out more.
Smart TV's are a great new way of getting more from your TV - from normal TV programmes to web-based entertainment, sharing photos, social networking and keeping in touch with family and friends. They let you access a whole range of internet apps, just like you would on a Smart Phone but on a much larger screen.
Some of the most popular apps include BBC iPlayer to catch up on all your favourite TV and radio programmes from the last 7 days, whilst LOVEFILM lets you choose from 1000s of great movies and stream them directly to your TV for a small fee. Putting you in control of what you want to watch and when. Social media such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter allow you to keep up to date with the latest news, photos and videos from your family and friends. Or save £££s on phone calls to landlines and mobiles with Skype. The same goes with video calls - just plug in a webcam and you can make free Skype-to-Skype video calls anywhere in the world. Plus make calls to landline and mobile phones at reduced rates to keep in touch with family and friends anywhere in the world. (You'll need an Ethernet or wireless connection to your broadband hub.)
Some Smart TV's have a built-in internet browser so you can use your TV screen to search and shop from all your favourite websites without having to turn on your PC or laptop. It's the easiest way of getting the best of the web from the latest fashions to picking your holidays on the big screen. Look out for a smart TV with a dedicated web browser and you can do all this and more!
Smart TV's with content sharing, such as Samsung's 'All Share" even let you wirelessly access and watch the contents of your phone, camera or laptop. From birthday videos to holiday snaps or even the latest YouTube hit you can enjoy all the fun without needing to find the right wire for the right device.
Are you ready for another dimension? The great thing about 3D TVs is that you can convert your living room into your very own cinema or sports stadium where images leap out of the screen. You won't just be watching the action; it'll be going on all around you - brilliant when you're playing games.
You'll need a 3D-ready TV, plus a 3D Blu-ray player or 3D home theatre kit or Sky 3D or web-enabled PS3 console. Plus 3D glasses which need to be the same brand as your 3DTV. There are two types of 3DTV and 2 types of glasses - active or passive. Active glasses are powered, either by batteries or by power adapter. Passive 3D glasses use a number of different methods to deliver a different image to each eye. They both provide a great 3D experience using slightly different technology and are better quality than the free glasses you use at the cinema.
Active 3D glasses
Active 3D glasses rapidly blink each lens off and on to give you full high definition 3DTV. Shutter glasses are the most commonly used Active 3D glasses, the lenses are actually small LCD screens. When power is applied, the lens goes dark, the "shutters" close. As each different image is flashed the eye shutters alternate in time. Each eye sees a slightly different angle of the same image creating the 3D effect. On an LCD or LED television this method of 3D effectively cuts the refresh rate in half. Charging them up is easy - just use the USB input on your TV or laptop for up to 40 hours use.
N.B there are different types of Active glasses that use different syncing methods, as such please refer to your 3D TVs owner manuals before purchasing additional glasses.
Passive 3D glasses
Passive glasses use circularly polarized lenses to offer different images to each eye. These glasses also don't need a power source to run as the TV does all the work, that means they're really light and comfortable to wear. Plus they're perfect for watching Sky 3D as they use the same format. N.B these glasses will only work with Passive 3D TVs.
Please note that the Active / Passive glasses we supply can not replace the older 3D glasses with Red / Cyan lenses.
It's probably a good idea to think about purchasing some extra pairs of glasses otherwise you could be fighting over who gets to wear them once friends and family hear that you have a 3DTV.
But it's not just about the 3D action as you can still enjoy your normal (or 2D programmes as they're sometimes known) on any of our 3D-ready TVs but with super-sharp pictures and the very best detail. (no glasses needed)
Freeview is the most popular way to get digital TV in the UK. No subscription. No Contract. Through your aerial. (Note: an upgrade to your aerial may be required). Over 50 free digital channels, up to 25 digital radio stations and interactive services via the red button. You can get Freeview digital channels on a TV with built-in digital receiver or add either a digital DVD recorder with built-in Freeview receiver or digital set top box or recorder to your new or existing TV. Don't miss out on digital TV - all of the UK will have switched over to digital by the end of 2012. Visit the www.digital.co.uk website or call 08456 50 50 50 for more information.
The easiest way to record digital TV. All the benefits of Freeview plus you can record a programme or series at the touch of a button. Just select from the EPG (Electronic Programme Guide). You can even Pause Live TV, watch one programme whilst recording another plus record an entire series at the touch of a button (a bit like building your own box set). Best of all it's subscription free!
Could you be watching sport, drama, films and your favourite soaps in glorious Freeview HD?
Currently 80% of the UK can receive Freeview HD, rising to 98.5% UK coverage by the end of 2012. There are 4 top HD channels at present, BBC HD, ITV1 HD (STV HD in Scotland) Channel 4 HD (Clirlun in Wales) with more on the way .NO subscription. NO contract. Plus current standard definition Freeview channels. All you need is an HDTV with built-in Freeview HD receiver or a Freeview HD receiver to connect to an HD ready TV or HD ready 1080P TV. Check when Freeview HD is coming to you at www.freeview.co.uk or call 08456 50 50 50 for more information
That's Freeview via satellite for FREE digital TV channels for the whole UK. Plus the glorious detail and clarity of FREE HD from BBC and ITV. Enjoy over 140 TV and radio channels plus catch up on the last 7 day's TV with BBC iPlayer Beta. Getting Freesat is easier than you think, there's just one initial payment.
NO subscription, NO monthly bills. If you don't already have satellite, you'll need our Freesat installation service plus either a TV with built-in Freesat receiver or a separate Freesat digital box. If you already have a satellite dish, you can connect it yourself to your HDTV with built-in Freesat receiver or connect the dish and a separate Freesat digital box to your HD ready or HD ready 1080P TV. Then just sit back and enjoy.
Some LCD TV's feature the latest LED backlighting technology where LED lights (or Light Emitting Diodes) are positioned around the edges of the TV frame or across the back of the panel. The result is brighter, clearer pictures on a slimmer TV which uses less energy, so it costs you less to run- LED TV's
Plasma TV's feature 600 Hz technology for super smooth pictures whether you're watching TV, fast moving sports, movie action or playing games. They provide a great viewing angle so everyone in the room has a great view. Plasma TVs are available with screens from 37in right up to 58in.
HD Ready or HD Ready 1080p TV
High definition TVs give you a sharper, clearer picture with richer, more vibrant colours and up to 5 times the detail you'll see on a standard definition TV. Pixels (dots) on the screen make up the pictures and just like your digital camera, the greater the number of pixels, the better the picture quality. There are just over 400,000 pixels on a standard definition TV but with High Definition you can have over 2 million pixels which is why High definition TV is so amazingly life-like.
As High Definition images are sharper and more detailed than standard images, you'll need a TV that can display HD pictures in all their glory. HD TVs have digital sockets (HDMI or DVI) to connect to an HD receiver, Freesat HD; Freeview HD set top box or Blu-Ray player or recorder.
HD ready TVs have 1280 x 720 pixels. These TVs display 720 vertical lines (compared to 576 lines in a standard definition picture)
HD Ready 1080p TVs have 1920 x 1080 pixels. Full HD TVs offer twice the picture resolution of HD ready TVs and are great for getting the best from Blu-Ray films and games.
You'll really notice the difference on larger screens from 37in up.
Most big brand TVs use image-enhancing technology to improve picture quality, tweaking colour contrast, brightness and resolution to produce clearer, more vibrant images. They also help to make standard definition pictures look good on high definition TVs.
Look out for Sony's BRAVIA, LG's XD, Sharp's Aquos, Panasonic Viera and Samsung's DNle imaging engines.
Screen Refresh Rate
TV pictures are generally broadcast or recorded at 50Hz - that's 50 fields or 25 frames per second. TVs with 100Hz and 200Hz processing software double or quadruple the frames on screen per second for smoother motion.
Plasma TVs with 600Hz or 800Hz give an even sharper, smoother picture - perfect for judder-free games, sports and movie action.
Blu-Ray Players and Discs
Blu-Ray is the latest in high definition digital video with up to 5 times the detail of standard DVDs, sharper pictures, more vivid colours and extra features on disc. Enjoy the home cinema experience from the comfort of your sofa in full HD 1080p picture quality, the best yet. Smart 3D Blu-ray players have built-in WiFi so you can enjoy the best of the web directly on your TV, YouTube videos, BBC iPlayer for example as well as the latest 3D Blu-Ray movies and standard or 2D Blu-ray movies too. Don't worry; you can still play CDs and standard DVDs on any of our Blu-Ray players.
As well as high quality images from DVD disc, look out for DVD players with HD upscaling for the better quality pictures, virtual 3D surround and DIVX so you can watch movies you've downloaded onto a USB stick.
How to measure a TV
You should measure your TV screen diagonally to discover the screen size. Please don't include the plastic frame when measuring, just measure from the corner of the panel to the other corner of the actual screen. Some brands will round up the size to the nearest inch.
Coming Soon - Oled TV
Standing for Organic Light Emitting Diode, OLED TVs will give you superior picture quality with more vivid, lifelike colours, more authentic fast action, wider viewing angles and much higher contrast ratios for better picture quality with deeper blacks, brighter whites and very vibrant, natural colours. They're great for wall mounting, as they're lighter and thinner than current LCD and Plasma TVs and very energy-efficient because there's no backlighting.
Surf the internet and surf TV channels with Google TV - a new experience that combines TV, the entire web, apps, and social media for more entertainment on your TV. Watch shows at your leisure, store photos and enjoy online gaming plus stream videos with Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and HBO Go. Enjoy YouTube from the comfort of your couch; get streaming videos from Vimeo, Redux, Daily Motion and more. And let that sound system ring with Pandora, Slacker Radio or napster. Stream your personal music collectiom. Watch music videos with Vevo or YouTube.
You can relive your favourite moments in big screen brilliance. View photos from sites like Picasa and Flickr. Watch your own videos. Remember the best moments caught on camera with family and friends. Enjoy every detail on your HDTV. Quite simply, it's the web on your TV.
In order to enjoy the latest in internet TV, you'll need either a stand alone Google TV or a separate Google box to use with your current HDTV.
We now sell the Sony NSZ-GS7 Network Google Media Player which gives you access to Google TV with internet access, gaming and the world of Android apps.
If the TV you are buying is smaller than 37 Inches this generally will be available for delivery using one of our 'small item' delivery options including Next Day, Standard & Specified Day.
When the TV you are buying is 37 Inches or larger this will be classed as a large item & an additional delivery charge will be applied as it will take 2 of our strong, burly delivery men to carry.
To find out more about your delivery options click here >
You can buy now pay nothing for up to 12 months on all TV's with Buy Now Pay Later,exclusive to the Very Account
Just follow the following simple steps;
+ Shop TV'S and add to your basket or call us with your order
+ At the checkout, just select BNPL or enter the appropriate code in the promotions box.
+ Pay nothing for up to 12 months- pay the cash price in full before the end of the payment-free period and there'll be no interest to pay. Result! (Don't worry - we'll remind you before hand on your statement).
+ Still not ready to pay at the end of the payment-free period? Fine - you can spread the cost using your Very Account
If it can't be fixed we'll replace it fast!
In a fix without your TV? We'll soon mend that. Even if it's up to 8 years old and well out of the manufacturer's warranty, our Service Guarantee means someone will be chasing up your TV within 2 hours of you reporting the fault. Plus you can spread the cost of protection with your Very Account.
+ Available for larger electrical items.
+ If your purchase breaks down and can't be fixed, it'll be replaced.
+ Simple claims service and no callout fee.
+ Protection available for up to 5 years, with renewal available for appliances up to 8 years old.
Terms & Conditions apply. Service Guarantee does not include some situations, for example: accidental damage, and wilful act or neglect. It is not an insurance product. Service Guarantee starts after the expiry date of the manufacturers guarantee period.
Service Guarantee is offered by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited. Provided by The Warranty Group Services (Isle of Man) Limited, St George's Court, Upper Church Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 1EE.