Sunday, 5 August 2007

LCD TVs - Why so complicated?

I've recently been trying to get a new TV for my family, to replace the old one that has broken down. I feel I need to talk about this in great detail, in order to inform anyone who will inevitably have to go through the same hardships that I have had to go through!

The idea was to get a 19" widescreen LCD TV from my local Tesco store. I had bought a TV from them before, and on the whole I am quite happy with it. My impression was that it would be more of the same when I got the new one.

Unfortunately, a lot of unforeseen problems arose as a result of not properly researching what I was intending to buy. I will list a number of problems that I had with that TV:

1. The (supposed stereo) sound quality is not very good. There is not a lot of bass in the sound, and I didn't get much of an impression of proper stereo sound (Left & right).

2. The picture quality is not much better. The colour contrast is too harsh, and the TV configuration settings were too fiddly, and not that helpful.

3. The Freeview channels are not as good as I hoped they would be. I knew very little about Freeview before buying the TV, but I was under the impression that we would be getting a whole ton of new channels, at a much higher visual quality than what I have currently.

4. The compatibility with our other equipment wasn't that good either (although in hindsight, I think the problems were more down to the VCR/DVD unit we're using). Sufficed to say, there was a lot to learn in that regard as well!

I got the impression that the manufacturers of this TV had cut some corners in terms of the parts used in it's construction, just to keep costs down. I was very disappointed with the whole package in general, and just to prove the point, I bought a similar type of TV from Argos, and it turned out a LOT better. The picture quality and contrast was much better, as was the sound. I'm planning on returning the Tesco TV and get my money back as soon as possible! I will also make sure I'm a heck of a lot more careful if I buy any electrical goods from Tesco in future!

If I could give anybody in the same situation some advice, it would be:

A. Try to find out as much information as you can beforehand. Any kind of product review or product specs from the Internet will make things much easier for you in the long run.

B. Take a friend/family member with you. If you have someone else with you, they'll be able to see the situation more objectively that you ever could, and should let you know when something looks too good to be true. Nuff said.

C. If at all possible, ask to see the TV working BEFORE you hand over your hard-earned cash. That way you can make a better informed decision as to weather you're happy with it or not.

No comments: