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Cheap HD TVs Big thin HD Ready & Full HD tellies with Freeview

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As technology marches on, full HD tellies have become as cheap as inferior HD-ready models were a year ago - so now's a good time to consider one.

This is a rundown of the cheapest deals on big, flat, full HD TVs. We've also included one cheaper, lower resolution HD-ready model for those who don't need/want full HD.

HD-ready or full HD? Without getting too technical, HD-ready TVs (lower res HD) make the image you see on screen out of 720 lines of picture, while full HD TVs use 1080 lines. This means full HD TVs offer a denser and more detailed image, but are almost always more expensive. For more info, read Martin's HD Ready blog.

However, finding the best TV is not just about resolution — see the HD glossary below if you're baffled by the terminology.

And remember, when buying big ticket items, always make sure you've done a full budget to ensure it won't break the bank — see Martin's Money Mantras.

Cheap LCD TVs

The most common HD TVs are LCD models. They come in a much larger range of sizes, and tend to use less energy than plasma TVs. They're also usually better priced.

They are illuminated by a powerful backlight, which shines through a series of red, blue and green liquid crystal display (LCD) filters. The crystals move to allow light through pixel-sized points to create a picture.

There's no real difference in image quality between LCD and plasma screens these days. Here are some of the cheapest we've found:

Panasonic 32" HD Ready (lower res HD) LCD TV
£240 online, at John Lewis

If you're looking for a great HD Ready TV and don't want to break the bank, this Panasonic is a quality screen available to buy online at John Lewis*.

The Panasonic TX-32A400 32-inch HD 1080p LCD TV has a built-in HD Freeview tuner and a USB Media Player, along with two HDMI ports, 1 Scart socket and 1 USB port. These let you connect your HD devices, so you can view movies and pictures straight onto your TV and listen to your music in stereo sound.

It's received mainly positive reviews, although a few people have remarked that the sound quality isn't great.

The set comes with an integrated stand, or can be wall mounted. Reviews are positive, and suggest it is easy to set up while the picture is sharp and clear.

Specification

Screen size: 32" widescreen
HD level/resolution: Full HD, 1920x1080
Inputs: 1 Scart, 2 HDMI, Component, Composite, Headphone, Optical, USB 2.0
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: No
Warranty: 5-year

Toshiba HD-ready 32" LCD TV
£300 online at Currys

Although this Toshiba lacks full HD video its built in features, like the Wi-Fi and DVD player, make this screen a great option to buy online at Currys*.

The Toshiba 32D3454DB 32-inch LCD HD-ready TV has two HDMI ports, so you can hook up two high-definition devices, such as a game console, Blu-ray player, or HD tuner. Note though, as it is HD-ready and not full HD, you will not get the full HD experience from devices such as a Blu-ray player. There are also Scart and Component sockets for older devices, such as VCRs.

For more info about the difference between HD-ready and full HD, read Martin's HD Ready blog.

Specification

Screen size: 32" widescreen
HD level/resolution: HD Ready, 1366x768
Inputs: 1 Scart, 2 HDMI, Component, Composite, SVGA, USB
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: Built in WiFi
Warranty: 1-year

Samsung 32" Full HD LCD TV
£230 online at Sonic Direct

For £229.99 at Sonic Direct, you can get a 32-inch full HD LCD TV Samsung UE32EH5000 TV with built in HD Freeview online at Sonic Direct.

The TV has a built-in Freeview tuner, along with two HDMI ports, 1 Scart socket and 1 USB port. These let you connect your HD devices, as well as view movies and pictures straight onto your TV, and listen to your music in stereo sound.

Although the picture quality is excellent, this isn't the most slim-line model we've seen.

Specification

Screen size: 32" widescreen
HD level/resolution: Full HD, 1920x1080
Inputs: 1 Scart, 2 HDMI, Component, Composite, S-Video, VGA, USB 2.0
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: No
Warranty: 1-year

Bush 40" Full HD LCD TV with Freeview
£230 at Argos

If you're looking for a slightly bigger screen with full HD, this Bush LCD TV from Argos* is £229 and collect from a local store for free. The product is usually available for home delivery but is currently out of stock.

Available in white, black and silver, It has a 40-inch screen, three HDMI ports, a Scart socket, as well as a USB port for recording and playback of videos, music and photos.

Specification

Screen size: 40" widescreen
HD level/resolution: Full HD, 1920x1080
Inputs: Scart, 3 HDMI, Component, VGA, USB 2.0
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: No
Warranty: 1-year

Cheap LED TVs

Most newer TVs have screens that use LED technology. This is actually the same as LCD TV, but instead of using a cold cathode lamp for the backlight, they have lots of low-power LEDs (light emitting diodes - tiny little bulbs).

Because LEDs are tiny compared to traditional bulbs, LED TVs tend to be much slimmer than LCD and plasma sets, so will save on space. LED models are also more energy-efficient than LCDs and plasmas.

Philips 32" HD Ready LED TV
£200 in-store at Argos

Order the Philips 32-inch full HD LED TV online from Argos* and collect from a local store for free for £199.99.

It has two HDMI connections, so you can connect a Sky+HD box or Virgin HD box to it, plus either a DVD player, a Blu-ray player or a games console. It also has a SCART socket and a USB port, so you can connect your digital camera or hard drive.

The PC input allows you to use the screen as a computer screen, so it's easy to stream movies (full info in the Watch Movies Online guide).

The TV fares well in online reviews, particularly in terms of the picture quality. Also, because the screen is LED, it's also pretty energy-efficient.

Specification

Screen size: 32" widescreen
HD level/resolution: Full HD 1366x768
Inputs: 1 Scart, 2 HDMI, USB 2.0
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: No
Warranty: 2-years

JVC HD ready 32" Smart LED TV
£190 online at Currys

You can get this big-screen HD ready JVC set for £189 in-store and online at Currys*.

It has a 32" screen, one Scart socket, two HDMI ports and a USB port. This means you can hook up a number of devices, to watch high-definition Blu-rays and TV, play HD games and watch content streamed straight from your PC/laptop.

One of the best features of this set is its Smart TV capabilities. This means you can browse the internet and watch catch up with shows via BBC iPlayer all through your television.

Specification

Screen size: 32" widescreen
HD level/resolution: Full HD 1366x768
Inputs: 1 Scart, 2 HDMI, Component, S-Video, VGA, USB 2.0
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: Yes
Warranty: 1-year

Toshiba HD ready 32" Smart LED TV
£280 online at John Lewis

This HD Ready Toshiba Smart TV is available at John Lewis* for £279 with free collect in store delivery.

It has a 32" screen, built in HD Freeview and DVD player. The Smart TV functions allow you to wirelessly stream BBC iPlayer, Netflix and more through your television via the internet.

This Bush telly has received some great feedback on the Argos website, averaging a score of 4.1 out of 5 from the 37 listed reviews.

Specification

Screen size: 42" widescreen
HD level/resolution: Full HD 1366x768
Inputs: 1 Scart, 2 HDMI, Component, USB 2.0
Freeview or Freesat: Freeview
Internet capability: Yes
Warranty: 5-year television, 2-year DVD

More top TV deals?

Amazon Hidden BargainsOver 25% off televisions

There are more bargains to be had on Amazon, via our special Amazon Hidden Bargains tool.

You can customise your search depending on the discount you want (eg, from 25% off), though the smaller the discount, the more results you'll get.

Here's one specially-created with 25%+ off TVs:

25%+ off TVs*

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TV glossary

Jargon Explanation
Screen resolution 1080p refers to the number of horizontal lines which can be displayed by the TV screen. In order to view high-definition content from a Blu-ray player or PlayStation 3 at its very best, you will need a TV capable of displaying 1080p images.
HD High-definition is a higher level of image detail (resolution) than standard definition (SD). Where standard definition tellies display 480 vertical lines of picture, HD ones can display 720 (HD-ready), or even 1080 (Full HD). However, HD-capable displays will only display a higher definition picture when connected to an HD receiver. (Wikipedia)
Resolution Describes the detail an image holds. Put very simply, the higher the numbers, the more detailed the image will be, regardless of screen size. (Wikipedia)
Refresh rate Measured in Hz, the speed at which the screen can refresh determines its effectiveness at reproducing fast-paced action. Most basic sets refresh at 50 or 60Hz, which is generally fine. But some viewers find it leads to eye strain when watching football, for example. As ever, this is more noticeable on larger screens. Sets with rates of 100Hz or more are now commonly available. (Wikipedia)
HD-ready This refers to screens which are capable of displaying lower-end high definition (HD) content, which is still far more detailed than regular, standard definition telly (720 lines as opposed to 480), but not as detailed as full HD 1080p below. (Wikipedia)
Full HD (1080p) This refers to screens capable of displaying the highest quality of HD content (1080 lines). To do so, they need a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080. (Wikipedia)
HDMI The preferred interface for plugging HD devices into each other. It's digital, and carries both sound and picture information. As an aside, don't be hoodwinked into paying over the odds for 'gold-plated' cables; since it's a digital format, there's barely any difference between them and the cheapest HDMI cable. (Wikipedia)

WARNING! Please think very carefully before buying one of these

While some of these tellies are very good value, they still cost a fair whack; don't be tempted to buy if you can't afford it. TV technology prices tend to drop for the same thing, so saving up and waiting a while can often pay off.

This site is about getting the best deals, but always spending within your means, so remember the MoneySaving mantras:

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Cheap HD TVs
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