JVC LT-32DE1 32in LCD TVPrice - £519 Inc VAT (www.digitaldirect.co.uk)
The 32DE1 is the tweaked successor to the 32DE9 we reviewed. Which means that it’s an improved version of what remains a rather underexploited TV concept: screens with built-in hard disk recorders.
The 32DE1’s 32in TV incorporates 160GB of HDD space, onto which you can record hours and hours of flawless-quality programming from the TV’s two built-in Freeview (though not Freeview HD) tuners. This is obviously a really great touch for people who, god forbid, have to miss any key games for whatever reason. Or for people who just want to save forever the moment when England battered Brazil 3-0.
JVC has improved picture quality for the 32DE1, too, with much better contrast joining JVC’s traditional rich colour saturations and high levels of sharpness - both features which, of course, suit football viewing down to the ground.
The appeal of LG’s 47LH3000 is brilliantly and adorably simple: it gives you an enormous screen for a puny price.
As its model number suggests, that screen size is a whopping 47in, giving you more football-friendly screen real estate than you’ve any right to expect for so little money.
Of course, having a big screen is all well and good, but if the pictures shown on it are a dog’s dinner, then the screen size might actually be more a detriment than a positive! Luckily LG has delivered some very enjoyable pictures from the 47LH3000, despite the set carrying 100Hz processing.
For instance, you can fine-tune colours startlingly accurately to get the best representation of all the team strips - in fact, the TV is endorsed by the independent Imaging Science Foundation as a screen one of its experts could calibrate professionally.
Images are bright, clean, sharp and dynamic too. There are compromises, such as a limited viewing angle and slightly noisy standard definition pictures. But this is still a screen that offers outstanding big-screen value.
Looking back, we’d almost go as far as to say that Samsung’s now slightly long-in-the-tooth B650 and B550 LCD ranges were minor TV classics. Which probably explains why the B650 series, at least, is still available now, more than a year after it first launched.
The 40B650’s appeal begins with its design, which uses Samsung’s 'Crystal' finish and some sultry lines to great effect - always good for eliciting coos of admiration from visiting football fans.
But the 40B650 (reviewed in its 651 colour variation here) also scores a goal with its online functionality, allowing you, for instance, to bolster your footie experience with YouTube clips from World Cups gone by, or relive your old World Cup parties via photo storage website, Picasa.
Best of all, though, is the 40B650’s picture quality, which combines ground-breaking contrast for a CCFL LCD TV with just the sort of good motion handling and rich colours the World Cup thrives on.