IT Show 2014 - Speakers, Headphones, Monitors & TVs Buying Guide


TVs

TV Deals at IT Show 2014

There are many TVs on sale at IT Show, but they come from just two brands, Samsung and Sony.

Samsung UA55F8000

Stunning looks aside, the 55-inch F8000 LED TV also features a quad-core processor for speedy operation, Samsung Smart Hub for content management, voice and gesture control, and integration with Galaxy tablets and phones. When it's time to upgrade, just slap on an Evolution Kit instead of buying a brand new TV set.

 IT Show 2014 Offer

  • Price: S$3,499 (Usual Price: S$4,099)
  • Promotion: S$500 cashback. Further S$200 cashback with Citibank. S$50 voucher for purchasing Samsung AV products
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Hall B, Booth 1417

Sony KDL-46W704A

The Sony KDL-46W704A is a 46-inch flat panel TV with Sony's Motionflow XR 200 (100Hz) technology. It also comes with a bass reflex box speaker and two USB 2.0 ports. It's a good deal if you want a big TV but don't care for things like 3D. 

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • Price: S$1,299
  • Promotion: Free Sony Blu-ray player BDP-S1100
  • Brochure

 

 

Location

Level 1, Booth 1432

Samsung UA40F5500

If your TV needs are more modest, the 40-inch F5500 1080p TV may just fit the bill. A smart TV, it supports apps, photos/videos, and music playback, and comes with built-in Wi-Fi. Not bad for a sub-S$1K TV. It's even cheaper if you manage to catch the hourly special deals.

 IT Show 2014 Offer

  • Price: S$759 (Usual Price: S$1,099)
  • Brochure

Location

Level 1, Hall B, Booth 1417

 

IT Show 2014 TVs Portal

 

TV Buying Guide

If you're buying a flatscreen TV today, chances are, it'll either be an LED TV or a plasma TV. Truth be told, an LED TV is actually an LCD TV. The main difference is that the former uses LED backlights (hence the name LED TV) instead of CCFL backlights. This has resulted in improved picture quality as a whole, and it also allows manufacturers to engineer slimmer housings.

A few years ago, we recommended that those on a shoestring budget to consider LCD TVs using CCFL backlights; but now, LED backlight-based LCD TVs are as affordable, so there's no real good reason to buy their older and thicker predecessors. That said, those who watch movie content a lot, and want a TV that can produce super-deep blacks and super-high contrast might want to consider a plasma TV (if you can still find them). Many of the higher-end plasma TVs are also equipped with very fast refresh rates that often process motion better than similarly priced LED TVs.

 

TVS TODAY

Besides LED TVs, the other two buzzwords you tend to hear in advertisements or see in brochures today are Smart TVs and 3D TVs. Simply put, a Smart TV is an Internet-enabled television. It enables users to surf the web, view free or pay-per-view video streams, share networked content, as well as engage in interactive media such as social networking applications on a single platform. The latest trend on the Smart TV front is all about the remote control. Many high-end and midrange Smart TVs come with a Wii remote-type, often voice-capable remote in addition to the standard longish candy bar-type remote.On the other hand, a 3D TV, as the name implies, allows you to watch 3D content. Technologies used on a 3D TV can be complicated to explain in a matter of a few paragraphs; but in a nutshell, a 3D TV usually uses one of these two technologies: active 3D or passive 3D. While many TV enthusiasts love active 3D TVs for their 'better' image quality, those looking for cost effectiveness are often drawn to the passive 3D camp due to its use of lightweight, lower priced polarized glasses.

LED TVs

With shrinking prices and the fact that all TV makers have long shifted their production focus to LCD TVs using LED backlights, chances are, an LED TV is what most new TV buyers are likely going to end up with then they're shopping for a new TV today. The other good piece of news is that you no longer need to break the bank to afford a full HD set.

Plasma TVs

While there are only a handful of plasma TV makers left in the market now, the ones that remained have continued to churn out products that took our breaths away. To compete with LED TVs, plasma TV makers have mostly focused on improving what the technology does best, mainly black levels and motion control. Hence, when it comes to picture quality, many TV experts still prefer plasma TVs over LCD TVs.

Smart TVs

LED TVs and plasma TVs are so named because of the technologies (panel, backlight type) they're based on. On the other hand, Smart TVs (which also go by other names such as Connected TVs and Internet TVs) are so named because of the smart features they possess. A modern Smart TV is usually accompanied by widgets, apps, games, and a web browser. The important thing to take note here is that Smart TVs are powered by each brand's own proprietary software. So don't assume that a Smart TV feature on a Samsung TV is also present on an LG Smart TV, and vice versa.

3D TVs

Both active and passive 3D TVs have similar price range, but the latter have a slight price advantage because they use glasses with simple polarized lenses, as opposed to active glasses that have more electronics and run on batteries, and are thus heavier and more expensive to deploy in scale. And for the uninitiated, if you've a 3D TV, you also have an HDTV capable of displaying high-def 2D content. But be aware that the ability to convert 2D signals to 3D on the fly is usually a feature found on premium 3D TVs. And even when you've bought a 3D TV, you still need 3D content (e.g. a 3D Blu-ray disc) and a 3D source (e.g. a 3D-capable Blu-ray player) - thus the investment may be greater than you initially thought.

 

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HDTVS, SMART TVS & 3D TVS?

Have we aroused your curiosity and you now wish to learn more about the workings of HDTVs, Smart TVs, and 3D TVs? If so, check out our HDTV Buying Guide Essentials, Smart TV Buying Guide Essentials, and 3D TV Buying Guide Essentials.

In any case, before we dive into some of the top TV deals at this year's IT Show, here are some reminders:

  • A 3D TV isn't necessarily a Smart TV, though most of the time 3D sets do come equipped with Smart TV features.

  • Don't assume that apps found on UK or US Smart TV models are available on app stores here as well. This applies to video-on-demand services in particular. If you're keen on a specific service, check with the manufacturer if it's available locally.

  • If you foresee yourself spending more time on the web browser rather than multimedia apps, be sure to try out the Smart TV's browser when you're at the show. Some models have less responsive web browsers, while others do not support certain plug-ins like Java or Flash.

  • To stream high-definition content, it's best to have a broadband speed of 10Mbps and above to avoid video stutters or intermittent buffering. For optimal wireless network performance, we'd recommend using a wireless N-router at the very least.

  • Don't purchase a Smart TV simply because you feel compelled by consumer trends. Most TV vendors offer a cheaper 'non-Smart' alternative under their HDTV line-up if you prefer a more traditional display set. The same goes for a 3D TV. Do you really need a 3D TV? Have you thought about where you're going to get 3D content from?

Check out the latest TVs at our HardwareZone TVs Product Guide.