United Kingdom

Bad sound and picture quality means smaller TV sets are not worth buying, say consumer experts

It's a trend that has left many living rooms looking like home cinemas.

And our love of supersize screens has claimed a victim – small television sets.

Experts say those measuring 32in or less are not worth buying because a lack of demand means manufacturers have effectively given up on them.

As a result, the sets have not been fitted with the latest technology – so watching sport and blockbuster films has become a pain.

Experts say those measuring 32in or less are not worth buying because a lack of demand means manufacturers have effectively given up on them [File photo]

Most do not have 4K high definition screens, which means they struggle with fast motion. They also have fewer apps to access streaming services or the web, and the sound is often low quality.

And it has suggested viewers might even be better off using a tablet or laptop. The average Which? test score on a 32in TV is a measly 49 per cent. 

The best TV of this size in recent tests scored only 55 per cent. The demand for big screens is at odds with the fact many homes, particularly new builds, have small rooms that mean viewers are too close.

Which? said the best viewing distance for a 50in screen is 9ft to 10ft, with the figure for a 55in screen at 11ft to 12ft. But a poll of Which? members found almost nine in ten were not sitting at the right distance. 

Those too close will struggle to capture the whole image and the TV will be uncomfortable to watch.

Viewers who are too far away lose detail and the picture is not as crisp, while colours lose their lustre and the screen starts to look washed out.

Most do not have 4K high definition screens, which means they struggle with fast motion. They also have fewer apps to access streaming services or the web, and the sound is often low quality [File photo]

A spokesman said: ‘While a smaller TV might capture detail, they are more likely to struggle with motion... manufacturers have been putting more of their efforts into making bigger TVs and home cinema set-ups.

‘Manufacturers also release fewer 32in sets now than they did several years ago.

‘Sometimes their range will only include one, and they are always inferior.’

Which? found that small TVs can have a shrill sound due to a lack of bass. Operating systems also suffer, with fewer apps available and weaker processors that cause menus to be slower when channel surfing or loading TV guides.

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