Best SD sky picture?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
What flatscreen Tv gives the best SD Sky picture, forget HD?

After spending a good time looking at Tv in a variety of high street stores, im just not that impresssed, including the new pioneer.

I accept that a number of factors are ocurring when i did this.

1.The Tv is not set up right.

2. poor signal.


But i've never seen a flatscreen TV lCD or plasma that i really think would look out of this world with SD. So if i bought the new pioneer and set it up correctlty will i be trully satisfied? I want to be, but doubt i will.

Having been a what hifi reader for a number of years it seems to me that HiFi is scrutinised far more than TV's. And TV's get away with more noise, smearing blocking, way more than any HiFi ever could get away with poor dynamics and detail. Ok you can't compare them really and im probably not making a good point in doing so.

Everyone seems so keen to own a flat screen, but when the majority of people only watch SD its a step back, not forward. Yes there are other advantages size of picture, you can hang it on the wall, and they do look amazing with HD. But untill most of the content is watched in the UK is HD is there much point jumping on the bandwagon now and buying a TV that will be classed as 3 star average in a year to 18 months. Can anyone hazard a guess when all TV will be HD? or even the majority? Its a long way off i think? but then who knows? Whats the point in paying £1500 on a Tv that will only look at its best 10% of the time? OK a lot of people in here will have the blu ray player and be total enthusiasts, or have a lot of money ect. and watch nothing but HD,, well good for them!

Please someone tell me im wrong,,,and that the many many Tv's i have seen playing SD content have all been badly set up! Does anyone out there think that CRT has been beating with SD? Or am i talking rubbish, and am just disolusioned at the moment?


appoligies for my rubbish spelling and typing.

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
As posted elsewhere, Mook, there are far too many poor flatscreens out there, which would struggle to beat the best CRTS with SD content.

BUT. No-one's making new CRTs (apart from the odd 14in TV/DVD combo) anymore. So we can't review them. If you're buying a new main TV today, your choice is LCD or plasma, and we're here to tell you what's the best you can buy.

But there are some fantastic sets out there, with superb SD performance. With a good Freeview feed - BBC, Channel 4, E4 - they can look incredible, and beat anything CRT can offer. With lower-qualitycontent - hello ITV and others - even the best sets can struggle. That's not their fault, merely the failure of the source material to acknowledge that the world has moved on to larger, higher-resolution sets.

Sky tends to be slightly better, as there are less bandwidth issues with the Sky channels and some others, but some of the low-bitrate channels still look bad. As they do even via Sky HD, though at least the upscaling can help a little.

And upscaling is key, here. The best sets - the ones we give five stars to - have the best upscaling/downscaling abilities to make the most of whatever's thrown at them.

And I - and the rest of the team - would severely dispute that hi-fi is scrutinised more than TVs. Testing hi-fi is relatively simple - set the kit up, run it in, and test it with a range of music and systems. TVs, however, have to be fully calibrated then tested - in every mode (scaling on and off, tuners plus all inputs) with every kind of content (analogue TV, freeview TV, satellite TV, DVD, upscaled DVD, HDTV, HD discs) before we're happy we've seen everything a set is capable of.


To be honest i'm amazed at just how good my new Sony 40W3000 is at displaying SD picture, and this is through a really old Sky box and via a scart lead. I had major doubts about these new tv's ability to handle the SD picture that well, but i needn't have, i'm very pleased with it.


thanks for the reply Clare!

i accept a lot of what you are saying. I take your point about CRT's not being made anymore, and i didn't really think about the lower-quality content that can be fed. Is it true to say that CRT does a better job of showing these poorer quality broadcasts?

And i hope it is just the case that i haven't seen LCD and Pasma technology look it's best with SD. Correctly calibrated ect.

The whole Flatscreen obsession is quite crazy when you think about it.

1. The vast amount of rubbish that is on the market

2.The vast amount of rubbish that people actually buy.

3.The vast amount of rubbish that people actually buy and are so happy with. (it seems to me big means good, not good means good, for your average person on the street that is, that may not have a clue about TV's and not bother to find out, as well as price, cheap means good, not quality against price.)

4. When people do actually buy a good TV, they will never actually see it looking its best as its so hard for your average person to calibrate a TV. kinda like forking out on a porche, but limiting it to 50mph. (I know on here you do a bit about the setting up of some TV's but it would be of huge benefit for the team to actully list all the setting for award winning TV's. You guy's and gal's have the time knowlegede and experience to get it right, and we need to hear your findings, as at the moment knowing what TV's are the best is only half the battle, setting them up seems to be the bigger problem, thats obviously not your fault, but its something you could step in and do something about, which would be a mjor service to your readers!

And as far as TV getting an easier ride than HIFi, when you first started talking about the new 8th series Pioneer, it was the best TV ever, by some distance, better in all respects. And made it sound like it had come on leaps and bounds comparred to anyother TV out there. It sounded to me like this was some revolutionery peice of kit, and im not going to doubt or question that, but how can other TV's also get 5 stars. Ok WHF is all about value for money, but if this Tv was so much better than everthing out there, why didn't everything else fall in its wake? Ive seen it happen with other super tests. But not this one, when everything you were saying abouty it suggested it should. It was only £100 more expensive than the sony in Novembers supertest. you even say "without takingprice into consideration, this is the best television in this supertest by some considerable margin" "some considerable margin" sounds like to me a reader of 5 + years i star difference. There have been other instances where iv'e felt that, but i could be alone on thinking this. i love the magazine wouldn't subscribe if i didn't.



I think ill have to find a specialist and get a proper demo and see for myself. I keep hearing it can be really really good,,,, i've just never witnessed it yet!!


Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
It doesn't help with how the shops have the settings to magnify colour etc., When I got my tv, I changed virtually every setting (some drastically) after some advice online. The picture looks completely different. When you walk around Comet and the like the picture on some sets look shocking. I think it's because no one has played with the settings.

Andrew Everard

New member
May 30, 2007
[quote user="Gerrardasnails"]I think it's because no one has played with the settings.[/quote]

Or if they have, they've cranked everything to make each set look brighter, more colourful and more dynamic than all the others.

Another good reason not to buy an ex-dem plasma from a shop like that then...


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