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Aug 10, 2019
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I am a new member on the market for some new equipment and have started buying the magazine and visiting this site. I am particularly looking for a 50inch or so TV, a new receiver and speaker but am finding it very confusing. I picked up the new issue and find that even within it are seemingly opposing view points. I accept the wonky price data in the Buyer's Guide since I accept that it reports the price when it came out, although this turns out to be worse than useless since it implies that you can compare the price of two , say, Plasma screens on price in the Buyer's Guide whose price reflects one year difference.Even relatively short time periods seem difficult to use, the Panasonic THPZ700 which is listed at 3k in 09.07 but is about half that price now and even described as such in the Supertest review. Anyway I accept that the data are accurate just not particularly useful for comparisons.

But what about the advice on that same screen ....

So the Panasonic TH-50PZ700 4stars "Good screen and rates high if you value TV sound"

but inside the issue is a "Supertest" with the same model

TH-50PZ700 4 stars Against: "Average sound" and "The speakers do the set little favours" and "Thin sounding and on the harsh side, this TV deserves a better sounding set of speakers"

Now my question to the forum, not being a regular reader yet is, is this common? If the answer is that this is an anomaly and rarely occurs then fine... I was just unlucky

If the answer is that testing this equipment is a subjective experience and mainly based on personal taste and the two reviewers just perceive differently...then jeez that is too bad and makes the magazine difficult to read

this particular item jumped out at me because it is a model I was interested in.



In the same issue the review of the Led Zeppelin HD DVD suggests that the reviewer couldnt understand why the band were experiencing recent attention. Please tell me this was sarcasm. If the reviewers also have bad taste then even less reason to listen to their reviews

Clare Newsome

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Jun 4, 2007
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Apologies for the confusion, which comes from the fact that - at present- the Buyer's Guide reflects all the tests up to that issue, including all prices supplied by manufacturers as current.

This allows us to keep testing right up to the time of publication, which means the latest kit in the front of the magazine. A more sophisticated database in the works will allow us to make both contemporary (both in magazine and here online, where reviews go live by May).

Hence the difference in comments and pricing for the Pana, which will of course be different next issue, to reflect the newer test.

Why the difference in comments? Because all our tests are done on a comparative basis. When last tested six months ago, the Pana was a decent-sounding set by the (not too high) standards of its flatscreen rivals. Move to now and the newer Sony and Samsung sets offer a superior sonic performance, which means everything else gets reappraised accordingly. Which is easy to do in our dedicated test rooms, using the same reviewing team (never just one person's opinion).

It's unusual for verdicts to change like this, but it does happen when newer products come onto the market - products have dropped star ratings as better-value models appear, for example.

And yes, the Led Zep comment was sarcastic! As you'll see from the picture of the B&W Zeppelin in the same issue, Mothership has been in great demand around these parts...

Any other questions you have on our testing etc, please ask. We're constantly striving to get the right info to help you all buy better, despite the TV market's best efforts to keep changing models and prices every 10 minutes...


Thanks for that response. I think I understand how to use the information now with the Buyer's Guide being more database than comparison guide for price and overview, but still useful for comparing features. Sounds like your new database will be also be helpful.

The market and products change so quickly that it must be like trying to write a summary of the current state of the stock market a month in advance.
. It does make choosing equipment difficult for the consumer and I appreciate your magazine's attempt to solve this problem for us. I sometimes feel it would all be easier if I just went down to Comet and listened to one of their oompah loompahs, but the magazine reminds me that there is a glimmer of hope for getting to a better place.


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