As anyone with expertise in anything well knows, when the expertise becomes known you get questions. Many of them. And in the field of home entertainment equipment, one of the most common is: ‘What’s the best brand of TV?’ Sometimes it’s the best home theatre receiver, or the best loudspeakers. But TVs dominate.
Now there’s nothing wrong with that question, except that it has to be properly bounded. Without more information about the purpose to which the video display is to be put, and the particular preferences of the viewer, the proper answer is: “I don’t know!”
But if you are prepared to drill down into what you watch, and the circumstances under which you watch it, then we can come up with some interesting answers.
However, since we aren’t face to face, with me taking details of your specific circumstances, we’ll need to approach this a little differently.
Instead I shall discuss the pros and cons of a few of my favourite brands.
One thing that I have discovered over 15 years of reviewing these products is that brands generally evolve slowly. When one establishes a dominance in a particular field, it tends to stay there for a few years at least.
Okay, there is the occasional cusp in the otherwise smooth movements in this field. For example a few years ago one of the lead direct-view* practitioners abandoned the field. But Pioneer’s ‘Kuro’ technology wasn’t lost, as we shall see.
And TVs aren’t the only way of home theatre. Arguably proper home theatre demands a front projector, since it is only through one of those that a truly cinema-like picture can be produced.
So let me take a tour through a few of my favourite things – er, brands – and suggest what they are best for. For the most part their strengths have remained consistent over a period of years.
Of course, I’m not covering all brands, nor am I straying into high-end esoterica. Get up to those heights and you’d probably best judge not by brand, not even by product, but by the particular manufactured unit that you may be contemplating purchasing.