Your TV Buying Guide 2018
Update your kit for the summer of sport
From the World Cup to Wimbledon; the Tour de France to Formula One, this promises to be an unmissable summer of sport. Want to feel like you’re really part of the action? Now’s the perfect time to upgrade your home entertainment set-up with the latest must-have tech. You’re guaranteed the best seat in the house come kick-off. So, here’s our round-up of the best kits from Brent Cross. All back to yours, then?
If you haven’t upgraded your TV for a while, then you’re in for a treat. Picture quality has taken a big leap forward in the past few years, thanks to some clever new technology that’s becoming ever-more affordable. Ultra HD, also known as 4K, packs a whopping eight million pixels into the screen – four times as many as standard high definition – to produce sharper, more realistic pictures. What this means in practice is that you can have a much larger TV (think that 65in sports screen you’ve always dreamed of) without the picture breaking up, even close up. It’s not all about the number of pixels, though. They have to be top notch, too, and that’s where another development called HDR (high dynamic range) comes in. It gives a bigger spectrum of more realistic colours. If money is no object, head straight to the top of the range: OLED. This takes 4K and HDR and adds self-lighting pixels (dispensing with the need for a hefty backlight) for even better colour and contrast, and a faster refresh rate that’s perfect for blur-free action. Our pick: Sony Bravia KD65XE9005 LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV, 65" with Freeview HD & Youview, £1,529, John Lewis
Today’s TVs are super-slim. But with no space inside that sleek panel for big speakers, it does mean the sound can be a little ‘thin’ too. For that full immersive experience when you’re watching the big match, bring a soundbar into play. Gone are the days of complicated surround sound systems with multiple speakers and wires trailing around the room – these compact units sit neatly under the TV and can produce surprisingly big sound. They’re simple to set up, too, with just one cable to connect. Some even come with a separate wireless subwoofer that can sit anywhere in the room to really boost the bass. Many soundbars can also link up with other speakers over your WiFi in a wireless multi-room set-up. So even when you’ve popped into the kitchen to grab a beer, you can still keep an ear on the action. Our picks: Sonos Playbar Home Cinema Sound Bar, £699, John Lewis; Sonos PLAY:1 Smart Speaker, £149 each, John Lewis
Let’s face it, there’s going to be a time when you need to watch more than one thing at once – the World Cup final does clash with Wimbledon after all. Multi-task your viewing with a second screen like a tablet or laptop, which offers great picture and sound quality to ensure you never miss a moment. Our picks: Apple iPad Pro 12.9in, from £769, Apple; Apple MacBook Air 13in, from £949, Apple