/ Shopping, Technology

Want a new TV? Here’s why you should buy last year’s model

If you’re after a new TV, this time of year throws up a dilemma for you. Buy now, or wait until the 2012 models hit the shelves? Well, if you go for one of last year’s model you could save a bunch of money.

Traditionally, new TVs tend to land in retail stores in March. So as retailers clear old stock to make room for new models, there are quite a few bargains to be had. And if you don’t mind buying a TV from last year, there are plenty of great models to choose from.

To give you an idea of how much you could save, let’s take a look at some of the prices of 2011’s models compared to how much they are now.

Save some cash by buying old TVs

Last year, Samsung’s high-end UE55D8000 LED TV would have set you back £2,600. Now, you can pick it up for around £1,900. That’s a saving of £700 – not too shabby.

Fancy something a bit smaller? How about an entry level Sony? The Bravia KDL32CX523 would have originally set you back £750. Today you can pick one up for just £330.

There’s definitely money to be saved here, but will you be losing out on features? Well, yes, you might be missing some of the bells and whistles seen on this year’s sets.

One new innovation for 2012 is Samsung’s motion- and voice-controlled TV, which lets you change the channel simply by waving your hand or asking politely. You won’t find this on any of 2011’s models, so if you’re after that Minority Report tech, you’ll have to pick up a Samsung ES8000 for as much as £2,500.

We’re also seeing a big push for seamless connectivity between your TV and your mobile device this year. Take Panasonic’s latest line-up for example, which lets you display your photos and movies from your smartphone or tablet on the TV with a simple swipe of a finger. Again, you won’t find this on any of last year’s models.

Get around missing features

Buyers of 2011’s most expensive tellies will also find a lot of their premium features, such as 3D and Freeview HD, have filtered down in to cheaper models this year. These previous high-end features are now close to becoming standard.

However, you can find ways around this. Take built-in wi-fi as an example. Most 2012 TVs come with this as standard, but if you buy a cheaper 2011 model and buy a separate dongle (around £50-70) you’ll still be paying less than if you went for a 2012 TV with wi-fi built in.

If you want a Smart TV, but that bargain TV you’ve spotted doesn’t have these smart features, you might want to consider connecting a separate Smart TV box, or an internet-connected Blu-ray player to get the features you’re after.

So, if you’re willing to compromise on the latest in TV tech, why not pip for a 2011 model?

Phil says:
13 March 2012

“..save a bunch of money.”

Oh dear…

From a man who has a 14″ crt tv in his study and has done so for decades, it is a colour one and I can get channel 5 !!!! To me cheap TV means buying one from OTV down the Leabridge Road.

I just don’t understand this obsession with TVs, and the prices, even last years. I thought PCs had made TVs obsolete.

Can someone please clue me in.

What is a bunch of money?

Try to hold up to some sort of standard please.

Hello Phil and Al, Which? Conversation’s tone is more informal than you might expect, but we take grammar very seriously – in this case ‘save a bunch of money’ is a known informal phrase for saving money. Thanks.

If like me, 3D hurts your eyes and gives you headaches, you play iplayer/lovefilm/NAS drive through your PS3 then you simply do not need to buy a brand new tv because they are just adding features you don’t need.

I recently bought an outgoing Panasonic 42″ plasma, it doesn’t have 3d, it is not DLNA supported but the picture for HD and SD is fantastic, so I paid £400 for it.

I have a PS3 so don’t need all the rest of the software that they are trying to squeeze into them.

Do you know if there is any way of playing a laptop through a TV, using anything other than an HDMI cable? My current TV, although large, doesn’t have HDMI functionality…

Ben, If your computer has a monitor output [the blue one], and your telly has a similar one, then stick a monitor lead between them. You may need to select ‘external monitor’ on your compute [Is it F5 or F6 anyone], then select the input on your telly. It may not look as good as you might have hoped.

My local independent store backed up the approach of not buying the latest model by indicating that issues that affect 1st release versions often come to light and are then corrected. This means that the later it is manufactured the more reliable it may be. This in effect makes the ‘early adopters’ guinea pigs in the product testing process!

rob says:
15 March 2012

I think manufacturere find it cheaper for general public to do all the testing for them as Garry in early adopters are guinea pigs. Panasonic last year for instance had a green blob issue other manufacturers had issues as well.

I’m looking for a nice tv but I don’t want all the extra overpriced ‘features’ you and 3d is dead it also gives me a headache. I certainly have any inclination to watch easter ender’s in 2d let alone 3d. if you want streaming and internet connectivity you can get media players like western digital live for £160 or apple tv for £99 or if you’re technically minded you can get set up a lower power consumption htpc for a few hundred. I just want a tv with a good panel!

rob says:
15 March 2012

apology for errors in above post nit easy to write on a mobile 🙂

I just want a TV with decent sound quality (without linking it to external equipment), low power consumption and a proper on/off switch. Apart from audio/video input, I don’t want any of the gimmicks, which will probably be out-of-date in a couple of years time.

Mordenman says:
29 October 2012

I am simply unable to understand why, when it is universally accepied that full range loudspeakers cannot be squeezed into flat screen TVs, thhat they are not routinely equipped with extension speaker sockets as is my ancient Panasonic ‘Prism’. The irony is that it has a sound system built in that is so good that it doesn’t need it. I have a 24″ flat screen in the kitchen which has a 10 watt amplifier and 8 ohm speakers which are worse than those in a laptop. A lot of us have a pair of half decent speakers obtained with a now rarely used hi-fi which would provide perfectly acceptable results with little effort or expertise. No extra box, no extra remote or supply… just plug in or clip the wires to the terminals. I have found no modern TV which supplies this ridiculously cheap extra outlet. Maybe I’ll fit them myself.

John Cudbertson says:
16 March 2012

We need a new TV as our main set stopped working, found lots of bargains on Amazon and ebay, 3D ready but without the bells and whistles we don’t need, LG, Panasonic, Sony, etc., not rubbish then, but they all have only one scart so what do I do about my 3 scart only devices? They are all working fine so don’t want to replace them, tried a connector block but the sound and picture was awful (it was branded Monster) so what can be done other than changing the connection for each device as required, any advice please; or tests on such block connectors please?