We’re just one week away from the start of Euro 2012 and the start of a summer of super sport.
From the finest teams in European football to the Olympics and Wimbledon, the next three months are set to be epic for sports’ fans across Britain. And there’s the small matter of this weekend’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations too to watch.
But if you really want to make the most of all the on-the-pitch action on offer from Poland and the Ukraine, then perhaps it’s time to look at buying a new TV.
You better get in quick though if you want to have a new TV in the living room before England kick off against France on June 11 and even quicker to watch the Republic of Ireland against Croatia on June 10.
Euro 2012 also features top national teams from Germany, Holland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Russia and the Czech Republic.
To find out more about the different types of TVs on offer, the technologies and what they all mean and do, check out our Buying Guide to All You Need To Know About Buying 2012′s Best Televisions. It’ll explain exactly why you need to be looking for a telly with a high Hz (Hertz) value when you’re using it to watch fast-moving sport.
And if you need more help, below we’ve picked out our top 11 TV line-up, with more talent than all 16 Euro 2012 teams combined – enough to give even the brain of Roy Hodgson a selection headache.
There’s very little this TV does not do. It’s the latest top-of-the-range LED model from Samsung and incorporates 3D – with two pairs of glasses thrown in – and all the best Smart apps such as social networks, catch-up TV, LoveFILM and YouTube. It also has both freesat HD and Freeview HD built-in and is thinner than your eyes will have you believe. There’s also a fast 200Hz Frame Refresh Rate. If that wasn’t enough, it has a little camera on the top for video calls and also movement-sensing controls. You can also tell it which channel you want to watch using voice commands. But all this premium technology comes at a premium price.
It’s got a much lower price but still this Smart television doesn’t skimp on its specifications. Freeview HD is built-in and again it is jam-packed full of internet-enabled apps. There’s no 3D but you do get three HDMI ports to connect up everything from Blu-ray DVD players to games consoles such as the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3.
This is a very well-priced 3D backlit LED telly. There’s also Smart apps but you’ll need to buy the wireless internet dongle to connect it to your router separately. This has a whopping four HDMI connections and 200Hz with the Edge LED lighting ensuring a bright picture in the darkest conditions.
With a massive 47 inch screen, this Panasonic Viera is one of the easiest Smart TVs on the market to use. Full 1080p HD on an LED panel ensures the best quality pictures while there is 3D viewing and Viera Connect for the best apps. There’s even Wi-Fi built-in ensuring no need to buy an extra dongle and it has an A Energy Rating. Freeview HD is also included and this set has a 200Hz frame rate. You will have to buy your 3D glasses separately though.
You would need a massive wall to display this on but it could well be worth it if England reach the Euro 2012 Final and you can invite dozens of friends over to watch it in your living room on this big beast. It is naturally very expensive due to its size but comes with 3D, Smart apps and built-in Wi-Fi.
If you want a massive screen without a massive price then take a look at this 60-incher. It has a 100Hz frame rate making it fast enough for sport and Freeview HD included. There’s no Smart apps or 3D which keeps the price down but you can use the DNLA technology on board to stream things like photos, videos and music to it using other DNLA-enabled gadgets.
With four pairs of 3D glasses included, this is a useful set for the family. It may not have the biggest screen but 32 inches is still plenty for most people and you get a 100Hz frame rate. It uses Passive 3D rather than Active technology meaning the TV does all the work to create the 3D picture rather than the glasses, making the spectacles less expensive. You’ll also get apps and an SD card slot in the side to use to show off your digital photos and videos.
Plasma screens still remain a great option for watching sport due to the high 600Hz frame rate. This 42 inch screen has a bargain price and is 1080p Full HD and built-in Freeview. There’s no 3D or Smart apps though and only two HDMI connections but for the money, it’s a decent buy for a cheapish upgrade.
Another well-priced television, this Plasma also has 600Hz and 1080p Full HD in a 50 inch screen. Freeview HD is built-in along with Active 3D viewing and all the Smart apps you’ll need. Plus there’s four HDMI connections. It’s available at a great price too compared to equivalent LED screens and still offers a great picture.
What you’re getting here is a no-frills big screen with a decent picture. You won’t get 3D, you won’t get Smart apps but you will get LED backlighting and better economy as this TV uses 40% less power than a traditional LCD screen. Its Intelligent Sensor will also adjust the picture depending on the lighting in your room.
You don’t find many 37 inch tellies around any more, they’re either 32 inch or a straight jump to 40 inch. So this one fills that gap adequately with Smart apps, 3D viewing and Freeview HD. There’s also a 200Hz frame rate and four HDMIs. It’s priced very well too compared to its rivals.