Digital TVs have a digital tuner built in. This will give you Freeview channels through your aerial. There are now digital TVs that also have a built in satellite freesat tuner. These also bring you freesat services from BBC and ITV via a satellite signal and must be connected to a satellite dish.
We’ve tested a range of 37" and larger, 32", 26" and 20" and under TVs to find the models that are easiest to use. For our recomendations see
For the pros and cons of digital TVs compared to other digital TV kit as well as features to look out for see Choosing your kit. See Connecting up for information and diagrams to help with connection and setting up. For information on what our tests involve see Test Methods.
LCDs are modern, slim panel TVs. LCD technology is improving and prices have been coming down. Plasma TVs are also flat panel but use a quite different technology. Plasma TVs were originally considered better than LCDs for picture quality but now the top LCDs out-perform plasmas LCDs are also brighter and have lower energy consumption. You may see some TVs advertised as LED TVs. This is slightly misleading because they are in fact LCD TVs that use LED backlights instead for fluorescent tubes to provide the illumination. The LED backlight allows slimmer LCDs and still lower energy consumption.
Almost all new digital TVs are now designated either ‘HD ready’ or “HD TV”, meaning that the screen is capable of displaying pictures from high definition broadcasts. Those designated HD Ready do not have an HD tuner built in so you will also need a Freeview or Freesat HD set top box or HD digital TV recorder to actually receive and view HD channels. Those designated HD TV however do have an HD tuner built in. The number of full HD TV TVs on the market is increasing. See our jargon buster for more information.Non subscription HDTV channels are now available on Freesat, most Freeview areas from BBC, ITV and Channel 4, Sky (subscription satellite) and Virgin (cable) and on Freeview (aerial) in some areas.All Freeview areas will get HD after switchover. See their websites for service details Broadcaster and providers.