back to article Ten... small screen HD TVs

Small screen TVs are riding a wave of austerity-driven popularity. The good news is downsizing isn’t half as embarrassing as it used to be. Ultra-thin LED panels, integrated USB media readers and even streaming IPTV services are there to be had if you know where to look. 

Hannspree SV28LMMB RH Numbers This 28inch edge-lit …


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  1. Mage

    The Hannspree SV28LMMB and LG 26LK330

    For 28" the 1920 x 1200 and 1366 x 768 are not TV resolutions.

    They are "low" resolution Computer Monitors (my ancient 19" 4x3 PC monitor does 1680 x 1260 as I type this).

    For reasons best known to Marketing people, laptops and notebooks all now have TV 16:9 screens and you need 17" to get 1080 pixels vertically.

    11 years ago you could get 1600 x 1200 on a 15.6" laptop. I'd love a 1680 x 1260 4:3 laptop or netbook for web browsing or PDF reading.

    I prefer to watch video at longer distance on a TV screen. So TV screens should be 1920 x 1080. But many TVs that are 1920 x 1080 even "rescale" TV to "over scan" like the CRT era and will only show perfect unscaled 1920 x 1080 from a PC source!

    Conversely I'd 4:3 screens on PCs, Laptops, Netbooks. Even just one, that's good for A4 PDFs.

    Also where are the HD capable 4" to 16" portable TVs to replace analogue ones? They can have a 960 x 540 or 720 x 405 screen if they like. It's just for portability. Some channels (and increasingly next year) are HD only. This is already true in Ireland where on Digital the RTE2 is ONLY transmitted in 1440 x 1080 and ALL channels are in MPEG4. There are ZERO portable TVs as far as I can see that work on MPEG4 SD, DVB-T, DVB-T2 and MPEG4 HD. Only "obsolete" MPEG2 only DVB-T portables.

    1. TakeTheSkyRoad

      Related but on a different angle...

      My pc monitor at work is a 19" Dell at 1600 x 1200 and shopping for a monitor for home which would RDP at the same resolution I found that monitors that go 1200 deep these days are rare as anything. Someone decided that 1080 is all we need and to get 1200 that costs an extra 50% please !

      This goes back to your point about 4:3, even pc monitors seem to have gone for the 16:9 route when there is just no need. I suspect its about how many screens you can "cut" out of a manufactured LCD sheet so it's happening to cut costs.

      So to see a tv going for 200 quid that does 1920 x 1200 (same res as my 300 quid home monitor) frankly looks like a bargain to me. Ok, the extra pixels are of debatable use if the only use is as a tv but I'd have snapped this up 2 years ago !

  2. Hardcastle the ancient


    See, to me a 'small' TV is one below 19". The sort of thing you get in B&B or in the kitchen in chav houses.

    These are all "normal".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aye, my thoughts too... I've still got a 14" CRT Sony in the bedroom.

      If you've got anything larger you should try getting out of bed a bit more!

    2. Shades

      I once... major down-votes for commenting upon a review of a 30"+ TV that was suggested to be ideal for the kids PLAYROOM. These reviews, while not having the audacity to suggest that a 30"+ TV in a kids playroom is nothing out of the ordinary, are almost just as bad for suggesting that TVs up to 28" would be acceptable in a childs bedroom. This assumption is wrong on sooooo many levels and is indicative of the attitudes of some parents towards raising their spawn, or rather letting devices (such as TVs, internet, games consoles, etc) do it for them.

      Anyway, serious question: Why do smaller TVs, often costing MORE than their larger brethren, seem to be half-arsed? I know of a 40" 1080p Samsung set (can't remember the 10+ digit product "name"), which costs LESS than some of these smaller sets, that, considering the price, is pretty decent picture wise, looks fairly attractive (as far as TVs can be "attractive"), has about a gazillion options and pretty much plays anything you care to chuck at it through its USB port.

    3. JB

      It's just the way things are going. With 40-60 inch screens for the main TV being normal now, a 20-37 inch set is considered 'small'. I'm sure in the 0s, when a 21 inch screen was big, all those ancient 9 inch sets were considered small!

    4. Eddy Ito


      Apparently 30-40 is the new normal. I guess for small TVs we need to look for descriptions that say "portable". Then again, I suppose that will just mean someone will mount a 45" unit to a hand truck.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        32" is the old 25"

        Screen height is what matters not diagonal size.

        25" and 32" W/S are very similar in height

        24" Widescreen is equivalent to a 19" 4/3 in height and a 29" 4/3 in width

        24" W/S is small

        28" to 36" is normal

        40" and up is big

        Also the smaller frames means you get more TV screen for the same area of TV.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Am I just out of touch with modern life?

    A single Toshiba 32" in the living room. Nothing in the bedroom, nothing in the kitchen, nothing in the garden or the garage or the car...

    Why the hell would you want any TV, let alone one of these monsters, in the kitchen?

    1. Cameron Colley

      Owning a single TV nowadays suggests to me that either you have better ways to relax or you still think of TV as a magical shrine.

      If you have a TV in every room you can use it as background whilst you chop vegetables, wash up, shower, or whatever. If you only have one TV you must stay in that room to watch a film or programme -- risking falling asleep on the sofa or wasting time when you could be cooking, cleaning, working out or wnatever.

      Personally I find having one TV means working around that, rather than just taking the thing for granted and getting on with thimgs.

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        If you are using TV as 'background' that says a lot about the programming available.

        Stop that and start listening to Radio 3 or 6 Music instead!

        1. Danny 14

          re listening to radio

          our TV is used equally for radio, music, TV and movies. I have thought about a TV in the kitchen (cheaper and more flexible than DAB) purely for music via freeview.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        We have one TV (Working)

        But we spent a lot on it (top of range 46" Sony). no room in kitchen for a TV, none in the bedrooms, and the only other TVs are a 27 year old 14" analogue only and a widescreen computer monitor with SCART we use in the caravan.

        Not enough on TV to be worth buying more.

      3. D@v3

        1 TV, for watching things

        radios, etc for background.

        (might have something to do with being in a 1bed flat)

      4. David Cantrell

        If you're using the TV as background then you need your head looking at. Seriously.

        I find that having one TV is a side-effect of me having better things to do than stare zombie-like at a piece of furniture.

      5. IsJustabloke

        I CHOOSE to enoble a simple forum post!

        I have a single TV, I use it to watch TV on....

        If I'm in the kitchen, I'm cooking ergo NOT watching TV

        If I'm in the bedroom... I'm taking care of bedroom related business ERGO... not watching TV

        if I'm in my dining room I'm....

        Are you seeing a pattern?

        If I need "backgorund" noise, I play some music or put the radio on. IE something that doesn't require teh use of my eyes because I am almost certainly doing something else that does.

        1. Eddy Ito


          Wot! You don't watch TV while juggling a bowling ball, a running chainsaw and a live bobcat? Meh, not a very exciting life.

      6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        I worked in the industry for 30 years.

        Trust me, I don't see anything magical about it.

        And I certainly don't use it for 'background'; I may multitask but I don't turn the damn thing on just to make a noise and pretty pictures.

  4. 27escape

    just got a technika 23.4"

    from tecso. full hd display. usb recording. dvd built in. no hd freview though.

    picture quality it is quite reasonable, 2 usb inputs and pc input too.

    in in all pretty reasonable for £160.

  5. jason 7

    Yeah these are not small.

    These are TVs for normal folks that have lives. 22" and below is what I consider small.

    Having the TV as the center piece shrine in your living room is just sad. Oh and really tacky.

    Plus it would have been nice if you stated what the actual size of the screens were instead of letting us work it out from the cryptic "WX223243XBC" model names.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      What is worng with TV taking CENTRE place?

      Nothing, it gets used a lot, more than just TV.

      Home Cinema


      Why have to look to the corner or one side, we laid out our sitting room with TV position in mind.

      1. Danny 14

        uh oh

        I wouldnt say that MJI, the guardian readers wont like that. Plus the archers just isnt the same on a TV with all that garish text surrounding the logos. Get round the wireless young chap.

  6. chrisbitz

    Small? What planet are you on?

    Small is under 20" - the sort you might have in the kitchen or bathroom.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      24" widescreen is small

      Same height as a 19" 4/3 which a lot of people consider small.

      Rough conversion table below, all are approximate

      4/3 - 16/9

      19 - 24

      21 - 28

      25 - 32

      29 - 36


    RE: in the kitchen in chav houses

    Er I have in my kitchen a 17in monitor (Sharpedge I think) linked via HDMI SFF PC [MythTV if you ask]; sound is NAD 302 +Wharfedale #2s

    Do I qualify as having "..a 'small' TV is one below 19 the kitchen in chav houses" ???

  8. Craig 12

    TV snobbery @ el reg

    I have a 27" LED TV in the bedroom. It's white, so it fits the decor nicely, and being LED and practically bezel-less, it's WAY smaller physically than any smaller TV we've had in there before.

    I have a 55" in the centre of the living room; again the LED/bezel combo makes it smaller than most 46" sets.

    If "big" screen sizes are in a similar sized frame, what's the objection?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "For reasons best known to Hannspree’s panel procurement division, this set uses 16:10 glass with a resolution of 1920 x 1200."

    You're joking, right? Could the reason be that they've realised that people might actually want to use it for a computer as well as just as a TV?

    Then the choice is:

    (a) black bars when watching TV/films (which really aren't a distraction) and sensible vertical deskspace when using as a PC.

    (b) filled screen when watching TV/films, and not enough vertical space when using a PC.

    For once, we get a usable panel resolution and you can't see why anyone would want it. Total review FAIL.

    1. TakeTheSkyRoad

      Harsh !

      Agreed on your point about the Hannspree.

      200 quid for a 1920 x 1200 tv/monitor sounds like a bargain to me !

      Prime example is students... computer monitor, tv & 1080 console gaming from one tv ? Win !

      Marking down the whole article as a FAIL is a bit excessive though.... if that's what you meant.

  10. Nick L

    Cheapo 26" option: Sharp LC26SH330E

    Bought one of these 3 months ago for the kids' playroom use on the Wii and for occasional media centre viewing duties. It's cheap at 180 quid from Richer Sounds, has good input options - including a full RGB Scart for those who want retr0 goodness from an Amiga or similar - and the picture seems acceptably good. Hardly the last word in viewing experience, but it's small and neat and does the job.

    I couldn't find a review on the web anywhere, so it would have been nice to see it included in the El Reg roundup.

  11. Lister

    To the Luddites and Intolerant

    At home we have two TV's. One is in the living room and one in the bedroom (presumably the intolerant of you are now thinking “I only have one TV and you have made a different choice than me which I cannot comprehend. I must now categorise you as excessive, debt ridden perhaps, stupid, and obviously you must have no purpose in life”). Actually it’s quite simple, with the price of TV's being so reasonable, we upgraded the main set. There was nothing wrong with the old set it was just the case of why not. Unsurprisingly the main set is used for TV, movies, and gaming (wait I know what you are thinking gaming is only for unsociable wasters right? This might be true for some but at the same time there are plenty of games which have a great story line, are artistically stunning, and allow for competition which is as mentally engrossing as anything the real world has to offer). To the luddites technology moves on and for the upgrade we got something a little bigger, some extra features, and most importantly a better picture. Occasionally one of us will use the set in the bedroom if we both (shock horror) want to do something different at the same time. The bedroom however is still mostly for sleep and plentiful sex. I don’t believe that because we didn’t just throw away the old functioning set this categorises us as chavs, implies we have low intellect, or suggests we have nothing else in our lives apart from TV and media. Despite more than one TV we are quite capable of enjoying multiple interests in life. If you must know we like still like reading, learning, travelling, spending time with our friends and family, exercise and sport. I agree there is a lot of claptrap on TV and to get around this we don’t watch those programs. Just because we have another TV it doesn’t mean TV encompasses our lives or that by having another TV we must therefore consume more of it than before. All that has changed is a little bit of flexibility for the odd occasion. Ultimately though people have different lives, we are not all the same, and it’s just called choice.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      I'm not a luddite - 1 TV though

      Our children do not have TVs nor computers in bedrooms.

      Cannot be bothered to watch TV in bed, also lost the aerial feed as our current big TV has no aerial out (previous did), and the Freeview box we used upstairs was not DSO compliant.

      No room downstairs for multiples.

      That spare ex bedroom TV is a PC monitor so gets used as that.

      Happy with 1 large one, but have the potential to add in more.

    2. Some Beggar

      I don't really care how many tellies anybody has or what they use them for

      but typing all of those words to justify yourself seems a trifle oversensitive.

    3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Recycling TVs

      I don't like discarding anything that works, and I do like fixing things that break in obvious ways.

      Thus, I still have the last 4 TVs that have served as our main one, three of which have been repaired, often on more than one occasion.

      The latest is a 32" 1080i HD LCD in the living room (still good enough for Sky HD - don't have or want a bluray player or PS3). The previous one is a 26" HD Ready LCD in the kids play/games room that my mother said should be our dining room. The one before that is a 28" widescreen CRT and is in the room where the HiFi and all the music instruments are (and is used only when the wife is watching boring home improvement programs), and the one before that is a 19" 4x3 CRT in the main bedroom. All the CRTs are physically turned off when not in use, to save power.

      The kids have TVs in their rooms (bought as Christmas and Birthday presents), but none are larger than 20", and that is quite large enough.

      I just can't stand the thought of perfectly serviceable equipment going to the tip.

  12. TakeTheSkyRoad

    Media Formats !

    Just something I feel needs to be said here.

    I don't care how many formats a TV plays via USD, SD card or any removeable format. Yes it can be useful but I'm not in the habit of carrying movies around on a USB stick so it doesn't factor into any buying decision. Does anybody ?

    I don't care because I (like many people) use the tv simply to display a picture, not as a media hub.

    In my case freeview is routed through the PS3 though other people may have a cable or sky box. Movies I play via the PS3 on dvd/blueray or via the files but I would expect that most people have an external dvd/blueray player and maybe a NAS box too.

    So DNLA file compatibility is useful to know IF you're someone who owns a NAS box and wants to access it via the tv but USB file compatibility is likely useful to a tiny tiny percentage of people.

    If I'm wrong then please tell me :)

  13. Some Beggar
    IT Angle

    Are people really so preoccupied with other people's houses?

    I know there are a million lifestyle programmes on television but I honestly thought a techie website would be more interested in the specs of the tellies rather than winding one another up about how many tellies a "normal" person ought to have and what they ought to do with their spare time. Why do you all care?

  14. doveman
    IT Angle

    Any small TV's with RGB SCART

    Here's a techie question.

    I'm setting up an old PC with an ATI card for my brother's CRT SCART TV. It works fine with my RGB->SCART lead on a 14" CRT TV I borrowed, but I've had to give that back and so I'm hoping I can find a small (IE 17-19") LCD TV which has a full RGB SCART and will support the 50hz and 60hz timings I've setup using Powerstrip.

    Does anyone know of anything that would fit the bill? I don't want to spend a lot and will just stick it in the bedroom when I've finished using it to test my brother's HTPC, where it probably won't get used much.

  15. doveman

    Refresh rates

    Regarding the article, I find the talk about 50hz rather confusing. I thought all (UK) LCD TV's supported 50hz AND 60hz.

    As for 100hz, what about 120hz for 60hz material?

  16. PsYcHoTiC_MaDmAn

    Hannspree SV28LMMB

    1920*1200, really??

    I saw that bit of your review and the price and started considering it as my main PC monitor. however looking on the Hanspree site.

    Native Resolution 1920 × 1080 (Full HD, 1080p)

    Aspect Ratio 16:10

    so the 16:10 bit is right. does that mean they're using a weird horizontal resolution (1728 in this case)

    I wish there were decent high res screens in the sub £300 mark.....

    1. davtom

      It says 1920x1200 on the icon third from the left in the top row of the specifications on the manufacturer's site.

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