new TV for under £400
Hi All. Im in the market for a new (actually my first TV) for my living room and am confused by the selection on offer. Budget wise I'd ideally go as cheap as possible but am hoping somewhere in the £300-400 mark should get be something good, at a big push stretching to £500. In terms of size I think 42" will be plenty big enough (even though i like the idea of something bigger) or maybe even 36" - the room is about 3.5m*4m so i'm going to be within 2-2.5m at any seat. From what i've read LED is the way forward for quality and energy efficiency but at my price range i'd get a better spec'd plasma. I'm not sure how much of a concern it really is but ive always been told plasma have a very limited life expectancy and eat up the electricity which has put me off slightly. I'm not overly concerned about it being ultra slim as since its going to be placed at an angle in an alcove then there should be a lot of wasted space behind that can be used up. Ive also read that with slimmer screens comes poor sound which is something i don't want to compromise on too much. Other factors to consider are that I have no interest in 3D or smart TV but in an ideal world I'd have 2 or 3 HD connections for an xbox, Virgin Tivo box and the option to plug my laptop in as and when required.
On this basis can anyone point me in the direction of what i should go for given my limited budget? ive been told that Samsung are always a safe bet and have looked at the UNEH5000 but it seems a bit odd to be restricting myself to such a limited range. As an alternative ive seen a post here about the Panasonic TX-P42X60B plasma with a very good price for the 50" (£420ish) and you can get a 42" for closer to the £300 mark which is very tempting if it is a good TV.
Any thoughts will be appreciated! Finally, is big always better or should i possible be looking at a smaller screen to get a higher spec. For watching tv I dont think you need such a massive screen but for films and gaming it adds to the experience (assuming the sound isn't too poor)