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Is our Smart TV duff, or are they rubbish in general?

Posted 27th Dec 2013
Got the youngest a cheap Bush 40 inch Full HD Smart TV from Argos from Christmas. Yeah, I know it was always going to be a bit lame and I didn't have expectations of anything fabulous, but only needed basics and I expected it to work well enough for him to watch cartoons on Netflix and look things up on YouTube.

Got it all up and running today, and it's absolute guff... when you press the Netflix button it takes ages for the screen to load and eventually when you manage to get in to a program the picture is severely pixelated - a bit like watching it on an old mobile phone screen. You Tube won't work at all - you select the video and it does the spinning disc buffering thing continually with a few split seconds of distorted video/sound in between. It reminds me of trying to watch HD video on a GPRS network, but we've got a good broadband signal and other devices (including an Apple TV plugged in to this telly) all work fine. The picture is also pants on it with the Apple TV, despite that box giving a good picture on other TVs.

So, are cheap Smart TVs total cack in general? Or does it sound like we've got a duffer? Trying to decide what tactics to take with Argos - it was bought several months ago for Xmas, and not sure whether to ask them to replace or try and get a refund. At the end of the day, it doesn't do what it's meant to... or is it meant to be as bad as this? Thanks for any advice!
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probably the TV. Have a mid range Samsung and it works and looks great
it depends on your internet connection as well ... if you are streaming video you need to have a decent internet connection. I mean like 1mb internet speed is going to be crap compared to 15mb.
Our internet isn't fabulous - I think we get about 5mb on it, but we stream video on Apple TVs, the xbox, the ipad and the computer and all are absolutely fine and give a good picture, with only a couple of seconds of the spinning wheel before it starts. We plugged our Apple TV into this TV to see if it was an internet speed/location problem and it worked fine, albeit not very sharp looking, so I don't think it's the internet that's the problem. Maybe the processor in the TV or something?
5mb should be fine. Netflix recommend 6mg+ for super HD. so 5mb should be very good quality

5mb should be fine. Netflix recommend 6mg+ for super HD. so 5mb should be … 5mb should be fine. Netflix recommend 6mg+ for super HD. so 5mb should be very good quality

Yes, I didn't think it should be a major problem.

What do y'all think Argos will say if I tell them that it doesn't work properly? I can imagine all sorts of troubleshooting first, with them telling me that it's my internet that's too slow, but I think it's definitely the TV.

Do other Smart TVs work properly then? I'm about to buy a new 46-50" Panny/LG/Samsung for the lounge and have been put off the smart TV thingy by this, but are those all generally likely to be ok?
I have a 55" Samsung F6740. I use Netflix all the time and its great. but I do have a 13meg connection. I have also used love film, YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc and all have been great apart from the itv player I found to be very poor quality. but they may of updated it by now but I have not checked
Panny/LG/Samsung put a lot of time and effort into the additional services so you will find the experience heaps better than what has been offered by Bush. Best bet is to pop into Currys/PC World or other retailer and try them out and see which you prefer.

I have no idea what Argos are like with tv's but at this time of year they are usually very busy with returns and tend to just take them without much attention made into checking for faults.
our lg 42" is really good with things like Netflix so definitely get a smart tv! As netflix is capable of streaming super HD, it streams in full HD on our tv but is crystal clear
my Samsung smart TV works perfect except some pixilation and audio desync on HD YouTube. pixilation will be either your internet connection,or the TVs transcoding power. probably all of that model have same issues as its a budget model? I'd return it as not fit for purpose and put a bit extra money towards and get a better brand in the Jan sales.
Buy from John Lewis to get a 5 year warranty.
What size of tv do you normally use netflix and apple tv etc on? The larger the screen, the larger the bandwidth required to play certain content.
Get it replaced. It'll be fuss free. If the replacement is still the same, take it back for a refund as not fit for purpose. Cheap or not, it should do what is described.
The Therapist

Get it replaced. It'll be fuss free. If the replacement is still the … Get it replaced. It'll be fuss free. If the replacement is still the same, take it back for a refund as not fit for purpose. Cheap or not, it should do what is described.

That's kind-of what I'm thinking - I had expected it to be a bit cheap and plasticky looking, perhaps a bit tinny sounding and perhaps a bit slower to respond, but I had expected it to work.

My other son has a cheap 39" telly in his room - JMB or some cack - and it works perfectly. It just looks a bit cheap and nasty, but in a kid's bedroom I don't really care!


Not what you want to hear, but my true opinion is you are getting what … Not what you want to hear, but my true opinion is you are getting what you paid for. Bush are not exactly in the same league with firmware and panels as other manufacturers, but you knew that when you bought it. Whether you can get the retailer to take it back or not is probably up to your powers of persuasion, as at this point they have no requirement to.

That's what I was trying to work out - I'd say that if all smart TVs are like this (i.e. the smart functions are entirely useless and emulate streaming HD through dial-up) then fair enough, but if other cheap brands do actually have watchable internet streaming services on them, this one isn't fit for purpose. We paid extra (albeit not a lot) for the Smart TV functions to save having to stick an additional box of some sort onto it to watch Netflix, but we're having to do that anyway, therefore I'd say not as described, as opposed to just lower quality, as I'd have expected.


What size of tv do you normally use netflix and apple tv etc on? The … What size of tv do you normally use netflix and apple tv etc on? The larger the screen, the larger the bandwidth required to play certain content.

Hadn't realised that, but don't think it's the problem? We've got 3 other tellies, none of them smart - 37" Panasonic with Wii U and Apple TV plugged in, a 42" Panny with Xbox, and a 40" UMB or JMC or some rubbish, with Apple TV on it. All work perfectly. This new one is a 40" Bush and in a better location for the wifi. When we plugged the Apple TV into it, it works fine (picture is still poor, but at least it works), it's just the built-in functions that don't seem to work at all.

Thanks for the advice guys, think I'll bite the bullet and try a smart TV for the lounge replacement if you all reckon that a decent brand will give good functions. Always stuck to Panny, but the LGs seem to be better on the price at the moment. Will probably pop into Curry's as advised and have a good look at them to decide.
Yea look in currys then price match with JL as you get a 5 year guarantee and the CS is first class. I have had friends who have had TVs from JL and sent them back multiple times if not happy and JL arrange a swap or refund without question.

Currys on the other hand will try and sell you extra cover for hundreds ££££, If you don't take the cover and are not happy with your new TV they are not any help after a few weeks unless its a serious fault.
I would use a broadband extender and plug it inti the TV. I have 50mg connection but it still froze so I plugged the TV in an now it works fine.
I know it's a bit of a "bodge" answer, but nobody has suggested this. If budget is an issue, keep the TV and buy a cheap "smart" box or android dongle to plug into it. The box will do all the jiggery-pokery rather than the TV - if in fact it is the TV's fault. With your explanation of pixellation it sounds more a connection problem rather than a 'tech' problem to me.

People knock Bush but I used to be in electrical retail so I know what components they use! You'd be surprised. The manufacturers wouldn't make a unit that just doesn't work. It wouldn't make any sense to. Therefore, it is either faulty, or somehow incompatible. To say it's "Just not up to it" is not a sound argument but an easy option. I know it's a lot of fuss but; being Argos; I don't think you'd have any problem getting it checked out but exchanging the set might be a stretch. Getting it checked by their engineer might rule out any 'fault' issue however. Alternatively, if you have a friend/neighbour who would let you try plugging it in to see if it's different with their connection? Again, this could be too much hassle though.

Is the TV connected via cable or wireless? Are you using homeplugs, by any chance? All these things can have a direct issue with connection speeds and quality. Whilst I would concede that some equipment is most definitely better than others, I still maintain that something is designed to work - not "sort of" work. Your TV, if set up correctly using the correct installation method should work. Logically therefore, something is amiss.

Let the process of elimination begin. Best of luck OP.

Regards, Phsy.
Thanks! It is connected wirelessly, with a little wifi dongle that came in the box. Do you think the connection speed would be the problem when so many other devices can work in the same location without any problem?

I did get them to write on the receipt that the item was a Xmas gift and therefore wouldn't be tested until after Xmas and I was assured that this wouldn't be a problem if it was faulty. I can see that being a bit of a case if their word against mine, but I'm a fairly competent complainer if it comes down to it!

There's a contact number for Argos on a sticker on the back of the TV, so I'll give that a call.

Part of the problem is that Father Christmas brought it - how to explain to a kid that he brought one that doesn't work?!!
I'd say 99% that your problem is the wireless connection. A cheap set of homeplugs may sort it out straight away. Such as these:


There are others, of course. This will give you a far superior connection than any wireless. If you have other devices running wirelessly, there could be a conflict of some sort going on. Connection by homeplug is almost (if not) as good as a direct network cable and will give you a stable, fast data speed. The TV dongle could be working on a wireless channel that is the same as (or close to) another one and therefore creates a bad connection - resulting in 'choppy' performance.

It's up to you in the end but I don't think there's anything wrong with your TV. I don't know the exact model but you may have the option in the TV settings to change the wireless dongle's receiver channel so it doesn't conflict. Have a browse in the manual. For a speedy test of the TV's quality via cable connection, check if it has a RJ45 network socket and connect a cable between it and your router. May require moving the TV to the room in which the router is located but the principle is exactly the same. The length of the cable doesn't matter. If you don't have a network cable, go somewhere like Poundland and buy a cheapie. It'll still work. Try it and see what result you get. I bet it will be a heck of an improvement on the wireless!
i recently brought a bush smart tv 40"" . don't have a membership for netflix but you tube works pretty fast.picture quality is good for the price too. i think something is wrong with yours or your internet must be slow. i' d see if i could exchange if i were you.
I know this may get some negative responses, but it's an option open to you.

One thing you can try is, as long as you have all the stuff that came in the box (this includes all the plastic wrap etc) then put it all back into the box - just as you got it like brand new.

As long as the box isn't open(or damaged) Argos may accept the item back - as they'll still be able to resell it.

Go to Argos and tell them that you bought it as a present but the person already has a TV and now you want to return it as it's unused.

As long as the box is ok and all the stuff is inside as they should be when someone opens it brand new, you have a high chance of them refunding you. Better doing this early rather than waiting though as normally you do have a 30 day guarantee.

I know this is for online orders or orders done by phone but you can read more here about Argos's returns and refund policy: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/StaticDisplay/includeName/ReturnsAndRefunds.htm

If the store doesn't accept it then write an email to Argos explaining the above and do a little huff and puff. I work for a known supermarket and a little huff and puff works a treat in favour of customers, especially in today's competitive market. Say something like:

'I've been a loyal and frequent shopper at Argos and have bought many items from you. I recently bought a Bush TV as a Christmas gift for a friend. After purchasing this and seeing my friend I realised he already bought himself a new TV. I would therefore like to return this TV, unopened, for a full refund. I went into your local store and after waiting for what seemed like hours in the sales rush was rejected by the assistant. I asked to speak to a manager and the lady abruptly refused saying there was a long line of customers! This is not what I expect from such a reputable UK company. I felt humiliated and out of pocket for something that I thought would be a simple transaction.

Please can you arrange for someone to collect this item from me or allow me to send this back to the store for a refund. I have proof of purchase and it's within 30 days.

I am sorry if the above sounds like a rant or too harsh. It's just I felt really bad after trying to return my item. I assume you must get a lot of queries like this. As a loyal supporter of Argos I hope you will access my return with great demeanour and interest.

I thank you for your time.'

Again, as per my previous response, and others that have followed, I'd not point the finger at the TV, it's most likely the internet connection or the wifi dongle that you are using.

PS: Looking at their terms and conditions this is interesting

If a product is excluded from our 30-day money-back guarantee, it is clearly marked by a † next to the product name in the catalogue and on this website.

Check their website and see if there is the † next to your Bush TV. If there is not then you may have a case for a refund. Go into store tell them that you checked the price on the website and it didn't have the † sign next to it so you bought this on the presumption you were within the 30 days refund/returns thing.

Even if there is one ... tell them you didn't see it or it wasn't there when you last checked .... again a little huff and puff goes a long way with customer service guys ... but a nice huff and puff ... don\t want this into a fight lol just a friendly, but stearn conversation... if that makes sense..

... again sorry if this post is negative or giving you unjust ways to get your refund back. Just thought I'd help.

Good Luck

Edited by: "krazyasif786" 28th Dec 2013
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