Television technology is constantly advancing with countless new concepts emerging every year. If you are thinking of buying a new television but not sure where to start, this article will help you as we provide a simplified guide of the most important characteristics that should be taken into account when making your choice.
OLED or LCD
Although there are more than just 2 types of display technologies, as a consumer, you must make the basic choice between OLED and LED, hence why we have this comparison for you.
LCD is the most cost effective option and the best suited if your TV will be placed in a well lit area with reflections from windows or other light sources. Contrasts aren't as visible as with some other technologies but these TVs have richer colours.
OLED is currently the most recommended format for watching movies or playing games as TVs with this technology boast better screen quality. It's also the option that offers better visibility from any angle or position, however it is the most expensive technology and there are several internal categories within it.
4K or 8K
The advent of 4K has already revolutionised the quality of television images. If you buy a TV with 4K you won't regret it. Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime offer a multitude of content in 4K Quality.
8K is a step further but it's still a fledgling technology in its early stages. Whilst an 8K-TV does already exist, there’s little content available in this resolution at the moment and with that not set to change any time soon, it’s not something we recommend investing a lot of money in just yet.
Recently, HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology was introduced, which offers high quality images with a wider range of brightness. This technology allows you to see sharper and deeper images with higher contrasts and brightness levels. Several options are available: HDR10, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Even with the most basic HDR TV, you can be sure that the image will be spectacular even for video games. Some manufacturers offer HDR10+ and Dolby Vision at the same time, a fantastic experience if your budget can stretch that far.
Conventional SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) uses a colour depth of 8 bits. With 8-bit you'll get spectacular colour quality, but if you're considering a TV with HDR, it's important that you also include a 10-bit resolution panel to make the most of this technology.
Although most TVs come with numerous remote connection options, it's very important that you have at least some connection ports when considering a new TV. Your new model should have at least four HDMI-ports like HDMI 2.1 and of course USB ports are always extremely useful.
DVB-T2 will be the new standard with which digital television signals are transmitted when 5G technology is installed. So if you can get ahead of the changeover and make sure your new TV comes with this tuner you will save yourself from having to buy an adapter later.
This decision is more of a practical choice than a technical one and depends entirely on your taste and budget. However to get the most out of the screen you choose, it is important to consider the distance you want to watch TV from. If you buy a very large screen to sit directly in front of it, you will lose the viewing angle and a small screen at a great distance will make it difficult to see finer details. Try to find a balance.
As a general rule, the greater the distance between the screen and your viewing position, the larger the screen should be. On a 30-inch TV for example, the ideal viewing distance is between 1.5 - 2 metres, on a 50-inch screen, between 2 and 3.5 metres and on a 65-inch TV you should sit between 2.5 and 5 metres away.
Here we’ll give you our list of televisions we recommend for your selection available on the current market:
- Sony OLED AG9 MASTER Series: this boasts an incredible OLED panel that allows for brilliant viewing from any angle. It meets almost all the criteria to be an exceptional TV except that it does not support HDR10+.
- LG OLED C9: Spectacular picture quality and colour, Dolby Vision and HDMI 2.1 compatible. A real gem that unfortunately has a real price tag.
- LG NanoCell SM9800: This TV has one of the best LCD panels, it's cheaper than OLED but the image quality is very good even for video games. It supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and integrates HDMI 2.1 connectivity.
- Sony XG95: Has a very good LCD panel, not as good as the previous one but acceptable considering that the price point is considerably lower. It has HDR but is not compatible with HDR10+. Nevertheless, this TV has an exceptional quality/price ratio.
- LG 55SM8500: LCD panel with nano pixels for colour enhancement, only has HDMI and USB input ports, but has a sensor that adjusts the display brightness to the light in the room. It has a very tempting price, which is lower than the previous ones but varies according to the country of purchase.
- Samsung QE55Q80T: has a very good QLED panel, has four HDMI 2.1 ports but does not support HDR10+. It has an attractive design and good sound quality making it the perfect mid-range TV.
Photo: © Cathy Yeulet - 123RF.com
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