OT: 4K TVs

Submitted by JeepinBen on June 6th, 2018 at 9:28 AM

It's very #OnBrand to ask about brands on the new MGoBlog, but after my 10 year old TV died I'm in the market for an upgrade. This buying guide has lots of good baseline info - like a calculator that gives you TV size relative to viewing distance.

https://www.abt.com/learn/tv-buying-guide

But, being a store, they're going to try to sell whatever gets them the most money. So, who's got a 4K TV? What do you like about it? Would you buy the same model again?

Comments

corundum

June 6th, 2018 at 9:33 AM ^

I have a 4k Samsung Smart TV. I'm very happy with it and would definitely but again so long as there wasn't something better on the market.

 

When it comes to game viewing, it won't be much different from an HD TV if the channel doesn't project in 4K resolution. I'm pretty sure NBC was the only network broadcasting CFB in 4K last season.

Perkis-Size Me

June 6th, 2018 at 10:15 AM ^

I think you also have to remember if whether or not the cable provider you’re using broadcasts in 4K. We use Xfinity and while we have their 4K box, it only works for the Netflix app and some of their pre-recorded highlights, like for the Olympics. Everything else is in hd, rendering the box virtually worthless for the time being. 

 

A lot of cable providers just just haven’t caught up to the technology yet. At least not fully. 

umjgheitma

June 6th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

I got an LG OLED 4k TV and love it. I'd say I sit ~10ft from the TV and got a 55" (mostly because the 65" was $1000 more) but I see everything just fine. The true blacks that OLED provides is amazing and the newer models have higher brightness which makes the distinction even more apparent. The TV has it's own built-in detection for burn-in (switches to a screen saver when paused on any given image for more than a couple min) so no worries there. Check slickdeals before any purchase though, it's the best place to find a deal. 

gmoney41

June 6th, 2018 at 11:55 AM ^

I have a 65 lg oled tv too.   Awesome picture.  Not sold as much on 4K as the picture on the Netflix 4K app is just slightly better.  But the reason I love this tv so much is the 3d quality. I know 3d isn’t as popular now, but I have amassed an incredible collection of 3d flicks, and the quality is better than the theatre personally.   If you can get a 2016 or 17 model you’ll be in heaven. 

Quail2theVict0r

June 6th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

Honestly, there's few times when a bigger TV = bad. My suggestion is, unless you truly have a tiny tiny room, buy the biggest one you can afford. You won't be like, "damn, I wish it was smaller". In fact, I wouldn't even worry about a 4k unless you're buying a 50+ inch TV anyway. 

 

http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.png

 

Tom Pickle

June 6th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

I took the plunge and bought a 4k TV a few months ago. For TVs I usually wait until the new models come out and buy the previous year's after a price drop. I bought the Sony 900E 55" model for $1000. I don't have the best home theater setup at my house and I sit only about 10-12' away so I didn't need a super high end TV.

I don't regret the purchase at all and would recommend the TV for a mid-range option.4k content looks great on the TV, but 4k content is kinda few and far between at this point. The TV uses Android TV and the interface is a little sluggish at times, but I don't often use the native apps. I typically either am watching cable or using my PS4.

I would highly recommend rtings.com for finding a good TV for you. If the website reviews are a little too much info they have video reviews for each TV up on YouTube where they do a great job of explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each TV for the lay person.

MGoScott

June 6th, 2018 at 9:48 AM ^

Agree with checking out https://www.rtings.com/.  I bought my 4K TV after doing some research on there and settled on a 65" Sony X900E https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/sony/x900e.  Android TV is nice and the 4K and/or HDR content on Netflix is simply stunning (Marvel shows, Netflix original series, etc.).  Didn't want to make the jump to OLED because of the extra price, but the local dimming on the Sony with HDR is pretty darn good IMO.

lakers15

June 6th, 2018 at 9:42 AM ^

I recently got a 55 inch Sony (x900e) that I'm very happy with and would definitely purchase again and recommend. Android TV has all the apps I need and the built in Sony versions included Amazon Prime video, which is rare to find on a Google device these days. 

Only other model I was looking at was the new 55 inch TCL (6 series). Pretty much regarded as the best bang for your buck tv on the market. $600 for 4K HDR, 95 local dimming zones, and good smart features.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/6/4/17417402/tcl-6-series-tv-review-4k-hdr-dolby-vision-price-specs

 

Ma1zeandB1ue

June 6th, 2018 at 9:43 AM ^

I have a 4K LG Smart TV (not OLED).  It is 49 inches and we sit about 10 feet away.  We have no complaints about it. Great picture and intuitive smart tv functions.  You wont get quite the deep blacks as an OLED, but there was a pretty major cost difference at the time when we bought it which definitely played a role.

 

Zero

June 6th, 2018 at 9:47 AM ^

Check out https://www.rtings.com/tv

I was looking for a cheap 55" and they recommended a TCL.  I'd never even heard of TCL so I was a bit skeptical but decided to give it a shot.  I'm glad I did.  It's a pretty nice TV for $500 (this was last year, this TV is now going for $350 on Amazon)  https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/tcl/s-series-4k-2017-s405

StateStreetBlue

June 6th, 2018 at 11:19 AM ^

Bought last year's model of theTLC55R617 about a year ago and couldn't be happier. It has built in Roku TV (which is a platform for streaming apps). Netflix, HBOGO, Youtube, Amazon Video... all built in and easy to use.

The TV was name wirecutter's best TV: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-tv/

Just make sure to update the TV settings to get the best picture: https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/tcl/6-series-2018-r617

Every TV needs to have it settings calibrated to look best.

 

Whirled Peas

June 7th, 2018 at 8:24 PM ^

I'm going to jump on the TCL bandwagon here.  Just bought the new 55" TCL model for $650.  Did a lot of research and this unknown company was often declared the TV of the year last year.  Top shelf quality for bottom shelf price.  As others have stated, you can get last year's model even cheaper.  Most reviews said the picture was on par with many $2,000 sets.

My biggest issue with the jump to 4k was content.  There's not a lot out there.  DirecTV gets the best ratings for service and they only have 1 channel (they claim 3 but 1 is a pay-per-view and the other broadcasts 2 events per week) .  Netflix has it's original programming in 4k.  Other than that, there's not a lot.  The guy at the store claimed the software would make the regular 1080HD look better.  I was skeptical, but I do think I get a better picture than I had previously.  

Bottom line.  If I had the need for another new TV I would buy another TCL sight unseen.

Yabadabablue

June 6th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

i got a 65" LG and a 50" insignia. both smart 4K UHD. The roku software included in the insignia is better than the LGs software but bot have great picture quality. 

 

Costco usually has pretty good deals for TVs. I would definitely recommend looking there. If you have the money, go OLED, but the UHD still look great. 

BADAXXjones

June 6th, 2018 at 9:56 AM ^

I got a 65 inch LG OLED 4k TV, a crazy deal on a new one on Ebay someone alerted me to. Going from a 46 1080p to this is awesome. Like someone mentioned, sports will look the same - but this was my biggest research, make sure the 4k TV you get upscales 1080p content properly or you will think your 4k TV looks like CRAP!

WGoNerd

June 6th, 2018 at 9:57 AM ^

4K is worth it as long as you have things that will display it in 4K. Most cable companies and things like Netflix don't do 4K unless you pay extra.

Other than that you can usually get a great TV for less money if you remember two simple words:

Open. Box.

animalfarm84

June 6th, 2018 at 9:58 AM ^

I'm actually taking delivery of my first 4K TV today, so I can't give you an independent review of that set yet.  But I went through quite a lot of research to land where I did.  In terms of brands, I think any of Samsung, LG, and Sony are likely to work well.  Some key considerations that you might keep in mind when choosing which way to go:

1) Do you play video games and/or watch lots of ESPN/cable news with stationary graphics?  If so, then you might want to avoid OLED TVs, since some have experienced burn in. My understanding, though, is that recent models have done a lot to reduce/eliminate this concern.  Also, if you play video games, look at input lag/response times--the lower the better.

2) What is the ambient light like in your room?  OLED sets generally have deeper blacks but don't have the same peak brightness that an LCD/QLED set would.  If the TV is mostly going to be in a very bright room, then it might be worth sacrificing the black levels in exchange for the extra brightness.  If you go the LCD/QLED route, consider how much you care about good black levels.  "Edge lit" sets will generally be cheaper and thinner, but are unable to match the black levels of back lit "full array local dimming" sets (which have a number of lighting zones directly behind the panel that can be turned off completely for deeper blacks in those zones--that's what makes OLEDs so nice for black levels, because the pixels themselves can be turned off individually for true black).

3) HDR--there still seems to be somewhat of a format war going on for HDR content, particularly relating to the more advanced versions that use metadata.  DolbyVision and HDR10+ are the combatants, but it's not clear (to me, at least) which of these is more likely to be future proof.  If your potential TV supports both, that would be ideal.

Personally, I went with the 2018 Samsung Q9FN, which is a QLED, full array local dimming model.  It seemed to have a solid combination of low input lag for gaming, peak brightness, and black levels.  It only supports HDR10+, though, and not DolbyVision.

For additional research, I recommend avsforums, as those guys are generally very helpful and knowledgeable.

 

 

BlueMan80

June 6th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

Good summary.

4k UHDTV is really about HDR and it’s various flavors.  Yes, if you are going past 55”, it’s necessary to keep a sharp picture.  We are on the cusp of more TV being broadcast in 4K as the new 3.0 broadcast standard gets settled and embedded in products.  Given that, as noted above, make sure the tv’s ability to scale HDTV to 4K is good.  The easiest way to insure that is to buy a middle to higher end of a manufacturer’s TV line up.  I usually go at least one notch down from the top models which tend to get bloated with proprietary technology that tends to get in the way more than enhance the experience.

Looking forward to seeing some games in UHDTV this season myself.

trock444

June 6th, 2018 at 10:01 AM ^

Love the capability of streaming all of the different sites (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku, Redbox, etc...). Love that I got a 65" TV for under $600 (TCL last Christmas buying season).  

I think that my wife (who was very skeptical of a new tv) would never go back.  

skurnie

June 6th, 2018 at 10:20 AM ^

It's very terrible and First World Probs of me to want my perfectly fine LG HDTV to die so I can get a 4K. This thing might be indestructible. 

MGoKalamazoo

June 6th, 2018 at 10:28 AM ^

I’m still rocking plasma for my two TVs. I need that baller refresh rate. I think OLEDs are the models that match. Really wish Panasonic still sold in the US. Their TVs always rate top notch.

TheLastStraw

June 6th, 2018 at 10:34 AM ^

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-tv/

As a bunch of people have said, get a TCL. Pay less and get more. I've played around with a bunch of smart TVs, but Roku is still one of the best interfaces and it doesn't get much better than having a Roku built into your TV.

HimJarbaugh

June 6th, 2018 at 10:40 AM ^

I have a Samsung from a couple years ago and it is nice but doesn't have much in the way of HDR. This is only a problem because it is in a well-lit room. Streaming 4k content is great and since it is nearly flush with the wall, viewing angles exist around the room, not just right in front.

With that said, I am looking into a screen and 4k projector for the basement to replace the TV currently in there. It is plenty dark and I like the idea of 100+ inches and setting the center channel behind the screen. 

One thing I will mention: I ordered our 70" 4k online and had it delivered. The price was cheaper but the other part was that my wife and I didn't have a big enough car to transport it. You can pay for delivery or rent a truck to do this but I would see if you can get what you are looking for from Costco, Amazon, or wherever if you don't think you have the space to move it.

Bradibbs

June 6th, 2018 at 10:59 AM ^

Bought a 4k Samsung smart TV.  I was not looking for a smart tv, but they were actually cheaper than those without built-in apps.

If you are close to a MicroCenter they regularly have good deals, but I would suggest Costco as the first option.

I believe Michigan games will soon be broadcast in 4k and hopefully the world cup, too.  I would hate to miss out when the 4k option becomes available for the Rashan Gary for Heisman campaign.

4yearsofhoke

June 6th, 2018 at 11:18 AM ^

Because they’re relatively inexpensive all TVs will generally be 4K. The biggest thing now to watch out for now is not resolution but refresh/motion rate especially if you like sports (I’m not a huge tech guy so this terminology may be wrong). I’d recommend at least 120Hz if you can afford it. I use my 4K TV to play games, and watch Netflix in 4K and it’s great.

For brands, I have an LG that works great with HDR. Vizio (although cheaper) seems to be a good TV and I have one that’s about 5-6 years old going strong, but relegated to the bedroom.

If you are somewhat tech inclined - go to Newegg and buy a refurbished TV, you’ll save a ton of money. I’ve bought two and have had no issues with either. Some say to only buy refurbished that are offered with a warranty (and don’t buy the warranty) but YMMV. I also bought an open box sound bar and that works great and I saved probably $350 by doing so.

stephenrjking

June 6th, 2018 at 11:21 AM ^

Wanted to +1 animalfarm's contribution, but I can't so oh well.

Two things about 4k: 1. There isn't much content at all that really uses it, and in some screen sizes you can't really tell the difference at a normal viewing distance anyway. 2. This is irrelevant because 4k is all that is sold these days and it rapidly became priced at the same level as the old 1080p sets. The 70" Vizio E-series sells for cheaper at a place like Sam's Club ($900 right now) than any 70" 1080 television ever did.

For my part, I can't believe how spoiled I am. A 50" tv used to be more than I ever dared dream I'd ever get. Now I have one and I'm thinking about upgrading in a year or two to something much larger if the money comes together. 

The one thing I would like to do is pay more attention to picture quality. 4k resolution is nice, but right now there's not much that uses it. Properly executed HDR, though, really does seem to make for better pictures. My current TV doesn't do color all that well and it doesn't have the greatest contrast. So I'll probably hold out for a model that does HDR properly, and if the OP is looking at spending anything above the basic amount, they will probably want to as well. 65"-70" with HDR is, to me, what I would need to be able to pay for to require an upgrade.

It's remarkable how much technology has advanced in 10-15 years.

bluetex

June 6th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

I bought a 4K Samsung 55" from Best Buy about 4 months ago.  We love it so far.  I would like to have more access to 4K content to get the full experience.

swdude12

June 6th, 2018 at 11:42 AM ^

I still have my 10yr old 58" Panasonic Plasma...I still think the picture is great.  Still waiting on the thing to die.  Its on over 12hrs a day because of the kids and then a night when they go to bed.  

Gameboy

June 6th, 2018 at 11:47 AM ^

I just upgraded my entire AV system (TV/AVR/HTPC). I have the journey documented here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-home-theater-computers/2973110-time-upgrade-4k-hdr.html

For me, the important upgrade is HDR more than 4K. The increase in contrast and color is really eye popping.

I did a ton of research and ended with a choice between 75" Sony XBR900E (Rting and AVS top buy) and 65" LG OLED (the best possible picture). It was really an agonizing call, but I ended up with the Sony and I am really happy with it. The brightness and contrast is really great and some of the demo video are simply breathtaking.

4th phase

June 6th, 2018 at 12:03 PM ^

Currently sports games are broadcast in 720p, so the 4K TV is just upscaling and sort of making up what to do with all the extra pixels. So for that reason you want to make sure the 4K TV has a good processor/upscale algorithm. The only thing you're going to be watching in true 4K right now is blu-rays and some video games. That said, 4K is worth it for future proofing. Streaming options are starting to offer more 4K content. Within a few years 4K will be common. Japan wants to broadcast the 2020 Olympics in 8K. 

DMill2782

June 6th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

I have a Sony and I would not buy any other brand. Sony is the best. One of my best friends owns his own AV business in Phoenix and he swears by Sony. I trust his opinion as everything he's steered me towards has been fantastic. 

Don't buy LG. LG is garbage. My buddy refuses to sell anyone a LG TV even if it costs him the business with that client. I learned my lesson before asking him about this. Bought an LG and it never worked properly. Exchanged it for a Sony X900E and couldn't be happier. 

Samsung is second to Sony. They make really good TVs, but Sony is simply better.