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The 6 Best 4K TVs in 2018 – Exhaustive Comparison and Buyer’s Guide

Comparing models in this ultra-competitive market is not easy. Nevertheless, the LG C7V 55” stands out as the best 4K TV at the moment. For its price, it is the best model based on OLED technology.

To learn more about my research methodology and in order to make your own selection, don’t forget to consult the buyer’s guide at the end of this article!

The best 4K TVs for under 1000$

As is the case for many high-tech products, navigating the world of entry-level products can be treacherous. Nevertheless, a few gems can be found among some of the more “innovative” entry-level products which oftentimes go overlooked. The 4K TV market is highly competitive, but no model selling for under 1000$ can be expected to be complete.

I have decided to only include 55″ models in this selection. All of the models I have selected have a better than average display quality in addition to a well thought out design.

It goes without saying that it is not possible to buy an OLED based TV for under 1000$. The models with the best currently available displays all fall into the mid to high-end range! Entry-level models rely on LCD LED technology which is able to provide an enjoyable viewing experience, but which has mediocre contrast and latency values.

Samsung UHD UE55: Samsung quality, affordable price

4K TVs

Pro

  • Good price
  • Slim and practical design
  • Ultra comprehensive SmartTV feature by Samsung
  • Remote control has a voice recognition feature
  • Good contrast and overall visual quality
Cons

  • Could be brighter
  • 60Hz refresh rate is not well suited to gaming
  • VA display panel

Launched in April 2017, the ambition of Samsung’s MU 6 product line was to make the best of UHD technology available to people with all kinds of different budgets. Although this product line does not possess any truly extraordinary features, at least it is equipped with SmartTV!

Design

The MU6405 has a pretty conventional look, but there are a few positive elements of its design that are worth highlighting. Contrary to many entry-level models, significant effort was made in developing this TV’s design. This is probably due to the fact that it shares its design with the rest of the MU 6 product line.

The MU6405’s pedestal takes up very little room – despite protruding towards the rear by a little less than 20 cm. It provides good stability while limiting the amount of surface area it occupies: it will fit on most TV tables without difficulty.

The placement of the connections on the TV’s side is also very convenient since the advantage of a narrow pedestal is to be able to place the TV closer to the wall without bending or damaging the cables.

The MU6405 has the essential connectivity: an Ethernet port, three HDMI 2.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports as well as a coaxial connector and an optical audio port. Of course, it has HDR10 support, the standard used by Blu-Ray players as well as the most modern gaming consoles.

4K/HD performance

This TV uses a VA display panel, a common feature of many devices retailing for under 1000$. The main advantage of VA display panels is the image quality they are able to provide when viewed from a 90-degree angle – that is to say from directly in front.

This type of LCD technology does, however, have a major downside: both color and contrast levels deteriorate very quickly when the display is viewed from an angle of fewer than 50 degrees. That is to say that when viewing the display from the side, the image quality is significantly lower.

Most TVs employing VA technology, namely those manufactured by Samsung, are able to provide up to a 90-degree range of acceptable image quality. That is to say that they can be viewed from up to 45 degrees from either side of the central axis – the normal viewing range for most people.

Beyond this range, there can be up to 40% loss in color fidelity, contrast levels, and luminosity – making the image significantly harder to see.

Now we should discuss the MU6405’s renowned image quality. While it is quite good, it does not achieve maximum performance in all regards.

I did not detect any significant light leaks, nor any irregularities in the blacks – one of the most significant drawbacks of LCD technology. As a result, the MU6405 has quite satisfactory contrast levels.

However, its luminosity is low compared to other models. This shouldn’t be a problem for most people, but may be noticeable to people accustomed to better quality 4K TVs.

The number of colors it is able to display is also relatively low and they are somewhat lacking in saturation. Color fidelity is adequate, but this TV should not be used for any graphics-based work.

Lastly, despite having a 60Hz refresh rate, this TV is not very well suited to fast-paced gaming; the MU6405 is also equipped with BFI, or “Image Flicker”. This technique introduces black frames in between two images thus reducing motion blur. However, the number of images per second that the MU6405 is able to display is well below what 120Hz “gamer” oriented models are able to provide.

It is obvious that Samsung has cut some corners; the MU6405 uses a VA display panel instead of the most modern technology and has rather poor luminosity. Nevertheless, its overall performance makes it quite a good TV.

Sound quality

As I mentioned before, the sound volume and fidelity of entry-level models can often be disappointing and the MU6405 is no exception to the rule. While this TV provides good fidelity of mid-range tones and voices, it has too much bass.

At higher volume (in excess of 80 decibels), its performance becomes unsatisfactory, in which case it would be preferable to use a separate soundbar. Feel free to consult our article on the subject.

Smart TV

Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s SmartTV runs the new version of Samsung’s Tizen OS, also known as SmartHub. The interface is enjoyable to use and has been optimized for the best models, making it a great addition to Samsung TVs. The remote control has a small microphone for accepting voice commands – a feature which makes up for the ergonomic shortcomings of the Samsung interface, namely the need to manually go through the menus to make any kind of change to the settings!

In terms of apps, it is possible to access Amazon Video, Netflix, Youtube as well as the large number of games and services that have been enriching the SmartHub platform for the last three years. It is also worth noting that in addition to Ethernet connectivity, this TV also has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Verdict

It was not easy to choose the Samsung 4K TV offering the best quality to price ratio. Most of the other models in the MU 6 product line retail for over 1000$ or have other shortcomings.

This model is a good compromise. Because it is “only” 55″ in diameter, you will be able to focus your spending on other important aspects and being able to take advantage of a high-end SmartTV interface is a clear advantage.

For people on a very tight budget, the best solution, in my opinion, is the Samsung UN50MU6300. A word of caution, however: in addition to having all of the same minor downsides as the 6405, it also has a smaller display (50″ instead of 55), as well as a 50Hz refresh rate and inferior display quality. However, it does cost less and still has a surprisingly good quality to price ratio.

TCL 55C807: TCL releases its best model yet

4K TVs

Pro

  • Good quality to price ratio
  • Audacious and elegant design
  • Integration with Android TV
  • Good contrast levels and overall visual quality
Cons

  • Built-in JBL speaker of mediocre quality
  • Only 50Hz
  • No built-in microphone
  • VA display panel

While some of this Chinese manufacturer’s products have been disappointing in the past, TCL has certainly redeemed itself with its 2017 version. With its highly competitive price – far below 1000$ – it has a very good quality to price ratio. I decided to take a closer look at this model.

Design

The design of the TCL product line is quite original. From a distance, this particular TV gives the impression of being a thin panel. The display is mounted on two shiny chrome legs in a rather straight V configuration; the ensemble has a sober elegance to it.

Nevertheless, this TV will only fit on a TV table that is at least 20 cm deep; the display itself is only 5 cm deep which is truly remarkable given this TV’s price.

One of the most surprising things about this device is that while most manufacturers opt for hiding the TV’s speakers behind or on the sides of the display, TCL’s product proudly displays its JBS sound bar across its full width.

All of this TVs connections can be found on the left-hand side, within a box geared towards cable management. This TV’s connectivity is similar to that of the Samsung MU6405: three HDMI 2.0 ports, an antenna and satellite connector as well as an Ethernet port and audio jack.

4K/HD performance

This 55″ display was constructed using VA technology. I have already mentioned some of the problems associated with this technology, namely in terms of image quality at wide angles.

While this display is glossy – which is nicer to look at when the TV is off – its anti-reflective coating does a good job at preventing reflections. You will, however, need to avoid placing this TV in the path of any form of direct lighting since it is still more prone to reflecting light than matte display panels.

The quality of the LCD screen itself is impeccable. For the price range, it has excellent contrast. It is also much better in terms of light leaks and “clouding” than many other TVs retailing for as little as the TLC. Its maximum luminosity is even superior to that of the Samsung MU6405 and it is really very enjoyable to watch.

In terms of colorimetry, it is close to perfect: TCL has made great strides in this domain. The colors have good fidelity, are vibrant and well balanced.

This TV does have one downside: its display panel has a 50Hz refresh rate – below the quality standard of 60Hz. As a result, it is oftentimes possible to notice some motion blurring effects; this runs contrary to all of the efforts which the manufacturer has made to reduce lag time in order to present the TLC as “versatile”. This versatility supposedly includes gaming, but except for slow games which do not involve much movement, this TV is not well suited to that purpose at all.

Sound quality

So, how good is the JBL soundbar located under the display? I find it to be more ornamental than anything else. While the TCL outperforms Samsung in terms of power – 13W instead of 10W – the final result is still not very spectacular and it can’t compete with a good entry-level soundbar.

Voices are intelligible, but the bass tones sound hollow; treble tones are also weak. It is a bit of a shame that the manufacturer decided to so prominently display a soundbar of such mediocre quality; it is always possible to buy your own soundbar but you will need to factor that into your budget…

Smart TV

New: TCL is now compatible with Android TV, as are Sony and Philips TVs. Its list of Android applications is rather complete; in particular, it integrates well with VLC making it able to play many useful file formats. One of the factors by which it is possible to evaluate this 4K TV is by its hardware. With 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage space and a quad-core MediaTek processor, you certainly get your money’s worth. While this TV is not a powerhouse, it has a very good quality to price ratio.

This TV is also equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Our one regret is that it does not accept voice commands. While there is a way to make it responsive to voice commands via Android TV software, it does not have a built-in microphone on its remote control…shame!

Verdict

TCL is now officially competing with the industry’s largest manufacturers. Its newest TV is among the most competitive on the under-1000$ market. It is impossible not to notice the work that has gone into improving this TV’s hardware, graphical performance, and software; its integration with Android TV makes it a very complete and comfortable to use device. It does, however, fall short in comparison to some other contemporary models in terms of gaming, graphics work, and even office work; there are many other TVs – retailing for higher prices – which outperform TCL in these regards.

The Best 4K TVs for under 2000$

As is the case with many high-tech devices, navigating the world of entry-level products can be treacherous. Nevertheless, a few gems can be found among some of the more “innovative” entry-level products which oftentimes go overlooked. The 4K TV market is highly competitive, but no model selling for under 1000$ can be expected to be complete.

I have decided to only include 55″ models in this selection. All of the models I have selected have a better than average display quality in addition to a well thought out design.

It goes without saying that it is not possible to buy an OLED based TV for under 1000$. The models with the best currently available displays all fall into the mid to high-end range! Entry-level models rely on LCD LED technology which is able to provide an enjoyable viewing experience, but which has mediocre contrast and latency values.

Samsung Q7F: QLED by Samsung, impeccable design

4K TVs

Pro

  • Good quality to price ratio
  • Audacious and elegant design
  • Integration with Android TV
  • Good contrast levels and overall visual quality
Cons

  • Mediocre built-in JBL speaker
  • Only 50Hz
  • No built-in microphone
  • VA display panel

QLED technology has allowed Samsung to make good on its promise to deliver brighter, better quality displays at more competitive prices. The Q7F, introduced at the beginning of the summer of 2017 is a truly exceptional 4K TV given that it retails for under 2000$ despite being the manufacturer’s “basic model”.

Design

Samsung’s new QLED displays come in three different sizes: 55, 65 and an amazingly big 75”. The price increases dramatically with size while the quality to price ratio decreases. That is why we have decided to discuss 55” displays which offer the best ratio.

The design of Samsung’s new display is quite attractive. The chrome covered pedestal is very narrow and elegantly extends across the width of the display. If you were to look behind the TV, you would find a very tasteful horizontally brushed plastic surface.

This TV can also be mounted directly on a wall. In so doing another unique feature of this TV comes to light: Samsung’s “invisible” cables really are quite invisible especially when mounted on a light colored wall, making it possible to create a clutter-free TV corner.

4K TVsIn terms of connectivity, this TV is equipped with 4 HDMI ports, one Ethernet port, one composite port, an antenna connector, three USB ports (2.0 unfortunately) as well as a mini audio jack and an optical audio port.

4K/HD performance

For starters, this is one of the most luminous displays on the market in 2017. Among the models capable of rivaling the Q7F is the Q9F – this TV’s big brother.

If you are used to an LCD LED display, you will immediately notice a difference. QLED technology – which is also LCD based – truly represents an improvement over traditional LCD displays, namely thanks to its impeccable HDR support. The contrast levels of these displays – thanks to their ET hardware and software – is exceptional. Maybe even too much so?

At times I have found that the HDR provides too much contrast for certain movies – especially older ones, giving them an artificial look. Nevertheless, the overall contrast and luminosity are excellent. The colorimetry is rather well calibrated despite a slight imbalance in the cyan colors which is practically invisible to the naked eye. So, what’s the catch?

QLED displays are still based on TN LED display panel technology and these display panels are not without their downsides, the first of which is a lack of uniformity in the blacks which somewhat sabotages the otherwise excellent contrast levels of QLED displays. LCD LED displays are lit from the sides and it is rare that a manufacturer is able to completely eliminate light leaks and other imperfections related to light distribution.

TN display panels, for their part, have restricted viewing angles – a real inconvenience for wall-mounted TVs.

Let’s end on a high note: this TV has a refresh rate of 120Hz and excellent motion blur optimization making it a rather good display for gaming.

Sound quality

If you were already anticipating being able to hang this 55″ TV on your wall in order to create a minimalist setup, think again! You will definitely need to equip yourself with an additional soundbar. This TV’s sound calibration is far worse than I had hoped. Bass tones are too loud and mid-range tones are too weak. 80% of the time it is hard to follow a conversation and loud explosions make the room shake. This TV’s sound quality is undoubtedly its greatest weakness.

Smart TV

Since the Q7F is equipped with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, I will refer you back to my test of the MU6405 since this TV also uses Samsung’s Tizen software and has the same basic characteristics.

Verdict

The Q7F is close to offering the best quality to price ratio at the moment. It is a truly exceptional TV and falls just short of finishing first in this ranking due to a few endemic problems related to the technology systems it employs. Its design is impeccable and its excellent image quality makes it one of the best currently available displays!

LG Electronics OLED55C7P: The best 55” quality to price ratio

4K TVs

Pro

  • Impeccable OLED display
  • Ultra-thin
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Good choice for gamers (120Hz, no latency)
Cons

  • Mediocre speakers
  • Rear-facing connectors

At the moment, you will need to spend close to 2000$ in order to purchase an OLED based TV, and it is not always worth it! I have made an effort to only select those new OLED displays that do not base their entire marketing strategy on that fact. In terms of design, colorimetry and image quality, LG’s C7V offers the best quality to price ratio at the moment despite having a few problems.

Design

It has an exceptionally thin 55″ display panel. At its thickest point, it only measures 5 cm and towards the top of the display, it measures a few millimeters at best. That is another advantage of OLED technology. With such optimized dimensions, it would be nice to be able to mount this display on a wall, but contrary to Samsung’s displays, this TV’s rear cover does not have a uniform thickness.

Its brushed metal pedestal has a sober appearance and requires a TV table with a depth of at least 25 to 35 cm. After taking a look at the discrete stands used by Samsung’s displays, this pedestal seems to stand out from the very black OLED display.

Also, this TV’s connectivity is not optimal. While three of its four HDMI ports – as well as one USB 3.0 port – are located on the side, most of the essential connections must be made at the rear where the WLAN, antenna and digital audio connectors are located (in addition to one more USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port and one Ethernet port).

4K/HD performance

It is in terms of its 4K/HD performance that this TV truly excels. Its image quality has allowed the C7V to distinguish itself as one of the best models of autumn 2017.

OLED technology – and I will explain why in this buyer’s guide – provides unparalleled contrast levels. Blacks are intense, contrast levels are among the best possible and light leaks are nonexistent. OLED technology is very good at differentiating pixels. At the same time, this display provides better luminosity than LG’s B6 and B7 product lines – which scored highly in this regard. While its luminosity is inferior to what certain good-quality IPS displays are able to provide, its anti-reflective coating does a good job at optimizing the C7V’s luminosity – even in a brightly lit room.

Once we leave the world of VA display panels behind, acceptable viewing angles become much wider – the fidelity of colors and contrast levels remains satisfactory up to a 60-degree viewing angle.

The C7V scored high in terms of colorimetry as well, despite having a slight imbalance in its reds and blues. Users who enjoy setting their own color balance will be able to do so easily via this TV’s intuitive menus. With some minor adjustment, it is possible to achieve near perfect settings – which will satisfy anyone, except perhaps for professional graphic artists.

This TV is also excellent at stifling motion blur effects. Given the fact that the C7V has a refresh rate of 120Hz, and that OLED TVs have a latency close to zero, this TV is perhaps one of the best possible displays for gamers at the moment.

Sound quality

Another surprisingly good thing about this LG TV is that it has good sound quality! This is quite rare for an ultra flatscreen TV. Nevertheless, very demanding users – like me – will still want to use an external soundbar.

Why? Because the bass tones are too omnipresent and the high-pitch tones are somewhat weak, especially at high volume. At any rate, voices are quite comprehensible and the TV’s speakers are able to provide enough volume.

Smart TV

This is a good opportunity to speak about the third operating system for SmartTV – LG’s WebOS – which was one of the first operating systems to be implemented on a TV and which has come a long way since its inception. Its navigation ergonomics are very good, to say the least: there are very few buttons on the remote control which is always a good sign.

Since this TV is – of course – equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, it is easy to access various services such as Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Youtube, Google Play, as well as a whole range of applications, namely news and weather apps. The library is very well stocked.

This TV’s settings are also satisfactory: they have been designed to be intuitive while at the same time allowing the user to get the most out of the TV in terms of picture quality without requiring a degree in audiovisual engineering – also a rare feature!

Verdict

This TV’s design is not its greatest asset, but it is not too bad either and it excels at everything else. LG’s 4K C7V is, quite simply, the best TV at the moment retailing for under 2000$. And, given the imperfections of less expensive models as well as how expensive high-end models have become sine 2016 – retailing for upwards of 6000$ – this TV undeniably has the best quality to price ratio of any TV at the moment. We will have to wait to see whether this will still be the case once OLED technology becomes more widespread!

Best high-end 4K TVs

You will have probably understood by now that there are two unsatisfying aspects about TV’s retailing for under 2000$. The first is display size; while TV’s retailing for less than 2000$ are pretty much limited to 55”, certain high-end TV’s can be as large as 75”!

The other major difference is that high-end TV’s usually have a soundbar worthy of the name. Nevertheless, there are no miracles and it is not possible to have all possible features in one single device. Home Cinema aficionados will probably still prefer to purchase additional audio equipment!

Sony XBR65A1E Ultra HD Smart BRAVIA OLED TV: OLED excellence

4K TVs

Pro

  • Excellent OLED display
  • Ultra-thin
  • Can be mounted on a wall
  • Superb minimalist design
  • Good choice for gamers (120Hz, no latency)
  • Decent speakers
Cons

  • Slightly inclined display (4 degrees)
  • Slightly elevated price

Sony has also implemented OLED technology into its Bravia product line with satisfactory results. With quality comparable to that of the LG C7V, why didn’t we give the Sony Bravia A1 first place in our ranking? Mainly because of its price, which is however justified by this TV’s outstanding overall quality.

Design

You will notice right away that there is almost no thickness to this TV’s display panel. By exploiting OLED’s compactness, Sony has attempted to create a display that more closely resembles a sheet of glass than a TV – it is remarkably thin!

This effect is heightened by the manufacturer’s choice of pedestal. Instead of choosing a pedestal to raise the display, Sony decided to endow this TV with a tiltable wall mount which somewhat resembles a picture frame.

The result is that from the front, the display appears to be delicately resting on the TV table. However, this method is not without its downsides since it forces the display to point upwards at a slight angle – which is not really noticeable when the TV is turned on. The main downside is that this method is not very compact and requires a TV table which is at least 35 cm deep.

A little bit of cleverness on Sony’s part: most of the connections are made directly on the support and almost all of the connectors are oriented downwards. This way of making the connections is convenient for both people who decide to rest the TV on a table and those who decide to mount it on a wall.

The Bravia A1 has the essential connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, three USB ports – one of which is 3.0, one Ethernet port, one IR port, one composite connector, one 3.5 audio jack and one optical audio port.

4K/HD performance

I spoke about OLED displays earlier and mentioned that their main asset is being able to provide near perfect contrast levels. They also do not have any light leak problems and provide very intense blacks.

The weakness of OLED displays is a lower luminosity than that of other types of displays, which is a real shame, especially since the problem is in part software related: the HDR has a tendency to lower luminosity levels to an excessive degree.

The range of colors provided by OLED displays is, on the other hand, quite vast. Thanks to Sony’s upcoming software update, this TV will be able to handle Dolby Vision, meaning that it will be able to increase from the standard 10-bit to the 12-bit HDR10 which basically means that it will be able to display even more colors.

While this TV’s pre-calibration color fidelity is quite good, a little bit of tweaking will turn this TV into a display suitable for the purposes of most graphic artists.

The Sony Bravia A1 is also very capable when it comes to handling motion. As is the case with most OLED displays, it has a latency of almost zero and it integrates an extrapolation system capable of providing a natural rendering of images at a rate of up to 120 fps.

Sound quality

Since we are discussing high-end models, it goes without saying that these TVs are expected to have better sound quality than more inexpensive models. As it happens, Sony’s TV does well at optimizing the directionality of the sound it emits.

From a technical standpoint, this TV’s sound system is no less impressive. Mainly optimized for voices, it has a tendency to emphasize mid-range tones. Like many built-in speakers, the Bravia’s have a tendency to overemphasize bass tones and reduce treble tones at high volume. This TV has a maximum volume of 90dB and is sure to satisfy anyone who does not require an outstanding Home Cinema setup and who prefers instead to avoid the need for an external soundbar!

Smart TV

As I mentioned before, Sony’s TVs also run Android TV. While Sony’s is not one of the most intuitive platforms, it is one of the most comprehensive in terms of applications. The built-in microphone on the TV’s remote control is a real advantage for users looking to avoid going through a number of menus in order to perform any type of operation.

Verdict

Had the Bravia A1 been just a little bit less expensive, it would have been the clear winner of this ranking. With its audacious design, near perfect image quality, comprehensive connectivity and ability to be wall-mounted, this TV is both one of the most elegant and complete on the market today. If you have some extra money to spend on your 4K TV, do not hesitate to purchase the Bravia A1. Otherwise, the LG C7V remains the best alternative.

LG OLED 65 E7: the champion of 65” 4K TVs

4K TVs

Pro

  • Excellent OLED display
  • Ultra-thin high-quality OLED display panel
  • Very well thought out design
  • Good choice for gamers (120Hz, no latency)
  • Very decent speakers
Cons

  • The connectivity requirements negatively impact the TV’s design
  • High price

OLEDs definitely represent the future of TV technology. The LG 65” has many things in common with the C7V, and it has the best quality to price ratio of the very, very large display available at the moment.

Design

An extra design effort has gone into the E7’s design as compared to that of the C7V in terms of its edges; that is to say that LG has managed to almost completely eliminate the E7’s borders. As a result, the display panel seems to float above the pedestal.

The gray bar under the display does not spoil the overall effect, however, I would have preferred that LG use a less visible pedestal. Like with the C7V, the light gray color contrasts strongly with this TV’s dark blacks.

LG’s E7 isn’t the thinnest TV either; it has a thickness of almost 6 cm at the bottom of its display panel which tapers off to almost nothing towards the top.

This TV’s connections are predominantly located at its rear, making cable management somewhat difficult to achieve. This is all the truer since you probably won’t want to have the wires connecting to this TV’s four HDMI ports and two USB 3.0 sticking out from the side since it will ruin the E7’s otherwise perfect silhouette…or maybe that’s just me.

Among the connections at the E7’s rear can be found a WLAN port, an IN port as well as a digital audio port.

4K/HD performance

In many regards, the LG E7 has the same performance characteristics as its OLED competitors. OLED technology is almost perfect: it does not have any lag time, blacks are about as dark as they can possibly be, contrast levels are good and motion blur is almost nonexistent.

OLED displays do have one small downside, however: image persistence; when a static image is displayed for too long, it leaves behind a sort of trace image which is displayed for a few seconds. While this phenomenon is perfectly harmless, the LG E7 has a rather high persistence rate.

In terms of colorimetry, the E7 is only a little bit worse than the Bravia A1, and still has remarkable color fidelity.

Its 120Hz refresh rate and practically nonexistent motion blurring make the LG E7 well suited to gaming.

Sound quality

As always, this TV’s soundbar does not perform as well as an external soundbar, but the LG E7 has pretty decent sound quality. The stereo effect can be fine-tuned via the TV’s directionality settings. More demanding users will probably want to compliment this TV with specialized audio equipment, but for most users, the E7’s built-in sound system should be quite satisfactory.

The fidelity of this TV’s sound is all the more impressive since it does not vary much based on volume level and offers consistent comprehensibility without any loss of depth or clarity of sound.

Smart TV

The LG E7 uses the same OS as the C7V about which we spoke earlier in the section dedicated to mid-range models. Its remote control is able to accept voice commands – a really convenient feature upon which you will undoubtedly come to rely! The E7 is equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity…a good all around collection of features.

Verdict

The 65″ E7 which retails for under 4000$ is not far from providing the best picture that money can buy. However, if you do not really require such a large, high-performance TV, you will probably prefer the C7V.

Nevertheless, the E7 is the best 65” TV currently available and retails for what is, in the end, a rather competitive price.

How to select a 4K TV? – buyer’s guide

If you haven’t been following all of the significant changes that have been occurring in the field of TV technology over the last three years, don’t worry, I will be going over them in the following paragraphs.

Technical data sheets can be quite intimidating; retailers try to confuse consumers with impressive characteristics which are nothing more than marketing strategies; similarly, many lesser brands try to pass their products off as better than they really are.

However, it can be quite easy to identify an excellent TV (and avoid pitfalls) if you know what all of these technical values really mean!

What are a 4K TV’s most important characteristics?

The golden rule is not to let yourself be distracted by products which use superlatives adjectives – which don’t really mean anything – to describe themselves: LG “Super” UHD, ULED, UltraHD PREMIUM, SUHD TV… It is entirely legal to invent labels that sound like they are describing revolutionary innovations. But, in the end, 4K remains 4K. The rest is just noise.

The pros and cons of different types of display panels

I have discussed this topic numerous times when speaking about different types of TVs because there has been a great deal of evolution in this field in the last few years!

First of all, plasma technology is dead. The future belongs to LED LCD and OLED technology.

LCD technology employs a series of light emitting diodes (LEDs) to display an image on the screen. These diodes are distributed across the surface of the display. As a result, unless you opt for a high-end model – which could cost considerably more than you might expect – you will not get an image with clearly defined bright and dark zones. LCD TVs have decent contrast levels, but the champion in this regard is OLED technology.

Warning: QLED is not the same thing as OLED! It simply refers to an LCD-based technology called “Quantum Dot” which provides more precise illumination and which has fewer light leak problems, but it is not the best currently available technology.

As opposed to LCD technology, OLED technology illuminates each pixel individually: when a pixel is displaying black, it is truly black. This is the technology to choose if you are looking to acquire a TV that will remain top of the line for a long time. In fact, most media content will slowly be adapting itself to suit this technology due to its excellent contrast levels.

LG has mastered this technology, but Panasonic, Philips, and Sony have also entered the race – with mixed results. On average, you should expect to pay 500$ more for an OLED-based TV.

OLED technology’s main downside, it must be said, is that it provides less luminosity than LCD technology. However, I personally feel that OLED displays have such good contrast levels that they do not require excessively high levels of illumination.

The different types of display panels

With the exception of OLED displays which employ a unique technology – and which are oftentimes covered with protective GorillaGlass in the same way as smartphones and smartwatches – TV display panels are basically the same as those used in computer displays.

Just a reminder: there are three major categories of displays:

  • TN displays are the oldest but are still commonplace on lower-end devices. They have exceptionally low latency, making them a good choice for gaming. They have a higher luminosity and consume less power than other types of displays. TN displays are the most inexpensive of the currently available displays. The downside of this type of display is that it has a very restricted viewing angle: colorimetry, contrast, and luminosity are only optimal when the display is viewed from a perpendicular angle.
  • IPS displays often have a more precise colorimetry as well as a wider viewing angle. However, their black levels are usually less intense and, as a result, their contrast levels are usually inferior to those of other types of displays. The newest IPS display panels have rather good response times.
  • VA displays combine the advantages of IPS and TN displays. However, VA displays have greater latency than either of the two other types of displays; moreover, VA displays are also subject to restricted viewing angles. Furthermore, these displays present another problem altogether, that of “ghosting” – the persistence of an image after it has ceased to be displayed – which, generally speaking, makes them an unsuitable alternative for gaming purposes.

What is HDR?

HDR is a feature which is becoming well-known in the world of smartphone photography. But, it is not limited to this purpose. If you intend on buying a TV in the immediate future, you should absolutely select a model equipped with HDR technology if you do not want to regret your decision in the 6 months following your purchase. All of the models I have chosen to speak about are equipped with this technology.

Also called “High Dynamic Range”, HDR is the latest craze in the audiovisual world. Nowadays, the majority of TVs retailing for over 800$ come equipped with this technology; if the TV you are interested in is not so equipped, don’t buy it.

HDR technology improves two of the factors by which a display is evaluated: contrast and colorimetry. HDR digitally enhances the portions of an image that should be more luminous and, as a general rule gives more depth to the image. And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example of what an HDR corrected image looks like.

4K TVsNot bad, eh?

What is the best SmartTV OS?

An increasing number of TVs are now being equipped with”SmartTV”. Just like a smartphone, these TVs are connected to the internet and display a list of applications. Also, like with a smartphone, you will need to pay attention to the operating system your television uses since the OS will determine what services you will have access to as well as how easy the SmartTV feature will be to use and how frequently you will receive updates.

Test results and opinions about Android TV – king of the Applications

4K TVsThe Android OS for TVs has more or less the same advantages and disadvantages as the version for mobile devices. There is a very wide range of applications to which the Android TV OS has access to. In addition to the obvious applications such as Netflix, Youtube as well as a small weather app, you will find a version of VLC media player. I really enjoy this last app because of its ease of use and because it allows me to expand my TV’s compatibility with a wide range of media formats.

This OS is compatible with voice commands; in this way, if you are uncertain as to what you would like to watch, you can say something like “best series in 2017” and let your TV guide you in your selection. In addition, Android TV has a built-in system similar to Chromecast to allow you to stream your media content from one device to another.

Android TV’s frequent updates make it one of the systems least susceptible to becoming obsolete. However, for the moment, it is not the best platform in terms of ease of navigation.

Test results and opinions about Firefox TV – simple, straightforward, minimalist

4K TVsPanasonic purchased the rights to the Firefox TV system at the end of 2016. Mozilla developed a colorful, enjoyable and highly intuitive system. It has fewer applications than Android TV, but it still has the essential ones: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Youtube, AccuWeather, iPlayer, iTunes…

However, the platform seems to be declining in popularity and you will need to keep an eye on its progress in 2018.

Test results and opinions about Samsung Tizen – an alternative for compatibility with smartphones

4K TVsSamsung initially developed Tizen for its smartwatches and connected bracelets and went on to use it on its TVs.

Next to Android TV and Firefox TV, Tizen’s interface appears more serious while still remaining understandable. It offers a wide range of settings and there is an ever-increasing number of applications which are compatible with the Tizen OS. It has been optimized for connectivity with smartphones, namely Galaxy smartphones which are also based on the Tizen OS.

The Tizen OS is slightly more limited than Android TV in terms of features and the number of applications it has access to.

Test results and opinions about LG WebOS – the best SmartTV OS?

4K TVsWith its introduction of WebOS in 2014, LG reinvented itself. And this OS is still very popular, namely due to its frequent and comprehensive updates. Its dynamic navigation makes it possible to easily toggle between applications. Moreover, the number of applications available to it keeps expanding.

One of its major assets is its fast speed and its ability to optimize the performance of the hardware used by LG TVs. It does, however, lack the customization options that Tizen has developed over time.

In terms of the applications it has access to, it is even able to rival Android TV…it has access to the most recent and fluid versions of the following apps: BBC, Amazon, iPlayer, Google, Youtube, Netflix…

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