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LG OLED65E6P OLED Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Jan 11, 2017
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $4,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Outstanding blacks and shadow detail Nearly flawless off-center viewing Attractive price (for OLED) Minus Still expensive THE VERDICT Yes, LG’s OLED UHDTVs do have shortcomings, including their inability to get as bright as the best LCD sets. But OLED’s significant advantages more than compensate and have made these TVs, including the superb OLED65E6P, the new golden goose in the Ultra HD landscape. I vividly remember plasma displays, and I mourned their passing. But even before 4K came along, LCD TVs—with their brighter images, lighter weight, lower energy consumption, and, toward the end, cheaper prices—were putting a full-court press on plasma technology.
Sony XBR-65Z9D LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Nov 15, 2016
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $5,500 AT A GLANCE Plus State-of-the-art local dimming Class-leading HDR brightness Above average off-center viewing Minus Price THE VERDICT With the top manufacturers jostling for a view from the top of the Ultra HD pyramid, Sony has taken an express elevator and is racing fast for the checkered flag. But enough with the mixed metaphors. If this TV isn’t today’s best LCD UHD/HDR set (and perhaps the best of any type), it’s not for lack of trying. Sony has given us their best technology here, and it shows. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2016, Sony demonstrated a prototype of a future LCD TV design incorporating what the company called Backlight Master Drive. We found it dazzling, as did most of the show-goers with whom we spoke. Nevertheless, we all looked at it as a “show car”—something that might appear in a store near you in a couple of years, if ever.
Sony XBR-65X930D LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Aug 03, 2016
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $3,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Impressive edge-lit local dimming Respectable off-axis viewing Bright, punchy HDR Minus Often redundant menus Tight remote control layout THE VERDICT Full-array local dimming remains the gold standard for LCD Ultra HDTVs, but Sony has now upped the ante with the best edge-lit set we’ve seen. The last time I reviewed one of Sony’s 4K sets, it had large speaker enclosures attached permanently to the sides of the screen, with a separate “subwoofer” firing out the back. This made for an inconveniently wide design, and with the introduction of Sony’s new 2016 models, those audio “wings” are now history.
LG 65EF9500 OLED Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Feb 23, 2016
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $6,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Blacks are truly black Fine detail Near-perfect off-axis viewing Minus Pricey Annoying calibration menus THE VERDICT LG’s recent price adjustments have made the company’s OLED sets more approachable, though hardly cheap in the biggest-screen Ultra HD models. But in today’s market, you’re unlikely to find a UHDTV that offers better performance than this one. While OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology offers most of the benefits of the now sadly departed plasma sets (and in some ways, more benefits), it’s been difficult to manufacture at commercially viable prices. So far, only LG is actively marketing OLED in the U.S. (though we hope others will follow). A recent drop in LG’s prices for OLED sets has rendered them more affordable, though still far from generating “Attention, Shoppers” announcements at K-Mart.
LG 65UF9500 LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Rob Sabin | Nov 11, 2015
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $2,800 AT A GLANCE Plus Accurate out-of-box color Superb webOS 2.0 smart interface Solid value in a 65-inch set Minus Moderate black levels and contrast No future-proofing for enhanced UHD content 3D crosstalk THE VERDICT LG’s 65-inch Prime Series looks great with most content while offering sexy design and superb ease of use at an attractive price. LG Electronics has impressed enthusiasts with stunning (and mostly expensive) OLED displays, but the company competes aggressively in traditional LED-driven LCD flat panels, too. The 65UF9500 reviewed here is a 65-inch Ultra HD model near the top of that line, and one of two models designated as Prime Ultra HDTVs (the other being a 79-inch version priced at $7,500). The Prime feature package includes, among other things, a wide color gamut option, enhanced brightness for highlights, and LG’s webOS 2.0 smart TV platform. Of course, it can’t boast the deep blacks and infinite contrast of LG’s OLEDs. That said, does it deserve a space among today’s top “regular” TVs? Let’s take a closer look.
Samsung UN65JS9500FXZA LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Jul 22, 2015
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $4,200 (updated 2/2/16, price was $6,499 when reviewed) AT A GLANCE Plus First-rate blacks and shadow detail Superb resolution—in both 4K and 1080p Full HD Impressive sense of image depth—even in 2D Best 3D seen anywhere Minus Image degrades significantly off center Annoying remote control Glitchy voice- and gesture-control features THE VERDICT This is the first consumer Ultra HDTV out of the gate offering more than just four times the resolution of 1080p HD. While it will require more UHD program material to fully judge its ability to provide 10-bit color, a wider color gamut, and higher dynamic range than today’s content, this Samsung is still a strong candidate for the best LCD set launched to date. Ultra HD remains very much a work in progress. Source material is still scarce, and while some is available through various forms of downloading and streaming, the promised delivery of Ultra HD on Blu-ray (the route most likely to offer the best UHD quality) is still months away. Furthermore, the UHD sets that have appeared to date offer little more than enhanced resolution—resolution that isn’t really significant unless you see it on the biggest screen you can afford and sit closer than some folks prefer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a UHD set isn’t desirable...
Panasonic TC-65AX800U 3D LCD/LED Ultra HDTV Review
Al Griffin | Jan 16, 2015
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $3,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Accurate color Good contrast and shadow detail Customizable Home Screen GUI Decent price for a 65-inch UHDTV Minus Some picture noise THE VERDICT Panasonic’s 65-inch Ultra HDTV provides impressive performance and a huge array of Smart features. Steep price declines have become the norm in the consumer electronics world, especially when it comes to TVs. Case in point: The last Ultra HDTV I reviewed, a Samsung 65-incher that arrived at the tail end of 2013, had an MSRP that was twice the $3,000 sticker price of Panasonic’s 65-inch TC-65AX800U Ultra HDTV. Now I hear that Vizio is selling sets with the same screen size and pixel count for $2,200. They might as well be giving them away.
LG 55EC9300 3D OLED HDTV
Thomas J. Norton | Nov 11, 2014
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $1,800 (updated 2/2/16, price was $3,500 when reviewed) AT A GLANCE Plus Blacks, contrast, and shadow detail to die for Lightweight Minus Not 4K Cinema mode soft in default settings THE VERDICT This new LG is the OLED that videophiles have been waiting for, and an improvement over the 55EA9800 we reviewed last spring—with equal or better performance and, not least of all, a dramatically lower price. Now that we’re about to turn the page into 2015, OLED HDTVs, so promising a year ago, appear to be at risk. The limited yield for OLED panels, resulting in a high retail cost, has driven most HDTV makers to the sidelines. But not LG. They continue to vigorously support the technology. And with a current price of $3,500 for the new 55EC9300, they’re clearly tossing a Hail Mary into a market crowded with cookie-cutter LCD sets. At 55 inches (diagonal), this may be a relatively small set for the price, and it’s still just “Full HD” (the industry buzzphrase for 1080p sets). Whether LG scores a touchdown or gets intercepted remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that buyers will be the winners.
Sony XBR-55X900B LCD/LED Ultra HDTV
Thomas J. Norton | Oct 21, 2014
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $4,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Exceptional blacks and shadow detail Excellent color and resolution Impressive sound with optional subwoofer Minus Price Small screen for 4K THE VERDICT Short of sitting very close, you’ll need a screen bigger than 55 inches to see the full benefits of 4K resolution. But the XBR-55X900B is, nevertheless, a champion in all respects, including one we didn’t anticipate: state-of-the-art edge-lit local dimming. The XBR-55X900B is the smallest set in Sony’s X900B series, which also includes the 65-inch XBR-65X900B ($5,000) and the 79-inch XBR-79X900B ($9,000). Fifty-five inches is a relatively small size for achieving the maximum benefits of 4K resolution. But it’s also perhaps today’s most popular size for the principal home HDTV, so there’s no denying its market importance for Ultra HD as well.
Samsung UN55HU8550F 3D LCD/LED Ultra HDTV
Thomas J. Norton | Aug 08, 2014
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $4,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Excellent color Top-class detail—in both 4K and Full HD Great blacks and shadow detail Minus Typical LCD image fade when viewed off-center THE VERDICT A superbly performing—and exceptionally inexpensive—Ultra HDTV that looks great with today’s 1080p content. Ultra HD is still meandering toward its Happy Place. Yes, it offers four times as many pixels as Full HD does at 1080p (“Full HD” being the industry’s new go-to term for “standard HD”). But source material at this native resolution is still hard to come by in any quantity. Most material viewed on an Ultra HD set, for the foreseeable future, will still be upconverted from Full HD, typically by the set, to “4K” (in quotes, because Ultra HD’s 3840 x 2160 resolution falls just short of true 4K resolution as defined in the cinema world). Can this provide a visible improvement over 1080p displayed on a 1080p set?