PANASONIC 4K ULTRA HD TV
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Samsung QN65Q9 LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Aug 24, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $6,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Bright and punchy HDR Excellent resolution Stunning color Minus No Dolby Vision Edge-lit instead of full-array backlight dimming THE VERDICT Samsung’s new top-of-the-line QLED flagship brings first-rate brightness, brilliant color, and crisp resolution to the Ultra HD party, but enthusiasts might notice its lack of a full-array, local dimming backlight. Now that we’re awash in high dynamic range (HDR) material on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Samsung is determined to make the most of it with two new TVs, the 65-inch QN65Q9 reviewed here and the 75-inch QN75Q9 for buyers who prefer a bigger (and, at $10,000, pricier) set. Each has a screen that’s flat, not curved.
LG OLED65E7P OLED Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | Jun 30, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $5,000 AT A GLANCE Plus It’s all about the black Wide viewing angle Supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision Minus Pricey THE VERDICT Last year’s OLED sets from LG were so impressive that, apart from their peak white capabilities (an ongoing shortcoming relative to LCD designs), it was hard to see a road ahead for improvements. But LG has found that road, and while the upgrades might prove subtle to most viewers, videophiles will welcome them. LG’s 2017 OLED offerings fall into five model groups, with the OLED65E7P positioned roughly in the middle. At $5,000, it’s hardly a Black Friday special, but it’s significantly cheaper than the near-paper-thin 65-inch flagship OLED65W7P (reviewed in our June issue), which commands $8,000.
Sony UBP-X800 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Review
Al Griffin | May 24, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $300 AT A GLANCE Plus High-quality video upconversion of standard Blu-rays Plays SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, and native DSD files Inexpensive Minus No announced Dolby Vision support No analog audio outputs THE VERDICT Sony’s ultra-affordable Ultra HD Blu-ray player offers solid video performance, and it also plays SACDs and DVD-Audio discs. Call it nostalgia, but the launch of an audio or video format strikes me as an opportunity to reflect on what came before it—especially now, with the sun threatening to set on physical media. When the Blu-ray Disc first appeared a little more than a decade ago, Sony was among its main flagwavers. Not only that, but the company’s PlayStation 3 console was considered by many to be the top-performing player in the Blu-ray format’s primitive days. Samsung and Panasonic were quick to push out standalone Blu-ray players, but the folks at Sony took their sweet time bringing their own model to market. When the BDP-S1 did arrive, it was well received for its picture quality—though it had design quirks, including an inability to play CDs.
LG Signature OLED65W7P OLED Ultra HDTV Review
Thomas J. Norton | May 17, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $8,000 AT A GLANCE Plus Jaw-dropping black level and contrast Wide viewing angle Thin, thin, thin. And light Minus Expensive Must be wall-mounted THE VERDICT We could argue with the mandatory inclusion of an outboard soundbar, the lack of a stand-mount option, and a lower (but still perfectly satisfactory) peak brightness for HDR than the best of the LCD competition provides. But it’s hard to imagine that any other 65-inch Ultra HDTV in 2017 will offer overall superior performance, or a more impressive aesthetic, than the best LCD competition. Dateline: March 2017. Along with several other bit-drenched members of the audio/video press, we’ve been brought to San Francisco for a day with LG. The events will include a briefing on the company’s Ultra HDTV lineup for 2017, a visit to Dolby headquarters for the latest pitch on Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR), and several hours of hands-on experience with the 65-inch OLED65W7P, the smaller of the two new 2017 OLED models in LG’s flagship Signature series. (A 77-inch version should be available later this year; no price had been announced as we went to press, but if that’s your ticket, bring money.)
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Review
Thomas J. Norton | Apr 14, 2017
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $549 AT A GLANCE Plus Outstanding overall performance Detailed info screen Plays virtually everything Minus No headphone output No support for HDCD THE VERDICT Oppo’s first Ultra HD Blu-ray player has been eagerly anticipated by UHD enthusiasts everywhere. The wait was worth it. We’re now into the second year of the Ultra HD Blu-ray era, but up to this past January, Samsung, Philips, and Panasonic pretty much had the UHD player market all to themselves. That month’s Consumer Electronics Show, however, saw the introduction of models from LG and Sony, together with new ones from Samsung and Panasonic.
Onkyo TX-RZ1100 A/V Receiver Review
Daniel Kumin | Jan 26, 2017
Audio Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $2,199 AT A GLANCE Plus Impressively dynamic, generous nine-channel power Dolby Atmos, DTS:X on board THX Select2 certified Minus Meh remote Ocassionally unintuitive ergonomics Some features still await firmware update Premium pricing THE VERDICT This Onkyo has faultless amplification and solid usability, though you’ll pay extra for it. Onkyo must not have gotten the memo about Class D–powered audio gear being smaller, svelter, lighter. The company’s new topmodel-but-one TX-RZ1100 is an imposing object 8 inches tall, and while the receiver’s 43-pound weight poses no challenge to the seemingly 100-pounders of yesteryear, it’s not exactly nothing, either.
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.
Sharp Aquos LC-75N8000U LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Al Griffin | Dec 27, 2016
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $3,200 AT A GLANCE Plus Inexpensive (with discounting) for a 75-incher HDR compatible Accurate and extended color Minus Limited contrast Backlight artifacts Highlights in HDR programs lack detail THE VERDICT Sharp’s heavily discounted 75-inch TV offers accurate color and decent HDR performance, but its best feature is its big screen at an affordable price. The arrival of a hulking 75-inch Ultra HDTV on your doorstep would be something you’d ideally want to coincide with a worthy media spectacle—the Super Bowl, for instance. In my case, however, the delivery of the Sharp Aquos LC-75N8000U synced up perfectly with the broadcast of the first Presidential debate. Lucky me: I got to witness what perhaps were the two most unpopular candidates in history assail each other’s character at near-life-size.
LG 65UH8500 LCD Ultra HDTV Review
Rob Sabin | Dec 22, 2016
2D Performance 3D Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $1,700 AT A GLANCE Plus HDR10 plus Dolby Vision HDR Great color Wide viewing window Minus Middling black levels Backlight artifacts THE VERDICT LG’s midpriced 65UH8500 delivers good image quality with a super-wide viewing window, and it’s one of the few sets around that plays both predominant types of HDR content. A year ago, I tested the LG 65UF9500, an LCD Ultra HDTV that retailed for $2,999, and I criticized it for offering no future-readiness for soon-to-emerge high dynamic range (HDR) content. Since then, Ultra HD Blu-ray has come to market, bringing HDR along with it, and there’s a growing library of HDR movies available for streaming. To LG’s credit, their line of so-called Super UHD LCD TVs for this holiday season, including the midline 65-inch 65UH8500 tested here ($1,700), recognizes both predominant types of HDR—namely, HDR10 (used currently on Ultra HD Blu-rays) and Dolby Vision (still only available via web streams). LG is one of only two TV makers to support both formats on a single chassis (in both their LCD and OLED models), the other being Vizio, which updated their Dolby Vision sets for HDR10 in mid-2016. So how does this wellfeatured, attractively priced set perform? Let’s have a look.
Vizio M65-D0 Ultra HD Display Review
Al Griffin | Nov 29, 2016
Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $1,299 AT A GLANCE Plus Impressive contrast and shadow detail Handles both Dolby Vision and HDR10 Affordable price Minus Wi-Fi sync issue with included tablet remote No extended-color-gamut capability Some halo artifacts from local dimming backlight Only one HDMI 2.0a input THE VERDICT Vizio’s budget-minded display handles both flavors of HDR and, a few quirks aside, delivers impressive performance. When is a TV not a TV? When it’s an Ultra HD Home Theater Display. With the new M series, Vizio has chosen to shake up conventional expectations of what a TV should be and should do. One key change is that each M series set lacks a tuner to receive over-the-air digital TV broadcasts—hence, the company’s use of the term Home Theater Display. Another change is that Vizio has scrapped the typical full-featured IR remote control and replaced it with an Android tablet. Future-savvy or future shock? Read on and find out.