4K TV Reviews

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Thomas J. Norton  |  May 06, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Rich, accurate color
Wide viewing angle
Outstanding HDR performance
Minus
Remote control difficult to use
Table-mount legs an optional accessory

THE VERDICT
LG’s design-savvy 65GXPUA OLED offers up a mix of features and performance that’s guaranteed to grab your attention.

LG's GX series for 2020 sits in the middle of the company's OLED TV range, just above the CX series, and right below the WX (for Wallpaper—ultra thin and designed for, you guessed it, wall mounting). But at 20mm, GX series sets are also very thin, and while they come with a wall-mounting bracket, it doesn't include legs for a table-top mount, though that option is available at a modest extra cost. The GX series has built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control, and it also adds a Gallery feature that can display stationary artwork surrounded by a faux frame inside its otherwise nearly invisible bezel.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 15, 2016  |  3 comments

2D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $8,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent HDR in both Dolby Vision and HDR10
Blacks to die for
Solid off-center viewing
Minus
Expensive
Careful setup critical for best results
Menus tedious to navigate

THE VERDICT
Our brief time with LG’s flagship OLED for 2016 suggested it’s not perfect (what is?), but apart from the fact that LCD sets still go brighter than OLEDs, it’s unlikely that any other new HDR-equipped Ultra HDTV will be able to match or exceed the performance of this one.

While this article is structured as a Test Report, in fact it’s a good bit short of a full-fledged evaluation. The combination of the cost of LG’s flagship OLED and the limited supply of review samples in early April prompted the company to set up a couple of displays at a venue in New York City, then shuttle in groups of A/V journalists to lay hands on the set—so to speak.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 17, 2017  |  1 comments

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.)

Al Griffin  |  Jan 16, 2015  |  1 comments

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.

Rob Sabin  |  May 06, 2015  |  1 comments
2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $7,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stunning color
Gorgeously detailed 4K playback
A boatload of picture tweaks
Minus
Not quite plasma-like blacks and shadow detail
3D ghosting
The price

THE VERDICT
Panasonic’s statement Ultra HDTV sucks you in with its alluring image and doesn’t let go, but its high price is a deterrent.

When Panasonic left the plasma market in late 2013 to the whimpers of videophiles worldwide, the company committed to delivering an LED-backlit LCD that would rival the image of their best-ever TV—the ZT60 that was their plasma swan song. The first Panny Ultra HD LCD to follow, the edge-lit TC-65AX800U, was a fine TV, though hardly a breakout set. But in late 2014, Panasonic rolled out their flagship AX900U series at 55 and 65 inches, the latter of which we now review here.

Rob Sabin  |  Apr 05, 2016  |  3 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,700

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent color
Great screen uniformity
Artifact-free 1080p-to-UHD scaling
Minus
Poor black level and contrast
Meager streaming platform

THE VERDICT
Though it delivers solid entry-level performance, Panasonic’s CX400 faces more fully featured competition at its price.

Panasonic pulled big crowds at its CES booth in January with their CZ950 OLED, a 65-inch Ultra HD television that adds advanced processing to an LG-supplied OLED panel, with quite stunning results. Unfortunately, that set is only sold overseas for now (priced at €10,000 or about $11,000, no less), and it remains unclear when or if Panasonic will release it in the States.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 19, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Brightness to spare
Good off-center viewing
Superb HDR
Minus
Blooming
No Dolby Vision
Small, non-backlit remote

THE VERDICT
Samsung's new QN65Q80R may not be the company's flagship TV, but it offers an ample helping of that model's features, design, and performance.

It wasn't long ago that a buying a premium UHDTV demanded your first-born in exchange, or at least a sizeable portion of his or her college tuition. At $2,800 (and widely available for less), Samsung's new QN65Q80R "QLED" TV isn't exactly the lowest-priced entry in the growing category of affordable UHDTVs, but it's certainly a welcome one. Samsung also sells 55-, 75-, and 82-inch versions of the Q80R, the latter priced under $5,000.

Al Griffin  |  Aug 02, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent color rendition
Deep, detailed-looking blacks
Full-array backlight with local dimming
Minus
Potentially confusing screen GUI and remote
Unreliable voice command feature
No Dolby Vision

THE VERDICT
Quantum dots in Samsung’s near-top-of-line QLED TV allow it to deliver exceptionally rich color. Add in a full-array backlight with local dimming and the QN65Q8FN amounts to a winning proposition from a picture quality standpoint.

Samsung’s QLED—not to be confused with OLED—UHDTVs are the company’s top-of-the-line models. In case you’re wondering, that Q in QLED stands for quantum dot, a backlight technology that provides a more precise method to generate the red, green, and blue light that creates a video image than the process typically used for LCD displays. How does it happen? In a Samsung QLED TV, a blue LED backlight generates the blue component of the image and also stimulates a layer of nanocrystal dots sized to emit a specific wavelength of light —red and green in this case—when energized.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 24, 2017  |  4 comments
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.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 16, 2019  |  5 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,500

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High brightness
Good off-center picture uniformity
Vivid HDR
Minus
No Dolby Vision support
Remote control ergonomics

THE VERDICT
There's little to criticize, and much to like, about Samsung's new flagship LCD UHDTV.

TVs are cheaper than ever. Really. When you see a set priced at $3,500 and your first reaction is a gag reflex, ponder this: a CRT color TV in 1970 might well have cost you $350. That would be a simple tabletop model offering glorious 480i standard definition on a 19-inch screen, and it would cost $2,400 in today's money. Current-day premium sets do command similarly high prices, but they now offer more features and better performance than ever before. The 65-inch Samsung Q90R reviewed here has a suggested retail price of $3,500, though it can be found online for significantly less. There are also 75- and 82-inch Q90R series models, the latter retailing for $6,500. One couldn't even dream of a 65-inch set in 1970, much less an 82-incher.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 16, 2020  |  1 comments


Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,900

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High peak brightness for HDR
Wide viewing angle for an LCD TV
Extended color
Minus
No Dolby Vision support
Some visible “blooming”

THE VERDICT
Samsung's 65-inch Q90T series model offers impressive overall performance at a far lower price than the company's previous flagship 4K TVs.

While most buyers might view two grand as a high price to pay for a new TV, longtime readers here will recall the days when that amount would barely get you a small, flat-panel HD set with few features—and certainly not 4K with HDR. But intense competition in the TV world has resulted in bigger and more sophisticated displays at lower prices. Samsung's Q90T series, including the 65-inch model reviewed here, is actually derived from the company's 2019 Q80R series.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 08, 2021  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,600

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Standard-setting HDR performance
Wide viewing angle for LCD
Deep blacks and strong shadow detail
Minus
Lacks Dolby Vision
Occasional blooming artifacts

THE VERDICT
The price for Samsung's latest sets may be up from last year's equivalent models, but if you're in the market for a new TV, the improvements to be found in the new QN90A series make it worth serious consideration.

In 2020, Sound & Vision tested Samsung's 65-inch Q90T series TV, an LCD model that lacked some of the features and refinements found in the company's flagship sets from the previous year. But at $1,900, it also struck us as a solid deal given the overall price-performance ratio and received a Top Pick. Samsung's new Neo QLED QN90A series LCDs, available in 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch screen sizes, are pricier than the Q90T models they replace, though the higher prices in this case come with marked performance upgrades.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 08, 2014  |  2 comments

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?

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 14, 2015  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,600

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive resolution—in both 4K and 1080p
Natural-looking color—even before calibration
Appealing price
Minus
Mediocre blacks
Image fades off-center

THE VERDICT
For a rewarding experience in watching that big game or a favorite movie, Samsung’s UN60JS7000 should please all but the fussy video perfectionist prepared to pay a lot more for his or her new Ultra HD set.

Samsung’s new 60-inch UN60JS7000FXZA joins the majority of 4K Ultra HDTVs on the market offering 4K as their main UHD calling card. But according to Samsung, it will also respond to the metadata for high dynamic range sources and display it—though not to the same brightness level as will, for example, the company’s higher-end sets, including the so-called “SUHD” UN65JS9500FXZA (Sound & Vision, September 2015 and soundandvision.com). The JS7000 is also claimed to respond to the wide color offered in some UHD material, in the same way as other Samsung SUHD sets, but it downconverts any 10-bit color source to 8 bits (which corresponds to fewer gradations of color being available for display).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 24, 2014  |  0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $5,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate color
Excellent resolution
Good black level and shadow detail
Minus
Expensive
No full-array backlight

THE VERDICT
As with all of the new Ultra HD sets, the Samsung might not give you everything that the future of the technology will throw at it, but for now it’s an exceptional performer.

With a resolution of 3840 x 2160—four times as many pixels as in standard HD—Samsung’s UN65F9000 is one of the first so-called Ultra HD sets to hit the market and the company’s first such TV at 65 inches.

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