Our guide for the best 4k UHD TVs has been updated to reflect the new summer 2016 models, based on all the 4k TVs we reviewed. While all of our recommendations are 2016 models, some of last year's models can still be found at a discount price and can be a good deal. A lot of UHD TVs also support HDR (see our best HDR TVs article), so it might be worth considering that feature.
The best 4k TV for most people is the LG B6 OLED TV. It’s matched by its OLED siblings, the C6 and E6, but without any perceivable difference in picture quality between them. Because it’s a totally different technology (Learn about it here), it comes with an expensive price tag – usually about twice as much as our second place recommendations.
OLED takes care of most downfalls that LCD type displays would have. Blacks are pure and contrast is essentially infinite, without wide viewing angles coming at a cost. There is also no motion blur, so it’s also great for sports. To add to that, LG also has our favorite smart platform this year, so that aspect shouldn’t disappoint either.
If money is no object, this is the best TV for most people available today.
If OLED is simply too expensive, or if you’d prefer getting an LED TV, the Samsung KS8000 is an excellent UHD TV that should please most people thanks to its versatility. It has some of the best picture quality available and reaches high peaks of brightness (some other Samsung KS models scored ever so slightly higher, but not a difference big enough to warrant the expense). The KS8000 does well with HDR, including games since it doesn’t suffer from any additional input lag while displaying HDR content.
It’s not perfect, though, you do get fairly narrow viewing angles. The build quality also isn’t stellar, it doesn’t compare to competing Sony or LG TVs for example. Most users will be quite pleased, however, and it is definitely a safe purchase. If you can't find it, the KS8500 offers the same thing but curved.
If you're going to be watching movies in a dim environment, the Vizio P Series 2016 performs even better than the Samsung KS8000. It has a full array local dimming backlight, which produces even better blacks in the dark.
Unfortunately, the Vizio P 2016 cannot get as bright as the KS8000, especially in HDR content. Cable TV also looks a little bit softer. In the living room, the Vizio P 2016 produces more reflections than the KS8000 and its picture deteriorates faster when watched at an angle. While the Vizio P does have excellent input lag for gaming, it cannot be used in conjunction with HDR, so it isn't a good choice for HDR gaming.
In the end, it isn't as versatile than the KS8000 but comes close.
If you’re looking for a TV to watch movies in a dark room, the Vizio M series 2016 is essentially the same as the Vizio P but without the HDR related features. You get excellent contrast and local dimming. It doesn’t have a TV tuner, and it doesn’t display lower resolution images like a cable TV signal as sharp as its competition. It doesn’t have much input lag (as long as you’re not planning to play with HDR), so it’s quite good for gaming.
The Sony X800D is a very capable TV that excels at HDR compared to competing TVs in this price range. It has good picture quality, handles motion well and doesn’t have much input lag, even with HDR. It upscales lower resolution content like live TV better than the Vizio and gets a bit brighter, so it works well for daytime television.
All this makes for quite a versatile TV that doesn’t have many flaws. However, it’s quite limited in its sizes, and is only available in smaller 43 and 49 inch.
If you’re looking for different sizes, the Samsung KU6300 covers almost all of them available. It gets quite bright and upscaling is good unlike the Vizio M 2016. If you need something to put in a bright living room, this is a good choice. It also does quite good in games, and the input lag isn’t affected much with HDR.
While it is not the best at anything, it performs evenly across a wide range of usages. It is a good versatile TV, especially considering the price.
There is a drop in overall picture quality when opting for a budget UHD TV. Nonetheless, some are great value for the money, and even though they are not the best, you will still be satisfied with them if your budget is limited.
The best budget 4k UHD TV is the Hisense H8C, It performs quite similarly to the Samsung KU6300, but is quite a bit cheaper.
It has similar contrast and blacks, and grey uniformity on our unit was a bit better. It doesn't have as good input lag, but response time is quite a bit better on the Hisense. It also recently received an update that enabled it to support HDR10, which helps make it a bit more versatile.
If you're looking for an inexpensive TV to watch movies in a dark room, buy the Vizio D Series 4k 2016. It is a very basic TV, from the design to the features, but it provides a great picture quality at an affordable cost. Movies and video games especially look good on it.
Unfortunately, the Vizio D 4k 2016 can't get really bright, cable content looks a little blurry and uniformity could be better. Still, this is a good buy if on a limited budget.
For even better smart features, the TCL US5800 is a superior option. It offers one of the best smart platform around with tons of available apps. Low resolution content even looks sharper than on the Vizio D 4k 2016.
Unfortunately, the TCL US5800 isn't as bright, has a little more blur on action scenes like for sports and has an average-high input lag of 46.3 ms. For smart features though, there is no better option for the price.
Our recommendations above are what we think is currently the best 4k TV to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't really worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
A few examples of 4k TVs that didn't make the cut:
Samsung KS9500. The price difference with the Samsung KS8000 is not worth it, even if the picture quality is slightly better. See our review
LG UH8500. Great TV and an improvement over the equivalent model from last year, but priced too high for what it is. See our review
Sony X930D. Great TV, but the Samsung KS8000 is better in almost all aspects. See our review
Samsung JS8500. Almost out of stock everywhere now, or priced too high. See our review
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here are the list of all our reviews of TVs that have UHD screen. Be careful to not get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.
Questions & Answers
50 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
Any thoughts on the LG UF8500? It caught my eye at Best Buy and I've heard some positive murmurs about it. Thanks for your great service to us uninformed electronic consumers.
We expect it's similar to what you get with the UF7700, but with added 3D capability.
Update: We just posted our review of the UF8500, and it is indeed similar.
What is the minimum TV size recommended to view 4k content?
There's not really a set minimum. The ideal size for a 4k TV depends on how far you sit from your TV. See the 'Viewing Distance' section of this article for more information, and for a chart that illustrates the ideal size/distance relationships.
Looking for a 4k TV, 50" or below, for ~$1000.00. Sharp LC-50UB30U, Sony XBR49X830C, Vizio M50-C1, LG 49UF7600, and then there is Samsung. Should I pay the extra and get the UN50JU7100? My viewing distance is seven feet. I already have a Sony 55" in the living room, but that is going to be moved into the bedroom, where the viewing distance will be nine feet. I like watching sports, movies, Blu-ray, and regular TV shows.
For those uses, the Vizio M50-C1 is a fine choice. It has a bit more blur than the JU7100, but that shouldn't be noticeable with sports. It also has really good contrast and black uniformity, so your movies and TV shows will look great.
Do you ever use a microfiber cloth to rub along the edges of the screen to help with black and grey uniformity issues and tighten or lightly loosen screws on back of panel? TVs can become misshapen during transport and storage. These tips do help. Thanks for the great reviews.
Yes we often do this trick and it works well indeed, but doesn't always solve every issues.
The JU7100 performs better overall. In particular, it has less blur and lower input lag, so it's a better choice for sports and gaming. The X850C has deeper blacks, though, so it's better for people who only want to watch movies and TV.
What is your opinion on the LG 49uf6400. My viewing distance is -10ft. and I watch a lot of sports. Thanks, Mike.
For now, we can't say for sure but we plan to do a full review in the coming weeks. We know it has an IPS panel so we expect it to have great viewing angle but not a very good picture quality due to poor contrast ratio of IPS panels.
When is the planned date for the HDR specs to be released? I saw they already have 4K Blu Ray discs coming out by this fall. I'm waiting on purchasing the JS9000 until I know what's HDR ready and what's not.
4k Blu-ray discs will support multiple formats of HDR, so it will take even more time than that for the dust to settle. The problem with HDR though is it isn't a yes/no support like the 4k resolution; a TV could be a lot better at displaying HDR than another one. A TV could display HDR content without producing any real dynamic range improvement over standard content. For LED TVs, it all depends on how good the backlight is, and the JS9000 being edge-lit, it will always be more limited in its HDR capabilities compared to full array like the JS9500.
I hear many people saying that you need a TV that has the full-array backlighting rather than edge-lit, especially for HDR content. I'm considering purchasing the Samsung JS9000 55", but am now hesitant after hearing this. They say the JS9500 is the only fully HDR-ready TV by Samsung, but I can't afford that price tag. What makes the JS9000 not fully HDR ready?
There is still a lot of unknown things related to HDR, so it is hard to be sure on the future proofing of these TVs. For sure though, the JS9500 will be able to handle HDR content a lot better than the JS9000 due to its full array backlight. The JS9000 will probably still be able to play it, it just won't look nearly as good. But besides HDR, the rest of the picture quality components are really similar between these two TVs, so don't worry too much and get the JS9000. It is a great TV.
Thank you for the all great reviews, they have been extremely helpful. When will you be reviewing the LG OLED 65" G6 signature TV? I've been sitting on the fence if I should buy it or wait for the B6 or C6 models due in early June.
We aren't sure if we will test the LG OLED G6 but if we do that will be sometime in the summer. Thank you for your interest though, we take note of it.
Thank you. Have certainly learned a lot on your site; all valuable info for making a TV purchase. Am looking at your recommended Samsung UN65JS8500. However, I notice it is 3D. To see a good picture, wouldn't it be necessary to wear 3D glasses? If so what equivalent model do you recommend that's not 3D. Thanks.
You only need 3D glasses for 3D content. 2D content look great without glasses.
You provide a great service. I appreciate your attention to detail and recommendations. I'm in market for 75" high-end TV, but it's an option, not a necessity.
Seems to me your reviews raise enough question to consider waiting until the HDR standard and resulting new Tvs are released. I'm concerned software updates as a solution to new standards will not be reliable enough to justify a purchase now.
If you had a choice, would you wait for the next round of improved TVs? Again, thanks for your support.
There's always something new coming, so there's no need to wait unless you specifically want a particular feature that isn't quite there yet.
If you want/need a new TV now, you should go for it. If you'd prefer something that does true HDR, then waiting for that spec to be finalized will be best.
I am thinking about getting either the 65" Samsung JU7100 or Sony X810c. Which one would you suggest, considering they are both pretty close in terms of the ratings and the Samsung JU7100 is ~$300 more than the Sony X810C.
I would be using the TV in my living room, with a viewing distance of 10 feet. Mostly for movies, sports, and occasionally for gaming.
Thanks for your help!
Get the JU7100. The 65" X810C is IPS, which means the blacks are much weaker, and therefore the overall picture quality isn't as good. The JU7100 will work well for everything you want to do.
I'm having a tough time deciding between the Samsung UN65JU7100 and the Samsung UN65JS9500? I like the full array LED feature of the JS9500, but I wonder if it will make much difference, especially after you take into account its high price point. In the store, the JS9500 was clearly the better TV, but I wonder if the picture settings were not optimal on the JU7100. What do you think? Is the JS worth the extra cost?
It depends. For basic picture quality, the JU7100 and JS9500 are about equal. If you want to use some of the extra features of the JS* series (HDR, local dimming, the ability to display a wider range of colors), then the JS9500 has a definite advantage, thanks to its full-array lighting. It's the best Samsung TV for those functions.
You might also get the JS9000. It has better picture quality than both of those TVs, and the same extra features as the JS9500 (though it isn't quite as good for them).
I currently own a Panasonic TH-42PZ77U. When purchased (8 yrs ago), the only display clearer was the infamous Pionier Kuro. I really need to upgrade due to the black levels suffering because of age.
I have been searching for months and haven't found a set that comes close to its picture clarity. Is it just me, or is it the plasma in my veins? Any suggestions for newer 4k sets that can meet this clarity standard?
Viewing distance is 7 1/2'. I'm looking at the 50-60" range for the new TV.
Unfortunately, LED TVs can't match plasma for overall picture quality. They're still quite good, though, and we haven't seen any LED TVs better than our top 4k TV, the Samsung JS9000.
OLED TVs are much closer to the quality you got from plasma, and we have our first OLED TV review coming up on September 10. Like plasma TVs, OLED TVs have true blacks and very wide viewing angles. They also have very little blur on fast movement. If you're willing to pay a bit extra, an OLED TV would be the best way to get picture similar to that of plasma.
How will I be able to know if whatever 4k TV I'm buying will be able to handle future 4k broadcast TV? Specifically sports. Will I need to make sure that the TV will have HDR to make sure it's not an issue? Is this even an issue with newer 4k TVs? I read a news report that certain 4k TVs don't have the HDR to handle sports.
Broadcast 4k (at least in terms of widespread availability) is a long way off. But, as long as your 4k TV supports both HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, your TV will be able to play 4k content of any kind. It may not look quite as good if you don't get a TV with HDR capability, but you will still be able to play it.
Last week I purchased a 40" Samsung JU7100 UHD TV. The video is terrific, however the 4K upgrade makes anything on film look as if it's video. Any nuance of film is totally lost. I'm considering returning the unit. Are there any 4K televisions that are adjustable to allow film to look like film?
In addition, the sound is miserable and there seems to be no way to add speakers or a soundbar and still utilize the TV's volume control.
Disable 'Auto Motion Plus.' That should make everything look the way you want.
For sound, if you enable 'Anynet+' and connect the TV to a speaker system or soundbar via HDMI ARC (make sure you choose a system that supports both CEC and HDMI ARC), you'll be able to control the volume with your TV's remote.
There seems to be a major inconsistent opinion from current owners of some recent TVs you reviewed. One customer named your website publicly for incredible misleading information. I don't know what to believe so I can only ask. Do any members of the site accept gifts of any kind from any TV manufacturer?
No. We are actually one of the very few review website that buys their own products to test. We don't receive product samples from manufacturers. Also, we don't have ads on our website.
Hi, I currently own the Samsung J6300 48" TV. I am slightly underwhelmed with the quality of the picture. However, I do not want to go to far out of my price range. Is the Vizio M Series 50" model a real upgrade over my current set? Note: I primarily will be using my TV for Netflix streaming, PS4, and Sports. Thanks in advance, you guys do some great work.
The M50 isn't a good choice for gaming, so we wouldn't recommend going for that. You're not going to find a better TV in your price range, so the best thing is to just make sure the settings are good. We list our preferred settings here.
I am looking for a 60" UHD 4k tv. I was thinking about LG due to the panel quality that I have been reading. However, it seems you prefer the Samsung over the LG. I don't really want to buy a 4k TV right now without getting HDR, as it seems like it will be the next jump in picture quality. Should I wait for later this year, and what would be the best bang for my buck for something that is 60"? Thank you
If you're mostly interested in HDR, then you might as well wait until next year's models. By then, the standard for HDR should be set, so you'll be able to buy an HDR TV with confidence.
If you're looking for a TV right now, take a look at our list of the best 60" models, which includes sets that are the best bang for your buck.
How similar is the picture quality between the Samsung JS9000, JS8500, and JS7000? I'm looking to upgrade one of my 55" 1080p Samsung TVs. I also plan on hooking up a PlayStation 4 for gaming on the new 4K TV. Is the lag much more noticeable between the three 4K TVs? I know the prices are!
The JS9000 and JS8500 are very similar, with hardly any differences in picture quality. The JS7000 is different. It's an IPS TV, and has weaker, less uniform blacks, as well as worse gray uniformity.
The JS9000 has less input lag than the JS8500, but the 8500 is still a very good TV for gaming. If you need the absolute least lag, get the 9000. Most people won't have any issues with the 8500, though.
With price not an issue, what is the best TV out there right now in the 40/42" size? I will be watching sports and movies on this TV, so minimal motion blur and overall superior picture quality are a must.
I am one of those plasma addicts whose eyes don't accept the shortcomings of most LCDs. Is there anything out there I'll be satisfied with?
There's no LED TV that will look like a plasma set, unfortunately, so you'll need to get used to making a compromise on quality.
The best TV we've seen at that size is the Samsung UN40JU7500. It has very good blacks and not much blur, and the rest of the elements of its picture are quite good, too. The main downside is that its picture quality isn't great when it is viewed at an angle. It won't match what you get with plasma, but it's as good as LED TVs get at 40".
Your rating dings Samsung's JS7000 because it is only 60Hz and has no 24p support to deal with the judder problem. However, Samsung's website says the JS7000 has a motion rate of 120. Are you wrong, or are they trying to mislead?
Also, you say contrast is poor with the JS7000, but their website says it has contrast enhanced features. You give them a contrast rating of 8.4, which seems pretty good. Please comment.
For every 4k TV, Samsung 'cheats' and doubles the motion rate number. This is why they don't use the word 'Refresh Rate' directly, and use 'Motion Rate' instead, so they can say whatever number they want without being technically false.
The contrast enhancing features are software based only on this TV. It doesn't change the real native contrast of the TV. Instead, if you enable 'Dynamic Contrast', it crushes the shadows, but without changing the luminosity of a pure black.
Hi, I really love how detailed all of your reviews are and I've been waiting on buying a 4k tv until you've reviewed more 2016 models. The LG OLED65E6P is currently available on amazon and I was wondering if and when you would be doing a review on this model? Also I was wondering if you're going to review any Panasonic 4k tv's in the future? I have a Panasonic plasma that I still use now and I'm still happy with it considering how old it is. Thanks guys.
We will review it, but only in about 1-2 months. As for Panasonic, we don't have any plans for them yet, as they are not sold anymore in the major retailers in the US.
I'm looking for a 4K TV that will be viewed from 18' away. We want to mount it above our fireplace in a two story family room that is bright. Which would be better, the Samsung UN78JS8600FXZA or the LG 65EF9500? We are worried that the 65" will be too small for that distance viewing. We only have 72" of wall space. We will be watching mostly everyday programming and sports.
Definitely the UN78JS8600. You're right that 65" is quite small for that distance, and the 8600 will look great for what you want to watch.
My priorities in a 55" are picture quality (color and contrast). I mostly watch DVDs, sports, and network series. I prefer Samsung, but am concerned about sound quality because my hearing is not as sharp as when I was younger. What is the best model for my needs? I have been looking at a JS7000. I want to keep the price under $1,800 if possible, so the JS9000 is out of my range.
The JS7000 doesn't have very good contrast, so it's not ideal for you. For your needs, you'll be just fine with the 1080p Samsung J6300. It has great picture quality, but it doesn't have the best sound. Use some of the remaining space in your budget to get a soundbar and you'll be all set.
I am interested in a 55 inch smart tv, probably with 4k. I really don't want to spend more than 1100-1200. The room is pretty bright, I watch a lot of sports and movies and my 11 year old son is a moderate gamer. I am thinking of something from LG or more likely the Samsung 6500 or the Vizio M series. Any suggestions?
How much do brand names matter when picking a TV? Are certain brands better or worse than others?
Yes and no. Samsung and Sony TVs are good bets for mid-range and high-end TVs, and Vizio TVs are really good budget options. Sharp also has some decent budget TVs (though we prefer Vizio most of the time).
LG's LED TVs aren't very good, but they also have OLED sets, which are really great high-end models.
So yes, some brands are better than others in some categories, but there is no brand that we review that is truly awful all across the board, or that is always best.
I am on the cusp of deciding on the Samsung UN55JS8500 and the LG 55EF9500 OLED. My viewing distance is seven feet. I am upgrading from a 2006 Sony XBR 4 50". I use a PS4 as a Blu-ray player, game a good bit, and watch a lot of movies via the player, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. My living room has 14 windows, of which 12 are along one side wall. None directly face the location of the TV. I can't decide if I should go up to a 65" model with the Samsung JS8500, or stick with the 55" OLED from LG and call it a day.
It depends on what is more important to you. At that distance, 55" is just big enough for you to notice some - but not all - of the extra detail of 4k, so the 65" JS8500 would be a better choice for getting the full experience of 4k. But the LG OLED is much better for pretty much everything else, from contrast to motion blur to uniformity.
If you're mostly interested in getting the most detail from a 4k image, get the UN65JS8500. If you're okay with only getting some of the extra detail, and are more interested in OLED's several picture advantages, get the 55EF9500.
I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the new LG SUHD 2016 lineup, specifically the LG 60UH8500? It seems to be the first 2016 TV released and is already up and on Amazon for a decent price. Product description sounds good, but was wondering if you guys had any input? I currently have a Vizio M-60 that unfortunately broke due to a screen crack and I'm looking for a replacement. I really loved the TV, but watching sports was unbearable (a ton of blur/judder) and having to constantly switch my Xbox/PS4 to HDMI input 5 for the motion lag got very annoying.
If it helps, picture quality is my top concern. I have a home theater setup, so I could care less about sound. I am a heavy gamer, Blu-ray movie watcher, streamer (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.), and also use a cable box for sports/and other content (my cable box highest resolutions are 1080i or 720p, and I always stick with 720p).
I am deciding primarily between the Samsung JU6500 (65"), Sony X810C (65"), and the new LG I mentioned above, but I am open to any set that is 4k enabled for both Netflix and Amazon (and preferably YouTube as well), and has excellent picture quality and minimal lag, judder, and blur.
Thanks for all your helps guys. I really appreciate it!
We've just picked up the LG UH8500, and we'll likely have the review up by the middle of next week. We expect it will be pretty similar to the LG UF8500, which means it likely won't have great picture quality.
Of the TVs you mentioned, the Samsung JU6500 is likely the best choice, thanks to its dark blacks, good uniformity, and good motion handling. The 65" Sony X810C has an IPS panel (like the LG TV), which means weak contrast and poor black uniformity, so it's not as good.
The one issue with the JU6500 is that it has a type of judder specific to 24p movies. If you're concerned about this, take a look at the video here and see if it bothers you. If it doesn't, you should get the JU6500. If it does, you should consider getting a different model, like the Sony X850C or the Samsung JU7100.
I was looking for a 4k HDR HDTV for under $500. Are there any good options? I've heard some things about the Hisense and LG budget 4k HDR TVs, but I'm not sure which one is better or if there are other TVs I should consider. Thanks!
There is not any real good budget HDR TVs. Budget TV lack the features needed to display the full HDR image quality (wide color gamut, local dimming, high peak brightness). You are better going with a good SDR TV than a budget HDR TV.
So I have already bought a 4k tv, the Samsung Ju7500 at 65 inches, for 2500 dollars. Is it worth selling this TV for the most I can get to upgrade to an hdr 4k tv or should I wait a few years? Is hdr that much better?
Since you just bought a TV, wait a few years. HDR makes a difference, but for now there isn't enough content for it, and while HDR does do a difference on 2016 TVs, the difference will probably be bigger in TVs in a few years.
Not so worried about price. Have a large room, looking to purchase either the Vizio M Series 2016 (80 inch) or Samsung ks9000 (75 inch). Please let me know what you think. If you would recommend something else with a 75 inch screen open to that also.
It depends on your room and what you will watch. Only for movies in the dark, get the Vizio. For HDR or a more mixed usage or in a brighter room, get the Samsung KS9000.
See our review of the UH6500 for a comparison here. It is very similar to the LG UH6100 with a wider color gamut. As such, it is slightly better for HDR content but not a huge improvement. It offers worse picture quality than the 43" X800D from directly in front, but retains the color and contrast better at an angle. The 49" X800D has an IPS panel, so should offer similar performance to the UH6500.
Is it crazy to think that highly-rated 4k TVs will drop 30% (or more) from current prices at some sites and stores this Nov/Dec? What's the usual price drop for TVs during that time? I would love to have one of the Samsungs, but more than $2k is beyond what i can spend.
From current prices, anywhere from 20% to 30% would be a normal reduction for a TV that is going on sale. You can see an example of the price fluctuation of TVs in this article.
I have a Panasonic tc p55st50 and am thinking of switching to the Samsung js7000 55" 4K. Obviously, I will have a better picture with 4K content but how do you think it will compare 1080p to 1080p?
Your plasma TV will appear better in a dark room because of its better blacks. If your room can get pretty bright, than the LED TV will give you a picture that is easier to watch. The JS7000 is really good with motion but plasma are still considered the best. Even if you notice a difference in this aspect, it shouldn't be huge. Finally, a 4k television would appear a little softer with 1080p resolution but worst wouldn't be the word to describe it. It is a little different. For purists, 1080p still look better on a 1080p TV.
I am trying to decide between the Samsung 7500 and the 8500 (55"). I watch sports, movies and am a light gamer. I would like to futureproof myself as much as possible. Would it be worth spending an extra few hundred dollars on the 8500? Secondly, your review of the 8500 says it is the second highest reviewed TV of 2015, however it's overall score puts it closer to 6th I think. Am I missing something?
If you want to future proof more yourself, yes the JS8500 is worth it because it has a wider color gamut, which would be useful in the future (but not now). Thanks for pointing this error. The review should have said second best LED, not simply TV. It has been fixed.
Reviewing various TV’s on your site has made me more confused than ever, as it seems most 1080p and 4K TVs under $1000 each have significant deficiencies according to your tests. The max size for my TV location is 49” (48-49 desirable), with a viewing range of 10-11’ in front and 5’ from the side with a 35-45 degree angle. It’s primary use will be with DirecTv and little or no gaming, but I plan to add a Blu-Ray player. Internet service here is poor so streaming is not a viable option. Based on your charts for distance a 4K TV would seem to be of no benefit, although they seem to rate better than the 1080p ones you have tested. Since there is little 4K content available, would I be better off with a good 1080p, or a 4K that performs well in upscaling? Was considering the Vizio M49-C1 since it has the IPS panel to allow better viewing at an angle, but your sports rating for it was low. Can you make several recommendations for my needs?
It's true that at that viewing distance and size, a 4k resolution wouldn't be of much benefit but at the same time there isn't much good 1080p TVs in the 48-49" size. Although the Vizio M is a good TV with good viewing angle, it has sub par upscaling for cable and isn't the best for sports. A better option is the 49" Sony x830c (4k). It is better at upscaling cable resolution and will handle sports better than the Vizio M. Any other 1080p options (for 48-49") would be of lower quality.
Despite your site's recommendations, I just purchased a LG UH7700 because it is the only TV currently compatible with both HDR standards. So far I love everything about it except for the local dimming feature. I really think that most reviews I have seen for this TV really understate how terrible it looks when viewing dark content in a dark room. The local dimming of the edge lighting creates vertical bands of light that dance all over the screen and are very distracting. My question for you is whether this problem is specific to this TV or if this is typical for all edge lit TV that offer local dimming? I noticed your review of Samsung KS8000 mentions it does the same thing in low light, yet you give that TV consistently better comments. Also, one solution is to turn off local dimming. Does this defeat the purpose of purchasing an HDR TV, or does HDR content just have inherently better contrast embedded in the raw signal? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
The local dimming is especially bad on the UH7700 because it is an IPS TV, without a good native contrast ratio. This means that in dark scenes wherever the local dimming isn't activated, the blooming is more obvious. Generally edge lit TVs aren't as good as full-array TVs for local dimming, but not in all cases. As an example, the Sony X930D is an edge lit TV with average local dimming (but better than other edge lit TVs). We would suggest turning off the local dimming in this set, as it doesn't work well. The main advantages HDR provides is brighter highlights and more saturated images. The TV won't benefit from this, but will benefit from the generally higher bitrate provided in HDR content. This means the overall picture quality will be better than most non-HDR TVs but not as good as the best HDR TVs.