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Cheap Stop-Gap or Wait?

I’ve got a Sharp Aquos LC-42PD7X that I have loved and has been great for the 12+ years I’ve had it, but it is getting old so I’ve been looking to replace it. However my primary uses, gaming and watching movies in a dark room, are at odds with each other for current tech so I’ve not seen any TVs that suit both my needs as I either get burn-in on my games if I choose OLED or I get bright blacks if I choose anything else. Micro LED looks to be my saviour, and I had been hoping to wait it out and get a Micro LED TV with HDMI 2.1 and its variable refresh when one finally comes on the market in a year or two, but the uniformity of my Aquos has been deteriorating rapidly for the last year or two and it’s getting quite noticeable even on still scenes and I’m not sure I can put up with it till an ideal TV comes along :(

So to my question, is it worth picking up a decent cheap TV to tide me over until an ideal TV is released, or just holding out? My main concern with getting a short term TV is that even good TVs have terrible sound these days, I haven’t heard any TVs at a reasonable price sound even close to as good as my Aquos and I really want to avoid having to get a soundbar (seriously what is the point of hiding speakers on a TV if you expect people to have to get a soundbar for tolerable sound). I’m not an audiophile or anything, I like my cheap $7 in ear Sony headphones just fine, but holy cow do TVs sound like crap now :(.

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    We would be very surprised to see an affordable Micro LED with those features on the market any time soon. You’re right that most TVs have pretty bad sound, the best solution is a soundbar or receiver. Part of this is that modern TVs are so thin that there is no room for decent speakers, part of it is that manufacturers expect most people to use sound bars or stereo receivers anyway.

    We wouldn’t say that you can’t get good dark room performance and good gaming performance. There are some great LED TVs that deliver good dark room performance, including the Sony X900F and Vizio P Series/ P Series Quantum. While these definitely are not budget TVs by any means, Micro LED won’t be either.

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    Yeah I’m not worried about the expense of a Micro LED TV, they will likely be very expensive but that’s fine for me, I’m only looking at cheaper TVs at the moment because I will still want the Micro LED TV later on. I was looking at the full array local dimming TVs prior to hearing about Micro LED but I watch/play a lot of sci-fi stuff often in space which seems to be a real worst case scenario for local dimming, the stars end up either too dark or bloom out a lot, I guess it is still a lot better than the visuals I’m getting on my TV at the moment though ;). I think I may just have to accept the problems with soundbars and get one, I’ll probably still need it for a Micro LED TV anyway. Have you guys been testing sound bars? Do you have any recommendations for a high end one with extremely low latency for gaming? Thanks.

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    Yeah I’m not worried about the expense of a Micro LED TV, they will likely be very expensive but that’s fine for me, I’m only looking at cheaper TVs at the moment because I will still want the Micro LED TV later on. I was looking at the full array local dimming TVs prior to hearing about Micro LED but I watch/play a lot of sci-fi stuff often in space which seems to be a real worst case scenario for local dimming, the stars end up either too dark or bloom out a lot, I guess it is still a lot better than the visuals I’m getting on my TV at the moment though ;). I think I may just have to accept the problems with soundbars and get one, I’ll probably still need it for a Micro LED TV anyway. Have you guys been testing sound bars? Do you have any recommendations for a high end one with extremely low latency for gaming? Thanks.

    Unfortunately, we aren’t currently reviewing soundbars, so we can’t make any recommendations.

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