Best 4K UHD TV 2017/2018 Editors Choice
3D 4K TVs from Sony, LG, Samsung, and Sharp
by Robert Wiley and Jack Burden, senior editors
Most of the manufacturers still prefer “UHD” but the “4K” moniker is gaining with the press and retailers. Samsung is choosing to call their “enhanced” UHD an SUHD (the “S” stands for super).4K or UHD or SUHD are terms to refer to the resolution of 4K or rather more appropriately 4K resolution which is stated at around 3,840 pixels by 2160 pixels lines of resolution or 8,294,400 pixels. The term is stated as 4K to refer to it's 4 times the resolution of an HDTV which has 1920 X 1080 (1080p) lines of resolution or 2,073,600 pixels. One advantage of 4K resolution TVs is their stunning 3D performance. Following are our editors choices for best 4K UHD TVs in production (not counting OLED 4K):
When you view an B7 or C7 next to a 4K LED TV, the first thing you notice is the immense and infinite black levels of the OLED TV. Yes, 4K LED TVs can still pump out a brighter picture due to amped up LED backlights, but it's no comparison in depth of blacks of an OLED. Now for review, you videophiles know that brighter LED backlights in the store can look great, but get it home in a lamp-lit room and you start to see all the flaws (and turn down the backlight setting). The C7P is the best priced OLED in the market.
As expected the advantages to OLED TVs in general are pronounced on the AE1. The contrast is exceptional, as isblack uniformity and color reproduction. The only area that the A1E does not exceed a high end 4K LED is in bright room performance due to its average brightness not being quite as high. Another impressive area and one that I was really looking forward to with the A1E is processing...
The MU9000's new UHD remastering engine does a phenomenal job upscaling standard definition and lower resolution content. It analyzes the incoming signal, applies video noise reduction techniques, and scales up the lower resolution signal. Lastly, it enhances the detail which may be the most important bit.
QLED (quantum light emitting diode) is a souped up LCD (liquid crystal display) with LED backlighting and a Quantum Dot QDEF layer between the LCD panel and the LED backlighting. OLED TV technology is lit by the organic light emitting diodes themselves rather than by a backlight and employs no LCD panel. It's actually more similar to plasma TV technology in this way
2016/2017 Best 4K TV Picks
OLED TVs by LG are now produced in 4K, so easily top our list of Best 4K TVs. Don't expect a discount on this top end model. It's almost $8000 but has everything you could want in an incredibly attractive package. Black levels, contrast and side angle viewing are perfect. It even has 3D compatibility to go along with HDR.
At $2500, the C6P still has the exceptional picture attributes of OLED. The styling may not be quite as fancy as the above unit, but it's still great looking. LG's Web OS3.0 is one of the best Smart TV packages in the market.
I really like the value of this 8000 series from Samsung for only $1900. It's got strong contrast and great light flow from the ultra clear panel.
This excellent offering from Sony is reasonably priced at $2700 and has superb upscaling to 4K. It also promises to be one of the best TVs for displaying HDR content.
2015 Best 4K TV Picks
2015 promises to be The Year of 4K as pricing will continue to decline and there are much better technologies on the market. Wider color gamuts on some 4K TVs were the highlighted show pieces of CES. A layer in between the LED panel and the outer protective layer called the QDEF layer is being enhanced by either Quantum Dot film or in Samsung's case a competing proprietary Nanocrystal technology to enhance, widen and solidify color to better compete with the color presented by OLED.
Most of the manufacturers still prefer “UHD” but the “4K” moniker is gaining with the press and retailers. Samsung is choosing to call their “enhanced” UHD an SUHD (the “S” stands for super). 4K or UHD or SUHD are terms to refer to the resolution of 4K or rather more appropriately 4K resolution which is stated at around 3,840 pixels by 2160 pixels lines of resolution or 8,294,400 pixels. The term is stated as 4K to refer to it's 4 times the resolution of an HDTV which has 1920 X 1080 (1080p) lines of resolution or 2,073,600 pixels. One advantage of 4K resolution TVs is their stunning 3D performance. Following are our editors choices for best 4K UHD TVs in production (not counting OLED 4K):
Sony wins first place with their 4K UHD XBR-65X900C 3D TV with it's excellent processing engine. For up-scaling normal HD and standard def I like Sony best. Also consider the XBR-65X930C with effective side mounted speakers. Also see the previous models XBR-65X950B and the most affordable XBR-65X850B.
For Value we like the new Vizio Mseries such as the 65” model M65C1 and 60” model M60C3 for it's exceptional price tag and versatility. The internal 4K upscaling is much better than we expected for this price range. Other great value models are Sony's X850C model like the XBR 65X850C (also XBR55X850C) with excellent upscaling and color rendition, and the Samsung UN60JU7100 (also UN55JU7100 and UN65JU7100) which has great light flow through from powerful LED back lighting.
See our 15 Category Shootout comparison of these value models here.
Samsung's UN65JS9000 and UN55JS9000 4K 3D TV are also an excellent high quality top end TV and very comparable to Sony's top offerings except that the have a little more pop in brightness. These are the new SUHD models from Samsung. The“S” stands for Super not Samsung. The SUHD has a new Nanocrystal film layer and color system DCI P3 to deliver a wider color spectrum
Sharp is a good value in a 4K UHD with it's new 60EU30 60” model which is also available in 70” and 80” sizes for 2015/16. The 4K model has Aquo dimming (local dimming zones) and the Google Android TV Platform. This is a high quality, but yet good value UHD TV.
LG's unbelievable OLED 4K is priced high but packs a great punch. The LG 65EG9600 has the best contrast and black levels on the market along with perfect side angle viewing. Next, LG has some very nice 4K LED options in the value category in the 65UF7700 and the 60UF7700, both priced exceptionally well for the feature set which includes a 120Hz panel and LG's excellent Smart TV platform Web 2.0 and best in the market controller the Magic remote.
Samsung's UN55HU8550 is the flat version of 4K for Samsung. You get that beautiful clear coat screen and quad core processor for only 2 grand in the 55” size. Also available in many sizes. The 65” UN65HU8500 sells for 3K
(also XBR-65X900A 65 inch and 84X900A 84 inch models)
Color and contrast are two of the high points in this image. The reds and greens are bright and realistic while the black is deep and detailed.
Sony had the most prominent display of its 4K UHD TV with more units and more displays detailing advantages to it than other manufacturers. The X900A 4K TV from Sony ships in spring of 2013 and has a very advanced upgraded side mounting speaker package that goes with it. We felt the picture was better on the Sony than other 4K TVs. It looked good with motion and stationary images and the LED -edge lit backlighting did not overpower the colors as they did with some other models. This unit also looked best from side viewing angles. The active 3D content looks crazy good.
Sharp 4K UHD TV
This shot of the Sharp 4K TV demonstrates the incredible detail that can be achieved with 4K content. The deep blacks and bright whites are impressive too
Sharp's 4K TV has very refined clear image edges the way 4K TVs are supposed to look. There was a slight amount of LED light bleed from the super bright panels and images on-screen were more stationary than others so we did not get to see it with lots of action. Colors are very brilliant and the definition with the content displayed is stunning.
This huge 4K UHD TV from LG is passive 3D and has passive 3D and the extra resolution provides 1080p resolution to each eye when watching. Though the black levels are not as rich as with LGs OLED TV offering, the extra size and clarity from the resolution is very impressive.
Samsung 4K UHD TV
Samsung's giant 110 inch 4K UHD TV shows impressive detail in this shot. Also notice the floating frame design
Samsung showed both 85 inch and 110 inch 4K UHD TVs. Though they were very impressive they were placed in a strange vertically adjustable “floating” stand and there was some obvious LED light bleed when viewing from side angles and off center. Colors were a bit washed out. Samsung made a point of stating that their 4K UHD TV would ship “hopefully by the last half of 2013.” With a weak commitment statement like that we expect end of 2013. Samsung did have a couple of demonstration booths set up to show the upscaling from 1080p content as well as the Precision Black Pro technology. The former is more impressive than the latter. 3D is rendered using active 3D glasses technology.
These selections do not count Sony or Pansonic OLED 4K TVs as we do not expect them to be available any time soon.
- Best LED TV Editors Choice Awards
- Sony TVs for 2015
- Samsung TVs for 2015
- LG TVs for 2015
- Sharp TVs for 2015
- Vizio TVs for 2015
- 4K UHD TV vs. OLED TV
- 1080p TV vs. 4K UHD TV