With its innovative design, superb image quality whether in native 4K HDR or upscaled HD and brilliant, 'in the screen' sound system, it really is the complete package and the best TV to buy right now. However, there is then a chasing pack of TVs that are exactly as good in some ways, slightly better in a few respects and slightly worse in a few others. A better performer when it comes to gaming than the Sony, it's also slightly better with 4K detail in certain situations and has a better smart TV platform. However for non-gamers, the Sony's better sound, more refined motion smoothing for sports, and even finer aesthetics make it our top choice by the narrowest of margins.
Because 4K UHD really seems to be the near future of video display technology.
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Well, look no further for an explanation. Instead, with a resolution of 3, x 2, as most 4K TVs have, it already offers 4 times the resolution of x p typical Full HD displays; though some 4K TV models do indeed offer even more than 4,p horizontal resolution.
They also offer a whole plethora of other technological enhancements that leave many conventional HD TVs in the dust.
In practical terms as far as branding is concerned, there is no difference between UHD and 4K.
In most cases, TV manufacturers use the two terms interchangeably to describe the same 4K technology. The bottom line is that 4K is a format which outstrips pretty much anything else currently commercially available for the consumer market. What about High Dynamic Range? The biggest technology to yet come along for home entertainment is high dynamic range, and 4K TVs are right at ground zero of this new trend because at least so far, HDR has been applied exclusively to 4K displays and 4K UHD content without shifting over to Full HD video as well.
This first became broadly evident in the premium ultra HD TVs of but in and it expanded much further to cover all mid-range and premium television models from pretty much every single brand.
In basic terms, 4K TVs today all come with some degree of HDR display performance, though the premium and flagship TVs from each major brand such as those listed as our Best Picks at the top of this page offer what could truly be called comprehensive and stunning HDR display.
Unlike 4K resolution, which only really makes a visual impact in larger TVs viewed at closer distances, the picture quality improvements in color, contrast and realism are immediately visible in even the smallest TV sets viewed from almost any normal distance.
This is because with this technology, color range, color depth and contrast precision are all dramatically enhanced in content which has been formatted to display in HDR on a TV with a compatible display. At least one of these and now more frequently both are available in all HDR TVs currently being sold.
Doing so will offer the benefit of future-proofing your TV for new content and other standards during a longer period of time than would be the case if you simply went for a basic SDR 4K model. The price of TVs with the technology has dropped even faster than did the prices of 4K TVs in general since they first started being sold to consumers.
For much more detail on how dynamic range works and the benefits it brings to home entertainment, check out our comprehensive HDR guide here.
However, prices are indeed dropping and at a steady pace. In comparison to what the first mass produced 4K TVs cost back in late , todays models are not only more feature rich but also considerably cheaper for it.
These are very small 4K UHD TVs but at least they offer some truly superb visual technologies and will only continue to offer more display features as things like quantum dots and HDR mature and proliferate in 4K televisions of all sizes and prices.
At the same time, the overall quality of these 4K TVs is expanding enormously with new specs, new features and other new technologies which are pretty much exclusive to 4K TVs and also happen to make them superb investments.
You can check all of these out here on our movies page for plenty of details on what to get and from which source. However, for now, most of your enjoyment will probably come from seeing the enhancements your TV offers to conventional HD content, which according to some users are definitely noticeable though others disagree on this.
Connectivity Essentials One of the crucial aspects of deciding which 4K television to buy revolves around the connectivity specs your TV is going to come with.
In this area, you need to pay careful attention to making sure the TV you buy comes with the right specs so that you can enjoy ultra HD content in the widest possible variety at the best possible level of quality. There are several key connections and connectivity specs any 4K TV worth its salt must have if you want to be up to date with the latest and best content delivery technology.
Ideally, at least one of these ports should also be HDCP 2. Thus, with these in place, you will get access to the widest range of 4K content from set-top boxes, external media players, Blu-ray players and other potential sources.
Furthermore, because HDMI 2.
Second a DisplayPort 1. DisplayPort is in fact much more common and needed in UHD PC monitors for easy connectivity to the graphics cards which are needed for gaming in UHD and other resolutions. In fact, a very large part of what 4K TVs are all about revolves around their Smart platforms, and there are many to choose from indeed.
First of all, just to cover the essentials of Smart TV as a whole, we need to briefly describe what all such platforms have in common. In the most basic terms, a Smart TV is any television, HD or 4K, that is capable of connecting to the web and runs with its own internal operating system with interactive technology and access to streaming media apps and other software systems.
All Smart TV platforms connect to the internet connection in a home via either a wired Ethernet connection or through the powerful WiFi that virtually all 4K TVs have built into them.
Some of the major brands use their own natively developed Smart TV operating systems while others install major adaptations of third party platforms. Because smart TV platforms are essentially computing platforms very similar to those found in a PC, their online connectivity also means that they can be updated remotely as new apps come along and new features for their different software features.
These updates are often automatic and include better software, new games and all sorts of other constantly developing technologies and entertainment mediums. Some of the best rated smart TV systems in existence today are the webOS 3.
This is an entirely new take on smart TV technology and one we might see emulated in more brands down the road. That 4K will stick around and keep growing in importance is almost without question. Major broadcasters, TV makers and content producers are all investing ever more heavily in the technology.
Furthermore, professional film cameras are increasingly switching over to UHD resolutions and they are absolutely going to want to show their shooting off to audiences.
Thus, it is 4K TV models which get all of the best connectivity specs, the most innovative new display technologies like the HDR covered above and assorted other features.
What this obviously means is that if you want access to the cutting edge of home entertainment, a 4K TV and particularly a newer HDR 4K TV is basically becoming an essential purchase.
What sort of 4K TV is right for me?
This is another rather subjective issue for would-be 4K TV buyers but a few key considerations are going to simplify your own decision making process here. First of all, as a general rule, bigger is indeed better with 4K TVs.
The arrival of HDR in numerous different 4K TVs of all dimensions has definitely made size less of a factor in display quality than it was before but even here, a larger screen with UHD resolution definitely shows off HDR color and contrast much more impressively than a small screen does.
What we can definitely say is that you should buy the largest and best possible 4K TV your budget allows you to get your hands on while also not stretching yourself too far for something which offers only a bit more screen real estate but leaves you too broke to really appreciate your television.
Thus, if a 55 inch model from a major brand costs several hundred dollars less than a 65 inch version of the same TV, the 55 incher will probably be more than good enough if your budget is a bit tight.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many 4K TV specs and manufacturer touted features often mean very little or nothing when it comes to actual performance in a 4K television. These models cover both the budget end of the spectrum and the ultra premium end but all of them have something great to offer in terms of home entertainment for their given price range.
The following links will take you to each guide, and we updates these guides regularly.