In our previous two articles, we have reviewed Samsung NU7100 43″ UHD/4K Smart TV and Samsung Q8FN QLED Series Smart TV. Here is New UHD TV/4K TV Buying Checklist Informing the Readers the Size of UHD TV/4K TV One May Need, Whether Curved Needed or Not, What Operating System is Better. It is not abnormal to repent after buying 43″ UHD seeking more bigger size. Information like companies offer upgrade after 24-36 months often not even thought by many of the customers.
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New UHD TV/4K TV Buying Checklist : Quick Look
This list will avoid reading the whole article for second time.
- Understand the terminologies like that of 4K, UHD. In our Image Resolution in Digital Photography article we have explained the basics which is enough for a consumer. Buying 4K/UHD is practical over selecting full HD.
- Collect information such as offer to upgrade after 24-36 months
- 43 inch to 55-inch size commonly purchased as they are good bargain 4K TV. 65-inch models will cost higher.
- Consider QLED like technology if quality is you highest concern than the budget. OLED TVs are considerably more expensive than LED LCD TVs.
- Collect technical information from standard review sites, give some importance to refresh rate after knowing what it does.
- HDR offers realistic colors.
- Own eyes is best judge of taste. It is never possible to explain the “comfortable feel” of particular brand to particular family.
- Give importance to number of HDMI and USB ports. At least one HDMI port should have HDMI ARC.
- Curved TVs offer no extra advantage.
- TV speakers becoming worse these days as panels are becoming thin. You will need a compatible home theatre. Not all of the televisions have RCA or 3.5mm output.
- Consider newer TVs as larger smartphones.
- The operating system running on Smart TV is important. Both Android OS for TV and Tizen OS for TV are good.
- Consider buying a wireless keyboard, mouse and ignore huge promoted features of official remote control.
- 3D capability is not any important feature anymore for the future.
- This list is not the end. Create your own list.
Correct Screen Size
43 inch is minimum size in this segment. There are Seating Distance Chart available all over the internet. Placement of these TVs ideally at middle part at eye level – their bases will be hardly 3 feet from the floor (all television companies has photos to illustrate setup). Before even visiting the showrooms, you should plan the placement and measure the distance from screen to your sitting arrangement. Watching a too bigger TV from closer distance may give pixelated feel to fallback 2K quality videos. As for 4K content, closest gives the feel of sharpness and really delivers the feel why money is being paid. 43 inch to 55 inch enough for 4 feet to 8 feet viewing distance. 43 inch may work as computer monitor for regular works such as checking & replying to the emails. Also, the family members height is a consideration. Taller families will need larger than 43 inch to get “realistic feel”. The world watched from 6 feet height has difference with the world watched from 5 feet distance. Movie recording excludes these bias of angle of view, but watching own photographs, recorded videos are not planned to be recorded in professional manner. 50 inch to 55 inch is usual correct size for the white, 43 inch to 50 inch is the correct size for the south east Asians. Despite we recommended some of the cost effective sizes, one should tailor and judge correct size according to own need.
Considering the Speakers
Once TV speakers once was not a matter to mention. These days, expect they will deliver a mediocre performance like computer out of lack of under-optimized hardware DAC like Android smartphones. For the 4K quality content, a standard 5.1 system with (probably optical audio input) will deliver immersive experience. You probably can forget buying television as end of buying gizmos. For that reason, you should adjust the size – 43 inch to 65 inch.
HDMI port with Audio Return Channel (ARC) capability lets you use HDMI as both an input and an audio output forcing a new thing named soundbar for the TVs. Soundbars are can deliver cinematic experience and some has Dolby Atmos support. Soundbar is different topic. They are actual “speakers” of these TVs and uncannily sold separately. Go for wireless if more than 2.1 wanted. Your old home theatre is not exactly send to scrap – it can play videos, audio CDs.
Considering the Display Technology
Deciding 43 inch to 65 inch is not enough. Even at same budget, good technology can be delivered by rival company.
Most of the TVs of this segment today are LED LCD. They dynamically light up areas of the screen and dim other parts for better contrast and longer lifespan. That is marketed as active dimming or local dimming. Usually the LEDs are now on the edge of the screen. They are digitally controlled to get rid of any trace. That is marketed as edge lighting. Full-array LED sets have the LEDs behind the screen – which commonly a buyer expects! That arrangement makes the backlight more precise, delivering detailed picture. These days their cost has been lower than before but not exactly cheaper, budget models. Quantum dots or QLED technology has another layer to deliver a wider color spectrum. Another matter is reflectiveness of the surface. Ideal screen should suck all incoming rays towards it so that if a light source is just infront fail to distort the image.
OLED is probably better than full-array LED LCDs. LG is the company who has too many OLED displays.
Refresh rate is expressed in Hertz (Hz). It describes how many times per second a display is refreshed. The standard refresh rate is 60 times per second aka 60Hz. But fast for the moving objects, 60Hz refresh rate can result blurry or jittery images. So, 120Hz, 240Hz are better displays. These TVs handle the doubled, quadrupled refresh rates in different ways like inserting black images between the original pictures, showing a state of movement in between the two adjacent pictures etc. Some new models has High-Frame Rate (HFR) support, which is actual, physical higher refresh rate support where content with higher than 60 Hz frame rates is being supported. Marketing phrase of 120Hz may fool a newbie.
HDR is a new feature of 4K UHD TVs. It is a reference of ability to deliver more colors, more contrast, more brightness. It is good upgrade to 4K, UHD and not applicable to full HD. The base standard for high-dynamic range content is called HDR10 set by the UHD Alliance. Dolby Vision is a higher version of HDR, has more strict criteria to display HDR content. Samsung has own HDR format named HDR10 Plus. There are only a hundred movies in this new 4K Blu-ray disc format with increasing HDR available via Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Our review of Samsung NU7100 43″ and comparable sets has an TV operating system, built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to internet, running apps starts. The interfaces are generally a bar of icons at the bottom of the screen, like home of smartphones. Sony has Android, Samsung has Tizen OS. Both has developers guide to develop, submit own application.
Problems of UHD TV/4K TVs
Actually many. These devices, unlike smartphones lacks minimum details of chipset, processor, RAM, storage space. Lack of support to old output ports such as RCA is a common matter. Lack of support of Bluetooth audio streaming is common matter. Buttons on the set are often difficult to use like the computer monitors. Not all models have good quality remote control.
Like smartphone, computer they produce heat. Pain, irritation or itching in eyes is common matter. Even, Samsung has official guide for reducing eye strain :
A dark room with a bright TV can keep your iris is wide open helping light to hit your retina demanding faster They fatigue, causing the tired, scratchy feeling.
We wanted to keep the discussion shorter, understandable to anyone. A television probably has two important parts now – display and sound. Even the winners of best online casinos may get bankrupted by marketing strategies of the current manufacturers! Still, we have not furnished list of really needed accessories with mentioning the prices and knowing their minimum reviews. The bill setup for complete enjoyment is no way cheap :
Television : $900
Set-Top box: $50
Modem : $50
Soundbar : $300
Blue-ray player : $200
Keyboard, mouse : $50
VESA wall mount : $50
Total : $1600
The idea that top model large quantum dots television is the final piece of purchase is presently wrong. We have not mentioned before the list that one needs an UHD Blu-ray player to complete the list of entertainment. Technical development and marketing unfortunately has pushed our old know good television towards such a modern development that a computer novice with a DTH box will get enough confused after purchase. At worst, some of the DTH has higher set-top boxes offering few channels which offers UHD quality broadcasting.