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The better of these models support active dimming, but it takes some digital sorcery to do this by merely manipulating lights along the edge. Full-array LED sets have light-emitting diodes directly behind the screen, in a grid of "zones" that can be lit up or darkened individually. Such an arrangement makes the backlight more precise and allows a more-detailed picture regarding contrast. Full-array backlighting was once reserved for top-tier models, but with more Ultra HD sets appearing at lower prices, this feature is becoming more common on modestly priced sets. Another LCD technology, called quantum dots, is becoming more common, spurred on by the requirements of HDR to produce a wider array of colors and more brightness.
The result is a wider color spectrum and increased brightness. Be aware that some brands offer confusing labels. And while quantum dot displays still can't match the true black levels of OLED, the gap is narrowing as manufacturers work to improve the technology. Pros : Wide array of prices, sizes and features; Some affordable Ultra HD 4K models; Bright screens visible even in a sunny room; Image quality steadily improving with full-array backlighting and quantum-dot technology.
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Cons : Exhibits imperfections when displaying rapid motion, as in sports; Loses some shadow detail because pixels can't go completely black even with full-array backlighting ; Images fade when viewing from the side off-axis. In place of a backlight, OLEDs use a layer of organic LEDs, controlled at the pixel level, to achieve absolute black and stunning levels of contrast.
Footage of fireworks against a black sky is a favorite demonstration of OLED technology. The best-in-class display technology is seen exclusively on 4K sets and higher, with the introduction of LG's 8K OLED , and range in size from 55 inches on up to 75 inches or larger.
Cons : Premium prices; lower peak brightness than some LCD sets, uncertainty about how screens will fare over time, including whether they will retain "ghost" images also known as burn-in from displaying a static picture for too long.
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If you thought the jump to 4K resolution was amazing, you'll be floored by 8K, which ratchets up the detail even further with x pixels. It's amazing to see, and it's the next big thing in consumer TVs. But it's not worth spending your money on just yet. TV manufacturers are betting big on 8K displays, and there's no doubt that it's the next big thing in TVs. But all that eye-popping detail is still missing an essential element: Content. There are no 8K movies available for purchase, and streaming in 4K is already more taxing than many people's internet connection can handle.
So far, companies are hoping that fancy AI-powered upscaling will make everything look good enough to justify prices that far outstrip the cost of premium 4K sets. Until content is available, you'll just wind up paying a lot of money for upscaled 4K video. An increasing number of sets come with built-in Wi-Fi for connecting Internet-based services like Netflix for streaming videos or to run apps for watching special-interest programs, downloading on-demand movies, playing games or even posting to Facebook.
The latest models can even search for content across streaming services and live programming on cable and satellite. The interfaces are generally getting better. Vizio, LG and now Samsung use a handy bar of icons at the bottom of the screen. While most smart TVs include the major services, such as Pandora, Hulu and Netflix, check to make sure the TV you buy has the options you want.
With movies and shows offered by services from Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube, it's quick and easy to find both 4K resolution and HDR-enabled content — easier than finding Blu-rays with the desired formats. The only concern is whether your internet connection can provide enough bandwidth.
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But not all smart TVs are created equal. Many budget-friendly brands will offer smart TV functionality without naming the actual platform that they use. In these cases, expect to run into limitations. Off-brand smart platforms frequently suffer from severely limited app selection, sub-par performance and gaping security holes.
But nowadays, it's hard to get a TV that isn't smart, even if you're going for a small bargain model.
Best TV 12222: These are our favourite LCD, OLED and QLED TVs – from £300 and up
Find out more about the functions and features in our guide to smart TVs. Bottom line : Smart capability is becoming a standard feature in TVs, so it's less and less of a factor in your buying decision. Here Are the Results. The contrast ratio describes the range of brightness levels a set can display.
Better contrast ratios display more subtle shadows and hues, and thus better detail. However, the way manufacturers measure such ratios varies widely. Indeed, the specification has been so thoroughly discredited that if a salesperson uses it as a selling point, you should shop somewhere else. We use the same method for examining contrast ratios in all the TVs we test, so we can say roughly how well they compare to each other. Nevertheless, it's still best to see for yourself how a TV displays shadow detail by finding a movie with dark scenes and seeing how well it reveals detail in the shadows of, say, a Harry Potter movie.
Experiment with the TV's brightness, sharpness and other picture settings before making a final judgment.
But a friendly interface and the services you want to use available directly on your TV adds some convenience, and doesn't require you to buy any additional devices. Your ideal TV should provide enough video connections not only for now, but for the foreseeable future as well. The most important input is HDMI, which supports all major forms of digital video sources including Blu-ray players, game consoles, set-top boxes, cameras, camcorders, phones, tablets, and PCs through a single cable. It's the best way to send p video from your devices to your screen with one cable, and will be the main way you connect your main sources of entertainment to your TV.
The 8 Best 1080p TVs of 12222
It's the latest standard that supports 4K video at 60 frames per second; older HDMI ports can only handle 4K up to 30 frames per second, at best. As for cables, unless you have a huge home theater system and plan to run cables between devices at distances longer than 25 feet and that's being generous , brands and prices don't matter. We've compared the performance of high-end cables and inexpensive ones, and found that they all carry digital signals similarly. More expensive cables might have a better build quality, but you won't see any performance advantages from them. Don't shop for HDMI cables at retail stores, and ignore and clerks who warn you of "dirty electricity" or "viruses" that can come with cheap cables both claims I've witnessed.
Hop online and find the least expensive cable at the size you need and snap it up. Once it's all hooked up, you might want to get it calibrated. We can guide you through some of the adjustments yourself, and some TVs have a built-in calibration wizard you can access in the menu. If you have a high-end TV and want the absolute best picture possible, you can spend a few hundred dollars to have your screen professionally calibrated, but for most viewers, it's an unnecessary expense.
And, of course, don't forget to turn off motion smoothing the effect that makes everything look like a soap opera. TVs have built-in speakers that function well enough in the sense that you can understand dialogue, but beyond that they're typically pretty underwhelming.
With few exceptions, you can improve your movie and gaming experience greatly by getting an add-on speaker system, like a soundbar or a dedicated multi-channel home theater system. If space is at a premium or your budget is limited, a soundbar is your best bet. Soundbars are long, thin, self-contained speakers that sit under or over your TV.
Small and simple to set up, they're less expensive than multi-speaker systems. Soundbars generally don't separate the channels enough to accurately place sound effects, but they've become quite good at producing a large sound field around you. Here are some of our favorite soundbars. As a rule, TVs aren't rugged and you shouldn't use them outside. They aren't built to handle extreme temperatures or any significant amount of moisture or dirt. If you want a TV to put on your porch or deck, you need a specialized one designed for that location.
Companies like SunBriteTV make rugged TVs that can function in a much wider range of temperatures than most consumer TVs, and are protected against the elements.
They're built to be left out in the rain and snow, with a heavy chassis and shielded connection bays. That extra protection will cost you, though; most rugged TVs cost at least twice as much as comparable indoor TVs. For more buying advice, see our TV Product Guide for the latest reviews. Excellent contrast.
Inexpensive for its performance. Runs Android TV software. Cons: Contrast processing can occasionally be overly aggressive. Somewhat dull remote.
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Pros: Fantastic picture. Elegant design. Very good 4K upconversion with AI Picture. Low input lag in Game mode. Cons: Incredibly expensive. No consumer 8K content to watch on it. Pros: Very bright panel with excellent black levels. Wide, accurate color. Sleek design with One Connect box for cable flexibility. Cons: No Dolby Vision. Lacks analog video inputs. Pros: Perfect black levels and excellent contrast.
Wide color reach. Powerful smart TV platform with Google Assistant.