What are the best TVs for picture quality?

OLED and 4K is the way forward

by Mark Hodgkinson Oct 7, 2014 at 7:05 AM

  • We’ve already brought you articles on the best televisions for gaming, 4K Ultra HD, budget considerations, movies and good all-round family TVs but now it’s time for the overall best TVs on the market right now.
    As with all our articles, we’ll be keeping this relevant with regular updates but these are our current cream of the crop.
    And where better to start than with what we consider the ultimate in picture quality presently on the market? Never mind that it’s not 4K, with Full HD pictures this good we’re not complaining and if this is just a taster of what OLED technology can bring to the market, we’re hungry for more. The 55-inch EA980 brings peerless black levels and dynamic range plus a fabulously accurate colour palette to the table. What's more, with a recent price drop to £1,999.00 (September 2014), we think that’s outstanding value for this emerging – and hopefully soon dominant – display technology. We can’t wait to see LG’s new 4K OLED TVs which pack in their, also as yet unmatched, Smart+ feature set and the EC970V is almost certain to make this list, once we have seen one for review. For now, gorge yourself on the beauty that is the 55EA980 and feel confidence in the future.

    More than any other manufacturer, Samsung is getting behind the idea of the curved TV being the next big thing but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten how to make a good flatty. We think the HU7500 is one of the best value Ultra HD TVs on the market and it comes in a variety of screen sizes, starting at 48-inches and going up to 75” with prices (September 2014) beginning at £1,599. You get access to Netflix’s 4K service, as well as the promise of Amazon Prime, and others, in Ultra HD resolutions soon.

    Samsung Smart TVs have always been super clever and the HU7500 is absolutely no exception, with their 2014 platform offering the biggest and best selection of video streaming apps available - including all the major UK catch-up services. Of course, the picture quality is outstanding too with Samsung’s renowned video processing know-how reflected in an unusually accurate dimming system, superb scaling and a set of calibration controls which allow for unbelievably accurate pictures. We’ve nothing against curved TVs but you might want to save yourself a few pounds by playing it straight when what’s on offer is this good.

    This TV pretty much has it all, including an Ultra HD resolution and access to actual 4K content through Netflix and (soon) Amazon Prime Instant to watch on it. You also get sumptuous black levels, a superior LED dimming system and incredibly accurate colours. Fortunately, as there’s little native Ultra HD content available right now, the KD-65X9005 is also capable of top-notch picture scaling so your lower definition viewing experience will still be excellent.

    The X9005 also packs a set of speakers that mean you won’t necessarily have to consider an external solution and as well as the 4K video apps, there are dozens of other streaming services, a versatile media player and a brilliant companion mobile app. The X9005 comes in three flavours – 55”, 65” and a monster 79-inch model with prices (September 2014) beginning at around the £2,000 mark and going right up to nearly £7,000, by way of £3,500 for the 65-incher. Whatever you like to watch, be it sports, movies, documentary or drama, this Sony is ready and able to deliver the goods and, quite simply, it’s one of the TVs of 2014.

    We make no apologies for this being the second Samsung TV to be picked amongst the very best currently available. Quite simply, no other manufacturer is putting out the same volume of high quality televisions at the moment. This one is for lovers of the curve and its combination of One Connect box and Ultra HD resolution means it’s about as future-proofed a TV as there is. Naturally, you also get full access to the sensational Smart TV features Samsung has on offer. But it’s with the picture quality where the HU8500 really delivers, with fantastic contrast, exquisite colour fidelity and high quality video processing combining to provide breath-taking images. The curve even occasionally lends a little more depth to certain shots, although that’s truer of the 65-inch version than it is the 55” but, whichever size suits, this TV is about as cutting edge as it gets.

    With 2014 soon to be drawing to a close, the Panasonic AX902 due to be unleashed and CES 2015 just around the corner, you can be sure there will be plenty of outstanding TVs being released regularly, so keep checking back to see which are our current favourites.

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