Think of the following suggestions for the best TVs to see the Olympics on as the elite athletes at the 2016 Rio games.
They are all 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range and, bar one, certified as Premium by the UHD Alliance. They’re the equivalents of Bolt, Farrah, Ennis & Kiprop of the television world and, thus, don’t necessarily come cheap but then we have already drawn up some more budget options for your consideration. Unlike the events, however, this list isn’t in any particular order of merit as they are all winners and it’s an absolute blanket finish.
LG C6 (OLED55C6V)
Is 2016 going to be the year OLED TVs come through the pack and emerge as the front-running technology? Well, probably not but if LG keeps on making televisions as good, if not better, than the C6 then surely it won’t be too long before they are. The C6 uses a 10-bit panel, has a native colour gamut that is over 90% of DCI-P3. It also supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) and can accept content that uses either HDR 10 or Dolby Vision. The 55-inch OLED55C6V retails for £2,999, while the 65-inch OLED65C6V is priced at £4,299. The OLED55C6V is an attractively designed and well-made TV that will look good in any living room and connectivity options are great with three HDMI 2.0a supporting HDCP2.2. It comes with a Magic Remote and the latest version of WebOS, with support for all the main video streaming services, including HDR from Amazon and Netflix. The image quality was superb with incredibly deep blacks and natural-looking colours, while motion handling was also very good so even when the sprinters are in full flow, the images should hold up. In fact, when you take in to consideration all that you're getting for the £2,999 entry price, the LG OLED55C6 is actually very good value, as long as you don't have an issue with curved screens.
Sony XD94 (KD-75XD9405)
Go big or go home. The XD94 is Sony’s Gold Medal contender for 2016 and uses a full array LED backlight behind its huge 75-inch screen. It retails for a pretty reasonable – for the size - £4,999 and despite the proportions still manages to look sleek and elegant. All four HDMI inputs are the of latest HDMI 2.0a standard and, crucially, HDCP 2.2 compliant. Sony has stuck with the Android operating system for 2016 and it has both its pros and cons when deployed in a television. It’s certainly comprehensive in terms of the range of apps and the user interface is bright and attractive but it can be a bit sprawling and the settings are scattered all over the place. The 75XD9406 supports High Dynamic Range (specifically HDR 10) and X-tended Dynamic Range PRO which is designed to lift both HDR and SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) content by increasing or reducing the backlight levels for each dimming zone of the screen. The results were simply spectacular with the system providing great contrast performance and the colour accuracy was also excellent. The high-end Sony’s also have arguably the best motion handling of any currently on the market, making them an ideal choice for sports viewing.
Samsung KS9500 (UE65KS9500)
The KS9500 is the Korean manufacturer's highest ranking Ultra HD 4K TV for 2016, sitting atop their SUHD range, with a full array direct LED backlight and Precision Black Pro local dimming technology. It also features a curved bezel-less screen, a 10-bit VA panel and a colour gamut that is 96% of DCI-P3 thanks to Quantum Dot technology. Like all the TVs here, the KS9500 also supports High Dynamic Range and features bleeding edge HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 connectivity. The new Tizen Smart TV platform from Samsung in 2016 is bold, easy to use and chock full of apps and features. Central to much of Samsung's thinking this year is the new Smart Remote which has the ability to control most, if not all, of the devices connected to the TV. The use of a VA panel produces excellent black levels for an LCD TV, even without engaging the local dimming but that’s also very impressive so you can use it with confidence. The screen uniformity was also excellent and the motion handling was particularly good for an LCD, making the KS9500 a great choice for fast-paced sports action.
Panasonic DX902 (TX-65DX902B)
This is yet another flagship TV and it comes in two screen sizes – the 65-inch model (£3,200) and there’s a 58-inch (£2,700) version also. The DX902 is the result of many years of planning following the abandonment of plasma production by Panasonic. As we would expect from a top-tier telly, the build quality is excellent and the design is typically understated with an all-black finish to its elegant ultra-narrow bezel. The DX902 has a great set of connections and ticks all the boxes as far as future proofing is concerned. As you may have seen in Panasonic’s television advertising campaign, the company has been working with the Hollywood community and the DX902 was even tuned by a leading colourist to ensure ultimate colour accuracy; that’s not just a bonus in terms of watching movies, it means you’ll be seeing all the vests, environments and scenery from Rio as accurately as possible on a consumer display. The DX902 also incorporates Panasonic's new 'Honeycomb' local dimming that uses 512 zones and a special structure to reduce light leakage and thus haloing effects, so those events held at night should look stunning. The DX902 also integrates with Freeview Play so you have BBC iPlayer on hand to catch up with any action you miss. The motion handling was very good and you can call upon some impressive processing if you feel it requires any assistance. If you're looking for an Ultra HD 4K LED LCD TV that has the lot, look no further and the Panasonic DX902.
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