Welcome to our first annual Editor’s Choice Awards.
During the review process our editorial team can award badges to products that reach a certain level of performance from Recommended and Best Buy to Highly Recommended and Reference Status. These badges are awarded at the time of the review but do not offer a comparison or state if a product is the best of the best. Our reviews are a guide for our readers and members to use when putting together a shortlist of products to consider buying. However we now think it is time for us to introduce our annual best of the year awards, so enter the Editor’s Choice Awards. This is the first time the editor and editorial staff of the site have picked what they consider to be the best products reviewed this year. They will also state the reasons why they have chosen the particular product and why you should perhaps consider their choice when looking to demo or buy such an item.
Over the next six articles we will present the awards for TVs, Projectors, Home AV, AV Streaming Service & Devices, Hi-Fi and Tech & Mobile.
Some product groups change models every 12 months, but in other categories the changes take a longer time and some products remain relevant for more than a year, (some over a number of years). The criterion for being an eligible product is simple and straightforward. It must be a product that has been reviewed by AVForums in the last 12 to 18 months and it must currently be available as part of the official product range from a manufacturer and not discontinued before the end of 2017. This means that all the award winners have been fully tested and reviewed by the editorial team here at AVForums and are honestly presented as their favourites for the past year. In this article we look at best TVs of 2017:
The Panasonic TX-65EZ1002B might well be an expensive TV but it delivers a degree of image accuracy that approaches a professional studio monitor costing five times as much. Panasonic’s use of sophisticated 3D look-up tables allows the EZ1002 to deliver a level of accuracy previously unheard of in a consumer display regardless of whether you’re watching standard or high dynamic range content. So if you’re an TV enthusiast looking for an uncompromising approach to picture quality then nothing can beat the EZ1002, making it our Best Home Cinema TV of the year.
This year we have seen input lag measurements tumble but the undisputed king remains Samsung and their excellent UE55MU7000 is our choice for the best gaming TV of the year. This 4K LED LCD TV already delivers an impressive standard and high dynamic range performance, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a competitively priced TV. However, with an input lag of only 17ms, great motion handling, and no need to worry about image retention or screen burn, the MU7000 is the ideal choice for serious gamers and our choice as the Best Gaming TV of the year.
The superb LG OLED55B7V is not only the cheapest OLED TV currently available but also one of the best, with a feature set that ticks almost every box imaginable. LG publicly stated that all their 2017 OLED TVs delivered the same level of picture quality, which we were able to confirm in our reviews this year. As a result the excellent B7 not only offers all the benefits that you would expect from an OLED TV, like deep blacks and pixel level precision, but also an impressive list of features that includes Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, WebOS, the magic remote, all the main video streaming services and an attractive design. In fact given the price of the B7 we can’t fault it and, as a result, it’s unquestionably our Best OLED TV of the year.
This is a competitive area of the market place, with a number of contenders for this award, but the Hisense H65N6800 4K LED LCD TV wins thanks to a combination of build quality, performance and price. The N6800 is a well engineered and constructed TV with good backlight uniformity and an excellent level of out-of-the-box accuracy – which is important at this price point. There’s also a decent set of features and a good performance with both standard and high dynamic range content. On top of all that you can currently pick this 65-inch TV up for just £1,049 making it an obvious choice as our Best TV Under £1,500 for 2017.
Since OLED TVs were first introduced consumers have been amazed by the incredibly thin nature of their panels but it wasn’t until LG launched their OLED65W7V that the technology realised its full potential. The W7 or ‘Wallpaper TV’ takes advantage of the inherently thin OLED panel to literally attach itself to the wall using hooks, magnets and a special mount. This is made possible by LG moving all the electronics, connections, amplification and speakers into a separate all-in-one box, leaving just the 4mm deep screen on the wall which is attached via flat cable. The results are simply astonishing and whilst it isn’t cheap it’s sure to impress friends and family, making LG’s W7 our choice for Aspirational TV of 2017.
The incredibly thin nature of an OLED panel doesn’t just mean you can hang it on the wall like a picture, it also has other useful properties which Sony took full advantage of when developing the KD-65A1. The result is the ‘Acoustic Surface’, which uses actuators fitted to the rear of the panel to literally vibrate the screen, turning it into one giant speaker. The idea of using actuators to vibrate a surface might not be new but Sony’s idea of using them with an OLED panel is simply inspired. By using the entire screen as a speaker, not only is the sound quality better but sounds can emanate from specific points on the screen and even follow the action as characters and objects move around. Since the screen itself is generating the audio there are no visible speakers, which makes for a striking design, and makes the Sony A1’s ‘Acoustic Surface’ our choice for the Best TV Innovation of the year.
Although actually released in late 2016, the Sony KD-65ZD9 remains one of the manufacturer’s flagship TVs this year, and its use of a direct LED backlight and an effective local dimming system means this LCD TV can deliver high dynamic range better than any model currently available. The ZD9 has over 600 local dimming zones and a peak brightness in excess of 1800 lumens which, when combined with a wide and accurate colour gamut, results in a genuinely impressive HDR performance. If you actually want to see HDR content as the creators intended, then the Sony ZD9 can deliver this better than any TV currently available and is thus our choice for the Best 4K HDR TV of the year.