2017 HDR TV overview

Dodgexander

Moderator
There is a big difference between accepting a HDR signal and displaying it. To keep things simple you can fit TVs into 5 categories. I have included information best of my knowledge regarding panel types of TVs as this is the most important factor when buying. If you need wide viewing angles you should look ideally for an OLED. If you cannot afford OLED look for an LCD with a IPS type panel. If you view within a 20 degree angle head on, look for an LCD with a VA type panel.

Key:
Blue indicates VA panel type. Yay better screen uniformity, blacks and contrast
Green indicates IPS panel type. Yay better viewing angles.

1.Those that can't accept a HDR signal.

HD Ready 50/60hz
Samsung: 32M5xx
LG: 32LJ590, 32LJ510
Panasonic: 32ES403, 32ES400, 24ES513
Philips: 32"5302, 32"4132, 32"4112, 24"4032, 24"4022, 4012
Sony: 32WE610*, 32RExxx
*This TV can't accept HDR from an external source apart from a PS4/PS4 pro and only via built in Netflix app only.

Full HD 50/60hz
Samsung: M63xx, M5xxx
LG: LJ6xx LJ5xx
Panasonic: ES600, ES500, ES403,ES400(40", 49")
Philips: 5362, 5302, 5102, 4202, 4132, 4112, 32"4022
Sony: 40"WE66*, 49"WE66*, RE45x,
*This TV can't accept HDR from an external source apart from a PS4/PS4 pro and only via built in Netflix app only.


2.Those that accept a HDR signal, but have no means to reproduce HDR other than accepting the signal.

UHD 50/60hz - WRGB Panels
LG: UJ63x, UJ620, UJ610, UJ600

UHD 50/60hz
Samsung: MU62xx, 40"MU61xx, 43"MU61xx 50"MU61xx, 55"MU61xx, 65"MU61xx

Philips: 6432, 6412, 65"6412, 6402, 43"6262, 49"6262, 50"6262, 55"6262, 65"6262, 43"6162, 49"6162, 50"6162
Panasonic: EX6xx
Sony: 65"XE70xx, 55"XE70xx, 49XE70xx, 43XE70xx
Hisense: N57xx


3.Those that accept a HDR signal, but have wide colour gamut (WCG) to at least display better colours with HDR.

Full HD 50/60hz
Sony: WE75*
*This TV can't accept HDR from an external source apart from a PS4/PS4 pro and only via built in Netflix/Youtube app only.


UHD 50/60hz - WRGB Panels
LG: UJ7xx, UJ65x

UHD 50/60hz
Samsung: 49MU80xx, 49MU70xx, MU66xx, MU65xx, 40"MU64xx, 43"MU64xx, 49"MU64xx, 55"MU64xx, 65"MU64xx.
Panasonic: EX730, EXW734, EX732, EX703, EX700

Sony: XE80xx, XE83xx
Hisense: N6800
Philips: 6482

UHD 100/120hz - WRGB Panels

SJ8xx

UHD 100/120hz
LG: SJ95x, SJ85x
Samsung: MU80xx(55" and bigger), MU70xx(55" and bigger).
Panasonic: EX750, EX770, EX780
Sony: XE85xx, 75"XE85xx
Philips: 7202, 7282, 7502, 8602*
Hisense: NU8700
*55" version only gets to max 700nits

4.Those that accept a HDR signal, have WCG and also get bright enough to meet UHD HD Premium specifications for HDR. These are the minimum I would care about purchasing if I wanted HDR.

LCDs from now on in the list all use 100/120hz VA type panels, they need too as IPS type lets too much light from behind for bright HDR.
Samsung: Q9, Q8, Q7
Sony: XE9005
Philips: 8102, 8602(65" only)


5.Those that do the same as point 4 but have display technologies that favor HDR such as an OLED (so it can easily separate pixel by pixel) or a FALD LCD (so it can more effectively get brighter in a smaller area vs an edge lit TV.

LCD
Panasonic: DX900

Sony: ZD9, XE9305*
Hisense: NU9700

*This is edge lit, but with a very good local dimming system+capable of getting very bright. which is why I have placed in this category).

OLED - WRGB Panels
All OLEDs use 100/120hz panels

LG: W7, G7, E7, C7, B7
Panasonic: EZ1xxx, EZ9xx
Philips: 65POS96xx, 55POS90xx
Sony: A1


In mine (and as far as I have read) most people's opinion is to not bother with HDR at all unless you can at least afford a TV that fits into the 4th category. Whilst TVs that have a wide colour gamut will do their best to display HDR and will have better colour, in most cases the image will look better with HDR switched off, just because these TVs don't have the hardware to display HDR well. By enabling HDR on a TV that doesn't have the hardware to cope with it, you may get side effects caused by worse screen uniformity and lack of local dimming due to brightness being set very high.

There is more that constitutes to how good a TV is with HDR but I have tried to keep this post as simple as possible.

Notes:

Many people may read this guide only to realise their budget may not stretch to be able to afford a good HDR TV. HDR is still very much a new technology and you will have to pay a premium. Be sure instead of buying a poorer model now, save longer and buy a TV at the right time instead to get a better model, see: The best time to buy a TV


People may also notice a trend with sizes of TVs. There are no category 4 & 5 HDR TVs in lower screen sizes than 49" and there are no category 5 tv's lower than 55". If you want a good HDR TV, you have to buy big. This isn't a bad thing because you will benefit most from UHD at larger screen sizes.

This info is to the best of my knowledge and no doubt I have made mistakes. Please inform me of any or ask me to add anything if you find something I haven't already. There is never an absolute guarantee about specs with TVs, often manufactures themselves don't know the info and sometimes they can bring out the same model and have two specs between each revision. So please take this advice as is, accepting that it is not 100% accurate.

This info is taken from the European market, in North America or rest of the world models will differ in spec/name. For example the MU7000 here in Europe is a complete different model to in North America (thank you Samsung)!
 
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bryfly

Active Member
Been following your guides , great work, I have seen mentioned turning on and off HDR, do all sets have the ability to turn this on and off, if so would that aid watching SD on the TV.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Thanks! HDR is source dependant, I had a quick search and found Sony have a setting on their new Android TVs to disable it globally in the options, but it will be up to the software of each manufacturer to add this option.

Apps made for the operating system of TVs should include this functionality too, just like switching between HD and SD. I wouldn't place any confidence in this though, it really would not surprise me if in many cases its an automatic process that just happens when you play HDR content on these apps. There are many more anomalies associated with smart TV, many bugs and its probably why its still almost always better to have external sources still. If you find yourself in a situation where you can't disable HDR, you may find it better to reduce the backlight setting off the TV to compensate.

As for HDR via external sources such as consoles and UHD Blu-Ray players, yes you should be able to switch them off.

About your question, if you mean will it improve the quality of SDR- in most cases yes. A TV that doesn't have the hardware to display HDR well is going to take that HDR data and compress it the best it can within its limited capabilities. HDR is mastered at 4000 nits (sometimes more) and leading HDR TVs have to fit this 4000 in to 1000/1500 or in OLED cases lower.

If you start to take this data and fit it into lower nits from non capable HDR TVs you are going to end up with a far less natural and accurate picture compared to if you watch the none HDR version mastered in SDR. The Same goes for colour accuracy. If the TV has inaccurate HDR colour, it is going to look better feeding the TV with SDR colour instead.

If you meant SD in terms of just standard definition upscaling to UHD, no, turning off HDR won't affect this at all as its not used to upscale. All UHD tv's do a poor job compared to FHD ones, apart from maybe the very high end ones.
 

Mr-Bananas

Well-known Member
Great work Dodgexander, very useful guide. I notice that you have listed the Panasonic 40EX700 under catagoury 2, this might be based on a video that I posted on another thread that stated the 40" model did not feature a Wide colour spectrum (unlike the rest of the range).

I have watched the video again on the Panasonic website and the 'accept 40" model' wording on the Wide Colour Spectrum section has now been removed. I assume therefore that this was an error and the 40" is the same as the larger models.

Still exactly a great HDR performer, but just thought I would mention it.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Great work Dodgexander, very useful guide. I notice that you have listed the Panasonic 40EX700 under catagoury 2, this might be based on a video that I posted on another thread that stated the 40" model did not feature a Wide colour spectrum (unlike the rest of the range).

I have watched the video again on the Panasonic website and the 'accept 40" model' wording on the Wide Colour Spectrum section has now been removed. I assume therefore that this was an error and the 40" is the same as the larger models.

Still exactly a great HDR performer, but just thought I would mention it.

Thanks, yes that is indeed where I got it from, I have updated the OP.
 

Mr-Bananas

Well-known Member
Thanks, yes that is indeed where I got it from, I have updated the OP.
Great, sorry for any confusion caused.

Have to say, the more I read about HDR, the more I think it's just a massive misleading mess !!

Unless you buy an OLED or LCD with a full array backlight the HDR benefits are pretty much non existent.

People may as well just whack the backlight and contrast to Max on their non 'HDR' sets to get the same effect as the sets claiming they support HDR.

Manufacturer's shouldn't be allowed to state their sets feature HDR unless they fully support it and reach a certain standard. Ok, maybe some budget HDR sets might produce slightly better colours, but that's about it.

It's a bit of a minefield out there, trying to find a decent TV is not easy unless you go very high end.
 
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daz606060

Active Member
Thank you for your very informative guide's, threads and posts, you helped me pick the Sony 55"XE90 without you knowing it I know it's going to go down in price but I needed a TV now as my old one was dying, tried a OLED but got scared by IR/burn in I game for far too many hours to feel comfortable doing that on a OLED, so reading what you and others have posted on this forum and no Samsung KS's near me for sale and wanting one that does hdr pretty well I got the XE90.

I'm over the moon with it hdr in games is a lot better then it was on the B6 I had, only problem I have with it is from the bbc channels and Dave having a bit of judder on faces and hands through my sky hd box (it's getting on now) hopefully a sky q box will fix that when they get round to dropping the price for existing customers that is.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading many more and thank you again.

@Mr-Bananas I agree they shouldn't be able to put hdr on TVs spec and promotional material unless it can really do hdr, both a wide colour gamut and get close too or past 1000nits.

I bet there are a lot of people thinking there watching hdr when there not and I don't think that's right.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Thank you for your very informative guide's, threads and posts, you helped me pick the Sony 55"XE90 without you knowing it I know it's going to go down in price but I needed a TV now as my old one was dying, tried a OLED but got scared by IR/burn in I game for far too many hours to feel comfortable doing that on a OLED, so reading what you and others have posted on this forum and no Samsung KS's near me for sale and wanting one that does hdr pretty well I got the XE90.

I'm over the moon with it hdr in games is a lot better then it was on the B6 I had, only problem I have with it is from the bbc channels and Dave having a bit of judder on faces and hands through my sky hd box (it's getting on now) hopefully a sky q box will fix that when they get round to dropping the price for existing customers that is.

Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading many more and thank you again.

@Mr-Bananas I agree they shouldn't be able to put hdr on TVs spec and promotional material unless it can really do hdr, both a wide colour gamut and get close too or past 1000nits.

I bet there are a lot of people thinking there watching hdr when there not and I don't think that's right.

Thanks, that is great to hear. A lot of people take stick on the forums for slating OLEDs compared to LCDs, but its good to hear what I have written is backed up by your findings, whilst you will never match the black levels of an OLED, peak brightness in HDR really does wow on decent LCDs and motion options are a lot better on LCDs too.

You should check out the options in your settings for motion, the clearness slider in particular, should give you much better motion at the expense of fast flickering.

As for judder, I remember it was reported and fixed (supposedly) by Sony on their 2015 models with Sky Q. Hopefully it won't be a problem for you with Sky Q.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Due to information in article Philips TVs 2017: Every new 4K and HD model explained | Trusted Reviews, shoudn't be Philips 6482 in category 3 ?
Yes you are correct, this year the 6482 seems like they use wide colour gamuts whilst the 6412 doesn't.
So it looks like this years 6482 is equivalent to last years 6501 and the 6412 is last years 6401 equivalent. I will update the post, thank you!

I had added new Philips info including the incorrect categorisation of the Philips 8602 which this year is actually an edge lit model!
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
I have updated the OP and changed quite a lot of information. I have found panel type knowledge to the best of my info and also managed my best to place each TV in a category based on its panel hz (50/60 or 100/120) and also in relation to wide colour gamuts. I have also added a new sub category for WRGB panel types.

Changelog:
05/09/2017 - Categorised TVs as per HDR performance, motion performance and panel types. Added WRGB panel info.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Like last year Samsung are messing about with the panel types on their MU6xxxx range. A 55" MU6100 was reviewed on lesmumeriques.com as using a PLS type panel.

This contradicts previous info and I have updated the panel differences above. I decided to keep only the panel types we know for sure coloured. Ones in black we still don't have info on.

Buyers beware about this, it may be that Samsung are even making PLS and VA type panels on the same size and model tv's.
 

ricky121

Active Member
very informative post. Just curious as to where i stand with my TV which is an 2015 Samsung JS8500 - what category (if any) does this TV fit into?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
3.Those that accept a HDR signal, but have wide colour gamut (WCG) to at least display better colours with HDR.

JS8500 has a 100/120hz panel with a wide colour gamut and HDMI 2.0a ports supporting HDR.

Still a very good TV today, only beaten by category 4 TVs and only with HDR content due to more brightness/local dimming.
 

ricky121

Active Member
3.Those that accept a HDR signal, but have wide colour gamut (WCG) to at least display better colours with HDR.

JS8500 has a 100/120hz panel with a wide colour gamut and HDMI 2.0a ports supporting HDR.

Still a very good TV today, only beaten by category 4 TVs and only with HDR content due to more brightness/local dimming.
Thanks for the response! The reason I ask is because so far I have been underwhelmed watching hdr content through the tv on both netflix and Amazon.

I honestly can't tell the difference between 1080p and 4k/HDR...the curious thing when I watch any 4k clips on YouTube through the tv I can literally straight away tell the difference... Especially some of the stuff on the HDR channel

Just don't understand why the content on netflix amazon doesn't have the same wow factor?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I'm not sure, but I don't think the YouTube app supports HDR on your TV. Netflix seems to be updated if you have the latest firmware, Amazon I'm not sure about, likely not. See: Netflix, HDR and the JS8000/JS8500

It could also be because HDR isn't going to be great on anything but a TV in the category 4 section. Having just better colour isn't going to be that noticeable compared to high peak brightness.

As for noticing a quality difference with UHD, how close are you viewing and what size TV do you have? There's a good chart in this thread I posted, you have to view very close to notice UHD: UHD vs FHD

Apart from that, does your TV go in to the HDR picture mode each time? That's what you want to be looking for.

I'm guessing you already have colour space set to native in the picture settings?
 

ricky121

Active Member
I'm not sure, but I don't think the YouTube app supports HDR on your TV. Netflix seems to be updated if you have the latest firmware, Amazon I'm not sure about, likely not. See: Netflix, HDR and the JS8000/JS8500

It could also be because HDR isn't going to be great on anything but a TV in the category 4 section. Having just better colour isn't going to be that noticeable compared to high peak brightness.

As for noticing a quality difference with UHD, how close are you viewing and what size TV do you have? There's a good chart in this thread I posted, you have to view very close to notice UHD: UHD vs FHD

Apart from that, does your TV go in to the HDR picture mode each time? That's what you want to be looking for.

I'm guessing you already have colour space set to native in the picture settings?
I also suspected that given my TV is in category 3 maybe you dont see the full HDR benefits. I am pretty sure Youtube does support HDR on the TV. The reason is i compared a HDR clip on Netflix called "Meridan" short 12 minute clip which was in 4k HDR, Youtube also has the exact same clip under the HDR channel. When i compared the 2 clips, the Youtube version vs Netflix was like night and day, you could really notice the colours pop.

Colour space is set to Native yes and the TV does go into HDR mode automatically when you view an HDR show (contract jumps to 100 and brightness to 20)

But anything on Youtube you can really tell its UHD / 4k compared to Netflix
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Interesting finds, I am guessing the main difference if they are both going into HDR mode is just the quality differences in compression and sources. Whilst one like video is a good comparison to make it could very well be that for whatever reason it's been mastered differently on Netflix.

I guess generally one thing to consider is content on Netflix in HDR versus YouTube isn't necessarily going to be there too showcase HDR. It has tv series shot in HDR but not content designed exactly for HDR so demos on YouTube are going to look better.

The other thing to consider is differences in encoding and compression. Both Netflix and YouTube use different compression formats(think mp3 vs aac) and varying bit rate so perhaps compared to YouTube Netflix just isn't as good quality.

Third thing is generally I think people have been underwhelmed by UHD and HDR content via streams compared to discs.

Perhaps the best thing for you to do would be to demo a capable HDR tv to compare but also compare with UHD Blu-Ray to see if you notice a difference.
 

ricky121

Active Member
Agreed - i was thinking of taking the UHD blu ray player plunge but have been a bit hesitant considering the UHD streaming so far from netflix and amazon. But i have feeling with the UHD player the difference will be more noticable vs streaming.

I may wait til Christmas if there is a price drop on the UHD players - thanks for your advice!
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
People often compare (HDR aside) the PQ of UHD streams as inferior to even standard Blu-Ray, so the step up to UHD Blu-Rays with HDR too will be significant. I wouldn't place too much emphasis on HDR though, your TV is great with SDR but its always going to be limited by brightness with a lot of HDR content. If you find yourself with a lot of HDR sources the more it is going to make you want to go for a more capable TV for HDR! and the more £££££s you are going to have to cough up for the privilege :)

Having said that some UHD Blu-Ray players already are pretty cheap so I'm sure after sales it will be worth getting one anyway.

Demo some stuff first if you can ;)
 

AVlat

Novice Member
Thank you for this great post! I've been researching TVs for serval weeks now and this could end up helping a lot. I've gone from "I definitely need a good 4K HDR set" to "no TV is worth more than 1000 € to me" to "I will watch 98% SDR sources and the 3 m (10 feet) viewing distance makes 4K pointless." But wouldn't it be very silly to buy a non-HDR TV in 2017 or 2018? At least WCG capability and accurate colour feels like a must-have even if I watch SDR only.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
@AVlat the problem is it isn't just a question of whether a TV is HDR or not. Every TV now pretty much is advertised as HDR but implementations from the lowest end to the highest is very, very different.

HDR is not similar to HD where a TV simply has it or not, there are many factors that constitute to a good HDR picture.

The best thing to do under a limited budget is to forget about HDR and focus on how well a TV is with SDR. Its not until you hit higher price points that the performance of HDR becomes a factor.

Sub £1100 TVs right now are not viable options at all for HDR.
 

AVlat

Novice Member
@Dodgexander I fully agree. I almost bought a Pana EX700 until I realised it's almost an insult. Yes, the picture is very nice in many ways but not HDR. Not with less than 250 peak nits. The EX780 is overpriced and still not HDR. Sony 55XE9005's price has come down to 1500 € / £1300 here. Let's see how deep it'll go...

Is it so that WCG hardware is completely pointless if the signal is SDR?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Its not completely useless, it will mean you will at least get more saturated colours when using HDR.

However in many cases HDR is best not used on budget TVs, so sometimes if you view content mastered with high peak nits you are actually better just watching the SDR version instead.

The best explanation of what to expect from a HDR TV with no distinct local dimming or high peak brightness is in this video:


Basically on a TV without high peak brightness HDR has to be compressed into that small peak brightness. Scenes that are supposed to be shown as 4000nits or 1000nits are squashed into smaller nits or clipped and this can cause issues with PQ.

So its not really worth considering HDR in my opinion on TVs that only have wide colour gamuts in their HDR TV arsenal.
 

Roxette

Novice Member
Not sure if this was asked - though how come some television models are using black text where the others have the blue or green to indicate panel type? Is there a third panel type I am unaware of?
 

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