49" to 50", around £600, TV shows and moderate gaming

HappenedToBeHere

Novice Member
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on this forum for quite some time to try and find the best TV for my usage. I have already a few ideas so this post is mainly to confirm them (and spare you some wasted time!). My setting goes as follows:
- maximum size is 50" (living in a small London apartment! :)
- sitting about 6 feet (1.8m) from the TV. I can potentially sit closer but not by much.
- the content we watch is mainly TV shows (Netflix or Amazon Prime Video) and casual games on PS4 (non pro) and Switch. We watch an occasional movie say once every two weeks. And also Youtube from time to time. It also happens that we watch old TV shows which are at 720p or lower.
- we typically watch the TV at night time with a few lights on in the room. There's no direct lighting to the screen. At day time, the sun is not visible from the living room so it is only moderately bright.
- I don't think we particularly need wide viewing angles as the room isn't that big. There's only one couch that faces the TV.

Having said that, I'd like to enjoy HDR content as much as my budget allows me to (on PS4 and movies/shows). I'm not focusing too much on the input lag as we are only casual gamers, playing solo RPG games that don't require insane reflex skills. I still wonder if I really need deep deep blacks as we very rarely watch the TV in a completely dark room.

So based on all that, I thought the Samsung 49NU8000 would be the best comprise: within the budget and ~OK HDR. I know it wasn't so recommended when it came out as it was quite pricey. Today the price dropped by 50% and one can get it for £550 to £600. I wonder if with this lowered priced TV is a more interesting choice than before?

Q6FN is still at £900 so way out of budget for marginal improvement. The rest of the Q series is also out of budget. Obviously I wish I could afford the X900F :) The LG SK8000 has the same price as the NU8000 but with an IPS panel, it seems it isn't a better match to my use case.

I would be super grateful if someone would give some advise on this. Maybe I missed a good model?

Thanks very much!
 

HappenedToBeHere

Novice Member
Forgot to say the XF85* appears to be £100 more expensive, which I could go for. However it's an IPS? My uneducated opinion is that I'd be better having a 60Hz VA panel than a 120Hz IPS panel. But honestly I don't know.

(sorry for the double post, I wanted to edit but apparently I am not allowed to)
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
The 49” XF85 is va and 120hz. I think this should be within your budget.

Do consider if 55” is possible as that opens up more options, like the Hisense U7A and possibly the Samsung NU8000
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Sticking beneath 55" and there aren't as good value options generally. This is because the manufacturers give smaller models worse treatment than large models of the same number. The NU8000 at 49" isn't as good as the 55" version as Samsung gave it only a 60hz panel which means it can't display certain content without inducing judder and it can't use more lengthy motion enhancements. Having said that though if you don't use any of the motion settings, it makes little to no difference.

Sony are generally better overall for picture quality sub 55" as they have two models in the XF85/XF87 & XF90 range that still carry the 120hz panels. The downside to them though is they have worse HDMI connectivity and smart TV compared to Samsung.

I reflected the diffrences in panels at different sizes in my best buy guide here: My best value TVs, 2018-2019 Edition to try and make it easier for people when they rightly assume that X size of the same TV is going to perform the same as Y.

Without going for for the a capable HDR TV though it has to be said there is perhaps more sense in spending less at the sub 55" size than more, if only because if you can't afford the XF90 you are better off having next to no HDR performance at all rather than just "okay" HDR which on the Samsung NU8000 and Sony XF85/87 series will be a mixed bag depending on the master. Therefore I'd recommend stretching for the Sony XF90 if you can, it may well soon be subject to a price drop and is already available from the Sony centre direct refurbished website for £630.
 

HappenedToBeHere

Novice Member
Thanks very much to both of you for the great suggestions and all the details. I wasn't aware indeed that the 49" XF850 was a VA panel (great to hear!)

I hear your comment on "better having poor HDR at lower price (or higher size) than average HDR". Would you mind expanding on that? I'm just curious of what dealing with average HDR means in practice? Some movies/shows will look ok, but some will have clipping or things like that?

I'll definitively try to keep an eye on good deals for the XF90. Do you have experience with refurbished models? Do they last as long as non-refurbished models? I'm sort of afraid of the 1-year warranty. Thank you by the way for the tip, I didn't consider buying directly from Sony's refurbished center.

Having said all that, just for completeness, how would rank HDR capabilities of the NU8000 vs the XF850? I've read the NU8000 is brighter but I don't now if the difference is perceptually noticeable.

Sorry, that's a lot of questions! Thanks again for taking such huge amount of time to reply to everyone on this forum. All you posts are a goldmine of information. :)
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
I’d say the NU8000 is slightly better. It’s brighter and has local dimming, although it’s not the best system. It also has four 2.0 hdmi ports, v two on the Sony. And finally, it’s smart system is far better.

But where the Sony is better is with its 120hz panel.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I hear your comment on "better having poor HDR at lower price (or higher size) than average HDR". Would you mind expanding on that? I'm just curious of what dealing with average HDR means in practice? Some movies/shows will look ok, but some will have clipping or things like that?
There are fundamentals that constitute to how good a TV displays HDR. The main criteria comes from the TV itself such as increased colour reproduction and the TVs ability to display bright highlights without sacrificing deep black levels.

When you feed a TV that doesn't get very bright or one that can't separate light from dark with a HDR signal it can mean there are adverse affects such as the picture being too dark or the picture looking washed out as the TV struggles to separate the bright highlights from the darker parts of the picture. This is something that can change based on the source master of the material.

Some masters are designed to only have a max nits level of around 400-500 nits, a figure that both Samsung NU8000 or Sony XF85/XF87 are able to display without an issue, some however are mastered with up to 10,000 nits and its usually with those higher nit masters that there's more of an issue displaying on lower nit displays as they will try either to compress that 10,000 nits down to a very small figure or to clip the highlights completely so you get no dynamic range in the picture.

So whilst mid range models like the NU8000 and XF85/XF87 are an improvement with HDR over cheaper models because they get a little brighter, they can still be subject to displaying HDR poorly.

Its not until you get to TVs with good local dimming and around 1000nits of brightness that you find you don't get these kinda issues with HDR.

As for refurbished models, the warranty you get as standard by the manufacturer (1 year) is the same as when you buy a TV new. Its only in the UK where we have been spoilt by the extra 4-5 year warranty retailers seem to provide extra. Not that it really matters but its worth saying.

You can also take out your own warranty either for just the TV or for all appliances at home instead if you wanted too.

I bought a refurbished model from the Panasonic store from eBay with only a year warranty and I needed one repair not long after I bought the TV. Many people don't have an issue at all but there is probably more of a chance you'll get a problem than buying new. Although there is still a chance that you'll have a problem with a new TV anyway.

As for brightness difference, I wouldn't worry about the difference between the XF85/XF87 and the NU8000, for SDR it does not matter at all and for HDR, neither TV is really suitable.
 

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