4K TV selection - £400-450 budget - HDR? - Android TV

mossikukulas

Novice Member
Hi all

I'm looking to replace my aging 32inch TV with a TV up to 50 inches mostly was watching TV shows and films.
  • budget is £400 but may extend up to £450 for something really decent
  • IPS or VS panel - I love my 27inch IPS monitor on my PC in terms of colors and I think that'd be best for the TV but happy to be proved otherwise by more knowledgeable people :)
  • in terms of HDR I was thinking of HDR10+ and HLG - I won't have much material that's Dolby Vision
  • is Android TV worth it in terms of video reproduction? I was told Android TV does reproduce the picture better but not sure how that works
  • direct viewing angle at the moment but may change in the future
  • No gaming to be done on this TV so not a requirement at all
  • are less known brands like Hisense or TCL worth it? was looking into LG as they build their own panels but again I'm very open-minded
  • I've seen comments about John Lewis and RIcher Sounds for the extended warranty so no problem there
  • sound will be output to my Yamaha amp for a 2.1 configuration so for me not a major requirement

As I don't (and can't afford) buy TVs very often I'm looking to make a good choice that should hopefully last a few years.

Thank you all in advance!
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
IPS or VS panel - I love my 27inch IPS monitor on my PC in terms of colors and I think that'd be best for the TV but happy to be proved otherwise by more knowledgeable people :)

IPS is good for viewing angles, but for a TV you're going to be viewing direct you'd be better with a VA panel for better blacks, contrast and uniformity.

in terms of HDR I was thinking of HDR10+ and HLG - I won't have much material that's Dolby Vision
Anything that has Dolby Vision, HDR10+ etc, if your TV doesn't have it, it still works with the basic HDR standard which is HDR10.

Unfortunately, in your price bracket though, HDR is better avoided altogether.
All 4K TVs now claim to be HDR compatible and different variations of that standard, however, they're not HDR capable and watching HDR content on them can be a frustrating experience as they don't cope well with the contrast required to show HDR properly.

The end result is either your TV goes too bright or too dark and you lose any detail or it goes murky grey instead of black.

A TV needs a bright enough backlight and FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) to be HDR capable or be an OLED and that costs more money. Starting about double where you are at the moment.

There are some nearly capable sets such as the Hisense U7Q or Sony XH9005 slightly down the price range, the Hisense being close to your max budget, but anything under that should be treated and an HD TV and 4K content avoided.
These two TVs both have a FALD system but their peak brightness is too low to be considered good for HDR.
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
@Sloppy Bob thanks for your reply.
This is exactly the information I was after.. what sort of budget do you think I'd need to increase it to in order to get an HDR capable panel?
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
£700+ unless you can get a refurb or ex display and then better performance and value in a 55”
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
When you say:
..but anything under that should be treated and an HD TV and 4K content avoided.

Do you mean not buy a 4K TV or not play HDR content and just watch it without HDR?
Sorry this seemed to be a bit confusing I have to admit.

The idea is to buy a 4K TV for that kind of budget, I already have a FHD one.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Its because 4k usually comes hand in hand with HDR.

4k and HD are just resolutions. Another name for 4k is UHD.

HDR is something else, and is included in most UHD video. It can be included in HD video too, but more rarely. Likewise UHD video can include only SDR, and not HDR, but again its rare.

To cut a long story short every TV can accept a HDR signal now, but very few can display it properly, it wouldn't be an issue if you could disable HDR easily, but you can't unless you use an external device for playback and even that has its own set of limitations.
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
Its because 4k usually comes hand in hand with HDR.

4k and HD are just resolutions. Another name for 4k is UHD.

HDR is something else, and is included in most UHD video. It can be included in HD video too, but more rarely. Likewise UHD video can include only SDR, and not HDR, but again its rare.

To cut a long story short every TV can accept a HDR signal now, but very few can display it properly, it wouldn't be an issue if you could disable HDR easily, but you can't unless you use an external device for playback and even that has its own set of limitations.

Yeah I'm aware of the difference in resolutions.
I usually talk in 1080p and 2160p terms but I thought I'd blend in and use FHD instead :)

I assume if I'm watching a standard BBC iPlayer or similar on demand signal at 1080p that won't have HDR in it? Or will it have HLG? I read that this is something that the BBC is trying to promote but I don't have a scooby which broadcasters actually use it.

So for conventional freeview viewing for argument's sake (mostly done by my wife and son) the 1080p upscaling that the 4K screen will do as it won't have HDR with it (so it gets displayed badly)

My concern then is how will the HDR content is going to be displayed on a panel that's not the best for HDR viewing is what we're saying?

I wasn't aware that everything 4K is by default HDR.

When you say an external device for limitation, eg. using a media PC to play an .mkv file that is 4K/HDR10+, would that be a suitable example?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Apart from select trials iPlayer tops out at 720p and is always SDR. It won't look great on a 4k TV due to the quality and resolution being low. Watchable though. BBC do use iPlayer to roll out select events or documentaries in UHD and HDR if your internet speed delivered to the TV is fast enough. They are things like Blue Planet, Planet Earth and sporting events such as the football world cup. Since BBC is the joint adopter of HLG HDR, that is indeed the format they will use. Like all HDR formats, it is bolted on to the video when they use it and the TV will pick up on it and display HDR when its included.

Unfortunately the limitation is not having control over when a TV picks up HDR and when it doesn't. So if you use a cheaper TV, you end up in a scenario where you can't avoid playing HDR content when it makes the picture look worse than the SDR version.

There are some specific times you can work around it. The first is if the app itself lets you disable and enable HDR, or the app gives you the option of two different streams to view, one SDR, one HDR. Unfortunately its not common, with HDR toggles non-existent in all apps, and the choice of video if there is one usually being between HD SDR or UHD HDR with nothing inbetween.
Netflix and Amazon are good examples. Netflix will automatically engage HDR if you have a Premium UHD Netflix plan, and the only way to avoid it is to downgrade to a non-premium plan where you also lose UHD.
Amazon gives two choices of programmes, one HD and SDR, one UHD and HDR.

The problem with HDR comes with the demands it makes on the LCD television. It was designed to be displayed on TVs that have high peak brightness and good local dimming. It can mean if you use it on a TV without these, that you get problems such as the picture being too dark, or it looking washed out.

Unfortunately it was something they overlooked when designing HDR, and something TV manufacturers like to push as a feature on all of their TVs, even those without the ability to display it without problems.

The workaround with an external device works by disabling HDMI 2.0 on the HDMI port. By downgrading the port to HDMI 1.4 you disable the ability for an external device to pass HDR10. This means you can use an external device to play back UHD content without HDR as it should still detect the TV as UHD and play content in UHD resolution, without the HDR data.

It does have its own set of drawbacks though, some devices will fall back to HD if they do not see they are connected to a HDMI 2.0 port, and if they do detect UHD, the frame rate is limited to a maximum of 30fps which means only TV shows and movies can be used. Sport will drop back to HD since the frame rate is usually 50fps.

Basically HDR is something that can be removed from video if the option is available, but they just don't give you the option for some stupid reason.
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
So HDR aside, in terms of clarity and better definition in the picture for that price range what TV would recommend. Again we're looking at up to 50 inches and up to £450 max.

I assume Richer Sounds and John Lewis are the stores of choice for the extended warranty?
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Yes to those retailers.
Take your pick from the low tier models in the guide
I bought my parents a Samsung (43TU8000), they’re happy with the picture (also SD as they often don’t use the HD channels!). Think the models in the range are all pretty much the same if that one is over budget.
Eg Samsung UE50TU7020

50” TVs have VA panels so less good for viewing at an angle
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
What's the preference of the people here in terms of the IPS vs VA argument?

I much prefer the colours on my IPS monitor for example but people tell me if you're going to be watching TV in a dark you want a VA panel for the proper black reproduction.. technically I never watch anything in a completely dark room, there is always some kind of light even if it's a small one.

I don't know though if the IPS panel translates equally well as a TV.
Having said that I occasionally watch TV shows and/or films on my 27inch IPS monitor and everything looks great. Especially things like anime.

ps. for those who know when's the best time for bargains/reduced prices this time of the year? Black Friday is a bit far in the calendar :)
 
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vickster

Distinguished Member
in terms of level, how does your monitor compare to the budget TVs you’re looking at? A high end monitor could expected to be better than a low end TV.
How about buying your preferred TV from a retailer that does returns if not happy (ie Costco)
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
in terms of level, how does your monitor compare to the budget TVs you’re looking at? A high end monitor could expected to be better than a low end TV.
How about buying your preferred TV from a retailer that does returns if not happy (ie Costco)

Well mine isn't what I'd call a high level monitor, more like entry level.

The TV I have at the moment is the LE32B530P7W which isn't even LED backlit. It's CCFL technology and I have no clue what the panel technology is. (couldn't find it)

My monitor isn't high end, it's this one:

I had to send it back twice due to excessive backlight bleed and a weird electrical noise. The current model does have some faint backlight bleed. They're the same as this:

I believe they're Samsung panels that didn't make the quality control check.

I think I'm narrowing down to an IPS panel with HDR10+ to about 50 inches but I don't think Richer Sounds or JL have any models in my budget. Also it's infuriating that every 50inch panel is VA.. which is the ideal size but I prefer IPS as a rule.

I think most retailers in the UK allow for returns but I also think I need to go and have a look at some up close whenever the shops open..
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Are 49” IPS, there’s no difference in size really? Eg

LG 49UN7300 / 49UN7390 - Great smart TV, competitive pricing compared to the competition. Decent in a bright room. 49UN7300 is the first that comes with the magic remote. But you may also find value in the 49UN7100 if you don't care about a smart remote or the UN8000 and UN8100 if you want both smart remote and an extra HDMI port. Good for a bright room. LG differences here: LG_TV_LineUp_chart_2020_v1.0.pdf

£379 with code Spring10 (or £375 Amazon prime from same seller)

You won’t get a good idea of a tv just looking in a brightly lit showroom
Your budget is rather low for HDR, can you save up for longer and hope that prices of higher tier models come down a bit more in June or July. The LG won’t give you proper HDR performance like other low tier models
 
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mossikukulas

Novice Member
Let's put conventional HDR content aside for a moment from Sky etc.

What if the source was HDR10+ mp4/mkv files played by a PC connected via HDMI?
Do you think the performance would be better in terms of HDR?

I am considering waiting until I find what I want which I'm very capable of doing lol

49inch is fine btw, you're right it doesn't make a difference if it's 49 or 50
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
I think the issue is regardless of source, lower end models just can’t go bright enough to display properly. I’m sure there’s a guide on the forum about this
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
Also what's the deal with HDR10+ ?

While investigating I've been finding articles,videos etc from 2-3 years ago saying HDR10+ is dead on arrival and it's already obsolete among other things.

Cue in today it's still around and still marketed..

Very confusing..
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Buying a TV is confusing nowadays, does this help regarding HDR?

There are more guides in my signature:

If there's anything specific you need to know, I'm happy to help.
Also what's the deal with HDR10+ ?
Should be explained in my guide above but its just a HDR format. The same as HLG, HDR10, Dolby Vision. TVs may accept multiple formats or even just a single format but they will always support HDR10. The problem we've mentioned above isn't really about the formats the TV accepts, but the fact you are only looking at cheaper TVs that do not have the means to display HDR properly regardless of their HDR support.
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
Thanks Dodgexander

I was referring more about its longevity because there were videos and articles 2-3 years ago that were presenting it as something that would never take off and the first casualty of the HDR format wars. But I'm seeing now it has support from Amazon, Samsung, Panasonic etc so I assume it's going to be around for a while.. it's quite funny though how everyone was saying it's dead on arrival.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
There's not really a HDR format war, at least not like the entire Blu-Ray/HDDVD/VHS/Betamax thing in the past. This is because if a TV doesn't support Dolby Vision or HDR10+ it will fall back to HDR10.

Certainly though its nice to have things match up as often as possible, which is one of the selling points of TVs that support both formats.

What matters more than the format the TV accepts, is its ability to display HDR to begin with. With LCD TVs that means you need to aim for a model with high peak brightness and good local dimming. If you can't up the budget to these models then unfortunately you will be wasting your time looking at HDR format support as no TV, despite the format it accepts will be able to display the content without issues.

If you want the cheapest TV that can do the job in some circumstances, look at the Hisense U7Q.
 

mossikukulas

Novice Member
Are 49” IPS, there’s no difference in size really? Eg

LG 49UN7300 / 49UN7390 - Great smart TV, competitive pricing compared to the competition. Decent in a bright room. 49UN7300 is the first that comes with the magic remote. But you may also find value in the 49UN7100 if you don't care about a smart remote or the UN8000 and UN8100 if you want both smart remote and an extra HDMI port. Good for a bright room. LG differences here: LG_TV_LineUp_chart_2020_v1.0.pdf

£379 with code Spring10 (or £375 Amazon prime from same seller)

You won’t get a good idea of a tv just looking in a brightly lit showroom
Your budget is rather low for HDR, can you save up for longer and hope that prices of higher tier models come down a bit more in June or July. The LG won’t give you proper HDR performance like other low tier models

I think I might go for this one in the end. I've read and viewed s many conflicting views on HDR and I don't think I'm going to spend a truckload of money on a TV so I might skip 4K HDR content and just stick to 4K SDR content instead. So going for nice colours I think I'll go for this TV or one from this line.

Been reading reviews and people give it less marks because it doesn't have ITV hub or BBC iPlayer.. I don't care really as I have an Amazon stick so I'm covered on that front.

My only concern is lightbleed as it's an IPS panel but I'll investigate more about that.
 

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