55” TV with HDMI 2.1 support

Cakefish

Member
Just over a year ago I bought a Philips 50PUS8204 for £399 and I’ve been happy with it for the most part. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very forward-looking and didn’t bother spending more for HDMI 2.1 compatibility at the time, as I only had a Nintendo Switch and I didn’t think that would change anytime soon. So of course, as fate would have it, I recently bought one of the new Xbox Series X consoles! So now I’m hankering for a TV upgrade again to get 120Hz support as well as VRR - also better HDR picture quality would be nice too! I definitely don’t want to make the same mistake twice so I’ve upped my budget this time around and started looking at 55” models, where the better value for money seems to lie. I mostly use my TV for gaming, YouTube, and Plex. Occasionally I’ll use streaming apps like Netflix, Prime Video, iPlayer etc.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the upcoming Philips 55PUS9206, as I am a fan of the Ambilight feature, but it doesn’t seem to have FALD backlighting so that’s making me consider sacrificing Ambilight for better picture quality. Richer Sounds has recently listed the lower end 50PUS8506 for £750 so that also has me thinking that the 55PUS9206 is probably going to end up costing more than the specifications can justify. So I’m started to seriously consider other brands now.

My list currently looks like this:

*Samsung QN94A - £1,800
*LG C1 - £1,700
*Samsung Q95T - £1,200
*LG CX - £1,200

Essentially it boils down to two main choices: OLED vs VA LCD and 2021 vs 2020. I just can’t figure out what’s best for me. I know OLED gets rave reviews but I’m a bit concerned about burn in as I’m not a typical user and can play the same game for multiple hours at a time with lots of static HUD elements. Also, as my TV is by a window I will be tempted to use an OLED at higher brightness levels, which I’ve read increases the risk of burn in too. Samsung doesn’t have any burn in risk and get brighter but lack Dolby Vision support (which I’ve read is superior to HDR10) and both models I’m considering only have a single HDMI 2.1 port vs the LG models complete set of 4 (certainly not a problem for the foreseeable future but if I ever do decide to get a PS5 a few years down the line it might be a bit awkward).

Sony X90J looks good in theory but is a bit of a non-starter as it doesn’t yet support VRR nor ALLM - and I definitely want those features! Not sure if I can trust Sony to stick to their marketing promises of an update by the end of the year considering X90H owners have been waiting for a very long time!

I’d much appreciate any advice or suggestions that you can give to me!
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Have you seen: My best TVs for next gen gaming 2020-21

All the best buys are listed there. There are no 2021 models since they are all overpriced having just been released. - If you want a 2021 model, best instead buy at a time when their prices aren't so high.

These may help you narrow down:

Regarding Philips, even their 9 series TVs are low tier TVs. The 9 series in 2021 is not going to be better than the TV you currently own. In 2021 they have promised some FALD models (prefix PML instead of PUS) but who knows when we will see them. Being new like other 2021 models they will also be overpriced.

If you want to buy currently, go for a model from 2020 that's discounted due to being end of life. If you want to wait to buy, wait until Black Friday or later for discounts on 2021 stock.
 

Cakefish

Member
Thanks!

Are the changes in the 2021 models worth waiting another 6 months for? It sounds like they’ve improved a lot on the Samsung side (mini LED) but even LG has some handy little additions (new remote and Freeview Play).

I can see you recommend both LG CX and Samsung Q95T - is there a favourite? I’ve looked into my work discount scheme and can get LG CX from Currys for £1,128 and Samsung Q95T from Samsung direct for £1,079.

Shame about all Philips LCDs being poor image quality, I guess their OLEDs must be similar to LG though?

One more thing: I’ve been reading through the other recent threads here and see some people mentioning OLEDs can’t be used for more than 4 hours at a time without damaging them - is this true? I can definitely be using the TV for more than that length of time in one sitting on some days.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Given the outlay, if you have any concerns, better go for LCD (ie the Samsung). It’s still a premium set (check warranty length when buying direct through a discount scheme). Currys don’t cover burn in typically (you can pay extra at John Lewis however)
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
With a limited budget there's no use in waiting. The only time waiting may be worth it is if you decide you want an LCD TV and target the QN90A when its price comes down a bit.
I don't think it will ever be as cheap as the Q95T you can currently find and if it does surprise me and drop to a similar price, it won't be until a year from now or so.

With LG the C1 is practically the same as the CX minus a few feature differences. Picture quality is no better or worse. You could wait for a price drop on the C1 around Black Friday, it may only then cost 100-200 more than the CX now.

Philips OLEDs are indeed good TVs, they are similar to LG OLEDs and share the same panel. Their TVs are suited more for people who don't game and prefer good motion in video content like sport. Like all OLEDs, they share the same panel made by LG so outside of picture processing, have exactly the same picture quality.

OLED TVs perform whats called a refresh cycle every 4h, some warn you, some do it when you turn the TV into standby. Its definitely recommended for the long term longevity of the TV to perform this cycle, but the risk of OLED burn in has a lot more to do with the content you watch on the TV that has static logos or tickers, than whether you perform the refresh cycle every 4h.

So definitely recommended, but not required. If you are concerned about longevity then perhaps consider waiting for TVs with LGs new EVO panel to come down in price. It will cost you even more money than the C1, but they have made changes to the panel again which makes it more durable.

For most people burn in is not an issue, but its important to understand what causes it so you don't end up owning the TV and getting burn in when its too late.

There's no one best TV for everyone, so I can't really answer which is better than the CX and Q95T. That's really up to you, and which technology you prefer. Each has its own set of pros and cons.
 

Cakefish

Member
Thanks to you both for your input!

My budget is currently ~£1600. Can go a bit higher if I keep saving up every month.

I’m starting to wonder if I’m being overly paranoid about burn in. I do intersperse my gaming with highly varied YouTube and Plex content.

Though the extra brightness of the Samsung would definitely be appreciated I’m starting to lean towards OLED now I think. I prefer the look of LG’s WebOS UI and the fact it has Dolby Vision support too.

I’m now wondering if Philips 806 would be worth waiting for vs the LG CX/C1? Or just go with CX on discount while I still can.
 

Cakefish

Member
I see there’s been a price drop on Samsung QN94A - I can now get it for £1529. Q95TC I can currently get for £989.

Do you think these price drops make Samsung the better buy?

I’ve seen a thread on these forums with lots of complaints about motion stutter on Q90T so I’m a little cautious of that one but QN94A is unaffected AFAIK?
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
The QN series is a new series in 2021 like the LG C1 you mentioned in a previous post, because its new its still very expensive. It shouldn't cost 50% more than the Q90T.

With motion its very subjective, ensure you buy from a good retailer so if you don't get along with the TV you can return it, I've known people unhappy, and happy with the Q90T/Q95T motion. A lot is in the eye of the beholder here, and same would be true of every TV since every TV has some kind of motion complaint.

My advice is to always narrow down on technology first, you'll have a hard time comparing TVs if you are considering both OLED and LCD TVs, they are like comparing apples to oranges and are suited to different use cases/preferences.
 

Cakefish

Member
The QN series is a new series in 2021 like the LG C1 you mentioned in a previous post, because its new its still very expensive. It shouldn't cost 50% more than the Q90T.

With motion its very subjective, ensure you buy from a good retailer so if you don't get along with the TV you can return it, I've known people unhappy, and happy with the Q90T/Q95T motion. A lot is in the eye of the beholder here, and same would be true of every TV since every TV has some kind of motion complaint.

My advice is to always narrow down on technology first, you'll have a hard time comparing TVs if you are considering both OLED and LCD TVs, they are like comparing apples to oranges and are suited to different use cases/preferences.
I agree! I keep ping-ponging back and forth between LCD and OLED. Essentially it‘s an inability to decide which is the lesser of two evils; worse reflection handling/lower brightness/burn-in risk on OLED vs DSE risk/blooming on LCD.
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
From what you've mentioned it might be a better idea for you to either go for an LCD TV, or pickup an OLED and pay extra for insurance from John Lewis.
You could also consider the new LG G1 with its 5 year panel warranty included, although that TV is obtrusively expensive at the minute.
 

Cakefish

Member
From what you've mentioned it might be a better idea for you to either go for an LCD TV, or pickup an OLED and pay extra for insurance from John Lewis.
You could also consider the new LG G1 with its 5 year panel warranty included, although that TV is obtrusively expensive at the minute.
I went into town and took a look in my nearest Currys today so I could see the difference with my own eyes.

The OLEDs did look great with the inky blacks as expected and the reflections weren’t actually as bad as I was anticipating relative to the rest. The fact that the thin screen juts out a bit either side of the main body concerns me, as I need to be able to lift this onto my TV stand all by myself and that would make it a lot more difficult to lift solo vs LCDs with their much thicker side profiles that I can grip onto. Sounds silly I know, but I don’t have family/friends living anywhere near me, my neighbour is an elderly man, and all my work colleagues are still WFH. Though I notice I could pay £45 with Currys/John L to get help with setting it up, I think that would be mandatory with OLED in my situation.

They had the Sony X94J sitting right next to LG CX and I was actually really impressed by it looking at them both side-by-side - such a shame Sony don’t yet support VRR!

Unfortunately the highest end Samsung they had on show was the Q85T, it still looked good, but I was disappointed they didn’t have a QN90A on show or even a Q90T.

I’m attaching some photos of my current TV setup just to give an idea of what the ambient light looks like during the day (albeit cloudy and overcast) and with both curtains and blinds fully closed. The TV is set to 100% brightness with light sensor disabled just to give some sort of reference point.

Unfortunately the G1 is out of my price range, particularly as I can’t wall mount as I live in a rented flat, so would need to buy the optional stand/feet. The optional burn in warranty from John Lewis is an extra £140 by the looks of it.

Really appreciating your advice and knowledge! Thank you for taking the time to help me.
 

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Dodgexander

Moderator
Reflection handling is good with OLEDs, its the fact they don't get as bright as LCD TVs that can mean in certain content they are dimmer.
Generally though they should be as bright, if not brighter than your Philips.

The Sony X94J is a Currys variant of the X90J which is the succesor to the XH9005, they are a tier beneath the new XJ95 (or older XH9505) with worse HDR performance, viewing angles and anti glare. Really you want to compare top end LCD TVs to OLED, if you are to compare them at all.
 

Cakefish

Member
Thanks again.

HDTVTest just released a review of QN95A and mentioned that it has “significantly less VRR flicker than what’s seen on OLED”. This might end up being the clincher that swings me to LCD, as VRR is the #1 most important feature that I desire in a new TV (along with 120Hz), then followed by decent HDR. That review was released just a couple days ago, so after LG had already updated their software with the VRR gamma flicker mitigation feature.

I do worry about the lack of Dolby Vision on Samsung models, but I’ve seen the VRR flicker on my brother’s Nano86 and it was quite bothersome and if it’s just worse on OLED then that’s quite off-putting. Gaming is going to be my primary use for the TV after all. Films and TV shows are less important to me.
 

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