Are there any decent TV's under "50?

Discussion in 'What Is The Best TV For You?' started by Leavon, Nov 6, 2017.

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  1. Leavon

    Leavon
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    I'm really struggling to find a decent TV under 50" that delivers strong blacks. I had a 42" Panny plasma for 7 years and never had a single complaint about the picture quality. 2 years ago we moved house and the GF really wanted a smaller TV but I managed to get a 43" past her as the overall size of the TV was so much smaller than the Panny.
    I thought we'd "upgrade" to 4K at the same time and opted for the Sony KDL-43W805C. What a mistake, first of all there was a year of firmware issues but even after all that was resolved I've never been happy with the poor black levels of the TV. It felt like such a step backward from the Plasma.
    We love Sci-fi and I'm constantly disappointed by the washed out grey appearance of starfields and any low-light scenes. I'm still not sure what any of Arrival actually looked like.
    Apart from the odd Netflix programme, the 4k is a wasted feature too. Also the viewing angle is dreadful, anything off axis and the picture is even more washed out.
    so 2 years down the line I'm wanting to replace it, I was hoping that OLED would be the solution, but there doesn't seem to be anything under 50" (the living room and my other half won't tolerate anything larger). Can anyone recommend a TV (preferably under £1500) that will make me excited about watching it again and not constantly pine for the old Panny plasma?
     
  2. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    Surely the W805C is a Full HD TV?

    The Sony XE90 or Samsung Q7 are your best candidates. The Samsung has the best anti-reflective filter to cut down light reflected from the screen and the one of the highest native contrasts while the Sony has the most capable local dimming system at that size.

    If your current TV is a VA panel already though you may not see enough improvement. Perhaps consider softly lighting the room instead of trying to darken the TV.

    43" or 49" OLEDs are most likely to appear in 2020.
     
  3. Leavon

    Leavon
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    The W805C is a UHD TV, why do you ask?

    Thanks for the recommendations, the XE90 is on the radar, not sure I'm gonna get a 49" past the GF though. I really don't understand why all the premium TV's have moved to such massive sizes, has everybody upgraded to mansions in the past 10 years?
    A bit of googling has revealed that the W805C is an IPS panel so maybe upgrading to a VA panel will help matters. We don't watch the TV in the dark (just the projector), we have a couple of uplighters on in the evenings so already do the soft lighting thing, not keen on having the "big light" on so the room lighting is what it is.
    Christ I can't take another 2 years of muddy, grey TV.....
     
  4. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    Sony KDL-43W805C is a FHD TV. Are you sure you don't own a model in the UHD 2015 X85C range?

    Hang on a minute.
    Where are you finding info about it being an IPS panel? If the TV has a poor viewing angle it certainly doesn't have an IPS panel.

    Depends how poor you mean, if its starting to degrade 30 degrees off axis from the centre then its almost definitely VA.

    I wish I could have advised you (or your GF)! before you made your purchase. I have written a lot of reasons why Plasma TVs are still better than LCDs, even today. Thinking of replacing your plasma?

    Yes, TV manufacturers stopped making decent FHD TVs about when your current TV was made (2015) now if you want a higher range model, even mid range you are looking at at least 49" for mid and 55" for high range TVs...and no FHD model anymore is even mid range in quality, only low end.

    I believe the push for larger screen sizes is down to the UHD age - you need a much larger TV to even benefit from UHD content...of course in many places like the UK that isn't ideal where we generally have a lot less space compared to other countries.

    I'm keen to find out for sure what panel type your TV does have, its strange that you complain about black levels if it uses a VA type panel and its also strange that you complain about viewing angles if it uses an IPS type panel.

    Of course both black levels and viewing angles aren't going to be as good as a Plasma TV.

    Certainly this french review seems to point to it using a VA type panel: Sony KDL-43W805C : une 3D dont on se passerait bien
     
  5. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    To add extra info, the best TV you can find now at 49" would be the Sony 49XE9005. Compared to your current TV there will be a little gained in contrast and blacks because it is direct lit versus edge and uses a Full Array Local dimming system. Its a TV designed with HDR in mind and its an UHD model versus FHD on your current TV, so anything that you watch in compressed SD like TV channels/SD quality streams will likely look worse than on your current model.

    But your current TV is actually a well regarded model (software bugs aside) have you considered calibrating it to make sure you have the best settings?
     
  6. Leavon

    Leavon
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    Sorry, it's the KD43X8307CBU, god these names are so confusing, why can't they just call em Barry or Trevor?
     
  7. Leavon

    Leavon
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    I've spent weeks calibrating it, turned pretty much everything off on the picture settings and reduced brightness to reduce the bloom from the edge light. It's just horrible in low light scenes compared to my old Panny.
    I get better blacks from my projector than from the telly.
     
  8. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    Right, that changes stuff considerably. Yes model numbers are stupid I know. Believe me there is worse out there!

    It seems like your TV does in fact use an IPS panel - strange really when it also has bad viewing angles.

    In that case a TV like the Sony 49XE9005 is going to be a considerable upgrade in black levels and contrast. Its much improved software wise to your 2015 model too, although it still uses android TV.

    If you want to move away from Sony the next best value is the Samsung Q7, its more expensive and the extra price isn't really justified, but its an alternate option if you don't want to go with Sony again.

    Both these two TVs are quite capable with HDR and normally I would recommend if you aren't using much HDR not to spend this kind of money. Sadly if you are sticking only to 49"/50" models and not 55"/58" models there isn't really a viable cheaper alternative.

    The Panasonic 50EX750 would be a good bet, but when the Sony isn't that much more money even for someone who uses little HDR the Sony is still better value.

    Viewing angle wise none of these TVs are going to be good, there is a chance they could be even poorer than your current TV. It is a trait of every LCD with a VA type panel that they have narrow viewing angles. Sadly its a compromise that can't be avoided without going for OLED (55"+) or having another TV with an IPS panel like your current TV and losing the deeper blacks and wider contrast range.

    Hope this helps.

    ps I wouldn't buy now if I were you, instead wait at least for black friday, there is more info here in my signature guide link: The best time to buy a TV TVs will considerably drop in price over the year between their release and when the new models are announced/released.
     
  9. Leavon

    Leavon
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    That's a great help thanks! It's reassuring to know that the Sony and Samsung would be an upgrade in black levels.
    Unfortunately I really don't think I'm gonna get a 49" set past the GF though, she's not keen on the TV dominating the room and it's a fair hike in size from a 43 to a 49 :(. I'm prolly gonna have to put up with the crappy picture until someone makes an average sized OLED.
     
  10. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    Is she aware how slim and small these new TVs are? Maybe a run round a TV shop may change her mind?

    If you are willing to pay over the odds have you considered the Samsung frame TV? Maybe she will like the look of that since it resembles a picture frame. You can get it in 49". Its still better than any 43" TV available..but you do really pay a lot extra for the design.

    Its by no means as good as the models I have mentioned but it is still a very capable TV..just expensive because you are paying for the design.

    Also, as far as TVs looking good in a room, has she seen the OLED models? They may be 55" but they have next to no bezels and you can mount them very close to the wall. They pretty much resemble a picture when wall mounted they are so slim.

    If you are limited to 43" your options are more limited. No mid range TVs are even produced at that size anymore and like your current TV most 43" models this year use IPS.

    You could go for a decent 40" model with a VA type panel like the Samsung MU6100 or MU6400. Not sure yet if the 43" version of these TVs is VA or not, I suspect it may not be. They are low range models but will give you an upgrade in blacks and contrast compared to your current TV.
     
  11. Leavon

    Leavon
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    The TV we've got is pretty slim, it's not the depth it's the overall size of the thing that she objects to. The room demands that the TV is on a stand in front of a bay window, we can't wall mount unfortunately. There's no way she'd go for a 55 and to be honest we've got our projector for when we want really big screen stuff.
    After this disappointing TV and having been spoiled by 7 years of plasma ownership, I really want the next TV to be as good as possible and I don't really wanna go any smaller than a 43 if possible.
    I'm a bit depressed about the way things have gone in TV development, there must be a market of people who want high end TV's but don't want huge screens? Or maybe there isn't.
     
  12. Dodgexander

    Dodgexander
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    Its a considerable gap in the market that's for sure. It doesn't look like its going to improve much any time soon either. Certainly not in the next couple of years anyway. LG have hinted they are gonna make smaller OLEDs but as already mentioned we're looking at 2-3 years yet for that.

    In your shoes maybe I would look at a stop gap TV if you find your current TV really bad. The 45" Hisense N5750 might be a good bet, it should use a VA type panel which will give you better blacks. There are no professional reviews of the TV but user reviews look good. If unsure you could always try and see the TV in the flesh somewhere to judge for yourself. Stores like richer sounds advertise they have demo rooms and you can make appointments to demo TVs there so maybe they would be willing to give you a proper demo of the TV.

    Viewing them in a showroom apart from judging motion isn't much use.
     
  13. Leavon

    Leavon
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    Okay, that sounds interesting! There's a Richer sounds not too far from me, I'll try and take a look at one.
    Thanks for all the info by the way, you've been really helpful!
     

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