Can you recommend a shortlist of 65" high end sets?

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Hi all, always come here for buying recommendations, although thanks to previous great advice from the forum it's been quite a few years!

My beloved Samsung D6900 59" plasma has started doing the dreaded power cycling and I suspect a board is dead. So I think I'll shortly be on the market for a new high end TV. I bought that in 2011 though, so I'm a long way out of the loop on where technology has gone, especially now Plasma is dead, which was previously my preference.

I've read through the guides in the forum, but a lot of the advice is five or so years old now, e.g. describing OLED as being a new breakout tech, so I'm trying to get my head around how have things moved on in that time? It sounds like OLED, QLED and Nanocell are the techs I should be looking at today?

I always do masses of research before buying, and expect to shortly be pouring over the owners threads, but it would be useful to get a quick shortlist of what people think the top three current TVs are in my market that I should have my eye on?

Requirements.
  • I'm going push up the screen size to 65", can't go any more due to the size of the wall. I could stick at 59", but where's the fun in that?
  • It will be wall mounted in a relatively dark room, even during the day, with three sofas in an arc of 120 degrees or so.
  • Viewing distances is going to vary from 6ft to 10ft or thereabouts, with up to 6 people.
  • I'm already assuming 4k, but not bothered about 8k. (frankly 1080p still looked fine, but you can't really buy that anymore)
  • Not sure about stuff like HDR. My wife loathes the 'hyper real' look of some modern stuff (the 48fps Hobbit is the example she always gives), but if it can be switched off then fine.
  • The main visual element of the old set that bothered me was some stuttering of side to side movement, e.g. a camera pan or someone running across the screen. Might just be my eyes getting old, but would like to improve smooth movement.
  • I already have an amp, speakers and sub, so I don't care about built in speakers, etc, as long as there is an ARC connection.
  • 90% of what we watch is from a 4K Apple TV, about another 9% is a Virgin Tivo box and every once in a while we breakout a Blu Ray, although that is becoming less frequent now.
  • Blu Rays are all HD, we don't have a 4k disc player and I doubt I'll buy one now as I'm most of the way down the road of streaming vs discs. So being able to do a decent job of upscaling my existing HD disc collection to 4k would be very nice.
  • A part of me would love to get another 3D TV, as I did like the active 3D on the old Samsung and have a load of 3D discs. But I am aware this is essentially a dead technology now, so will presumably have to abandon it. (sad face)
  • Most of our watching is HD TV programs, Now TV, iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Apple, maybe Disney+ soon, all of which is via the Apple TV, plus the occasional movie. We don't watch any sport and we don't play any games on this TV. Movies tend to be action, Sci Fi, etc.
  • At the moment all three devices are connected via my Denon AVR1912 amp, with a single HDMI to the TV and the Denon remote commander controlling it all. I'd prefer to replicate that setup if I can, as everything is wired in and one button switches screen and audio together, but I think I might need to upgrade the amp to support 4k.
  • I never watch any over the air stuff, either aerial or satellite, so I don't care about tuners, etc. (barely watch cable tbh, mostly just the news)
  • Not really bothered about Smart TV stuff, as I already have the Apple TV which I think gives me everything I need.
  • I might be interested in being able to mirror from a PC screen, as the Apple TV only supports mirroring from IOS, but that's very much a nice to have.
  • Don't care about things like voice recognition, in fact my wife refuses to have a smart speaker in the house.
  • Not bothered by ambient modes and things like that, we use the animated screen savers on the Apple TV and love them
  • Thin/no bezel is nice, especially as I'm going up a size, but not going to die in a ditch over a few mm.

So the main thing I am looking for is a high quality screen that is going to deliver the traditional home cinema movie experience in as high a quality as I can reasonably afford. That's what Samsung PS59D6900 has delivered for the last 9 years and I want to at least equal that. Ideally I want it better, but I've read with interest the buying guide which say you might not actually see an improvement going from that generation to now.
So excellent colours (in natural mode, not Currys super-bright), deep blacks, good detail, no artefacts, smooth motion, all the stuff movie nerds obsess over.

Budget is in the region of £2k, but I don't want to spend that much just to get bells and whistles I won't use. I'm pretty much all about the screen, not the toys. Equally, if pushing up another couple of hundred would access a significant improvement in tangible quality, I'll certainly consider it. Also, are there any new toys I haven't listed above that you think would turn my head?

Absent anything else, I'll probably gravitate towards Samsung as the last set has been brilliant. I'd happily keep using it if it hadn't gone and died on me! But open minded to other brands, although nervous about funky names I've never heard of. Not bothered about the year, if last year's model is objectively the same or better quality than this years' (and bearing in mind I don't really care about toys), I'll happily go for more bang for my buck with a 2019 model.

Any insight appreciated. Not looking for someone to pick my TV for me, but if I can get a good shortlist of 3 that'll save me a lot of time in research. Thanks in advance.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
It sounds like OLED, QLED and Nanocell are the techs I should be looking at today?
OLED is a new display technology. QLED and Nanocell are ways LCD TVs can display colours and are not new display technologies.
I always do masses of research before buying, and expect to shortly be pouring over the owners threads, but it would be useful to get a quick shortlist of what people think the top three current TVs are in my market that I should have my eye on?
Its always good to do this, but beware of reading so many complaints you'll be put off buying anything. No TV is perfect, and issues can seem more prominent and more probable by reading people who have a problem here on the forum. After all, most people would have no need to post in a TVs owners thread unless they already have a problem.
  • I'm going push up the screen size to 65", can't go any more due to the size of the wall. I could stick at 59", but where's the fun in that?
TV sizes nowadays are mainly 55" and 65"...but your budget allows for a very nice 65" TV.
  • It will be wall mounted in a relatively dark room, even during the day, with three sofas in an arc of 120 degrees or so.
This doesn't really help narrowing down your choice. You need to calculate the viewing angles at the widest positions from the centre of the TV. Some TVs, especially LCD TVs have pretty narrow viewing angles. You need an OLED TV if you want viewing angles that match Plasma levels.
  • Viewing distances is going to vary from 6ft to 10ft or thereabouts, with up to 6 people.
That is a conservative viewing distance from a 65" TV nowadays, good if you are still watching a lot of HD content. Not so good if you want to see a big difference in resolution between HD and UHD content.
  • Not sure about stuff like HDR. My wife loathes the 'hyper real' look of some modern stuff (the 48fps Hobbit is the example she always gives), but if it can be switched off then fine.
HDR is different from Photography HDR, it is all to do with increasing contrast and displaying more colours.
The only time that HDR should look artificial is if you don't buy a TV that can display it correctly. With your budget you should be fine. Of course each individual master can vary (just as it does with the SDR versions) so you may get along with some content in HDR more than others.

HDR is the future of video now, and its something that you'll want to adopt rather than avoid, but you'll see how much better HDR can make the picture look once you own a new TV :)
  • Most of our watching is HD TV programs, Now TV, iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Apple, maybe Disney+ soon, all of which is via the Apple TV, plus the occasional movie. We don't watch any sport and we don't play any games on this TV. Movies tend to be action, Sci Fi, etc.
Now TV/iPlayer is generally pretty poor quality by todays standards. You'll probably be okay at your viewing distance, but don't expect much from sources that are generally very low resolution and quality by todays standards. 4k TVs have 4x as many pixels as HD TVs, so using the TV to display HD content would be a similar experience to viewing DVDs or 720p content on older TVs.
  • At the moment all three devices are connected via my Denon AVR1912 amp, with a single HDMI to the TV and the Denon remote commander controlling it all. I'd prefer to replicate that setup if I can, as everything is wired in and one button switches screen and audio together, but I think I might need to upgrade the amp to support 4k.
Every TV has ARC now and will work with your current receiver. If you want to switch 4k devices together with HD audio, that is when you'll need to upgrade your receiver.
  • I might be interested in being able to mirror from a PC screen, as the Apple TV only supports mirroring from IOS, but that's very much a nice to have.
Every TV supports this but if this is a priority then you should consider TVs from LG and Samsung that support Apple Airplay.

My suggestions would be either the LG B9, Panasonic GZ950 or Sony AG8 for OLED TVs and the Samsung 65Q90R if you want an LCD TV. Consider narrowing down your choice of OLED vs LCD TV before deciding between different models though. Perhaps this link helps:

From what you have said, I'd say you seem more suited to OLED.

LG B9 - This would get your Airplay for screen sharing/casting but its motion isn't as well regarded as Panasonic, and especially Sony.
Panasonic GZ950 - This is really the most popular enthusiast TV if picture accuracy is of most importance to you. If you want the most natural picture in both HDR and SDR mode, don't look further than this TV.
Sony AG8 - This is the option you want if you prioritise the smoothest motion.

The market right now can be a tough one to buy in presently. Previously I would have also suggested you look at the LG C9 OLED but it seems all models have sold out now. New 2020 models are in the market, but as they have just been released they presently can't be recommended as they cost as much as 50% more than the TVs they replace.

If you don't intend to purchase a 2019 model now, you are best revisiting your purchase at a later time when 2020 models come down in price. Don't make the mistake looking at 2020 models at this time of year.
 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Thanks for the quick and comprehensive response, much appreciated.

OLED is a new display technology. QLED and Nanocell are ways LCD TVs can display colours and are not new display technologies.

Gotcha, sounds like OLED might be where I want to go, but I'll look into it some more. I guess for me anything that came after Plasma is 'new' :)

Its always good to do this, but beware of reading so many complaints you'll be put off buying anything. No TV is perfect, and issues can seem more prominent and more probable by reading people who have a problem here on the forum. After all, most people would have no need to post in a TVs owners thread unless they already have a problem.

Yup, well aware of this effect. I've been an AVF user for over 10 years and this will be my fourth or fifth purchase off the excellent advice on here. But yes, there always comes a point where you have to just hold your nose and pull the trigger :)

This doesn't really help narrowing down your choice. You need to calculate the viewing angles at the widest positions from the centre of the TV. Some TVs, especially LCD TVs have pretty narrow viewing angles. You need an OLED TV if you want viewing angles that match Plasma levels.

On one side the closest seat is probably 45 degrees from the centreline, on the other its more like 30 degrees, but with a longer viewing distance (think L shaped sofa with one arm coming towards the set down a wall). So I was probably over-egging it when I said 120 degrees. (I wasn't sat in the room when originally posting, but am now). Having had plasma TVs for 15 years that's what we are used to, so I guess that's another check for OLED.

That is a conservative viewing distance from a 65" TV nowadays, good if you are still watching a lot of HD content. Not so good if you want to see a big difference in resolution between HD and UHD content

We mostly watch HD and I don't expect that to massively change. My primary reason for buying is the old set has died, not because I'm after an upgrade. Obviously if I can get better I want to and would like to see it, and once I have a 4K set I'm sure I'll start sourcing 4k content. But I'm not expecting to be blown away by the resolution upgrade. The main reason I'm going 4K is it looks like you don't have much choice anymore!

HDR is different from Photography HDR, it is all to do with increasing contrast and displaying more colours.
The only time that HDR should look artificial is if you don't buy a TV that can display it correctly. With your budget you should be fine. Of course each individual master can vary (just as it does with the SDR versions) so you may get along with some content in HDR more than others.

HDR is the future of video now, and its something that you'll want to adopt rather than avoid, but you'll see how much better HDR can make the picture look once you own a new TV :)

Ok, I'm convinced, just need to get the right one then :)

Now TV/iPlayer is generally pretty poor quality by todays standards. You'll probably be okay at your viewing distance, but don't expect much from sources that are generally very low resolution and quality by todays standards. 4k TVs have 4x as many pixels as HD TVs, so using the TV to display HD content would be a similar experience to viewing DVDs or 720p content on older TVs.

No worries, we just go where the content we want is, hence we have so many subscriptions!. NowTV is mostly US late night shows now GoT has finished. I know you can't perform miracles with upscaling. But most of the stuff I watch where I do want to see the PQ will be movies, which are usually streamed from either Apple or Amazon.

Every TV supports this but if this is a priority then you should consider TVs from LG and Samsung that support Apple Airplay.

Apple is fine as I already do that via the Apple TV, it would be nice to mirror from Windows 10 though as I can't do that today.

My suggestions would be either the LG B9, Panasonic GZ950 or Sony AG8 for OLED TVs and the Samsung 65Q90R if you want an LCD TV. Consider narrowing down your choice of OLED vs LCD TV before deciding between different models though. Perhaps this link helps:

From what you have said, I'd say you seem more suited to OLED.

It sounds like OLED is going to get me the best PQ, which is my priority.

LG B9 - This would get your Airplay for screen sharing/casting but its motion isn't as well regarded as Panasonic, and especially Sony.
Panasonic GZ950 - This is really the most popular enthusiast TV if picture accuracy is of most importance to you. If you want the most natural picture in both HDR and SDR mode, don't look further than this TV.
Sony AG8 - This is the option you want if you prioritise the smoothest motion.

The Panasonic sounds like the first one to look at. With regards the motion, it's simply something that started to bother me on the old set, but that is a 2011 vintage Plasma. I was mostly thinking in terms of higher frame rates to improve it rather than digital smoothing (which I instinctively recoil from, going all the way back to my first DVD player in 1999!) I certainly don't want to be introducing digital artefacts and plasticine face in the name of 'smoothing' :)

The market right now can be a tough one to buy in presently. Previously I would have also suggested you look at the LG C9 OLED but it seems all models have sold out now. New 2020 models are in the market, but as they have just been released they presently can't be recommended as they cost as much as 50% more than the TVs they replace.

If you don't intend to purchase a 2019 model now, you are best revisiting your purchase at a later time when 2020 models come down in price. Don't make the mistake looking at 2020 models at this time of year.

Well as the driver is that our main TV has packed up, I don't have the luxury of waiting. But I'll keep my eyes open for that LG as well.

Thanks again for the comprehensive reply, very much appreciated.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
In the respect of motion the only true way you'll have an idea is once you own the TV. Even if you were able to demo the TVs in the shop you could notice a motion problem later on that you didn't test in the shop. Different frame rates and different sources can often have different results.

With Panasonic their motion is generally very good but if there was one area reviewers have often been critical is motion when using broadcast TV. Some people notice a stutter every so often, but most people do not.

With LG motion is improved a lot compared to older models, but its still not quite as good as Panasonic.

Sony or Philips are the best TVs to buy if you want good motion. I forgot to mention their OLEDs in my last reply but their 7 and 8 series OLEDs are also very good.

With viewing angles, certainly at that 45 degree position an OLED will look better than an LCD TV.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
The last few 65" Panasonic GZ950 are still around but will be gone in the next week or so as new 2020 higher priced models starting to come in.

I got a 65GZ950 about 3 weeks ago and am bowled over how damn good the image quality is and 5 year warranties available from these below, Peter Tyson @ £1699 which is a cracking deal. 6 yr warranty from Richers @ £1799 but they will usually price match.



 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Thanks for the pointers folks, I'm circling round the Panasonic GZ950 which looks to tick all my boxes, gets good reviews and is coming in under budget (which leaves some money for a new amp!).

Just waiting on a neighbour who used to do TV repairs to give an opinion on whether the Samsung is salvageable and I'll hopefully be pulling the trigger shortly!
 

LCDseeker

Distinguished Member
The last few 65" Panasonic GZ950 are still around but will be gone in the next week or so as new 2020 higher priced models starting to come in.

I got a 65GZ950 about 3 weeks ago and am bowled over how damn good the image quality is and 5 year warranties available from these below, Peter Tyson @ £1699 which is a cracking deal. 6 yr warranty from Richers @ £1799 but they will usually price match.




What was your previous set? The GZ950 does look a quality set but I've read some conflicting reviews.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
If you are asking what previous set I had it was a 2015 model Panny 65"CR852 Curved LCD 4k which was their top of the line at the time and nearly £3k when launched ( I paid £1500 at the time as the new 2016 models had just come out.

About 4 weeks ago it had developed a fault on the panel and could not be repaired so Currys where I had purchased it from with a £5 yr warranty gave me £1050 to put towards a new tv. After considering what was on offer reading plenty of reviews and wanting an OLED this time decided on the 65GZ950.

Couldn't be happier with it :)
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Power faults with Samsung TVs are common. I fixed mine just by fitting a replacement motherboard from eBay. Was as easy as replacing a PC motherboard.

If someone knows circuitry it may even be a case of just replacing some bad caps.

But they are definitely repairable.
 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Neighbour has not been able to help. We're pretty sure it's a blown board, but with no easy way to tell which one (there's nothing visibly wrong with any of them) I'm not going to start buying random boards until I find the right one or paying expensive callout fees. Especially as we don't have a TV in the meantime.

So, tomorrow I shall be on the phone to Richer for a price match on the Panasonic GZ950.

Couple of questions. I was on the Panasonic website looking at the spec and saw this footnote. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

"The majority of 4K Blu-ray discs require HDCP2.2 on TV to play back HDR, whereas the HDMI input on this TV support only HDCP1.4; accordingly not all HDR contents are guaranteed to be enjoyed on the TV."

I'm not going to get a 4K BD deck anyway, but would the same thing happen with other 4K HDMI sources?

Secondly, does this come with VESA mounting screws? I'm hoping to just use my existing wall mount . This TV is lighter than the Samsung and uses 400x400 instead of 400x600, so pretty sure it will fit. But I can't remember if the screws came with the TV or the mount, and worry about using random screws as I know using ones that are too long can cause damage.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Neighbour has not been able to help. We're pretty sure it's a blown board, but with no easy way to tell which one (there's nothing visibly wrong with any of them) I'm not going to start buying random boards until I find the right one or paying expensive callout fees. Especially as we don't have a TV in the meantime.

So, tomorrow I shall be on the phone to Richer for a price match on the Panasonic GZ950.

Couple of questions. I was on the Panasonic website looking at the spec and saw this footnote. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

"The majority of 4K Blu-ray discs require HDCP2.2 on TV to play back HDR, whereas the HDMI input on this TV support only HDCP1.4; accordingly not all HDR contents are guaranteed to be enjoyed on the TV."

I'm not going to get a 4K BD deck anyway, but would the same thing happen with other 4K HDMI sources?

Secondly, does this come with VESA mounting screws? I'm hoping to just use my existing wall mount . This TV is lighter than the Samsung and uses 400x400 instead of 400x600, so pretty sure it will fit. But I can't remember if the screws came with the TV or the mount, and worry about using random screws as I know using ones that are too long can cause damage.
The full quote should be:
Full HD & HD models: The ability to send a non 4K HDR signal via HDMI depends fully on the playback device. The majority of 4K Blu-ray discs require HDCP2.2 on TV to play back HDR, whereas the HDMI input on this TV support only HDCP1.4; accordingly not all HDR contents are guaranteed to be enjoyed on the TV.

So it talks only about HD models and its a generic thing they have on every spec page. No need to worry Panasonic have had HDCP 2.2 on their TVs since 2016.
Secondly, does this come with VESA mounting screws? I'm hoping to just use my existing wall mount . This TV is lighter than the Samsung and uses 400x400 instead of 400x600, so pretty sure it will fit. But I can't remember if the screws came with the TV or the mount, and worry about using random screws as I know using ones that are too long can cause damage.
It doesn't come with screws, all you need to make sure is your existing mount can adjust to 400x400 and that you buy the screws suggested in the TVs manual.

Page 12 to be exact here: https://tda.panasonic-europe-servic...data/ALL/TX55GZ950B/QSG/972400/TQB0E2882U.pdf
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Panasonic GZ950: Key specifications
Screen sizes available55in TX-55GZ950B
65in TX-65GZ950B
HDR formats supportedHDR10+, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, HLG Photo
Streaming services supportedNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, FreeView Play, YouTube etc.
Wireless connectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi
Panel type & backlight, resolutionOLED, 3,840 x 2,160 (UHD)
HDMI inputs4 x HDMI 2.0b (HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.1 ALLM)

As Dodge has stated this tv is HDCP 2.2 and will have no problem passing all 4k content. I have a 4k Panny disc player and watched plenty of 4k disc's also Netflix and Amazon prime 4k content from internal apps no problem.

As to HDR it will do Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HDR 10+ and HLG so all HDR formats covered.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
No OLED will match the motion of a plasma IMO. Plasma's clearly had an effortless beauty to them motion wise.

However I do feel an OLED is the natural upgrade path for a plasma owner. It will blow the contrast and black levels of the already excellent plasmas out of the water

The motion isn't bad at all and I prefer it to LCDs. It has instant pixel response time so not motion blur. Both Sony, Panasonic and LG have BFI with Sony and Panasonic having the better BFI whilst LG having HDMI 2.1 (relavanant for future proofing for gamers mainly).

TBH, if you're mainly watching SDR content or don't mind losing brightness, if you enable BFI on any of the sets, you'll be pretty close to your plasma's level of motion too.


I don't think you can look past Panasonic for their OOTB accuracy and well rounded picture presets and motion settings. However both Panasonic and LG don't support DTS. If thats important, go for Sony.
 

Ian Dudley

Active Member
Just wanted to loop back round and thank you guys for your help and advice. My new Pana was delivered on Tuesday, and I'm absolutely loving it.

I've watched a variety of HD, UHD and even some old 4:3 SD on it, and everything looks great. Certainly nothing is worse than my old Plasma, and most stuff is significantly improved. Even upscaled HD Blu Rays looks incredibly sharp, and streaming in 4k is just stunning.

Had a bit of a weird experience watching Star Wars ANH from HD Blu Ray. The picture was the sharpest and most detailed I have ever seen, it looked like I could reach in through the set and touch C3PO. But my wife didn't like it (soap opera effect I think is the term), so I've turned the motion enhancement down to minimum (default was max). I might be tempted to put it back up to medium though as I actually liked the realism. Funniest thing was that while the original footage all looked amazing, Lucas' 'special edition' stuff stood out like a sore thumb. Anyway, I digress.

Fantastic purchase and everything I was looking for in set. Also got a great price and a six year RS warranty. Can't thank you guys enough for pointing me in the right direction.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Congratulations on your purchase, you can sleep safely knowing you have made the right choice:).

There are other contenders but the GZ950 is up there with the best, and at the price it was with a 6yr warranty is a steal. :thumbsup:
 

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