Deciding between a 65" Samsung Q80 or 65" Sony 950G


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Dec 12, 2019
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So I've been doing a ton of research regarding finally upgrading to a 4K TV for my living room with a max budget of $2000. This will be my first 4K TV. I currently have a 60" 1080P LG I bought back in early 2014. Our viewing distance is around 11 feet.

In terms of what I'll be watching, 50% of the time will be streaming services like Netflix/Prime Video/Hulu/Disney+, and of course I'll watch whatever shows/movies in 4K/HDR if available. The other time will be spent watching live sports, shows on my DVR, and random stuff on our cable box (mostly my wife does this). I already expect the cable picture to look poor, especially since I have Comcast.

In my research I seem to have narrowed my choices down the 65" versions of the Samsung Q80 and Sony 950G. I'm not considering OLEDs right now because of a fear of burn in, especially at times my wife may leave the TV on the same channel for hours while doing things around the house.

I considered some 75" models, but the Q80/950G are a bit more than I'm willing to pay (anywhere from $2500 to $3000 right now). I looked at the Samsung Q70 and Sony 900F, but the Q70 seems to get average reviews for anything other than it's gaming features (which seem to be top notch), and the 900F's blooming and HDR dimness issues I read about have scared me away from that model. Maybe I'm wrong, but the 65" Q80/950G seem like a nice compromise between screen size and picture quality.

In regards to the two models I'm looking at, here are some issues with each that is making it difficult to decide.

950G - This is the TV I was leaning towards initially since it have Dolby Vision support and also Sony is said to have the best upscaling, since a good amount of my content is via cable. That said, I do have concerns regarding the blooming, which is something that could affect me since I usually watch content with captions on, and my wife often sits on the corner of the couch and isn't watching ahead (which apparently makes the blooming much worse). I've also read about issues with HDR content on Apple TV 4Ks, not sure if that is just for movies bought via Apple's store, or any HDR content streaming via the device (ie on Netflix). Since I use an Apple TV as my primary streaming box, that is a concern as well. But really, the blooming is the major concern for me.

Q80 - I went ahead and considered the Q80 since it's under my $2k budget and seems to review far better than the Q70. It also seems to not have the blooming issue I'm concerned about with the 950G. The biggest concern I have is the lack of Dolby Vision. Since I'm new to 4K, I don't have much a reference point, but I've seen people mention no DV is a deal breaker, while others say in this generation of TVs, it doesn't mean much. Like I said above, my only 4K/HDR content right now is streaming on Netflix/Prime Video and other streaming services. I don't own a 4K video game console and don't really buy Blurays movies either. I'm not sure if just streaming DV content changes the equation on this at all. My other concern is that I'm looking at a solid $300-400 more for the Q80 compared to the 950G, and I'm not sure if the TV is worth that price difference.

So to sum up, for me it seems like the top issues that are keeping me from being able to decide is the blooming on the 950G vs the lack of Dolby Vision and $300-400 additional cost of the Q80. Any advice or recommendations would be very much appreciated!
I know it's silly, but since we're at the end of the year, soon the new models will be unveiled, at least Sony, so maybe wait a little (more zones, less blooming, better HDMI 2.1/Apple TV etc.)?

Also prices for these two you mentioned could go lower.
There's not much choice given your wifes requirements of viewing angles other than to go for the Q80R. The Sony doesn't have a wide viewing angle filter at 65" (only 75" and over). You can't consider to use TVs with VA type panels to view at an angle, even without the more noticeable blooming colours will wash out and become darker to the side.

Dolby Vision is more of a deal breaker on TVs with less HDR capabilities than the Q80R, or TVs with lower peak brightness like OLEDs. The Q80R should handle the HDR10 part of any dolby vision content to a very high standard and better than many dolby vision capable TVs.

That isn't to say the Sony X950G won't be better with Dolby Vision HDR content, its just not really something to worry that much about when you don't really have a choice. The difference will be quite minimal and unimportant compared to the capabilities of the HDR hardware inside the TV.

I'd hold off buying any Disney+ sub until they fix the HDR masters, the new star wars series and old star wars films on their service are nothing short of awful, awful HDR transfers and its best instead viewing the SDR version.

Also worth noting that whilst you are concerned about Dolby Vision HDR the Samsung supports HDR10+ which is what 99% of Amazon content is available in, so by going with Samsung you gain HDR10+ support in prime that you don't with Sony.

Upscaling is still very good on the Samsung, but no UHD model is going to display cable TV to a great will be acceptable, especially the HD channels. But compared to on a HD TV content has to be upscaled a lot more. Where possible you want to be moving away from as much poorer quality content as possible to get the most out of the TV. Sadly in some areas of the USA/Canada that is harder to do than others. Some streaming services like Fubo TV offer some Football games in UHD...but the broadcast industry as a whole is pretty far behind.

tldr - get the Samsung because you have no choice needing wide viewing angles. If the wife isn't overly critical/her side viewing position can be altered then go for the Sony.

EDIT* also worth noting that prices change a lot. So what you currently see as a price difference between the two TVs could change in the future, sometimes they change as much as day to day. I'd possibly wait for xmas/january sales before buying the TV just in case.

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