Early Black Friday sales are coming in my region - help to rank my priorities for picks.

Kandula

Member
Hello everyone, and Jesus I apologize for the giant post, I got way overboard. And thank you for any answers you might give me.
I posted a thread here back in June. You can go and see it over here for more details and information (and a big thank you to Dodgexander and next010 for answering back in June, if any of you are reading this). I should've made up my mind back then and just followed the prices afterwards, but I haven't bought a TV since 2015 and I'm wary of making a mistake. I'm also hesitating because since then some new models from Panasonic and Philips have been released and reviewed, so, in essence, I just wanted your general opinions, and whether bugs and issues have suddenly appeared and changed the "value rankings" so to speak.

First things first, I made up my mind I'm going to give Oled a try since I've never owned one, but it appears I'm one of those people who can't stop thinking about burn in. I wanted to verify if any of you think my use case is going to lead to uniformity issues and if there's a point in buying an Oled since I will be exclusively watching the TV with lights on. I had major surgeries on one of my eyes, my head starts pounding and I'll quite literally go blind if I stay in the dark against a glaring screen for more than 30 minutes at a time. This necessitates some lighting, not really a "strong" one, but likely a nightstand lamp. I've watched most of the TV models in much higher-lit stores than I'll be watching at home and I still notice the better contrast on oleds. At the same time I wanted your opinions whether I'll see enough of a difference versus an LCD with the lights on that it'll be worth it in terms of PQ gains over an LCD TV versus the burn-in potential. I've never used ambient lighting like Philips Hue before so I don't know if that'll be enough, yet I actually think I don't need too much, just enough to negate sudden shifts in screen brightness and the overall sense of glare. The second question whether Oled is good for my use case is because practically 100% of the time there will be subtitles on. I'm from Bulgaria. My fiancee doesn't speak English fluidly enough to watch without Bulgarian subs, and I watch with subs even in English anyway, I use them while gaming as well. If I don't use them I always strain and think I might miss or hear something incorrectly. So - are subs a problem for burn-in in 2021? And yes, I read the thread about burn-in, no need to repost it here, I decided it's important enough for me to ask anyway.
Given those 2 points do you think it's a bad idea to get an Oled? I want to use the TV for the next 5-6 years.

I'm only looking at 55 inch models whether Oled or not. Going up 10 inches carries with it about a 33% price hike for all TVs and I honestly don't think I'll enjoy it that much more, so that's that I guess.
The only LCD alternative I'm looking at is the Samsung QN95A. This is the only premium LCD 55 incher this year, it seems. I don't particularly care about the One Connect box, but the QN94 model without it is missing locally.
The TV will be wall-mounted 2.5 meters straight against a bed, up high, but tilted down so we can watch comfortably - no off viewing angles needed. There are curtains and it will be mostly used in the evening, so no direct sunlight any time of the day.
I was initially hung up on wanting HDMI 2.1 for future proofing, but all models seem to have some sort of problem with 120hz. I'm kind of over it now, because I definitely prioritize picture quality over going to 120. I unfortunately just can't wait until next year's models, if I could I'd do it in a heartbeat. I waited quite a while and I'm already sick of the waiting, I just want a TV in the bedroom.
The main usage of the TV will be for movies, probably 80% of the time. There will be no sports, news, or cable stuff on it, rarely some youtube. My biggest concern here is upscaling. You see, because streaming platforms don't really have Bulgarian subtitles (excluding HBO Go, which we use sometimes), I have to load some downloaded files on an external hard drive and most of the times those come from torrents which are 1080p. I just have no choice in this matter. Upscaling is something I'm willing to invest in enough that I'm thinking of even buying a Shield TV Pro in the future. My other concern is motion - I hate stutter. It bothers me a lot. Motion blur doesn't bother me, probably because I've always watched stuff on an LCD. But anything like games going from 80-100 fps to locked 30fps scenes and I start noticing it and disliking it. I'm mentioning this because of oleds' instantaneous response, which may magnify such issues for me. I know supposedly Sony is king in the motion department, but there's no way for me to know how much the others are behind without asking you guys what you think.
The other 20% of the time I will game on the TV and I want to use it in the future for a PS5 (in 1-2 years, I own a PS4 Pro and I don't want to switch yet, I'll probably go with a PS5 Pro if it's on the horizon in 2023). I also own a high-end PC I'll likely use for gaming in the next year, then I'll sell most of the parts. I want to get out of that game because of the crazy prices for new PC parts.
I'm a big fan of HDR, so I use it whenever it's available, I practically always game with HDR on, but I don't always watch with HDR on because the content isn't always available to me (torrents).
I'm straining myself towards the Evo panel models but I'm also aware only the highest premium models this year have it except if you get lucky with a C1. It feels like paying more just to get the Evo panel for supposedly better burn-in prevention is kind of missing the point if the point is the longevity of the investment's value. Again, it's a shame I just can't wait until next year when most if not all models with have the Evo panel.

So to repeat, my priorities are: the less stutter the better, upscaling to 4k, overall crisp image. I'm not overly hung up on gaming features, if the picture is good enough it would be enjoyable for gaming nevertheless. But I will game quite a bit (say 10 hours weekly, and in HDR). And possibly I want the Evo panel unless you all think it's a big gimmick. I don't mind paying a little bit more for better sound, but it's not a necessary priority.

I'm looking at 1 specific online retailer and they suddenly decided they're having their Black Friday this coming Friday through Sunday (10th to 12th). This specific retailer offers the cheapest and best prices online from what I've seen. It's a satellite website of the biggest online retailer in the country (so a second website). The biggest retailer/mother website will have its Black Friday next weekend (19-21th). The problem is, of course, I don't know what everyone else will offer later, so I want to just tell you some prices I've seen recently - they might beat these on Friday, I just want everybody to tell me what you think will be the best fit for me in such a case.

Those are discounts I've seen and/or are currently running at this retailer. Again, prices might beat these, or not. It's just what I've seen and I believe I'll see at the minimum on Black Friday somewhere, either here or another place.

Samsung QE55QN95AATXXH - 1175€

Sony XR55A90JAEP
- 1600€
Sony XR55A80JAEP
- 1175€

LG OLED55G13LA
- 1350€
LG OLED55C11LB
- 1100€

Philips 55OLED936
- 1800€. This has never been discounted, I'm listing the official price. I'm expecting anything upwards from a 300 euro price slash, but what do I know? It's just listed as "new." I'm not sure I should even look at this model because I'm not sure I can wall mount it with the soundbar without looking really weird, or if it even can be wall-mounted.
Philips 55OLED805 (yes, not 806, this is last year's model, just thought it looks like good value) - 1025€.
Philips 48OLED806 - This is the 48-incher for the newer model, at 1025€. Putting it here as reference what sort of price to expect in case the 55 incher appears. I want 55", no less.

Panasonic TX-55JZ980E - 1300€
Panasonic TX-55JZ1000E
- 1575€
Panasonic TX-55HZ980E
- 975€

These are all the models I've looked at.
If prices don't beat these, I'll likely wait for whatever I see the follow-up weeks. Physical retailers typically discount later. I just want opinions what you guys believe is best for me. I'm attaching an image for the bedroom.
If anybody wants, you can see the current prices here. This is the retailer I'm looking at this week. The prices are in the local currency, 2 leva is basically 1 euro.
 

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Dodgexander

Moderator
I think subtitles are fine on OLEDs, they move around and aren't static like tickers or charts.
Right now from your list the 2020 models are better value than the 2021 ones, but that's normal for this time of year. The Panasonic HZ980 and Philips OLED805 stand out.

What you have to remember when buying OLED is there's actually not a huge difference in picture quality between one TV and another. The differences are slight and with picture processing. Both Panasonic and Philips have good picture processing, but maybe Philips have slightly better motion, so I'd go for that model.

If you want instead to wait on a 2021 model, then the Sony A80J or Philips OLED806 are probably the ones to wait for.

Just bear in mind with OLEDs there is more motion stutter, so you will probably find you need to use motion interpolation on the TV. Whichever TV you get it will not be a good out of the box experience if you're sensitive to stutter, you can expect to change motion settings.

Therefore I've not mentioned LG's, since I think they tend to have worse motion, Sony and Philips will give you the best, with the best controls.

As a sidenote, because of your situation you could buy Philips and have built in bias lighting to the TV, it helps a lot with eye strain. Admittedly though you could always use your own bias lights behind any TV.

With the higher priced TVs like the Sony A90J/Philips OLED936/LG G1 these TVs really are for the premium market. If you can afford them you get a better HDR picture because they get brighter, and you also get a more modern panel that's more durable. On top, you get better built in sound compared to the cheaper TVs. They are not as good value for money, but they may be worth paying for if you value these things.
 

Kandula

Member
With the higher priced TVs like the Sony A90J/Philips OLED936/LG G1 these TVs really are for the premium market. If you can afford them you get a better HDR picture because they get brighter, and you also get a more modern panel that's more durable. On top, you get better built in sound compared to the cheaper TVs. They are not as good value for money, but they may be worth paying for if you value these things.
Do you believe I should value these things? I understand your phrasing is such because these things are subjective. In general they all sound nice, but I'd rather hear from someone with loads of experience whether I can truly expect to see appreciable difference in sound, durability, and levels of brightness. Do I want them? Who doesn't? But I find it very hard to determine how much more I would pay for them and which one to aim for when choosing.
I guess an easy "formula" so to speak is that I believe the C1's price will be something like 1000 euro, a little bit less or more. I wouldn't pay more than 33% above that, because I don't think anything will give me more than a 33% better experience combined from anything extra they might add. So I'm aiming for a maximum of 1350 euro. I don't really have a fixed budget, this is my mental budget so I don't get tempted into a much worse offer.
You didn't say anything about my LCD vs Oled point?
Do you think I'll be fine with oled for my use case? You just talked about the subtitles.
Also - if I have to choose between A90J and Philips 936 (excluding G1 because of what you said about the motion) which one would rate better, in your own opinion, and why?
I am once again thankful for your input.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
On the more premium OLEDs - I'd sooner go for a 65" entry level model, than a 55" higher end model. The difference is not huge. Some people like to have better sound built in rather than buy a separate sound system, and some people want to pay extra for the best. Is it worth it? If you have the money, yes. Is it better value? No, you could save the money and get a bigger TV, or upgrade again sooner, later.

On burn in, your usage doesn't sound a problem at all.

On LCD vs OLED the problem is you only really have Samsung or TCL models to compare to OLED in 2021 ranges if you're only looking at 55". Ideally the Sony XH9505 would have been good for you, but the new X95J starts at 65". LCD TVs have less stutter (but still some) so if you know you want to avoid stutter as much as possible, its best to go for an LCD instead. Samsung have more complaints with motion than Sony, which is why I haven't mentioned the Samsung TV you listed. The Sony X90J is also not mentioned because its a class below the rest in quality.

Between the A90J and Philips OLED936 I think the Philips will be more buggy, but with better sound built in. You are more likely to have software problems.

The Sony has a slight edge with picture quality, arguably the best TV you can buy for PQ today.
 

Kandula

Member
Ok, thank you for all the clarifications, that's all I needed to hear.
I'll be looking at Philips 806, Sony A80j and Sony A90j and I'll decide depending on the prices. Unfortunately the Philips 936 is a no-go, my fiancee hates the look of the soundbar below the tv if it's wall-mounted. But if the OS is buggier on Philips I might as well go with Sony. The prices will be the key for me in the end, as it should be.
I'll probably drop a line here when/if I buy something.
Stay safe and have a great week :)
 

Kandula

Member
Hello again, and thanks again for all the answers.

I have a last question if you'll have me and I very much apologize because I understand I already received quite a bit of answers. I managed to convince both myself and my fiancee (who agreed to live with the built-in soundbar she hates) we want a Philips model. however the only "good" deal I can see right now is on last year's flagship 935/12, which comes at 1300 euro. This year's 936 was discounted only to 1600 euro so I'm definitely not going for that right now. I will likely be looking at the 806 the next few weeks, failing that I'll look at the A80J and A90J ( the A90J just to make sure a crazy offer doesn't come out somewhere). I'm talking about 55 inch models only.

Do you believe the 935 is worthwhile value at 1300? And how much will I be sacrificing if I get it? I understand the older panel is at play, at this price point I believe that's still worth it, but from what I've seen it's not a good TV to game on - and I plan to game on it quite a bit, although I'm strictly playing single player immersive games, so I don't need incredibly low input lag. I'm just mindful if you believe the generational upgrades 936 or 806 bring over the 935 are offset by the lowered price of 935, and will the gaming experience be bad enough it would be not enjoyable?

And of course what do you believe is a "good value" price for all 3 models?

I'm sorry to bother you again.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
This year's models are always going to be more expensive, it's too soon really to be buying if you want a comparable deal to 2020 models. The Philips OLED935 still retains the higher quality sound of the OLED936 but it doesn't get as bright unlike the newer TV. This puts its HDR picture quality in line with the mid range OLED TVs rather than the top end. It will be dimmer than the Sony A80J and LG G1, but no dimmer than the LG C1. Connectivity is also worse, with HDMI 2.0 instead of HDMI 2.1. This means for gaming you will be limited to 4k 60hz rather than 4k 120hz. For some people this doesn't matter, and its what they are used too, but once you game at 4k 120hz its tough going back.

The saving is probably worth it though, especially if you value the on-board sound being better more than only the picture. Alternatively wait for better prices on newer models.

With OLEDs and looking at the absolute best deals on TVs (when buying usually a model over a year old) the price you have for the OLED935 is good and would also be a good price for the Sony A90J. The price of the OLED936 is about what you'd expect to pay this time of year, and should also be similar to the current price of the A90J. These represent ok deals nothing special.
The A80J would be a good deal at this time of year if it dropped to 1300, but for the best deal on that TV you're looking at even lower.

It's all about timing, and prices fluctuate a lot between release and end of life, with the Black Friday/Xmas time being the first time to consider paying a bit extra for 2021 models, not necessarily the best time to buy from a value perspective.
 

Kandula

Member
Hmmm, to be honest the A80J is 1150 euro currently :D I just loled when you said 1300.

The current prices I saw:
Philips 936 - 1600€
Philips 806 48" - 1000€, 55 inch not available. Aa other places the 806 is regular price 1250-350, not discounted.
A90J - N/A (not in stock, never was when this retailer opened the Black Friday sale).
A80j - 1150 €
LG C1 - 1100 €
LG G1 - 1350 €

That's all at 1 online retailer which is traditionally very cheap.
I really want to get the newest panel for longevity's sake. From what I can see in my region the highest end models are in very small quantities, because the country I live in is poor, so unlike the UK, there's pretty much very rarely someone who buys them. I actually saw the A90J for 1600 at the same retailer a month ago, since then it's been missing. That's all 55 inchers. On the flip side, base models are very cheap, I expect the 806 to be 1100-1200€ come the actual Black Friday. Things like the 706 and the B1 are as cheap as 850€ right now, last year's 805 is 900€.

As I said in my previous posts, it's very unfortunate I want the newest panel because I'm not going to upgrade for another 5-6 years if the TV doesn't break. I'm just stuck in this situation where I don't want to spend more than 1350-1400 maximum, but I'm very unlikely to get the newer panel for that price, and at the same time I don't want to wait another year. So I'm stuck going crazy looking for a crazy deal. And never having owned an oled doesn't help either because I've got imaginary and non-objective expectations how much better/worse any of these TVs will be to each other. I am listening to absolutely everything you say and I don't want to keep badgering you and annoying you for replies, I guess I'm just passionate and very interested in this stuff, not just to get a good deal, but just in general I find these technologies fascinating. I'm having a very hard time making a choice here. But at least I decided I really want the Ambilight and I'll probably also use Philips' SDR to HDR software if it doesn't look really bad (never seen it before).

I own a 240hz gaming monitor, I understand the trade-off between 60 and 120. I just hate choppy and laggy picture, and I have no idea how much worse the Philips 935 will look when gaming - again, that's because I never owned on oled. Any recommendations are appreciated, of course.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
If you want the latest panel, don't be in a rush and bide your time. Wait for a good price on the A90J or LG G1. To be honest the prices you have already are very good, I think perhaps down to regional differences and your local economy.

A lot of the trends for prices in the UK or USA may be different to you. BTW there is a very good source I use to compile info of TVs from a Bulgarian forum:

@hristoslav2 a good friend, who makes lots of specific info available over there is an expert, its a good source to look through if you want to compare different TVs with spec tables etc.
 

Kandula

Member
If you want the latest panel, don't be in a rush and bide your time. Wait for a good price on the A90J or LG G1. To be honest the prices you have already are very good, I think perhaps down to regional differences and your local economy.

A lot of the trends for prices in the UK or USA may be different to you. BTW there is a very good source I use to compile info of TVs from a Bulgarian forum:

@hristoslav2 a good friend, who makes lots of specific info available over there is an expert, its a good source to look through if you want to compare different TVs with spec tables etc.
Greats, thanks for sharing... I understand I should look at my local forum, I found AVforums a while back while researching, and to be honest the resources here looked very user-friendly and knowledgeable.

Theoretically speaking, if I see the A80J and 806 at the same price, does that make the A80J the best deal available, as in, should I expect A80J's picture to be noticeably improved if side by side? Or will the difference really be negligible?
I guess I'll try not to bother you anymore and go to the local forum :D
I wish I could see a comparison between A90J, 936 and G1 running the same movie because I'm just grasping at words to make the difference. That's why I'm hesitating so much on prices, jsut a lack of experience and understanding of the differences.
 

Kandula

Member
Do you think a nightstand lamp will take away from the experience too much because I'll need it without ambilight?
Also, I'm not going to be buying a soundbar, so what I'm getting from the TV is the final product as far as sound goes. This is, of course, me considering the A80J versus the 806 now.
As weird as it sounds from all my writing here, I don't enjoy spending all this money. I somehow managed to convince myself that if I'm spending the 1150 for A80J/806, I might as well cough up 250 more and try to get the highest premium. As I said, the G1 is actually 1350 now but from what you said earlier, I kind of discounted LGs offerings.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
The A80J sound should be a bit better.
Bias lighting you can install LEDs yourself behind the TV and power them by USB, but you may have issues like the lights not turning off when the TV is powered off.
Light behind the TV is better than a lamp in the room for eye strain, but a lamp is better than darkness.

G1/A90J/936 have improved sound, these are the ones to go for if you aren't going to buy a separate soundbar.

Seems you have a few reasons to go for one of the high end TVs, I'd wait and see if you find a A90J local to you again soon.
 

Kandula

Member
Hey again!
I wanted to thank Dodgexander for the huge help and patience and update what I ended up getting.
I purchased the LG G1 55" for 1300€. From what we talked this was the least desired of the 3 top premium oleds for me, but I never got good prices for the other ones. I got this as a sort of "backup" deal to make sure I don't screw myself over if I don't buy it and I was planning to return it if I see another one I like better. I'm glad I took this one, as the mid-range models from this year were all in the 1100 range and for the price difference I can even see the G1 as good value because of the new panel and the better in-built sound since I won't use a soundbar.

The Philips 936 was 1600€, and I never found a good Black Friday price for the A90j (best price I ever saw it at was 1600 but that was a month before Black Friday, believe it or not). The best value price I found and I was tempted into was the Sony A8H 65" for 1200€, but my fiancee really didn't want 65" in the bedroom (she was prepared to go to war with me on this) and besides I really wanted a model with the new panel, so that was off the table. The other best value prices were Panasonic HZ980 for 900 and Philips 805 for 900. The 400 additional for G1 is probably not worth it in general, but I'm constantly thinking about burn-in so I'm really glad I got the newer panel. The only thing I'm curious about is how the G1 would perform against Samsung QN95A in my viewing conditions.

I wanted to post here and thank Dodgexander! I probably would've made a mistake without your help and for sure I wouldn't understand things well enough without your opinions and links. I just thought it would be nice for once for someone to come and thank you rather than just stop posting!
 

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