Final short list of 2020 tvs

I have been driving myself totally mad, trying to arrive at a new TV choice. We currently have an 11 year old Sony Bravia 32ex503, which has never given us a minute's problem and, to my mind, gives an excellent picture. We largely watch TV via a BT You view box connected via HDMI. Over the last couple of years, I have gradually been drawn to a larger screen and to take advantage of 4k technology. The intention is to move the old Sony to the bedroom.

The maximum size screen I can possibly get away with is 43inches. This is non-negotiable . My extensive research has revealed that I am, therefore, fishing in a pond for some very disappointing fish. So be it. I have also taken note of the fact that I shouldn't expect to see any difference from claims of HDR and the best I can hope for is that it doesn't make matters worse. The research is actually quite alarming with the generally negative reviews of this range of sets and I am almost wondering whether to bother at all, given that my current Sony (non LED) has been so good.

Anyway, having taken note of all manner of reviews and forum comments, I have arrived at a short list of 3 (2020) models. I may be too late and, if so, will wait until much later in the year for prices to drop and 2021 tvs to be properly reviewed and evaluated. So, simply for a bigger (4k) screen with a few more ' smart' features, these are my candidates; ( I would like a tv which could get something extra from HDR technology if possible)

Samsung 43UE7100 £398
Sony 43XH8505 £649
Panasonic 43HX940B £649

Any observations welcome. Thanks in anticipation.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Have you read the guide
 

Gallifreyan

Active Member
My parents bought the Samsung and are very happy with it. They have no idea/interest in HDR or 4K. My mum is really impressed with the sound.
It was about £50 cheaper when they bought it though.
They watch SD/HD through a Virgin box, and dvd/blurays.
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Why is size "non negotiable"? Is this due to physical mounting restraints or perception of partner?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Its usually best to spend as little as possible at smaller sizes. This is because unlike TVs sold at larger sizes spending more money does not get you better picture quality.

This concept comes from what you've read about already: HDR.

HDR sets demands on the TV, and sadly smaller TVs don't reach those demands. Hopefully it will be something that changes in the next few years with smaller OLEDs being released, but for now the best advice I can give is to spend less rather than more.

There may be some specific niches where people may value spending more on smaller TVs, but its rare and probably not worth it even to those people.

My advice; decide first on the type of panel you want and take your choice from there. If you decide on VA the Samsung in your list is good value, but like any TV don't expect it to be problem free with HDR content.

If you prefer IPS, there are also some better value cheaper IPS TVs than the other two you've mentioned, but if you care less about value for money and have a specific want for a 120hz panel, then you can spend the extra on those.

Will a new 43" be better than what you're using? Yes it almost definitely will overall.
Will it be better for all content? No, some content especially HDR will be dim and washed out, you'll find yourself trying to avoid HDR.
What about broadcast TV? So so on a 4k model, especially the non-HD channels on a larger 4k TV. Watchable though.
 
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Its usually best to spend as little as possible at smaller sizes. This is because unlike TVs sold at larger sizes spending more money does not get you better picture quality.

This concept comes from what you've read about already: HDR.

HDR sets demands on the TV, and sadly smaller TVs don't reach those demands. Hopefully it will be something that changes in the next few years with smaller OLEDs being released, but for now the best advice I can give is to spend less rather than more.

There may be some specific niches where people may value spending more on smaller TVs, but its rare and probably not worth it even to those people.

My advice; decide first on the type of panel you want and take your choice from there. If you decide on VA the Samsung in your list is good value, but like any TV don't expect it to be problem free with HDR content.

If you prefer IPS, there are also some better value cheaper IPS TVs than the other two you've mentioned, but if you care less about value for money and have a specific want for a 120hz panel, then you can spend the extra on those.

Will a new 43" be better than what you're using? Yes it almost definitely will overall.
Will it be better for all content? No, some content especially HDR will be dim and washed out, you'll find yourself trying to avoid HDR.
What about broadcast TV? So so on a 4k model, especially the non-HD channels on a larger 4k TV. Watchable though.
thank you.
out of interest, where is the HDR content currently coming from and , if it is present, can it be turned off on the tv? I'm thinking ahead when, presumably, it will become common on tv shows etc. As for 120 hz, one of the reasons I chose our current tv was that it has 100hz and I watch quite bit of sport( no gaming). I presume a 60hz is probably going to be ok for football ,tennis etc etc though isn't it? Finally VA or IPS. All, I can say is I can't imagine anyone sitting and watching at a particularly acute angle. My son has a Samsung MU6100 and I asked him to do a bit of a walk to each side and he said he didn't notice any deterioration.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
HDR comes hand in hand with the video feed, but the annoying thing about it is you can't turn it off unless you're using an external device. If you plan to stream like most people do your choice from built in apps like Netflix, Amazon etc will be UHD resolution with HDR, or HD resolution with SDR.

To get UHD without HDR in most titles you'd need to use an external device so you can downgrade the TVs HDMI ports from v2 to v1.

Its annoying because they didn't really think of this when they created HDR, therefore every TV that has the capability to accept the signal will do so by default even if it looks worse than the SDR version. - Its this annoying trend that makes it hard to recommend smaller TVs nowadays.

Regarding 100/120hz, this is the true panel refresh rate and not the common 'fake' refresh rates of old. I believe your current TV uses a 60hz panel (also known as 50hz) and the 100hz only comes from the fake refresh rate figure Sony give after you use motion settings on the TV. So really you should be okay with another TV using a 60/50hz panel since its the same as your current TV. Most people are fine with it, and don't have a need for 100/120hz but then again this is an AV enthusiast community, so some people will always look for the highest refresh rate they can knowing they are sensitive to motion problems.

Viewing angle wise VA panels are definitely worse than IPS, but much the same as refresh rates sometimes people don't notice this. To use an example, I cannot watch my TV off-axis (VA panel) but my wife doesn't care. She didn't even notice the segregation in picture quality until I pointed it out to her and she still doesn't care. rtings.com have a good test they do on all of their TVs so you can compare good and bad viewing angles. Typically the picture on a VA panel looks washed out and darker at an angle.
 
HDR comes hand in hand with the video feed, but the annoying thing about it is you can't turn it off unless you're using an external device. If you plan to stream like most people do your choice from built in apps like Netflix, Amazon etc will be UHD resolution with HDR, or HD resolution with SDR.

To get UHD without HDR in most titles you'd need to use an external device so you can downgrade the TVs HDMI ports from v2 to v1.

Its annoying because they didn't really think of this when they created HDR, therefore every TV that has the capability to accept the signal will do so by default even if it looks worse than the SDR version. - Its this annoying trend that makes it hard to recommend smaller TVs nowadays.

Regarding 100/120hz, this is the true panel refresh rate and not the common 'fake' refresh rates of old. I believe your current TV uses a 60hz panel (also known as 50hz) and the 100hz only comes from the fake refresh rate figure Sony give after you use motion settings on the TV. So really you should be okay with another TV using a 60/50hz panel since its the same as your current TV. Most people are fine with it, and don't have a need for 100/120hz but then again this is an AV enthusiast community, so some people will always look for the highest refresh rate they can knowing they are sensitive to motion problems.

Viewing angle wise VA panels are definitely worse than IPS, but much the same as refresh rates sometimes people don't notice this. To use an example, I cannot watch my TV off-axis (VA panel) but my wife doesn't care. She didn't even notice the segregation in picture quality until I pointed it out to her and she still doesn't care. rtings.com have a good test they do on all of their TVs so you can compare good and bad viewing angles. Typically the picture on a VA panel looks washed out and darker at an angle.
Thanks again.
It is rather off putting to proceed with purchasing a new tv, unless the old one is broken, with the apparent prospect of getting an annoying/ inferior picture than the one you already have. I was quite prepared to pay for a premium 43 inch set but it seems they dont exist. I don't understand the logic of the tv companies? Surely the majority of people don't live in houses with massive rooms or want their normal room to be dominated by huge screens. I would have thought there would be a healthy market for top quality 40-43 inch tv's. Isn't this going to cause an explosion of complaints from people buying these new tvs as more and more HDR content is launched?

I am thinking I may have to delay bothering and just hope that something better is launched in the next year or two. Also that my Sony keeps going.
 
My parents bought the Samsung and are very happy with it. They have no idea/interest in HDR or 4K. My mum is really impressed with the sound.
It was about £50 cheaper when they bought it though.
They watch SD/HD through a Virgin box, and dvd/blurays.
thanks, although you will see from the rest of this thread that it appears your parents may well have an (unhappy) interest in HDR forced upon them fairly soon.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
I bought my parents a 43tu8500 at Christmas. Good picture (Virgin SD and HD), good smart functions and good sound (although they’re pretty deaf and have it on loud!)
They’ll never use any HDR content, they often even watch SD BBC rather than HD :D
 
I bought my parents a 43tu8500 at Christmas. Good picture (Virgin SD and HD), good smart functions and good sound (although they’re pretty deaf and have it on loud!)
They’ll never use any HDR content, they often even watch SD BBC rather than HD :D
thanks, I think the less expensive Samsungs are pretty good. The problem I now have is that it appears that HDR is coming to all of us like it or not and that is where the problems will start. (unless you only watch SD)
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
Are you confusing HD and HDR? Most HDR is only on premium streaming and some games?
It won’t affect non HD material. SD has been poor for ages.
If you just want a 1080p TV not 4K, the 2019 LG 43LM6300 is decent
Or go bigger to the 49xh9505 if you do want HDR capability. How close do you sit?
 
Are you confusing HD and HDR? Most HDR is only on premium streaming and some games?
It won’t affect non HD material. SD has been poor for ages.
If you just want a 1080p TV not 4K, the 2019 LG 43LM6300 is decent
Or go bigger to the 49xh9505 if you do want HDR capability. How close do you sit?
thanks
If you look back you will see that 43 inch is my limit. I actually did say that it seemed the only sure way to avoid the problem was to watch in SD which renders buying a new 4k set pointless. I take your point that there probably isn't much HDR content about at the moment, but it is obviously going to become the norm over the next few years, so you are left with a TV trying to display something that it isn't capable of doing and potentially giving you a worse picture than just normal HD. That's my reading of the earlier advice anyway. I suppose I could consider a non 4k tv, although it seems a shame to give up 4k, just to avoid HDR.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
There’s 1080p HD in between SD and HDR?
How far are you viewing, you’d need to sit very close to a 43 to see the difference vs HD?
Take your partner to JL or RS and show him or her that 49 isn't that big vs an old 32 when you consider the thin bezel. Esp when viewing from a distance (I assume you won’t sit 4ft away)
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
I know it probably doesn't help, and sorry if it does annoy but 99% of people in this situation end up upsizing to a 48" OLED or a TV like the 49" Sony XH9505. By todays standards these TVs are not big at all.

As for the trend of bigger TVs from manufacturers, I don't agree with it either but there's a few reasons they do it. First is that larger TVs actually sell better than smaller world-wide (UK is actually quite a specific market for small TVs). Larger TVs are easier to produce with FALD systems/panel production. Margins are higher... and the last reason is due to 4k being pointless on smaller TVs.
The only time you really benefit from 4k on a 43" is if you are using the TV up-close as a computer monitor. You may look at 49" being big, but for most people its not even possible to sit close enough to a 65" and benefit fully from the increased resolution of 4k, let alone smaller sizes.

I guess it kind of brings me in a circle, and its why most people choose to go bigger. If you aren't going to benefit from a discernible difference in resolution and you aren't going to benefit from HDR then simply put in today's market you need a bigger TV.
 
yes, thanks both for your informative and helpful responses. I do understand the points you are making. I wonder what the chances are of an OLED 43inch tv in 2022?
 

Just to add to my confusion, I just looked at HDTV's( No 4k) available at JL. There were only 3. So, we have the cheapest Sony set, with no 4k but claiming HDR compatibility so it seems there is no way out of this dilemma.

Sony Bravia KDL43WF663 LED HDR Full HD 1080p​

New Depth & Colour with HDR
Sony are one of the forerunners of contrast and colour-boosting High Dynamic Range (HDR). They've armed this TV with HDR tech for a greatly heightened colour range to deepen your view and show shades previously unseen in home entertainment. Expanding light, dark and every colour in between to new levels, this model's picture gets closer to real life.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member
yes, thanks both for your informative and helpful responses. I do understand the points you are making. I wonder what the chances are of an OLED 43inch tv in 2022?
I expect even less likely going forwards, they just don’t make such small panels.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator

Although I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen until 2022 now.

Just to add to my confusion, I just looked at HDTV's( No 4k) available at JL. There were only 3. So, we have the cheapest Sony set, with no 4k but claiming HDR compatibility so it seems there is no way out of this dilemma.

Sony Bravia KDL43WF663 LED HDR Full HD 1080p​

New Depth & Colour with HDR
Sony are one of the forerunners of contrast and colour-boosting High Dynamic Range (HDR). They've armed this TV with HDR tech for a greatly heightened colour range to deepen your view and show shades previously unseen in home entertainment. Expanding light, dark and every colour in between to new levels, this model's picture gets closer to real life.
With that TV it will still trigger HDR from internal apps. If you did want to get a TV you could always pair it with a Roku or Chromecast or similar if you find the triggering of HDR a problem. Its not a bad idea to do that anyway.
 
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Although I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen until 2022 now.


With that TV it will still trigger HDR from internal apps. If you did want to get a TV you could always pair it with a Roku or Chromecast or similar if you find the triggering of HDR a problem. Its not a bad idea to do that anyway.
Now that is interesting (re the LG) . I think I maybe prepared to wait for that.
As for the cheap Sony, the point I was making was even an HD only set is claiming HDR capability so you can't really avoid the issue at all anyway.
So, a chromecast gives you the option to switch off the HDR does it or is it just not possible via those devices? Some of the tv's I have looked at have inbuilt chromecast so would that also work?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
The reason you can use an external device to turn off HDR is because you downgrade the HDMI ports from v1 to v2 disabling HDR.

Anything built in to the TV will work with HDR, so the idea of the chromecast wasn't so you can cast, but instead so you can use an external device to disable HDR via downgrading the HDMI ports.

This method does have its limitations though, input will be limited to 4k 30fps rather than 4k 60fps.
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
I am sorry if I appear to be antagonistic but I feel the OP in this case is being given confusing advice.

He is only able to consider 43" TV's at max.

OK these TV's do not have sufficient brightness to do full justice to HDR input but I have to ask so what? If the TV is only able to render this input at SDR equivalent brightness and this is adequate then whilst it does not enhance their viewing experience I cannot see that it detracts.

I do not concur that the difference between 2k HD and 4k UHD is not discernible on a 43" set at normal viewing distances. OK I have excellent eyesight due to variable lens cataract replacements but I could easily see the difference between 576i SD and 1080i HD on previous 39" TV and whilst my new( 49")TV makes a phenomenal job of upscaling 1080i input to UHD I can still discern the surprisingly small difference to real UHD input at my normal viewing distance of about 2m.

My recommendation to the OP is to go for the Sony XH8505 or if viewing angles are a problem the XH8196

I would not hold out hope for a 42" OLED even so I would be wary. The HDR brightness of these panels (all made by LG) barely exceeds the SDR brightness of upper range LED/LCD TV's and they still seem to have a higher proportion of panel issues.

However OP if you live anywhere near me them feel free to visit as my other half was dubious about size. Made cardboard mock ups of 49" and 55" TV's. Must say that 55" appeared too big for our lounge. But notwithstanding resultant furniture mods having bought and installed the 49" .......?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
OK these TV's do not have sufficient brightness to do full justice to HDR input but I have to ask so what? If the TV is only able to render this input at SDR equivalent brightness and this is adequate then whilst it does not enhance their viewing experience I cannot see that it detracts.
Its not just a matter of doing 'HDR justice' unfortunately. TVs that cannot get bright and don't have good enough local dimming cannot display HDR without adverse effects such as the picture being too dark, or it being washed out.

Its all to do with tone mapping and the master/director intent. Squishing down 1000 nits masters, or worse 4000 nits to lower nit levels does not work well. Although perhaps in some titles it will be ok.

With an OLED you're into a different territory completely, assuming of course the newer 42" OLEDs will mimic the 48" models. 700 nits whilst not being up to the 1500 of high end LCD TVs is not as much of a disadvantage due to an OLEDs ability to individually dim each pixel, and display blacks as total black.
My recommendation to the OP is to go for the Sony XH8505 or if viewing angles are a problem the XH8196
The XH8505 is a very expensive TV for what you get. You're paying a premium fee really for a 120hz panel. The TV still falls short with HDR picture quality due to low peak brightness and lack of local dimming. Whats more, at 43" the TV is using an IPS panel instead of VA at 49", and therefore the contrast is abysmal.

In my opinion if the OP does want to change TVs he should first determine which panel type is suited, IPS or VA. Then take the choice from there. Its a good idea to spend little rather than more due to the problem these TVs will all have displaying HDR content and its also advisable to pair the TV with an external smart system so you can disable HDR on the HDMI port.

Its becoming harder and harder to recommend small TVs because its harder and harder to avoid HDR nowadays. If the OPs usage doesn't include any HDR at all - perhaps only broadcast TV then its not important, but if they like most people want an avenue in to the world of streaming and HDR then buying a smaller TV is not a good idea at all.

I understand what you mean by conflicting advice, but didn't you, yourself also come to the same conclusion I suggested? That you needed to opt for a bigger TV to get something worthwhile?

I trust from your recent comments that you've been happy with that decision. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure you'd have been happy instead going with a 43" model.
 

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