Help me choose a TV?

ashelar

Novice Member
First, thank you all (in particular Dodgexander) for all the advice given here on AVForums. I’ve used his recommendation template here - please help me select a TV or a few options to pick from!

I’m conversant in some tech but not really AV stuff, so appreciate help given as if I were a beginner. My viewing setup is pretty simple: a couch directly opposite the TV. Distance between TV and viewers will be about 260 cm (~100 inches).

FYI, I’m in Apple’s ecosystem for basically all my other devices.

Which external devices do you plan to connect to the TV?
- Audio streamed to 2x HomePod Minis, one on each side of the couch. (Ideally the TV would be able to stream the audio to them, in stereo, with Airplay.)
- Open minded on an Apple TV (or ATV4k) if it makes the setup better/easier
- May want to connect computer (MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card)
- Hard drive: have a bunch of movie and TV show files I ripped from physical media - some DVD, some in 1080p, one or two in 4k. (I’ve now ditched almost all physical media and will try to get any new purchases in digital form.) Will want to be able to play the video files from hard drive as simply as possible - on my computer I use VLC player.

What content will you watch on the TV?
- Streaming: Netflix (Standard plan, not premium), Amazon Prime, Disney+
- YouTube
- Movies (from files, not physical media)
- Catchup: BBC iPlayer and maybe Channel 4
- Will only rarely use for broadcast TV or sport
- No gaming

Viewing proportions (probably):
40% SD (would like decent upscaling so it looks good)
40% HD
20% UHD

Viewing proportions by content:
35% HD Blu-Rays (digital files)
30% Streaming TV shows & Movies
15% UHD Blu-Rays (digital files)
10% DVD quality files
10% Broadcast TV shows

Will you use internal or external apps or tuners for the following? If external, via which device? Broadcast / Streaming / Catchup
- Plan was to use built-in apps but could always stream them via Airplay or use an Apple TV, whatever is least faff and will work easily with the HomePod minis

Situational questions:
- Definitely a ‘set it and forget it’ kinda guy, but will do some basic tweaking if it’s easy
- 260cm viewing distance
- All three seating positions fall within about 30 degrees of the centre of the TV (so I assume a tv with a VA panel)?
- Lighting:
- - Bright to medium-bright in the day
- - A bit darker in the evening but not blackout dark unless a movie night and intentionally shutting every light off
- Use = not at risk of OLED burn-in
- No legacy connections needed

Rearrange the following, in descending importance:
Cost (~£500-600 max, ideally less of course)
SDR Picture quality
HDR Picture quality
Shadow detail
Blacks
Value
Smart TV ease of use
Picture accuracy out of the box (without pro calibration)
Smart TV app selection
Sound (will be using speakers)
Viewing angles (don’t need wide ones)

Possible pet hates related to TVs:
- Honestly, a lot of these are over my head as a non-AV guy. I want relative ease of use, reliability, speed, and good upscaling as I’ll probably watch a lot of non-4k stuff on it. Decent performance in light conditions also useful

Other stuff
Airplay is probably important - I know an ATV box provides it, but aren’t there some limitations running everything through ATV all the time? And will the TV upscale content if delivered to it through an ATV? (This is as much a help/advice post as a TV selection post!)

Size between 49” and 65”; I was thinking around 55” but open to whatever might make my content look best.

Thanks so much for any help! Looking to select a TV this month and I guess buy a 2020 model, unless earlier years would fit my reqs fine
 
Last edited:

Dodgexander

Moderator
Really looking at Samsung models if you want Airplay 2 built in + VA panel, even the very cheapest TU (or in the case of the new 2021 models AU) series support Airplay 2.

The main issue I can foresee for you is your want to use UHD content, a lot which will include HDR on TVs that don't make the cut to display HDR properly. You can bypass this if you do all your playback through an Apple TV 4k since you can display HDR output there.

Regarding solely using the Apple TV as a sole device, it entirely depends how you intend to use it. Shouldn't be an issue to switch to the built in smart TV from time to time (for example, for UK catch-up apps) but with custom builds of Kodi available on the device I see no reason why you can't use it as a media player for ripped discs.

If you want something that is a bit more future proof and less issues with HDR then you could look at TVs like the Hisense U7Q (approx twice the peak brightness of Samsung models), no built in Airplay 2 support.
or
Sony XH9005, a bit more premium than the Hisense, built in Airplay 2 support. Runs Android TV.
or
Sony XH9505 really the one to go for if you intend to use HDR on the TV, and not have problems at all when you do so.

You may have seen already in other threads, but the HDR fiasco is basically why its hard to recommend cheaper TVs now, you may want to reconsider spending more money on a high tier TV like the Sony XH9505 if you want to avoid these issues on a new TV.
 

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