Question Help with 55" telly £1k

silent ninja

Well-known Member
All,
I'm looking for a new 50-55" TV. Current TV is a mediocre 46" Samsung LCD from 8 years ago. We rearranged our room so are now too far away from the TV - 55" is the max my wife will tolerate. I don't need one right now so will likely hit the buy button closer to Black Friday. However, I've been out of the loop on TV tech and wanted your help.

Budget - happy to pay £1000, but can bump that up couple hundred pounds if it's compelling.

My usage:
Netflix/Streaming - 50%
Sky Q standard SD/HD - 20%
Movies via USB files/local - 15%
Gaming - 15%

Do you need wide viewing angles? Not sure. From centre line looking head on at TV I'd say 30 degrees each side (from TV point of view) is wide enough to cover our seating. Does that mean I require a wide angle TV?
Is it in a bright room? Daytime: normal/moderate, Evening it's ambient light. I can use the blinds!
Are you doing any gaming? Yes on PS4 and will get a PS5. But by no means a fanatic gamer - only casual, so not bothered too much about performance.
Do you actually have or are planning to have UHD sources? Netflix UHD. I do have Disney+ and Prime also so would be keen to use any UHD or HDR formats on those platforms too. I tend to buy movies through Google Movies and the like these days so want to take full advantage of that.
My movie usage isn't that high but when we do watch a movie 2-3 times per month, I want it to look its best.

Sound - I have a 2.1 Edifier S350db speaker system I'd like to continue to use. No surround sound due to kids and the wife unfortunately (but this is a great set and better than most soundbars).

I want a telly with a good OS - i despise laggy buggy user interfaces - and I'd like the TV to support UHD/4K apps natively where possible, rather than buy a separate device.


QUESTIONS:
What TVs would you recommend I look at based on the above? What features should I look out for?

I went in to Currys today to have a browse:
Liked: Samsung Q90T. Brilliant bright pic that popped. Still found that "computery" image look of LCDs noticeable however. Tizen OS seems class leading from what I've heard, so this is extra points. Way over budget, Q80T more affordable (currently £1100) and looked just as good in the showroom anyway.

Loved: LG CX 55. The standout telly on display. The inky blacks stood out and I preferred the more natural picture. Thin profile was awesome too - Samsung bulky in comparison. If money was no object this would be it but £1599 is just too much.
What is likely price drop for LG CX? LG app coverage doesn't seem that great (although I watch very little iPlayer) - what is support like going forwards from LG. Do they continue supporting tellies, especially the extra software/smart functionality?

Sony - really liked these sets. But they appeared to have Android TV OS. Pros/Cons? I have no experience of Android TV. I hear Sonys are great at picture and motion processing (i've always had a soft spot for Sony having owned a glorious Trinitron TV back in the day).

Based on these forums and reviews, I'm thinking the Samsung Q80T will be sufficient for me and I can probably save a few quid during the sales.
Thoughts please?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Do you need wide viewing angles? Not sure. From centre line looking head on at TV I'd say 30 degrees each side (from TV point of view) is wide enough to cover our seating. Does that mean I require a wide angle TV?
between 20-30 degrees is where you ideally want to view most LCD TVs. Depending on the model, some more expensive TVs have wide viewing angle filters.
I want a telly with a good OS - i despise laggy buggy user interfaces - and I'd like the TV to support UHD/4K apps natively where possible, rather than buy a separate device.
They all support native 4k apps. If you prioritise OS then both LG and Samsung are best. But I'd first narrow down choice using picture quality, since there are already so many factors. The worst OS systems such as Android TV on Sony, TCL & Philips models aren't quite as bad as they used to be, and even Panasonic/Hisense models have decent smart TV now.
I went in to Currys today to have a browse:
Number one rule when shopping for a TV is to never judge from what you see in a shop.

Your budget now is close to be able to afford OLED TVs like the 2019 LG B9, Philips OLED754 or even the Panasonic GZ950 which has recently been 1k at Costco. If you are going to wait until Black Friday you'll certainly find 2020 models like the LG CX and Samsung Q90T cheaper then than now, but they won't rival current pricing on outgoing 2019 stock and with a limited budget buying at this time, you'd probably have to settle for a cheaper overall TV.

First thing I'd do is consider which display technology is suited to you:

If you feel OLED is more what you want, and you can buy now. Go for one of the 2019 OLEDs.

If you are definitely buying later, I'd advise waiting later than Black Friday to potentially find deals on 2020 OLEDs like the LG BX.

If you feel LCD is more suited, then come Black Friday you'd probably be looking at TVs like the Samsung Q85T and Sony XH9505.

EDIT* bit extra about smart TV.

One of the reasons I wouldn't make it a priority when purchasing is because support is generally poor all round. You can expect updates usually for a few years, but eventually you'll end up replacing the smart TV side with a dedicated box or stick anyway.

In terms of platforms:

LG WebOS/Samsung Tizen - they seem to see the best support, you can expect stuff to work faster for longer. These platforms are the fastest and most intuitive.

Android - App updates are mostly based on the google play store, so you might get updates for longer. On the other hand the system is more resource intensive and therefore will run slower in the long term compared to WebOS/Tizen (a bit like a smart phone does).

Panasonic/Hisense - these smart systems probably receive the worse support and have the least longevity. They are however fast.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Thanks

I prefer OLED (and plasma before that) but price is the limiting factor and I can live the tradeoffs of LCD. I did have a look for last year's models LG C9, B9 and even Samsung's Q70R but it's slim pickings.

If I can find a 2019 OLED with a decent OS, at £1k mark, then I'm all in and would look to purchase now - LG seems the best with WebOS.

I take your point on showroom viewings. Bright lights favour LCD but to my eyes the LG CX was better by quite a margin.

If I can't find a decent 2019 model, I'd probably go with a Samsung Q80T because I very much doubt as you said that the 2020 models will become affordable in the next couple of months. The Q80T PQ is not quite as good (overall scores on RTings is very high mind you) but I do think the family would appreciate the other features (ambient mode, every streaming service under the sun etc) more.
 
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martin 39

Well-known Member
Ring round the john lewis stores to see what they have i know bristol still had some b9 oleds and panasonic when i was in there last week around the grand mark and all with 5 yr warranty
 

Boostrail

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately one cannot ring individual JL stores at present due to Covid19
You get through to their general customer service line and then if you select check stock in stores you get put through to an overseas call centre where some operatives English pronunciation leaves a lot to be desired and you get 2 different answers on 2 calls on same day.
 
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silent ninja

Well-known Member
Thanks for the suggestion. I think I've missed the boat on 2019 models. I can see them listed on grey websites, but for such a big purchase it's gotta be JL, RS or even Curry's for me.

Let's see if the LG CX or BX approach £1k ish in November/Black Friday (can't see this happening in all honesty). Otherwise I think I'll be buying the Q80T - currently £1100 so likely to be sub £1k by then - or possibly Q90T which has dropped £200 in the last week to £1400. If it hits £1100 I'll bite.
 

LCDseeker

Distinguished Member
I'd definitely go for the Q90T if you can, or the XH9505. The Q80T's don't look that great to me for the money. Alternatively look for an XG9505 if you can, low stocks but a superb set for the money.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
The XH9505 seems to have a dodgy stand. I hear lots of reports of unstable legs and the TV swaying. I've got a toddler that occasionally pushes the TV. I won't be mounting it so this TV looks a no go.

Having learned more about Dolby Vision, and the fact 50% of my viewing is on Netflix/Disney/Prime, would I be silly in buying a Samsung? It sounds like a significant omission.
 

LCDseeker

Distinguished Member
The XH9505 seems to have a dodgy stand. I hear lots of reports of unstable legs and the TV swaying. I've got a toddler that occasionally pushes the TV. I won't be mounting it so this TV looks a no go.

Having learned more about Dolby Vision, and the fact 50% of my viewing is on Netflix/Disney/Prime, would I be silly in buying a Samsung? It sounds like a significant omission.

I've got a 65" XH95 and the feet don't look great but the stand is solid. The television does move a few mm if touched with a bit of force but you'd have to really shove it very hard to get it to topple. You can also just get a central stand which I'm on the look out for anyway as I can't quite fit my soundbar between the feet on the XH.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Indeed, OLED it is. I've been wanting one for years and I prefer the PQ. I don't think screen retention is a problem. We vary our content and don't watch news (a good habit I'd encourage everyone to adopt!).

I think I'm gonna go back to the drawing board on budget and timing. I do want a good operating system and Smart UI. After all we have to live with it for 5+ years. I've got two teenagers who will use convenience features as much as is possible. The toddler too soon enough!

I don't think Philips or Panasonic will cut it. That leaves Sony and LG. A bit hesitant about Android TV and the current LGs don't support UK catch up services - will these come later? Yes I could buy an Nvidia shield or other box separately, but I very much don't want to for at least a couple of years.

The BX 55" is out of budget let alone the CX. What's the main difference this year? I can stretch my budget to £1200 in November, and ideally I'd want a new telly in by Christmas. Don't think this is enough? Perhaps I'll have to wait until Jan to get my ideal set.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I don't think Philips or Panasonic will cut it.

For movies and TV watching, out the box picture accuracy on Panasonic is probably the best out of all of them.

If you can still find a Panasonic GZ950 they were going for £950 the other week from Costco adn a few other places just under £1000. Absolute bargain and it would be my pick of the OLEDS.

If there ever becomes an issue with apps not being supported a Firestick or some other device will sort that out.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
The BX is more or less the same as the CX with a worse video processing chipset. It makes it a bit more uncertain with support for HDMI 2.1 VRR in the future but that's about it. Throughout 2019 the B9 was significantly better bang for buck than the C9, so the same will probably be true for the BX this year.

Like any 2020 model though, its far too expensive to consider now, and even come Black Friday makes little sense compared to picking up a 2019 model on discount now, if you can still find one that is.

Your want of a good OS really limits your options though. You'll have to weigh up how much you are willing to wait, and pay extra for getting that better smart TV. Picking up the Panasonic GZ950 or Philps 7/8 series now if you can still find one is going to be a lot better value for money than picking up the BX come Black Friday, but if you don't mind waiting and paying more, go for one of LGs OLEDs at Black Friday, they are fantastic overall TVs.

Btw in terms of smart TV, I don't think any can be considered bad any more. Sony were previously the worse platform as Android TV was very sluggish on their TVs that came with slower processors. They have since updated Android to a new version and bumped up their TVs chipsets to faster models, so the smart TV isn't slow like it used to be. Philips Android TVs have never been as bad as they have come with more powerful chipsets for a couple of years now. Philips 7 series OLED doesn't even come with Android, and uses their fast, but basic Saphi OS.

Panasonic's platform is simply okay, nothing spectacular, nothing bad either.

Regarding UK TV catchup apps something funky happened between LG and Freeview play in 2020, because of that they lost access to the apps. As the way previously to access them on LG TVs was via Freeview play. They have since added iPlayer, but no idea if they plan on releasing others. You would guess so, in time. Their 2019 models like the B9 don't have this limitation though, and the B9 itself is still available in one or two obscure places.

Sony, Philips and Panasonic don't have this limitation, they use Freeview play or Youview with the catch up apps all there.

You need to make a decision whether to buy now or not. If you do, I'd suggest going for the Panasonic GZ950 or a Philips OLED since they tend to be terrific value right now.

If you are wanting an LG, try to find a B9 still or just wait and revisit buying a TV come Black Friday 2020 or later.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Thank you for the suggestions and detailed reply.

I can't see anywhere obvious that has the Panasonic GZ950. £950 would be a steal. I don't have a Costco membership - I guess I could borrow a card and look in the nearest Costco?

Ditto B9 or C9. I can only see B9 in stock at RGB Direct - I don't fancy buying from a non major retailer, I want a reliable warranty preferably RS or JL. I'm too late to the party on these:/

The BX 55 seems to be available at £1300 right now. That's still a little too pricey imo for that model.

I'm happy to wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday. CX seems more future proof based on what you said, and it appears to have the nicer looking metal stand for £200 more. Are there any other 2020 OLEDs I should shortlist for the sales?

I better go discuss with the Treasury (the wife) the extra funds I need. I think I'm going to be out of options at £1k come Black Friday. I think the spanner will be if Samsung offer better discounts on the Q90/95T come BF. I want an OLED but if it turns out a couple hundred saving I could put toward the TV cabinet then it's going to be dilemma time, especially under time constraints of a sale.
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
I can't see anywhere obvious that has the Panasonic GZ950. £950 would be a steal. I don't have a Costco membership - I guess I could borrow a card and look in the nearest Costco?
Check out the comments here: Panasonic 55 Inch TX-55GZ950B Smart 4K HDR OLED TV with HDR10+, Dolby Atmos, Freeview Play + 5 years warranty for £959.98 @ Costco - hotukdeals

Its a local phone round/look round type of thing. Another user found some in clearance in Curry's.
I'm happy to wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday. CX seems more future proof based on what you said, and it appears to have the nicer looking metal stand for £200 more. Are there any other 2020 OLEDs I should shortlist for the sales?
Well its only more future proof if you are a gamer and you intend to use HDMI 2.1 VRR. Otherwise there's practically no difference between the TVs.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Can't find any locally. JL actually have one C9 in stock according to the stock checker in Peterborough. But that's a 3 hour round trip for me with the possibility of it being an error (this has happened to me before). So I'm going to continue with the short list.

So based on a 55 inch OLED I have:
LG CX or BX

I like the sound of the Panasonic and Sony's and i believe these are the entry models I should look at:
Panasonic HZ1000
Sony A8H

Could you tell me more about these units versus LG? What are the key differences?

Ignoring the fact they are brand new 2020 models, why are these brands, especially Panasonic, priced significantly more than the LG? Do we expect them drop to around the LGs come BF/Christmas?

Could you also comment on Sky Q performance? About a quarter of my viewing is on SkyQ in SD/HD so I would like something that doesn't turn these channels to vomit. Which tellies or brands traditionally do good upscaling.

Budget is likely £1200, and I like the sound of JL's accidental cover - for screen burn and my toddler this feels like great value at £140 for 5 years cover. I'll budget this separately.
 
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Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Ignoring the fact they are brand new 2020 models, why are these brands, especially Panasonic, priced significantly more than the LG? Do we expect them drop to around the LGs come BF/Christmas?

That's it.
New model TV's are released in the spring every year at their highest price and then get discounted as the year goes on.
Black Friday is normally the time when the first significant discounts are seen and then they're at their cheapest June/July as the new models come... at their highest price.

Could you tell me more about these units versus LG? What are the key differences?

Panasonic OLEDs seem to be incredibly good for out the box picture accuracy, they're probably the best OLEDs for movie and TV watching if you want to see the picture as intended and without all the motion smoothing etc.

I can't help with SkyQ as I don't have it. Any decent TV will upscale decently and the bigger the TV and the higher a resolution it is, the worse it gets.
On a 55" with all but the worse quality, low bitrate SD channels or badly mastered DVDs (which looked awful on a CRT) you should be fine.

Look for reviews here on AVF.
Rtings has good reviews.
HDTVTest on Youtube is excellent and very up to date with the latest models.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
The BX 55" is out of budget let alone the CX. What's the main difference this year? I can stretch my budget to £1200 in November, and ideally I'd want a new telly in by Christmas. Don't think this is enough? Perhaps I'll have to wait until Jan to get my ideal set.

The LG B9 dipped below £1000 during the Black Friday sales last year so I'd be surprised if the BX doesn't do the same. I seem to recall some people even managed to get hold of the Panasonic GZ950 for around that price or not much more (£1100 ?) which would have been an absolute steal at that price at that time.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I seem to recall some people even managed to get hold of the Panasonic GZ950 for around that price or not much more (£1100 ?)

It was down to £950 at Costco and £999 in JL etc. Absolute steal. I thought I was in the market for a new 50-55" as my KS7000 went phut.

Damned if I managed to fix it with a new power board for £35 otherwise a GZ950 would have been a nice replacement.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I like the sound of the Panasonic and Sony's and i believe these are the entry models I should look at:
Panasonic HZ1000
Sony A8H
The Panasonic HZ980 is the entry model, not the HZ1000. If its like last year the HZ1000 will have a different design and support Auto-cal which is only useful if you pro calibrate. They are the same picture quality.
Could you tell me more about these units versus LG? What are the key differences?
The strengths of each tend to remain the same year to year. There's typically no differences between a 2017 OLED and a 2020 OLED bought today. Sony's strength is with motion, but Android TV is more clunky. Panasonic's strength is with picture accuracy, its a good all round TV with ok smart TV. LGs strength is with future proofing and smart TV, people perhaps don't get along with their motion as much as other TVs.
Ignoring the fact they are brand new 2020 models, why are these brands, especially Panasonic, priced significantly more than the LG? Do we expect them drop to around the LGs come BF/Christmas?
If you compare the baseline models from each manufacturer typically Panasonic's entry and Sony's entry TVs will cost more than LGs.

The CX should follow a similar price trend to the A8H or HZ980 overall, with the BX cheaper. Comparing prices right now or considering buying one of these TVs is pointless though, they are all overpriced and will settle in time.
Could you also comment on Sky Q performance? About a quarter of my viewing is on SkyQ in SD/HD so I would like something that doesn't turn these channels to vomit. Which tellies or brands traditionally do good upscaling.
This is a common misconception. No upscaling will be used by the TV at all if you use Sky Q because the box itself will handle it all. That is, unless you plan to go into the settings and swap the resolution manually depending on what you watch.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
Thanks for all your help. This forum is a godsend.

I've shortlisted the following TVs and am now tracking prices via the PriceRunner app. Apart from the BX (target £1000), I'm looking for these around £1100 mark. The wait begins!

(All 55")

LG CX
LG BX (£1000)
Panasonic HZ980
Panasonic HZ1000
Sony A8

All things equal, I'd actually prefer a Japanese brand (Sony or Panasonic) because I've generally found them the best built over the years. But I'm not hopeful they'll be discounted as much as the LGs.
I've also arrived at the conclusion that the differences in PQ and motion are so negligible between OLED brands that only enthusiasts would notice.

I also noticed JL don't presently stock the CX or BX - worryingly, there isn't even a product page for the BX!


Just for fun, I'm also tracking these QLEDs in case they are more heavily discount than OLEDs.

Samsung Q90T
Samsung Q80T
 

lee1980

Well-known Member
Costco also do online only membership for £15 a year, we did this now as don't do the big bulk buys really any more, and have got a TV and lego for good price as well as groceries delivered.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
The LB BX will be available to buy sometime this week, apparently.

John Lewis do sell the CX but only the 77" is in stock at the moment.
 

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