Samsung 49NU8000 vs LG 49SM8600 thoughts?

figureguy

Novice Member
Good afternoon. Always get great answers and good advice on here, so let's proceed.

I currently have a Samsung 49" 49NU8000 UHD $K. I previously had a 49MU6290 4K but needed a TV with 4 HDMI ports. I have tried various switches and just want the 4 HDMI as it works best for me. According to my viewing distance I would fit perfectly with a 49 or at most a 50.

The Samsung works fine and I am happy with their customer service. I did just buy it from Costco for $500 and still have a return period of about a month.

The Samsung has a native refresh rate of 60 and Motion Rate of 120. The LG 49SM8600 4K is a 49" and runs the same price as what I paid for the Samsung but has a native refresh rate of 120. It sells for $600 through Dell but I have an egift card for $100. I do not watch a lot of sports but do a lot of video gaming and plan to purchase a PS5 or Xbox Scarlet next year and worry about frame rate as I know the Xbox One (X? maybe) has a 120 rate and assume the new systems will as well.

My previous experience with the Samsung was great and I did have a couple of LGs in the past with issues. The repair, however, didn't go as well but that was not due to LGs fault as their preferred local repairperson is a jerk and incompetent. The first one I owned he had to repair twice and didn't believe the issue persisted. He said he would order another part and never called me back. I contacted LG directly and they were very apologetic and were going to set me up with another repair person but I declined and returned that unit.

When I went to upgrade this year to a 4 HDMI unit I did try an LG and thought there was an audio issue but it was just a setting that wasn't explained well via customer service. The same repair person came and he was very nice but he didn't have to repair anything though.

Costco offers free return shipping or I can just return it in store. Dell does NOT offer free return shipping and the local stores around here have it for $600.

I am sorry if this seems long winded. Does anybody have experience and/or thoughts about these units? I know what I am getting with the Samsung and while Best Buy has the LG in stock the display units always look great but I know it can be different at home. There might be better deals on TVs near Black Friday but the return period ends before Black Friday hits. THANK YOU so much for reading and thank you in advance for any advice
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
The LG will have similar picture quality traits in terms of contrast and blacks as your old LG. It won't do as well in these areas compared to the Samsung.

In terms of HDR capability though, neither TV is very good, so I would worry far more about that than I would about panel refresh rate.

Ideally you want a TV that is capable at displaying HDR to an acceptable level, my preference for those models sticking to sub 55" would be Samsung 49Q70R>Sony 49X900F>Vizio M Quantum series.

As far as panel refresh rate goes, higher is almost useless with gaming. You might get slightly less blur, but since the consoles aren't powerful enough to produce a higher enough frame rate to benefit from 120hz, its useless. What may have limited use with the new consoles would be HDMI 2.1 features like variable refresh rate, which unfortunately no TV sub 55" has apart from maybe the LG 49SM9000..but much as the SM8600 its not a good HDR TV.

Gotta think about the relationship between panel refresh rate and the actual game frame rate too. For every hz of refresh rate a frame also has to be shown. Consoles typically aren't powerful enough to render games at a high frame rate at UHD resolution, so if the trend continues with the new consoles where graphical advancements are preferred instead of higher frame rate will likely mean consoles will never be able to reach the full 120 frames per second to match their output refresh rate.

Not just that, but to use variable refresh rate most TVs will be limited to 60hz output which will still be true when the new consoles come along. It will only be TVs that support the new HDMI forum spec VRR that they will also be capable of outputting 120hz at the same time and currently the only TVs that support that are higher end (and larger sans 49SM9000) LGs and only currently with the Xbox One X...but most expect the new consoles to support that format.

So, in your shoes I wouldn't worry so much about panel refresh rate, its really of least importance compared to 1. HDR performance and 2. VRR support.

If you can't raise the budget, you made a decent decision with your current Samsung and should keep it, at least until next year where hopefully the new VRR format will be more widespread. It may also give you the chance by then to save up for a TV that can display HDR to a good standard which should be any gamers number one priority right now.
 

figureguy

Novice Member
Neither TV is good for HDR? Harsh. ;) Thank you for taking the time to answer and I do have a couple of follow up questions. Unfortunately cost is a factor and I also notice that the Q70 and Sony X900F have a native rate of 60.

Xbox One 120Hz support: Everything you need to know

Here is a story that shows how the Xbox now works at 120hz and requires a panel that can display it to work. That is the main reason I thought of the LG is that 120 might mean a difference in the console's that release next year.

I don't know how my budget will increase as this was an upgrade over the previous model and there is not much wiggle room ahead. I did just get the latest BJ's flyer and the 49Q60 might be able to be swung this month for $100 more. Is that worth it or if not going for the Q70 not enough of an increase to warrant it?

Thank you again as I appreciate you answering as I honestly have never gone that deep into TV specs before now. I have found it to be a rabbit hole in a sense. You have been so helpful with your explanations and made them perfect to understand. I know the 49" restriction limits me a bit but we did try a 55" in the room and while 6 inches doesn't sound like a lot it was enough I found myself scanning parts of the screen and not just taking in the full image. Before our 49" we had a 37" Panasonic but that was only because that was the largest TV that the armoire my wife wanted for the room could hold.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Well, that article explains that if you want the Xbox to output 120hz, you need a display that can handle 120hz but no display can handle a 120hz when used at the same time as Variable Refresh Rate unless you go for higher end LGs (mentioned later on) - with most TVs, you have to choose one or the other. The article doesn't mean that the TV has to support 120hz, or even that if the TV does support 120hz that it will be better than one that has only 60hz...and that won't change with the new consoles. They will still work with TVs that support 60hz only.

Most TVs now that have a native 120hz panel refresh rate can do 120hz at 1080p or, rarer, 1440p at 120hz. But if you feed the TVs 120hz, they won't work with VRR and they won't support UHD resolution due to lack of HDMI bandwidth, which is more important given the frame rate of games is never going to exceed 60fps. At a lower frame rate that console games run, its far more important to use VRR than it is to run the output signal at a much higher speed than the frame rate. It means you'll get smooth gameplay even if the game isn't running at 60fps, whilst outputting 120hz to a TV will mean that you'll always be sending 120hz regardless of whether the game runs 15fps, 30fps or 60fps.

The LG you linked can do 120hz at both 1400p and 1080p, but lacks any VRR or Freesync support, so its really not beneficial at all unless you are connecting a computer with graphics powerful enough to render games above the normal 60fps. 1hz=1 frame.

The Sony X900F support the same as the LG. They lack any VRR or Freesync support, but they, unlike the LG can display HDR without issues.

Sorry If I came across harsh, I didn't mean too. What I basically mean is there is a standard set of features (or benchmarks) that TVs have to reach to display HDR without encountering some kind of picture quality issues when using it. TVs like the LG SM8600 or the Samsung NU8000 sit above budget models at displaying HDR, but they are still lacking hardware that is crucial to display it without too many problems. It can differ from title to title, but typically games are the worst as they are mastered to higher nits.

So if you choose to use HDR on a TV without decent local dimming, without high enough peak brightness in small windows, then you can find you have to keep tweaking the picture settings and trying to strike a balance between losing detail in titles, or losing highlights.

So HDR is a little different than SDR was, its unfortunately the case that there can be adverse effects using it on cheaper TVs, which in some circumstances forces people to disable using HDR completely. On hardware that copes better with HDR, that isn't the case.

All that aside, manufacturers tend not to release models higher than mid range at sizes smaller than 55" now. The only TVs that comes both with a 120hz panel and decent HDR support is the Sony X900F. Otherwise you have to choose between the two.

The Samsung Q70R sub 55" is capable with HDR, but only 60hz, whilst the other sizes support both 120hz and Variable Refresh Rate which makes them very good for gaming.

and the LG's like the SM8600 or SM9000 support 120hz, but lack good HDR specs.

The TV world is also in transition, meaning there is a real mix of HDMI 2 TVs and HDMI 2.1 TVs and the TVs that do support HDMI 2.1 still don't necessarily support all the HDMI 2.1 features yet. There are TVs, like the Sony X900F that only has 2x HDMI v2 ports and the others are still HDMI v1.4, whilst there are TVs like the Samsung Q70R that has 4x HDMI 2.0 ports, but supports one or two HDMI 2.1 features.

To support both HDMI 2.1 and all features, you need to buy LG and it needs to be the SM9000 LCD or the B9 and up OLEDs. Even these TVs, whilst offering all HDMI 2.1 features, still lack support for 120hz at 4k..or 60hz at 8k support, that is something else to change in the future.

In short, if sticking sub 55" it would be best for you either to change now to a capable HDR TV like the Sony X900F, or Samsung Q70R. That will mean you will at least have a TV that has good HDR hardware to enjoy HDR without problems both now and with consoles in the future.

If you want a TV that can support high hz and VRR right now, you need to go up to 55" for TVs like the LG B9 OLED or Samsung Q70R.

But what you could also do, is keep with what you have and plan to save up for a TV in the future that has better HDR hardware and has better updated support for 120hz, such as the ability to game at 4k at 120hz rather than only 1080p or 1440p currently.
 

zeppelino

Well-known Member
It’s supremely unclear if future consoles will be inherently supportive of one hdmi standard. I really doubt that one manufacturer will split the market by being hdmi 2.1 only.

Most Samsung sets have the hdmi 2.1 features regardless. Youhave to remember that 120fops is the target, not the min spec.
 

figureguy

Novice Member
Well, that article explains that if you want the Xbox to output 120hz, you need a display that can handle 120hz but no display can handle a 120hz when used at the same time as Variable Refresh Rate unless you go for higher end LGs (mentioned later on) - with most TVs, you have to choose one or the other. The article doesn't mean that the TV has to support 120hz, or even that if the TV does support 120hz that it will be better than one that has only 60hz...and that won't change with the new consoles. They will still work with TVs that support 60hz only.

Most TVs now that have a native 120hz panel refresh rate can do 120hz at 1080p or, rarer, 1440p at 120hz. But if you feed the TVs 120hz, they won't work with VRR and they won't support UHD resolution due to lack of HDMI bandwidth, which is more important given the frame rate of games is never going to exceed 60fps. At a lower frame rate that console games run, its far more important to use VRR than it is to run the output signal at a much higher speed than the frame rate. It means you'll get smooth gameplay even if the game isn't running at 60fps, whilst outputting 120hz to a TV will mean that you'll always be sending 120hz regardless of whether the game runs 15fps, 30fps or 60fps.

The LG you linked can do 120hz at both 1400p and 1080p, but lacks any VRR or Freesync support, so its really not beneficial at all unless you are connecting a computer with graphics powerful enough to render games above the normal 60fps. 1hz=1 frame.

The Sony X900F support the same as the LG. They lack any VRR or Freesync support, but they, unlike the LG can display HDR without issues.

Sorry If I came across harsh, I didn't mean too. What I basically mean is there is a standard set of features (or benchmarks) that TVs have to reach to display HDR without encountering some kind of picture quality issues when using it. TVs like the LG SM8600 or the Samsung NU8000 sit above budget models at displaying HDR, but they are still lacking hardware that is crucial to display it without too many problems. It can differ from title to title, but typically games are the worst as they are mastered to higher nits.

So if you choose to use HDR on a TV without decent local dimming, without high enough peak brightness in small windows, then you can find you have to keep tweaking the picture settings and trying to strike a balance between losing detail in titles, or losing highlights.

So HDR is a little different than SDR was, its unfortunately the case that there can be adverse effects using it on cheaper TVs, which in some circumstances forces people to disable using HDR completely. On hardware that copes better with HDR, that isn't the case.

All that aside, manufacturers tend not to release models higher than mid range at sizes smaller than 55" now. The only TVs that comes both with a 120hz panel and decent HDR support is the Sony X900F. Otherwise you have to choose between the two.

The Samsung Q70R sub 55" is capable with HDR, but only 60hz, whilst the other sizes support both 120hz and Variable Refresh Rate which makes them very good for gaming.

and the LG's like the SM8600 or SM9000 support 120hz, but lack good HDR specs.

The TV world is also in transition, meaning there is a real mix of HDMI 2 TVs and HDMI 2.1 TVs and the TVs that do support HDMI 2.1 still don't necessarily support all the HDMI 2.1 features yet. There are TVs, like the Sony X900F that only has 2x HDMI v2 ports and the others are still HDMI v1.4, whilst there are TVs like the Samsung Q70R that has 4x HDMI 2.0 ports, but supports one or two HDMI 2.1 features.

To support both HDMI 2.1 and all features, you need to buy LG and it needs to be the SM9000 LCD or the B9 and up OLEDs. Even these TVs, whilst offering all HDMI 2.1 features, still lack support for 120hz at 4k..or 60hz at 8k support, that is something else to change in the future.

In short, if sticking sub 55" it would be best for you either to change now to a capable HDR TV like the Sony X900F, or Samsung Q70R. That will mean you will at least have a TV that has good HDR hardware to enjoy HDR without problems both now and with consoles in the future.

If you want a TV that can support high hz and VRR right now, you need to go up to 55" for TVs like the LG B9 OLED or Samsung Q70R.

But what you could also do, is keep with what you have and plan to save up for a TV in the future that has better HDR hardware and has better updated support for 120hz, such as the ability to game at 4k at 120hz rather than only 1080p or 1440p currently.
Oh no, sorry. My mistake as far as saying 'harsh'. I did not mean it seriously as I gave the winking emoji. You are right as far as quality as comparing that to others that are available albeit at a higher price.

We have talked about moving within a couple of years and then I might need a larger television. Considering all that you have taken the time to explain it might not be a bad idea to stay with the Samsung for now. I might want to spend more down the line but not at this time.

It is reassuring as I thought I might have a better option with the LG than what I have but now I now. The $500 I spent now is more than I have paid for any TV before and in light of what you have told me I think for what I need I made a good choice.

Thank you again for all your time and advice. I appreciate it very much. When I am ready to get a better unit down the road I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Have a great evening.
 

figureguy

Novice Member
It’s supremely unclear if future consoles will be inherently supportive of one hdmi standard. I really doubt that one manufacturer will split the market by being hdmi 2.1 only.

Most Samsung sets have the hdmi 2.1 features regardless. Youhave to remember that 120fops is the target, not the min spec.
Thank you for responding as well. The hdmi was a thought as well due to the fact the LG supports 2.1 while the Samsung is 2.0. I am striving to learn more about the particulars of the specs than I had before but I never knew how intricate the differences can be.
 

figureguy

Novice Member
I did a little more research and found out that if I am sticking with a 49" model the 49Q70 only has a 60hz refresh rate as the Samsung models all seem to start at 120 with 55" and up. The Sony 49X900 at 49" comes with a 120 hz rate even on the smaller screen. I wonder why Samsung can't'won't produce the rate at that size when Sony and LG can. In that case if I do not go for a larger size than the Sony would be the one to go for in the future depending what TV models come out in the meantime.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
They can do it, did so in 2016, they even make panels for other manufacturers at that size. Its just a choice.

There's an argument to be made, with video content at least that 120hz is pointless, poorer motion is more noticeable on bigger TVs than it is on smaller ones. But its all relative to how close you view, which for gaming is typically closer than video.

HDMI 2.1 support isn't complete yet, even the LGs that have most HDMI 2.1 features still lack 120hz at 4k support. What the the higher end LGs and Samsung models should support is 120hz at 1080p/1440p and variable refresh rate, at least with the current Xbox One and X anyway.

Its up to the console manufacturers what they do with future adaptive frame rate support, they could support both the Freesync tech found on Samsung TVs and the newer HDMI 2.1 freesync found on higher end LGs.

Samsung could also adapt their TVs to support the HDMI 2.1 tech.

Or it could end up really bad at one or both new consoles could end up supporting one rather than the other.

Time will tell, but my bet is they will for sure support the HDMI 2.1 VRR found on the higher end LGs for certain.

I don't console game myself so much any more but I will say I wouldn't worry so much about 120hz, VRR itself is more important, especially when consoles are probably never going to be able to produce high frame rate.
 

figureguy

Novice Member
You mentioned the Q70 but what is your opinion of the Q60 series? Samsung has the QN49Q60RAFXZA which retails for around $750. BJs has the QN49Q6DR which is their specific sku of the same television for around $600. You also get $50 in Google Play credit so you can look at it costing $550. For an incremental upgrade would that be worth it for what the Q series offers? I understand I would get more with a Q70 but what would the Q60 do for me in the meantime?
 

figureguy

Novice Member
So if I wanted to purchase now it would be the Sony X900F or Samsung Q70R. But now that I have all the information you have given I think it would be best just to wait until either the prices drop or in a couple of years hopefully the technology will be far enough along to get what I would like in a smaller size. Granted if we move that will be a different story but until then it gives me units to keep an eye on regarding prices. Thank you so much for all of your help as it has truly been appreciated.
 

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