TV recommendations for personal long-term use

Kandula

Novice Member
Hello, and thank you to everyone who takes the time to answer me. I'm sorry for the length of the post, I just wanted to be clear on everything. I'm very grateful for all inputs. :)
I should start by saying that I'm a fan of display technologies and I've been researching PC monitors and TVs for fun (and because I plan to buy new ones, of course) for the past year or so. I'm not someone who randomly popped up in here and didn't read anything before asking my questions. I read Dodgexander's recommendations, the overall guides to HDR, gaming Q&A, etc., I watched a bunch of videos on HDTVTest's youtube channel not just for different models, but for feature analysis to understand better what exactly I'm looking at so I can at least make an educated decision. I scoured rtings.com for all of the models. I figure this won't be the last purchase I make, so any knowledge will serve me well. And it's very enjoyable for me.

Now, here's the thing: at some point such analysis can get very confusing in terms of how much something is an upgrade over previous models. I'm just reading internet pages and watching videos after all, and it's very hard to discern "how much" something is better. Most upgrades over previous models are incremental I presume, but I really can't know, can I? As an example, the new LG evo panel is 20% brighter, but that really doesn't tell me anything because I've never owned an oled TV, or a lot of TVs for that matter. I can make assumptions, read peak brightness charts and even go to the store to look at the models but that won't be indicative to my usage conditions. Another example is Sony's different motion processors or Sony's vs Samsung's vs LG's. Unless I get same tier TVs from all 3 brands for a day side by side, I can't quite know the difference.

I understand how the markets work and that right now would be the best time to buy a 2020 model, but I'm not sure if I should pull the trigger now or hold out for 2021 models on Black Friday or early next year. So my idea was to carefully explain to you guys what I want and I hope somebody can tell me what they'd do in my shoes. And I especially want to know what you value in a TV as the most impactful thing and whether some of the models I've looked at are worth the price for their respective benefits.

Room conditions: the TV will be wall-mounted on the wall on the right-hand side of the picture I attached to this post. It will be viewed from the bed. The distance from where the screen will be is roughly 2 meters, so I'm looking exclusively for 48 to 55 inch models. There won't be a mounted soundbar so we'll have to rely on the TV speakers. There is no direct sunlight coming in the room during the day. The TV will primarily be used in the evening for movies with my soon to be wife, and gaming. I do like to game quite a bit, but I find time to do it only 2-3 times a week at most for 2-3 hours. I am accustomed to gaming with G-sync on a PC, but I also game on a PS4 Pro on an older TV, although I certainly dislike the motion juddering and the artifacts motion interpolation introduces if I avoid the juddering. I have a high-end PC I work on, which I also game on and it can mostly push 4k60fps (RTX 3080, Ryzen 5600x, 16gb DDR4 3200mhz, Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD). I don't especially need HDMI 2.1 except for future proofing for when I eventually upgrade to a PS5 "pro" whenever that comes out, so it's likely at least 2-3 years away. I am much more interested in a TV that can push 4k 60hz + HDR on proper RGB 10-bit (if possible) than 120hz without HDR.

I understand oleds offer the best picture quality and why, but there are big reasons I'm hesitant to buy oleds.
The first and foremost is I had severe eye-saving surgery to one of my eyes and I can't watch in full-darkness or it'll spell very bad for me long-term. I need ambient lights or at least 1 light elsewhere in the room, and this would at least partially negate the contrast of oleds.
The second reason is longevity for the TV. I'm from Bulgaria. This is a very poor country and the big expense for such a TV in here discourages changing your TV every 3-4 years, and although I'm sort of well off, I wouldn't enjoy throwing money against the wind. If I'm buying a high-end TV, I will likely want to keep it for the next 6-7 years, because I don't think the second-hand market is kind to oleds around here if I try to sell it before that. After 6-7 years I expect oled degradation to be a real concern. To combat this I was initially interested in something like the Sony A90j which has the new panel and a heatsink, so maybe I can lower the brightness a bit and prolong its life. But even at discounts, at the price premium it will sit at I'm not sure whether it's worth it if I can just buy a new TV down the line with what I'd save from the difference with a lower-tier TV. I also read that Sony and LG support allow, at least in the US, to swap the panel at my own expense if I ever need it, but I haven't personally contacted them to check if they do same for the EU/Bulgaria. If this is true, it's certainly a possible move as well. The extra expense to renew a premium TV for another few years sounds like a good thing. And it will be less than a new TV.

What I want and enjoy:
I am a big fan of HDR. I will use it as much as possible in both gaming and normal viewing during the evenings, both for PC and for PS4/5 when possible. I don't mind turning off the static elements of a game if possible and we won't be using the TV for normal programs, just for movies with no logos anywhere. I don't mind LCD motion blur unless it's extreme, and from my previous usage I don't foresee this being a problem. I am much much more put off by motion stuttering. Blooming is a bit distracting at points but I tolerate it. I don't particularly care for the operating system as I won't be really using almost any of the apps. As long as the OS allows me to optimize the picture, I'm happy. I don't care for features such as Dolby Vision IQ that check the room's brightness. To be clear: I enjoy picture clarity and smoothness when viewing movies and judder doesn't bother me as much. In gaming though, I am very bothered by motion stutter, and I'll be using the TV for both.

Models I'm interested in, with their respective local prices now, converted to EU so you can understand my market:

2020 models:
LCD:
SONY KD-49XH9505 - 900€
Oled:
LG OLED55CX3LA - 1050€
LG OLED55CX6 - 1250€ (I have literally no clue what the difference is with the first one, maybe something in the design?)
LG OLED48CX6 - 1100€
Sony Bravia KD-48A9 - 1250 to 1400€ (there is a promotion right now I believe)

2021 Models with prices right now. I can't really predict how much they'll drop on Black Friday:
LCD:
Samsung QN90A 55'' - 1500€
Oled:
LG OLED48C12LA - 1200€
LG OLED48C11LB - 1190€
LG OLED55C11LB - 1300€
Sony A90j 55'' - 2250€

My entire post seems a bit silly if you compare prices like this, but I'd like to point out that an average person makes about 500 euro a month around these parts, so every few hundred actually matter.
Okay, that was it I guess - thanks to everyone who reads my entire post and responds and I hope you don't feel your time is wasted. Any recommendations are welcome and I certainly want to now what you prioritize in a TV.

EDIT: I don't really have a budget. All of these TVs are OK except the A90J which seems excessive, but if you guys think it's worth the premium, I'd probably wait quite a bit for it to come down in price. I'm not constrained when I buy it either. I do want to know whether you think the news 2021 models I mentioned are worth the wait, though. And whether the mini-led Samsung LCD is worthwhile either in comparison to oleds.
 

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next010

Distinguished Member
If your a big fan of HDR being as bright as can be and in a well lit room the QN95A in Europe might be what you should look for, this is the model that is equivalent to USA QN90A, EU QN90A is a lower tier product.

No need to babysit the display though you don't really have much to worry about with OLED given what you've described.
 

Kandula

Novice Member
If your a big fan of HDR being as bright as can be and in a well lit room the QN95A in Europe might be what you should look for, this is the model that is equivalent to USA QN90A, EU QN90A is a lower tier product.

No need to babysit the display though you don't really have much to worry about with OLED given what you've described.
EU QN90A is a lower tier product? I thought the difference between 95 and 90A was only the 1 connect box?
And would you recommend only LCD specifically in my case?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Your local price trends don't seem to be too different from elsewhere, the 48" OLEDs are priced similarly between 2020 and 2021 models and remain poor value for money compared to 55" models.

Given you will view 2m away, you definitely want all the screen size you can get. A 49" model at that distance in my opinion is just too small. In fact for me personally even a 65" will be too small, but I understand you're only looking at 55" max.

So with that in mind and your usage I'd definitely recommend the LG CX (the cheaper one on your list, not the one).

In the respect of model numbers and the two CX's. It will depend on region. The more expensive model is missing two digits at the end though.

CX3LA
  • 3 is an identifier of the TV sales region.
  • L is a type of digital tuner
  • A, B – design

I understand your want of value, so it makes no sense to go for a 48" OLED or the 55" A90J Sony. The TV is not 200% better than the CX and you are also buying a TV that has worse gaming features. I also doubt this TV will drop that much in price compared to the lower tier A80J, so I don't think its worth waiting for black friday to buy.

How is local pricing on the new 55" C1, G1, GX, Sony's A8H and AG9?
What about local pricing on the Sony 55XH9505 and Samsung 55Q90T/55Q95T?

Most upgrades over previous models are incremental I presume, but I really can't know, can I?
Usually, there's practically no difference between the CX and C1. With the new EVO panels on the premium OLEDs there's a gain in HDR picture quality due to increased brightness but these TVs carry a premium and will never be discounted quite the same as the lower range ones.

Also, how important is sound quality? If you want good sound from the TV, but also no separate system then that is a reason to spend more money on premium models.

Congratulations with your future wife btw (I assume she knows about your plans ;)) haha
 

next010

Distinguished Member
EU QN90A is a lower tier product? I thought the difference between 95 and 90A was only the 1 connect box?
And would you recommend only LCD specifically in my case?

The EU QN90A has no ultra wide viewing angle and lower peak brightness, also some size versions use a different type LCD panel called ADS which is a Samsung version of IPS I believe, you don't want that.

The EU QN95A is the VA type LCD panel.

VA or OLED its up to you and what you prioritize, OLED is great but its not as bright as the Samsung if that matters to you.
 

Kandula

Novice Member
Your local price trends don't seem to be too different from elsewhere, the 48" OLEDs are priced similarly between 2020 and 2021 models and remain poor value for money compared to 55" models.

Given you will view 2m away, you definitely want all the screen size you can get. A 49" model at that distance in my opinion is just too small. In fact for me personally even a 65" will be too small, but I understand you're only looking at 55" max.

So with that in mind and your usage I'd definitely recommend the LG CX (the cheaper one on your list, not the one).

In the respect of model numbers and the two CX's. It will depend on region. The more expensive model is missing two digits at the end though.

CX3LA
  • 3 is an identifier of the TV sales region.
  • L is a type of digital tuner
  • A, B – design

I understand your want of value, so it makes no sense to go for a 48" OLED or the 55" A90J Sony. The TV is not 200% better than the CX and you are also buying a TV that has worse gaming features. I also doubt this TV will drop that much in price compared to the lower tier A80J, so I don't think its worth waiting for black friday to buy.

How is local pricing on the new 55" C1, G1, GX, Sony's A8H and AG9?
What about local pricing on the Sony 55XH9505 and Samsung 55Q90T/55Q95T?


Usually, there's practically no difference between the CX and C1. With the new EVO panels on the premium OLEDs there's a gain in HDR picture quality due to increased brightness but these TVs carry a premium and will never be discounted quite the same as the lower range ones.

Also, how important is sound quality? If you want good sound from the TV, but also no separate system then that is a reason to spend more money on premium models.
I am currently using a 49" LG UH8500 in my living room, from about about 3 meters. I haven't had a problem with size, so I'm not too picky in that regard. And I definitely don't want bigger than 55 because it locally carries a big price differential for the extra 10 inches, and I don't think I'd enjoy it more anyway.

I value good sound, but I would not rate it above picture quality for sure. I do like Sony's approach to spatial sound but I've never experienced it. Overall I've never really had a problem with how TV speakers sound. Think of me as completely unspoiled in that regard. All TVs I've had have been simple in terms of sound, so anything you propose will be an upgrade. I would pay more for sound, but not if I have to compromise with picture quality, so it's rather a bonus feature than a necessity for me.

I already gave local pricing to the new LG C1:
LG OLED55C11LB - 1300€
LG OLED55C12LA is the same price currently.

As for the others:
LG OLED55GX3LA - 1700€
LG OLED55G13LA - 2100€
Sony KE55A8BAEP - 1700€
Sony Bravia KD-55AG9B - 1700€
Sony Bravia KD-55XH9505B - 1100€
Samsung QE55Q90TAT - 1200€
Samsung QE55Q95TCT is available in just 1 place I found so I'd basically missing from the market. The price is 1600€
If I'm looking at Samsung TVs I'm more interested in the new models with mini-led backlight but I found out the gaming mode on Samsung messes badly with the local dimming, so I'm not quite sure what to pursue.

I am looking up online retailers mostly. Some prices fluctuate all the time, and some of the ones I posted are currently a bit discounted, but I expect at least the new LG models to be discounted a bit more on Black Friday.

EDIT: My future wife knows of course :) . Thank you!
 
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Kandula

Novice Member
The EU QN90A has no ultra wide viewing angle and lower peak brightness, also some size versions use a different type LCD panel called ADS which is a Samsung version of IPS I believe, you don't want that.

The EU QN95A is the VA type LCD panel.

VA or OLED its up to you and what you prioritize, OLED is great but its not as bright as the Samsung if that matters to you.
Thank you for clearing this up, I was unaware Europe got screwed over again on the QN90A. I want to avoid ADS like a plague. I very much dislike grey blacks. I was originally interested in the new Hisense U8G, but I found out the european U8GQ will feature an ADS panel and I completely lost interest because of that.
I've never seen peak brightness over 800-900 nits, but I think it may be harmful to my eyes the same way dark room viewing is. I don't know what to make of this. In general I will probably want moderately high peak brightness when I watch or game.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Sorry I didn't see the 55" C1 price.
I think the 55" CX is quite clearly the best option.

Samsung play panel games on their TVs (we thought it was a thing of the past, sigh).

When you game/watch in HDR, the brightness you set on the TV is only for the highlights, so you keep it at 100 whether on OLED or LCD TV.

The TVs with better built in sound don't see good value...perhaps though since you are not getting a soundbar consider spending the extra on a TV like the GX or Sony AG9?
 

Kandula

Novice Member
Sorry I didn't see the 55" C1 price.
I think the 55" CX is quite clearly the best option.

Samsung play panel games on their TVs (we thought it was a thing of the past, sigh).

When you game/watch in HDR, the brightness you set on the TV is only for the highlights, so you keep it at 100 whether on OLED or LCD TV.

The TVs with better built in sound don't see good value...perhaps though since you are not getting a soundbar consider spending the extra on a TV like the GX or Sony AG9?
Those two models are frankly the ones I least researched. Can you do a run-down of their respective strengths if I'm not wasting your time this way? I can wait for the prices to drop a bit, but at that price maybe I should just wait for the A90J to drop Q1 next year? Those two are its respective counterparts/competitors from last year, right?


Edit: I wrote a big ass explanation, but I completely forgot to answer the questions from the stickies. Here are a few of them, I'm sorry I didn't answer them at the beginning. Maybe you can gleam something from them as well.

Please rearrange the following, in descending importance:

  1. HDR Picture quality
  2. Blacks
  3. Shadow detail
  4. SDR Picture quality
  5. Cost
  6. Value
  7. Sound
  8. Viewing angles
  9. Picture accuracy out of the box (without pro calibration)
  10. Smart TV ease of use
  11. Smart TV app selection
Now for bugs, tell us your possible pet hates related to TVs, in descending order:
  1. Motion stutter
  2. Raised blacks
  3. Motion judder with 24hz movies/TV shows. See: Judder-Free 24p on TVs
  4. Bad screen uniformity, Dirty Screen Effect, Clouding, Light Bleed, Blooming, Vignetting, Haloing
  5. Loss of detail in dark areas or crushed blacks.
  6. Reflective screens
  7. Motion blur
  8. Colour banding. See: Gradients on TVs: Color bit depth (warning this is not the same as vertical banding, for vertical banding see bad screen uniformity).
  9. Slow smart TV
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Which two models? The AG9 and GX?
The AG9 is a 2019 model that they still produced in 2020, they did not make a AH9.
It fills a gap in their lineup which includes better built in sound. Unlike the new A80J and A90J there aren't really any differences in picture quality.

With the GX and CX its much of the same, the GX is a TV that comes with a wall mount and not a stand, and is designed with better built in sound. Picture quality is the same. Much the same as the 2020 Sony lineup, difference was in sound and not picture quality. This years G1 does have the new EVO panel whilst the C1 does not (although some TVs you may be able to unlock it).

With Sony versus LG in general; LGs are better gaming TVs. They have HGIG and Dynamic Tone Mapping which are integral features for gaming, there TVs are the benchmark to game developers, who often test games on these TVs when they produce them. Smart TV is fast and sleek.

Sony on the other hand excel in different areas, upscaling of poorer quality material is better and motion is cleaner with less mistakes with video content. Smart TV is much improved, but a bit clunky running Android. Although some people like Android because of the sheer app choice and chromecast built in.

Regarding motion you have to be careful when comparing TVs because there are so many different aspects. Sony TVs having better motion is not about gaming, but video content. With gaming LG have an advantage since they support a 120hz input with HDMI forum VRR (which is what Gsync uses)/freesync. Only the newer 2021 Sony's have HDMI forum VRR, with the 2020 models still using HDMI 2.0.

If you mention that stutter/judder etc is something that you are annoyed by in gaming, any TV you will buy will be fine today, even much cheaper options. Its really with video content where the Sony TVs can excel versus LG with more fluid motion.
 

Kandula

Novice Member
Which two models? The AG9 and GX?
The AG9 is a 2019 model that they still produced in 2020, they did not make a AH9.
It fills a gap in their lineup which includes better built in sound. Unlike the new A80J and A90J there aren't really any differences in picture quality.

With the GX and CX its much of the same, the GX is a TV that comes with a wall mount and not a stand, and is designed with better built in sound. Picture quality is the same. Much the same as the 2020 Sony lineup, difference was in sound and not picture quality. This years G1 does have the new EVO panel whilst the C1 does not (although some TVs you may be able to unlock it).

With Sony versus LG in general; LGs are better gaming TVs. They have HGIG and Dynamic Tone Mapping which are integral features for gaming, there TVs are the benchmark to game developers, who often test games on these TVs when they produce them. Smart TV is fast and sleek.

Sony on the other hand excel in different areas, upscaling of poorer quality material is better and motion is cleaner with less mistakes with video content. Smart TV is much improved, but a bit clunky running Android. Although some people like Android because of the sheer app choice and chromecast built in.

Regarding motion you have to be careful when comparing TVs because there are so many different aspects. Sony TVs having better motion is not about gaming, but video content. With gaming LG have an advantage since they support a 120hz input with HDMI forum VRR (which is what Gsync uses)/freesync. Only the newer 2021 Sony's have HDMI forum VRR, with the 2020 models still using HDMI 2.0.

If you mention that stutter/judder etc is something that you are annoyed by in gaming, any TV you will buy will be fine today, even much cheaper options. Its really with video content where the Sony TVs can excel versus LG with more fluid motion.
Thank you both for all the answers, you were very helpful! I think I'm nearly ready to make a choice. Going for LG seems to be the likely value choice at this moment. I don't think the price differential for a soundbar is worth it, as I can locally buy a separate good soundbar for less money than this price raise for the Sony AG9. If I dislike the sound I get I can just get a soundbar and mount it.
I actually have a Sony HTRT-3 old 5.1 soundbar, but just the placement of where we want to mount the TV on the wall isn't good for a 5.1 setup.

OK then, some last questions: what would I gain if I wait for the C1 to drop a bit? From my research it appears the C1 has a little bit lower peak brightness and some better image clarity, other than that they basically appear the same. Am I correct in thinking this and that's all there is to it?

I'm honestly not even sure I need VRR because from all I've heard, the implementation of VRR seems to mess with a lot of TVs. Don't LGs have raised blacks with VRR? Which brand has the least problems with VRR? Picture quality is more important to me in general. If I can push 4k60fps I'm fine without VRR. If I can't push 4k 60fps from my PC, I will probably be using my 1440p gaming monitor anyway and while 4k120hz brings less input lag and latency, I'm very unlikely to be gunning for 120fps on 4K. In general I'm not bothered by latency when playing with a joystick. With all of this I'm trying to say - I want great HDR image quality at 4k60herz when playing and great HDR when watching movies. Everything else is a bonus, but I don't want to compromise on the HDR quality so I might even disable some gaming options if they get in tits way (so long as there isn't excessive stuttering).

I CAN wait for a newer Sony model to drop a bit, but the Sony's seem quite overpriced compared to LG's offerings. I am willing to invest in a better quality image in general if you guys think it will be worth the wait, but if it's a 5-10% difference in quality I can't imagine it being worth it.

And the most important thing for me: if I'm going for an oled, do you believe 5 years down the road I might get real uniformity issues? And do you know if the manufacturers accept panel-repairs for my own expense if something happens?

Again, thank you for the patience and all the answers, these were my last questions as I don't want to waste any more of your time! You were extremely helpful. If this answer I wrote now changes your recommendation please state clearly if you recommend a specific model for me. And have a good night :)
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
VRR has some problems, all TVs have an issue where gamma isn't being tracked correctly at different frame rates, but for the most part its still an enjoyable experience, and as I'm sure you know, eliminates tearing.

Latency isn't really a big deal on TVs any more like it used to be, any TV has good enough latency in game mode.

Its not just about VRR though, even if you game at 60hz LGs still have Dynamic Tone Mapping and HGIG support, Sony on the other hand do not, and you'll have to do more tweaking with the picture as you swap one HDR game to another.

It seems like you are more interested in going with Sony though, so if that's the case its definitely worth waiting for the price of the new A80J to come down. Eventually it should reach a similar price to the A8H now. The A90J is even better again, but you pay more for the cooling backlplate, brighter tuned panel and better sound.

In the respect of burn in, that is another reason to wait for a TV that uses the new EVO panel. They are more resistant which is why the panels are able to run brighter. Eventually more and more 55" C1 units will be fitted with the EVO panel too as they move their production methods over from old to new.

On the other hand, 2-3 times a week at 2-3h per session isn't really risky at all. You do need to worry more than LCD TV with titles like FIFA that have a lot of brighter coloured static elements but even then in the rtings.com real life burn in test they counted 5000h before seeing anything. At 9h a week playing FIFA 18 would mean your TV lasts about 11 years.

In other words, if you are particularly worried then you should wait, however unless you play games that are high risk like FIFA, then its really not something to worry about.

EDIT* raised blacks wasn't an VRR issue on LGs, it was a general issue that they fixed in an update.
 
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Kandula

Novice Member
Thank you for all the answers! You were a huge help and very informative.
I will likely wait until black Friday to see if the a90j or lg g1 come down to a better price, if not, I'll get the c1 or any leftover cx/gx units that will likely get slashed even more then.
Again, thank you to everybody and stay safe in these pandemic times :)
 

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