Upgrading from ageing plasma - but FHD or UHD?

KPG1

Standard Member
Hello all.

About to make the jump from a 32in Panasonic plasma to something larger (50-55in max) and more modern, but I'm in a dilemma over how far to jump.

Viewing sources will be split between SD content (Freeview), an extensive Blu-ray/DVD collection, while my son has an Xbox. Priorities will be motion handling and screen uniformity, so I'm looking at VA panels. The idea of screen burn worries me, so I'm ruling out OLED. I don't think viewing angles will be a major factor. Above average smart functionality would be a bonus.

My issue with UHD is upscaling. While I'd be confident that at 4K BD should look stellar and DVD decent (depending on the disc), I am aware from reading these forums and elsewhere that SD content can look awful when blown up on a larger panel. Same for my library of vintage movies stored as MP4 and AVI files on disc drives (but I tend to watch those on a smaller screen anyway).

So compromises are called for. On the one hand, going for a FHD model would make sense given much of the content we watch as a family. On the other, it would seem sensible to buy something more future-proofed, not that any channels will begin broadcasting in UHD (or even decent full HD) any time soon. And of course the price differential between the two technologies will be considerable. I'm prepared for that.

Please note, I'm coming at this with only a rudimentary grasp of the subject, but from what I gather Sony is rated highly for motion handling. I have read decent things on this site about Sony WF753 and 663 FHD TVs at 50in, although I believe they are 50hz panels and I had in mind 120hz. Also elsewhere people have complained about poor smart functionality - perhaps a way around this would be a separate smart box (no experience with those).

Are high-end FHD TVs even widely available at the size I'm interested in? I couldn't see either of the above for sale at the kind of retailers I'd hope to buy from (Richer Sounds, John Lewis).

If I do splash out for UHD, having read through Dodge's VFM guide and watched some video reviews, I like the look of Sony's XH9505. I confess to being intimidated by the sheer number of settings available, but I am encouraged by owners' comments in the relevant thread. I have some concerns based on what's written there - creaking sets, sound slipping out of sync - but there seem to be fixes or workarounds.

Regarding upscaling on this particular set, is there any way to mitigate the loss of quality when it comes to SD content? I suppose it is an automatic process - it can't be 'set' to 720p, say, depending on the source. If I watched Freeview through my DVD recorder, for example, which upscales already, will a UHD TV further upscale the image?

I am by no means set on Sony or the models mentioned, so any advice/recommendations for solid all-rounders (with the emphasis on movie-watching) is much appreciated.
 

vickster

Distinguished Member

Dodgexander

Moderator
What's your viewing distance? More upscaling is required for lower quality content to UHD than FHD or HD but if you are viewing quite far away from a smaller TV it won't be as bad. If you want to make the most of a new TV and enjoy also higher quality content, you'll want to strike a balance between size and how poorer quality material looks, because you'll also want to see a good difference when you use high quality material.

If the TV is mainly going to be used for non-HD sources perhaps its just best buying cheap for now, and going for one of the HD Sony TVs you mention.
 

KPG1

Standard Member
Viewing distance is around 10-12 feet, so hopefully any degradation would not be so noticeable.

By 'smaller TV', do you mean anything in the 50-55in range? Is that considered small by modern standards?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Since you view quite far away your quality loss won't be so bad, when you view high quality sources it should more than make up for it too. Yes, 50" especially is considered small nowadays.

Freeview doesn't have to be SD btw, there's a few HD channels. In fact the most common ones are available in HD, its only the more obscure ones that are only SD. DVDs aren't that bad quality, so will upscale better than SD TV.
 

KPG1

Standard Member
I don't think my wife would agree that 50in is small for a TV... If I do go for the 9505 I'd probably bump it up to 55in anyway for the wide-angle filter, just in case the widest viewing angle in the room proves to be an issue.

With upscaling in general, I would presume the effect of blowing up heavily compressed material would be lessened depending on the original aspect ratio. I would always alter this to match the source rather than having the picture stretched artificially to fill the whole screen.
 

Hamad138

Active Member
There's only 1 Option for u and it's Sony

I would wait for the new A80J or A90j , if u can't wait , get the A8
 

KPG1

Standard Member
I was put off OLEDs by scare stories but I have to admit, having read through Dodge's piece on the subject I'm now reconsidering. I think I's be at low risk of burn-in, and OLED has become an option again. Which just makes my dilemma worse!
 

Lvrhs

Active Member
Burn in risk is minimal, but 100% all OLEDS will burn out red subpixel. If You plan to use TV more than 3-5 years, avoid OLED
 

mikej

Well-known Member
Really? Is that the average shelf life of an OLED panel?

No. I believe they've increased the size of the red sub-pixel in recent years, which is supposed to help with the (previously seen) quicker degradation of that particular colour.

OLED manufacturers have also introduced other measures and features that will help reduce the risk of 'burn in' (which is essentially premature pixel wear) but, saying that, it may still be a risk and is very dependent on the content you watch and picture settings you use.

I'm an ex-plasma owner and so the jump to OLED was a natural one for me, but I did that knowing I would have to take some care with what I watch and how I watch it to help minimise any 'burn in' risks - something that wouldn't be an issue with an LCD. For me though, the benefits of OLED outweigh any cons/risks and this trade-off so far has definitely been worth it.
 

Daddy k

Distinguished Member
Just to add thou as you mentioned the xh95..... if your room isn’t very very dark and having just come from a Samsung ks9000 which the black levels especially in the letterbox bars really really annoyed me.... the Sony is great and lots of pro reviews back up how close it is to oled in a non dark room in relation too cost/performance
 

KPG1

Standard Member
Just to add thou as you mentioned the xh95..... if your room isn’t very very dark and having just come from a Samsung ks9000 which the black levels especially in the letterbox bars really really annoyed me.... the Sony is great and lots of pro reviews back up how close it is to oled in a non dark room in relation too cost/performance
That's really helpful, thanks. Am leaning more towards a 55in xh95. Still have some concerns - really don't want a creaky set! - but that's the case for all the models I've looked, LCD and OLED. This is a lockdown family treat and I haven't bought a new TV for so long, I really want to get it right.
 

Daddy k

Distinguished Member
That's really helpful, thanks. Am leaning more towards a 55in xh95. Still have some concerns - really don't want a creaky set! - but that's the case for all the models I've looked, LCD and OLED. This is a lockdown family treat and I haven't bought a new TV for so long, I really want to get it right.
I have the 85” wall mounted, and it’s never made a sound. It’s really solidly made especially compared to the next model down the xh90 which I had for a week
 

Daddy k

Distinguished Member
Does the xh90 not feel very well constructed?
No it’s a solid unit, but all plastic... the xh95 I assumed when swapping would be the same tv basically with a few tweaks inside, but the internal framing etc must be significantly different. A lot of the rear is metal.
 

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