Question Which 55" TV on a £500 budget?

Shylok

Member
Hi, im looking to replace my 10 year old Panasonic th-42px80b plasma. Oled & Qleds appear to be out of my £500 budget (might stretch to £600 if worthwhile), ie, incls FALD, Dolby Vision, HDR+, etc?

I need a tv mostly for SD / HD terrestrial tv & Bluray / HDR / 4k UHD movies, not so much gaming but it would be a welcome bonus as an all rounder. Viewing angles will be 30 to 40 degrees off centre either way. I watch tv mostly in the evening & at night, often in a dimly lit room unless its summer.

Samsungs Triton appears to be a good OS with LGs WebOS not far behind. I think Sony uses Andoid OS so has more apps although they block Kodi, but i can use an external android tv box or USB firestick for that.

So what are the best options at my budget available in the UK in a crowded market?

Thanks
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
If you don't need wide viewing angels the Samsung 55RU8000 if attainable for £500. Previously the Hisense 55U8B was best, but they seem to have sold out now.

See: My best value TVs, 2019-2020 Edition

If you are worrying about HDR performance, you really need to spend more. Unless you can reach TVs like the Sony XF9005 or Samsung Q70R you really should consider the purchase strictly for SDR material and not HDR.
 

Shylok

Member
Ill look those up.

Ive also just come across widely well rated reviews of >

Panasonic TX50GX800B £539 (RGB Direct)
Refurb price direct from manufacturer £449

Panasonic 58GX800B £669 (RGB Direct)
Refurb price direct from manufacturer £599

Any good? Refurbished would save me a few pounds to keep it in budget. I doubt Panasonic will sell them with dead pixels or screen issues. I expect it will have a slight cosmetic mark on the casing or just a different box, etc. RGB give a 5 year warranty, instead of the manufacturers refurbished 1 year. So the savings might not be worth it in the long run.

“All of our refurbished products have undergone stringent assessments, tests and if necessary repairs. They are then thoroughly cleaned before being re-packaged and may possess signs of cosmetic wear or handling, which do not affect their performance. For total peace of mind, all of our refurbished products come with a one year manufacturer’s warranty. They also include equivalent accessories to those supplied with the original product, though may be missing minor additions such as remote batteries and may not come in their original packaging”
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
I don't think the prices they have at RGB direct for the refurbs are as good as when they appear from the official outlet...but maybe that is because they sell them with an extended warranty.

As for the Panasonic as a TV, well its really nothing special. Its main drawback is that it only comes with a 60hz panel, so motion is worse. The Samsung 55RU8000 is both cheaper, new and comes with a 120hz one.

The GX800 is mentioned in my best buy guide here: My best value TVs, 2019-2020 Edition
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Have you seen my bargain thread? Bargain - Panasonic refurbished eBay store thread

For the price they are selling for they are better value than new. But the GX800 is nothing special and if you are open to 55" I'd be looking at the 55" Samsung RU8000 instead for its 120hz panel.

If you aren't fussed so much about motion, and you prefer better handling of HDR material with video then the Panasonic isn't a bad choice. Its just by no means a capable HDR TV, nor does it do to well on the motion front either. The main thing it has going for it is its HDR compression tech which can display HDR videos with less issues compared to other TVs also with limited HDR hardware.
 

DHarrison1221

Active Member
Would personally recommend the 4K UHD Philips 55PUS6754 - we've had it for about a year now. It is an Android TV, if I've got the model number correct, which means that it does take a small amount of time to power on which is annoying but in terms of picture and audio quality, it is fantastic.

Hope this helps
 

Shylok

Member
The Philips 55PUS6754 is at £499 but with a 60 hertz panel, HDR10+ & Dolby Vision. The Samsung UE55RU8000 is 120 hertz panel with HDR10+ but no Dolby Vision. Neither have local dimming.

The best prices for the Samsung UE55RU8000 are >

Reliant Direct £519 (1 yr Warranty)
RGB Direct £528 (1 yr Warranty)
Richer Sounds £599 (6 yr Warranty)

£599 is a bit steep despite the 6 yr warranty. Richer Sounds will price match but the catch is that it has to have a "comparable guarantee".

There is also a Hisense H9F thats a 60 hertz panel but with local dimming, Dolby Vision, HDR10 & Dled fald? But i cant find it for sale in the UK. The review on rtings & Techradar are favourable albeit with some criticisms. Hisense H9F Review (55H9F, 65H9F)

 

Dodgexander

Moderator
55PUS6754
Its not the Philips 6 series if it has android. It will be 7 series. Picture quality is identical though.
The Philips 55PUS6754 is at £499 but with a 60 hertz panel, HDR10+ & Dolby Vision. The Samsung UE55RU8000 is 120 hertz panel with HDR10+ but no Dolby Vision. Neither have local dimming.

The best prices for the Samsung UE55RU8000 are >

Reliant Direct £519 (1 yr Warranty)
RGB Direct £528 (1 yr Warranty)
Richer Sounds £599 (6 yr Warranty)

£599 is a bit steep despite the 6 yr warranty. Richer Sounds will price match but the catch is that it has to have a "comparable guarantee".

There is also a Hisense H9F thats a 60 hertz panel but with local dimming, Dolby Vision, HDR10 & Dled fald? But i cant find it for sale in the UK. The review on rtings & Techradar are favourable albeit with some criticisms. Hisense H9F Review (55H9F, 65H9F)

The Hisense you found is a North American model not sold in Europe.

The Samsung RU8000 is the clear winner here. If you want to spend less and match it for value for money look at the Hisense U7B (costco discount) or Hisense B7500.
 

Shylok

Member
It looks like the Samsung 55 RU8000 is the one to get then. Crampton & Moore tell me its in short supply but their price would be £649 with 5 yr warranty.

But who would you recommend buying it from?

Also how long will i probably need to wait before Samsung supersedes it with a new & (probably) better model (RU9000)? is it worth waiting?

Googling best prices

Reliant Electrical (never heard of them)
£519 incls 1 yr manufacturing warranty
RGB Direct
£528 incls 1 yr manufacturing warranty
Bt Shop
£569 1 yr manufacturing warranty & bundled with a free Jbl Studio 2 soundbar
Richersounds
£599 incls 6 yr warranty
 
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Shylok

Member
But is it worth waiting for the next revision of tvs in spring / early summer? They will probably have improvements but i doubt in any significant way, plus you pay a higher price for newer tech. Offers probably wont come in until another 12 months during Black Friday / Christmas next year.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Also how long will i probably need to wait before Samsung supersedes it with a new & (probably) better model (RU9000)? is it worth waiting?
It may be worth waiting for, but as you said, you can expect to wait at least until Black Friday 2020 to get it at a competitive price.

Typically each range of TV follows the same pricing scheme, this time last year people would have had the same predicament of you when it comes to the older NU8000 and waiting for the RU8000, those who chose to wait actually ended up with a worse overall TV with the new RU8000 not getting as bright as the old model.

So its probable nothing much will change, its possible that the newer model will be better, or worse. We won't really know until reviews are released, usually between summer and autumn.
 

Shylok

Member
The Hisense 55 U8B is also available at Laptops Direct £599 plus 2 yr warranty.

Spec wise it appears similar to the Samsung UE55RU8000 with the same VA 120 hertz panel, but with local dimming & Dolby Vision which the Samsung lacks where instead it has HDR+. Its screen peak brightness of 1000 nits is also brighter. However the Samsung is UHD certified unlike the U8B.

This guy at HDTV doest rate the U8B
"color accuracy and HDR representation leaves much to be desired though, so it is difficult to recommend this tv for video enthusiasts even considering its affordable price."
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
The Hisense 55 U8B is also available at Laptops Direct £599 plus 2 yr warranty.

Spec wise it appears similar to the Samsung UE55RU8000 with the same VA 120 hertz panel, but with local dimming & Dolby Vision which the Samsung lacks where instead it has HDR+. Its screen peak brightness of 1000 nits is also brighter. However the Samsung is UHD certified unlike the U8B.

This guy at HDTV doest rate the U8B
"color accuracy and HDR representation leaves much to be desired though, so it is difficult to recommend this tv for video enthusiasts even considering its affordable price."
Its local dimming is at best slap-dash and its peak brightness is nowhere close to the quoted 1000 figure. Its still a better overall TV compared to the RU8000 though since having at least some local dimming and higher peak brightness at least makes HDR content better than average.

I don't agree with Vincent's recommendations myself, and I usually do. He recommends the GX800 over the U8B despite being more expensive, with lower peak brightness and no 120hz panel.

The GX800 certainly does things better but I feel he is marking it up too much compared to the Hisense due to picture accuracy and its HDR compression software which works very well.

I love his videos, but I think he could do with reviewing more mid-range and budget models, and also perhaps taking the price into consideration when making a recommendation. The GX800 in some rare cases may be a better overall option compared to the RU8000 but I'd urge anyone who is considering it because of its HDR compression software, to set their heights higher and look instead at TVs that have higher peak brightness and local dimming.
 

Shylok

Member
But coming from my ten year old Panasonic th-42px80b plasma that has probably far exceeded its 200,000 hour lifespan. Any lcd type panel would look super bright to me, compared to the dim plasma tv im replacing.

Its unfortunate that Samsung didnt include the local dimming feature on its updated RU8000, where it was included on the previous NU8000 model. I guess that they had to make cuts to keep it within a price point in order to have a 120 hertz panel?

Watching the review at Rtings, which is quite balanced, the UR8000 appears to manage black levels quite well when compared to the slightly better black levels of the NU8000. The difference doesnt appear to be significant.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
What you say is true but the very reason brightness is even mentioned in TV reviews nowadays isn't necessarily because of how well a TV performs in a bright room or with glare, but because of HDR. Years ago before HDR was a "thing" brightness was never as important on TVs, and its only due to the advent of HDR that it has become more of a hot topic.

When you play content that includes HDR data, that data is mastered in a studio to be displayed on TVs varying between 1000 and 10,000, often 4000 nits depending on the title.

Once this data reaches your TV, it has to be scaled down within the limitations of the TV, so if you view HDR content on a TV that only has around 350 nits peak brightness, you end up with a problematic picture. Either it looks washed out or you lose detail in bright highlights that are designed to be shown on TVs that are able to display HDR nits levels. I should know since I own both a TV with capable HDR peak brightness and local dimming and one without.

In an ideal world you want a TV that is capable of at least 4000 nits brightness in a small window, so when content mastered at 10,000 it doesn't have to be scaled down so much, but generally TVs that can reach around 1000 nits peak in a small window tend to be considered the first TVs that are able to scale down the high peak brightness levels and display them without problems.

Its not all down to peak brightness, but also local dimming. The more brightness the TV is able to provide, the more important it is that the TV has good local dimming. Without it, all that ends up happening is parts of the screen light up in the wrong places and you end up with very poor screen uniformity in HDR mode. Its for this reason that the RU8000 copes better than the NU8000, the NU8000 was a lot brighter but still didn't have any local dimming. It made it better for HDR, but because it still didn't come with good local dimming, the picture was rather "messy" when used with HDR.

The Hisense U8B by comparison gets brighter than this years RU8000, is more similar in spec with brightness to last years NU8000 but it does at least have some kind of (albeit rudimentary) local dimming.

But it doesn't end there, there is also HDR format support to think about. If the sources you watch in HDR have either Dolby Vision HDR or HDR10+ available and you match those sources with a TV that supports either, or both, then there is extra tuning that can be done within the TV that is able to compress those high nits HDR masters down to lower nits of the TV without producing as many issues. It never constitutes to HDR picture quality that can rival higher end TVs, but it at least avoids some problems that are usually associated when displaying HDR on a TV with lower peak brightness.

So therefore, the Hisense U8B in my own opinion is a better overall TV than the RU8000 and GX800. It has dolby vision and HDR10+ support which is more widely used than the RU8000's HDR10+ which means it works a lot better in HDR titles on Netflix and UHD Blu-Rays. It has higher peak brightness too which means you are less likely to have as many problems with titles than you will with the other TVs. Yes the Panasonic GX800 also has both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, but its peak brightness is a lot lower.

The U8B can be by no means considered a capable HDR TV, but there's nothing that comes close to its performance with HDR in price until you reach the Sony XF9005/XG9505 or Samsung Q70R in price. Therefore the Hisense, in my opinion is best of the rest.

If you are thinking of using the TV with HDR content and you don't want to come across these kind of problems completely, the long and short of it is you need to spend more money. HDR makes demands on TVs that means its not simply a case of every TV that includes HDR on the box can display it without issues and the very minimum you should consider for HDR should be the Samsung Q70R or Sony XF9005/XG9505.

I went on more about HDR here: All about HDR (High Dynamic Range)
 

Shylok

Member
It appears the Samsung RU8000 has been discontinued & all remaining stock being sold off. I checked in my local Richer Sounds in Manchester & only a store in Birmingham has one. They wont be getting any more back in. Therefore i think it might be worthwhile waiting until April / May, when new tvs are released & then decide, as its a long term investment. Given how the RU8000 lacks local dimming, its new revision may have it. I can put up with my old plasma tv until then.
 

tmcd677

Standard Member
It appears the Samsung RU8000 has been discontinued & all remaining stock being sold off. I checked in my local Richer Sounds in Manchester & only a store in Birmingham has one. They wont be getting any more back in. I can put up with my old plasma tv until then.
Assuming exact equivalents you won't be seeing RU8000 pricing till this time next year. If you can wait the year then 2020 models might be worth it otherwise, as far as I understand it, there's no cheaper time than now.

If it was me I'd listen to @Dodgexander and seriously concider the U8B. Only reason I never got the U8B is because I judged HDR performance as my primary concern so when I noticed Sony had XF9005 refurbs within my max budget I knew that was the route for me.
 

Shylok

Member
What was the price of the Samsung UE55RU8000 for the first few months on release?

Checking the history on pricespy it started off around £900 to £800 (way too much). This didnt drop to the £600 mark until late October / November. So would i expect the new model to be priced around the same? Samsung UE55RU8000 (TVs)
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I wouldn't hold any hopes for the new RU8000, at best it will have better peak brightness like last years NU8000.

Mid range TVs will never have good local dimming, its just not feasible for them to manufacturer the TVs cheap enough when they include good local dimming, which is one reason most manufacturers have moved on from making higher end LCD TVs in favor of OLEDs.

If you study the market like I have, you really are looking at TVs like the Sony XF9005/XG9505 or Samsung Q70 up at least to get ample HDR capability. Looking at 55" at the very best deal you'll find one of these models at £800 but release pricing on these models is usually around £1800-2000 and it isn't usually until black friday for the prices to become reasonable.

Even the new RU8000, whatever its name will be will be at least £1000 new at 55", possibly more.

Yes the Hisense U8B is better than the rest at its own price, but its still by no means a capable HDR TV, it just shows how much poorer with HDR the competition is.
 

Shylok

Member
Well i picked up the Samsung UE55RU8000 & its certainly an improvement over my old plasma. I find that i get the best picture by tweaking the Movie mode.

Although im not a big fan of the remote, its too small & the layout of the buttons are too crowded together. I often press the wrong button when trying to use the up/down/left/right navigation. An air remote with a keyboard built in would be useful.

Theres one issue i need to resolve involving the timer record feature. The tv is said to have two tuners so i plugged in a usb memory stick to test it out, as id like to replace my dvd hd recorder.

If i press the record button via the remote on the channel im watching, i can still turn the channel over while recording. But if i set a timer record via the EPG it will automatically switch to it once the recording starts. Where it will only let me change channels if i stop the recording.

Why does it do this?
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I don't think the RU8000 has twin tuners. Its one of the small differences the Q60R has over the RU8000.

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it though, use a designated recorder box instead. Recording on TVs is nothing short of a woeful experience compared to a designated PVR, even with twin tuners.
 

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