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Topic # 239911 10-Aug-2018 11:58
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I noted that there is a sticky in this forum for A guide to Plasma vs LCD HDTVs that, while useful in its day, hasn't been posted to for ten years. 
So maybe it's time for a refresh with the current LCD and OLED technologies being to the fore. 
So here is an initial summation that I have been using to advise the friends and family that come to me for tech advice. I am more than happy for GZers more expert than me in the field to add, subtract or amend as appropriate. I am no expert but want to collate a guide that people can reference rather than search the whole of Geekzone. This is not a price comparison thread. 

Disclaimer: I have an LG OLED65W8 so I hope there isn't too much bias. 

Displays 

LCD. At the moment, the primary display type, particularly for mainstream, is still LCD. It has come on in leaps and bounds since the plasma vs LCD days. Local dimming, IPS and quantum dot technology have improved contrast ratio, viewing angles and colour reproduction. They do still suffer from light and colour bleed, and have difficulty with true blacks. LCDs still perform better in environments with high levels of ambient lighting as the backlight can be cranked up to compensate. The processing and trickery required to produce a really high quality image brings the cost in line with OLED. All the main manufacturers have extra processing to try and achieve this. In my opinion, Samsung's use of 'QLED' is as much an attempt to confuse consumers as to the display type as it is to describe the process involved (IMO). Because they have been around a long time LCDs are readily available in NZ in a wide range of sizes from 24 to 86”, and probably special orders bigger than that.

OLED is the new kid on the block (excluding nanocell or micro-led at this stage), and prices, although coming down, are still high in comparison to LCD. It is good as the replacement for plasma, as its emissive technology has the same abilities when it comes to true blacks and contrast, and possibly colour reproduction as well. By the same token, it is unable to go as bright as LCD, so performs best in an environment where light levels are controlled (same as plasma). Like early plasmas, OLED is susceptible to burn in, although manufacturers seem to be on to it a lot earlier, with pixel shifting and refreshing algorithms built into the firmware. Care still needs to be taken, and I will not be gaming on my OLED. As of August 2018 OLEDs are only available in 55" and 65" in NZ (2017 Panasonic 77” 1000U still available on runout by special order). OLEDs have plastic screens and are much lighter than plasmas and use far less energy. The thin-ness of the display panel itself has allowed the production of 'wallpaper' TVs, although the electronics have to go somewhere and, in LG's case, are located in a separate soundbar. 

Projectors have some interesting technologies on the horizon, including lasers. While there are 4K projectors for less than $10000 there are also offerings seem to be 'virtual' 4K, so FHD with interpolation and interlaced images. Laser projectors rely on RGBRGB or RGBW colour wheels to split the primary colours. The new generation of projectors are probably better discussed in a separate thread so I won't address them any further. (Note: this paragraph has been rewritten following feedback on the thread. 

Vision 
High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the latest iteration of ever more complicated video processing, and in a nutshell allows better (truer) reproduction of colour and contrast by using metadata embedded in the video data stream. The picture tends to have a lower overall brightness and more of a 'cinematic' look to it. 
As always happens, there are competing standards over and above HDR, those being HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. At the moment while all new TVs seem to have HDR, not all have HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision. Unless you are a calibrator or a video-phile you may struggle to pick the difference on a 65" display. And as is usually the case, new standards, particularly due to higher data rates, require enhanced HDMI and HDCP capability on the ports. From what I can decipher, HDMI 2.0A and HDCP2.2 is required to meet HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. The latest HDMI standard is 2.1. 

Audio 
In general, thinner displays mean crappier sound. I am biased but it is hard to beat a proper surround sound system. LG have produced a curved base to try and project the sound into the room from down firing speakers. Their wallpaper series has an Atmos enabled soundbar, which performs well, but is still not as good as a dedicated surround system. Sony has turned the whole screen of its OLEDs into an active speaker, with drivers attached to the screen itself. They have woofers built into the rear of the chassis on the A1 (2017) and A9F (2019) models but not the A8F (2018) model. The A9F is reported as being able to use the screen as the centre channel in a surround system.The addition of the woofers and drivers does make the Sony deeper (dimensionally) than its competitors. At the very least today's top displays deserve a soundbar for a better all round experience. 

OS/UI 
Each of the four main players offer their own Operating System. The 'smarts' of a TV can make it break the viewing experience these days. You really need to have a play with each of the types you are auditioning. You will know within minutes whether the OS/UI is going to bug you. How easy is it too access LiveTV/Netflix/Amazon/Lightbox/YouTube etc. 

LG had WebOS, which is graphical rather than pure menu base. It relies on the use of its 'Magic Remote' which uses a wireless connection and accelerometers to move a cursor around the screen. Quite intuitive for anyone who has used a touchscreen. There is a companion mobile app. Google Assistant and Alexa are 'coming'. 

Samsung had its proprietary Tizen interface, functional and menu based. Tuned for quick response and has a good mobile app. Integration with Bixby is 'coming'. 

Panasonic has the least 'pretty' interface and seems to be locked in the 2000s as it differs little from my plasma. It operates effectively enough through the remote but its mobile app leaves a lot to be desired. (Update: Operates with Google Assistant) 

Sony is android based, and as such should be the most flexible. Its interface is good but is quite laggy. Although it has access to the Google Play Store, very few apps are optimised for TV's "10 foot interface" and I am suspicious that the Android TV interface will be abandoned as has happened in the past. It has Google Assistant interoperability overseas, but I'm unsure if it is available in NZ. TCL also uses Android. 





Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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Banana?
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  Reply # 2071207 10-Aug-2018 12:08
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The new Panasonic's Smart interface is pretty good (I had a play with their new model OLEDS this week). They work with Google Assistant too.


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  Reply # 2071247 10-Aug-2018 12:48
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Do you have any advice as to refresh rate? I see some 4K TVs are only 30Hz, how can you determine what a TV supports? Particularly the budget end of the market like Veon.








 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2071255 10-Aug-2018 12:56
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Dingbatt: ISony is android based, and as such should be the most flexible. Its interface is good but is quite laggy. Although it has access to the Google Play Store, very few apps are optimised for TV's "10 foot interface" and I am suspicious that the Android TV interface will be abandoned as has happened in the past. It has Google Assistant interoperability overseas, but I'm unsure if it is available in NZ. TCL also uses Android. 

 

I absolutely love my 2 android TV devices (xiaomi mi box + tcl TV). + google assistance is just rocks! + voice search for everything else is just must have. 

 

TCL might be laggy from times to times, but I would never go back to the dark age when you have to connect laptop, type, click, search for movie on PC. meh.





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  Reply # 2071286 10-Aug-2018 13:34
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I personally didn't like the Sony Android  TV interface.  It was horribly slow and it didn't have many apps compared to what I suspected... I assume because the app has to be specifically made available for the TV as opposed to a phone.  I personally can't see this interface lasting too long.

 

The Samsung UHD TV's had the best interface in my opinion but the light bleed from their LCD panels was shocking.  I also had issues with my soundbar turning on the TV randomly - in the middle of the night.

 

I ended up going with the Panasonic EX750.  Granted the UI is a bit clunky but it worked seamlessly with my soundbar (no lag or connection issues) and the picture quality was very good for an LCD.  There was also no light bleed.   





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  Reply # 2071359 10-Aug-2018 14:27
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In general terms 30Hz is fine as most devices play movies in 24Hz anyway.

 

It is quite hard to figure out which HDMI ports are >60Hz though and which are 30Hz.

 

Generally HDMI1 (and sometimes HDMI2) will be able to do 60Hz.. and all others 30Hz.

 

I found on my Panasonic that HDMI1-2 were 60 and 3-4 where 30.  However HDMI2 was also ARC! This was annoying - they could have used HDMI3-4 for that.

 

So I use my AppleTV on HDMI1 as this required a 60Hz refresh rate. HDMI2 for ARC. HDMI3 for my 4k player - which plays movies at 24Hz anyway so no problem.  HDM4 for a recorder that is only HD anyway.  In 1080p the port will support 50Hz.  It's only for UHD that it is 30Hz.

 

 

 

gbwelly:

 

Do you have any advice as to refresh rate? I see some 4K TVs are only 30Hz, how can you determine what a TV supports? Particularly the budget end of the market like Veon.

 





Kirk

 


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  Reply # 2071400 10-Aug-2018 15:37
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Dingbatt: 
Disclaimer: I have an LG OLED65W8 so I hope there isn't too much bias.


 

No that just means you have very good taste in TVs. smile


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  Reply # 2071405 10-Aug-2018 15:42
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gbwelly:

 

Do you have any advice as to refresh rate? I see some 4K TVs are only 30Hz, how can you determine what a TV supports? Particularly the budget end of the market like Veon.

 

 

I've never seen a TV that didn't list the refresh rates somewhere in the specs.

 

Refresh rates are one of the biggest cons on the market anyway - the first thing you should do with any TV is turn all the motion flow setting off that simply interpolate frames.

 

It doesn't matter whether your TV supports 100Hz, 500Hz or even 500,000Hz when all the content you're watching is going to be either 24Hz, 25Hz, 30Hz, 50Hz or 60Hz. The most important thing is whether the panel natively supports these rates.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 2071462 10-Aug-2018 17:34
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Should have mentioned micro LED as a future technology as well as nano cell. On the market within five years and will apparently combine the best features of (LED)LCD and OLED and have few of the pitfalls. But five years of a long time in AV Tech.
I am unable to update the original post to correct my 'hem errors.




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  Reply # 2071465 10-Aug-2018 17:38
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Dingbatt: Should have mentioned micro LED as a future technology as well as nano cell. On the market within five years and will apparently combine the best features of (LED)LCD and OLED and have few of the pitfalls. But five years of a long time in AV Tech.
I am unable to update the original post to correct my 'hem errors.


Only five years for the new tech? OK then, I’ll wait - oh, no, hang on, um - nah!

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  Reply # 2071560 10-Aug-2018 22:34
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kharris:

 

In general terms 30Hz is fine as most devices play movies in 24Hz anyway.

 

It is quite hard to figure out which HDMI ports are >60Hz though and which are 30Hz.

 

Generally HDMI1 (and sometimes HDMI2) will be able to do 60Hz.. and all others 30Hz.

 

I found on my Panasonic that HDMI1-2 were 60 and 3-4 where 30.  However HDMI2 was also ARC! This was annoying - they could have used HDMI3-4 for that.

 

So I use my AppleTV on HDMI1 as this required a 60Hz refresh rate. HDMI2 for ARC. HDMI3 for my 4k player - which plays movies at 24Hz anyway so no problem.  HDM4 for a recorder that is only HD anyway.  In 1080p the port will support 50Hz.  It's only for UHD that it is 30Hz.

 

 

I would rather have ARC on the good port.

 

My LG has ARC on one port, HDCP 2.2 on another, 10 bit on another and the 4th supports MHL which I thought wasnt port specific since my MHL cable for the old phone works in any port. Luckilly all are HDMI 2.0 so do 60 Hz in full proper RGB

 

Problem is I cant give it 10 bit with HDCP2.2, and I cant have a reciever connected to it and get sound from the inbuilt media player or FTA tuner if I want to put HDCP 2.2 sources via the reciever.

 

Its time this carryon with limited ports on the TV doing certain things was over with. I guess when licensing is charged on a per port basis its anything to save a buck or 3 on the TV tho.





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  Reply # 2071563 10-Aug-2018 22:52
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...

Projectors have some interesting technologies on the horizon, including lasers. However, unless you are willing to spend more than $20000, I don't think true 4K is available at the moment. Current offerings seem to be 'virtual' 4K, so FHD with interpolation. Laser projectors rely on RGBRGB or RGBW colour wheels to split the primary colours. For these reasons I won't say any more about projectors....

 

 

 

Sony have had native (true) 4K projectors on the market for a few years.  This year in particular has a couple of models well under the 20K price.

 

 





My opinions and ideas expressed in posts are solely my own and do not reflect the views of my employer in any way..


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  Reply # 2071567 10-Aug-2018 23:07
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@Dingbatt send me the text you want added and where you want it added, and I will add it for you. :)







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  Reply # 2071630 11-Aug-2018 09:11
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jarledb:

@Dingbatt send me the text you want added and where you want it added, and I will add it for you. :)



Will do thanks. I'll wait a bit, collate the updates and corrections, and send in a lump so it's not too bothersome for you.




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  Reply # 2071641 11-Aug-2018 09:26
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JaBZ:

...

Projectors have some interesting technologies on the horizon, including lasers. However, unless you are willing to spend more than $20000, I don't think true 4K is available at the moment. Current offerings seem to be 'virtual' 4K, so FHD with interpolation. Laser projectors rely on RGBRGB or RGBW colour wheels to split the primary colours. For these reasons I won't say any more about projectors....


 


Sony have had native (true) 4K projectors on the market for a few years.  This year in particular has a couple of models well under the 20K price.


 



Yes true. Under 10K actually. I had concentrated more on the 3 laser models as colour wheel ones do my head in. Hence the higher price tag. My main point is there are a lot of projectors being marketed as 4K that are not true 4K. They are 2K and interlace alternate frames to project 4K of pixels. As a consequence they suffer in picture and motion quality, and in the ones using incandescent bulbs, brightness. So more as a warning to people entering the market.
In my case I will continue with the FHD projector I have until the 4K ones are more mainstream. The idea of a "laser" (said in best Dr Evil voice) projector kind of appeals :-)

The projector paragraph in the OP was kind of an afterthought and will probably expand the topic too much. I only included for the people who would say "Don't waste your money on a huge telly, just get a projector".




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  Reply # 2072533 13-Aug-2018 10:32
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Not sure Android TV is going to die anytime soon. According to Google the device eco system is doubling every year. That is double the device activations and double the apps in the Play store. TV's Sony, Philips, Sharp, TCL, Hisense, Toshiba, Skyworth, Metz, Westinghouse, Haier, Element, Changchong, Grundig, Vestel, Beko, Funui. Most not avialable in NZ and I doubt we will see them. STB's including Shield TV available in NZ now, and Mibox. Pay TV operators in the US and getting onboard as well. I wouldn't use any other OS on a TV or STB if I had it my way, this is my reason for owning 3 Nvidia Shield TV's.

 

Also I saw a UK based "The Gadget Show" episode earlier this year, they compared a Samsung OLED TV to a laser projector and even in a very well lite room the majority of users thought the projector provided a better viewing experience than the OLED TV. Surprised me but Projectors might be the devices to have if they can market them right.

 

 


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