TV technology has traversed a long way from the early days of Cathode Ray Tube models to Plasma TVs and LCD/LED displays. As a result, TVs have started becoming slimmer than ever before.
The advantage of LCD/LED TVs is that they can support a range of fantastic screen resolutions. The analog TVs had a typical screen resolution of around 720x480p or 720x576p. These figures look minuscule when you compare the 4K resolution you have on TVs today.
4K resolution is 3840x2160p and measures around 24 times the resolution displayed by analog TVs. It can give you a clue about how technology has improved over the years.
Therefore, it can be quite a challenge to purchase the best 4K TV for your home. Our buying guide will explore all the features you need to keep in mind when shopping for your 4K TV online.
The following product reviews should help understand the key features present on some prominent 4K TV models.
1. LG 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV – 55CXPTA
OLED is the talking point in the TV manufacturing industry today. As the technology is in its early stages, you can expect these TVs to be expensive. However, the display quality of OLED TVs is something that you will cherish for a lifetime.
OLED is LG’s flagship product as LG is the sole producer of OLED panels in the world. OLED technology unleashes the power of self-lit pixels to deliver a magnificent TV viewing experience.
This LG TV works on a remarkably potent α9 Gen3 AI processor 4K that analyzes on-screen content to deliver immersive picture quality. AI Picture Pro optimizes contrast and saturation to ensure higher quality visuals. This LG OLED TV uses Face Enhancing and text upscaling features to make it enjoyable to watch even news programs.
AI Sound Pro feature makes this TV smart enough to identify voices, effects, and frequencies and optimize according to its genre. The Auto Genre selection adjusts the picture and optimizes the sound depending on the content.
AI ThinQ enhances the convenience quotient to a different level. The Home Dashboard allows you to monitor the TV and connected appliances from a single location. The Ai ThinQ voice assistant recommends the best movies and content, depending on your preferences.
Other quality smart TV features include Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Atmos, Filmmaker Mode, and access to endless content from high-quality apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, etc.
This LG TV features G-Sync compatibility to let you play games at higher refresh rates. VRR, ALLM, and eARC make gameplay smoother than ever before. Other features that enhance gaming experiences are low input lag and fast response time.
OLED Motion Pro feature allows you to see every bit of action in the fast, action-packed scenes. Features like Sports Alert keep you informed about the upcoming sporting action.
The LG OLED TV is right there at the top of the list when it comes to aesthetics. The slim design and the thin-bezels add to your living room’s ambiance to enhance your entertainment experience to levels you could never have imagined.
2. Sony Bravia 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Certified Android LED TV, 55X7500H
Sony Bravia is available in various screen sizes. The X75H Series is an Android TV offering beautiful pictures and clear sound. The X1 4K Processor cuts picture noise to boost detail. It is the ideal TV to beam 4K content as it reproduces lifelike color and contrast.
The 4K X Reality Pro feature upscales low-resolution content and brings it to as close to 4K as possible using a unique 4K database. If you love action scenes, this Sony Bravia is the right TV as the Motionflow XR feature ensures continuity and keep the action sequences smooth.
It can be fun communicating with this Sony Bravia TV using your voice commands. The voice assistant helps you search for the appropriate content from more than 5000 apps available on Google PlayStore. Google Assistant services are also available to control and operate other smart home devices.
Sony Triluminos Display is renowned for delivering a higher color range than other conventional TVs. While Triluminos Display ensures the reproduction of natural colors, the Bass Reflex Speaker delivers impressive sound without compromising on detail and clarity. Clear Phase Audio analyzes and compensates for the speaker system inaccuracies to provide high precision acoustic performances.
This TV works with Google Home to cast your favorite videos to your Sony TV without lifting a finger. The inbuilt Chromecast feature allows seamless connectivity between your Sony Bravia and other compatible devices.
The Sony X-Protection PRO safeguards your TV from dust, moisture, sudden electrical surges, and even lightning attacks. No other TV provides such extensive physical protection features.
The slim and narrow bezels add a luxurious and refined look to this TV. The high screen-to-body ratio ensures that you concentrate more on the picture and not the appliance.
3. LG 55-inches 4K UHD Smart LED TV 55UM7290PTD, Ceramic BK
LG UM Series LED TV is available in four sizes, starting from 43 inches and reaching up to 65 inches. This 55-inches model comes with excellent features like AI Smart TV, 4K Active HDR, and DTS Virtual X.
The UHD resolution is the best on offer today as you enjoy four times the resolution of an FHD screen.
While 4K UHD resolution delivers realistic pictures in extreme detail, the IPS technology offers one of the widest angles to watch TV. It provides a distortion-free TV viewing experience even if you watch TV from angles as wide as 178 degrees.
Understand the subtle differences between each shade or white/black as 4K HDR unveils amazing images in stunning resolution and color.
Your smart TV’s heart is in the quad-core processor. This powerful 64-bit processor eliminates picture noise to create more dynamic color and contrast. The 1.5GB RAM and 4GB internal memory make this TV one of the fastest.
True Color Accuracy feature helps you differentiate between colors to ensure sharper delivery and more realistic images.
This LG model offers high-quality audio performance. It supports DTS Virtual X. This feature converts your living room environment into a movie theater-like experience as the inbuilt speakers deliver quality sound from all angles.
Your LG Smart TV with WebOS offers an exquisite range of content apps like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Apple TV, Zee5, and many more. The ThinQ AI voice assistant helps you search for your favorite content seamlessly by using voice commands.
Apple Airplay 2 connectivity allows playing your iOS devices on the 55-inches screen. Bluetooth connectivity support is available for you to link your Bluetooth headphones, HTS, and soundbars without using cables.
4. Mi TV 4X 55-inches Ultra HD Android TV
The general impression is that all 55-inches TVs are expensive and cost more than Rs 50K. However, it is not so as you have excellent 55-inches smart TVs well under the Rs 50K mark. Mi TV 4X is a shining example of a TV that offers performances that rival its well-established and expensive peer models.
If you are a fan of brilliant colors, this TV should be hanging on your drawing-room wall. The 4K HDR 10 resolution brings true to life colors on the screen. The display is augmented by a 10-bit panel capable of producing 1.07 billion colors.
For exquisite color accuracy and vibrancy, you can rely on Xiaomi’s Vivid Picture Engine.
Two 10W speakers with active support from Dolby DTS HD complete your entertainment experience.
This Mi TV works on the Android OS and offers unlimited access to Google PlayStore to download app content. It comes with a range of pre-loaded apps like Netflix and Prime Video, among others. PatchWall allows you to access all the trending content on a single screen.
You have a range of themes to choose from and make your posters livelier than ever. The Live News Mode ensures that you do not miss out on any trending story as it enables access to a fantastic range of news channels in different Indian languages.
Features like Google Play Access, Google Assistant, and Chromecast complete your smart TV experience. This Mi TV’s sterling aspect is that the Data Saver option helps connect to the internet using your smartphone hotspot connection.
Mi TV comes powered with the latest Amlogic Cortex A53 processor with 64-bit power-efficient data processing.
The powerful Mi remote is one of the easiest to operate because of its quick access buttons. Other features include Bluetooth 4.2 and low-energy dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity.
5. Sony Bravia 43-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Android LED TV 43X7400H
Here is a Sony Bravia TV that lets you experience and enjoy the X1 4K processor and Android’s true power. Features like Triluminos Display and 4K X-Reality Pro contribute to making the Sony Bravia one of the best 4K TVs available.
Sony comes equipped with a powerful X1 4K processor that offers a range of deeper, richer colors for a more realistic experience. 4K HDR compatibility gets you closer to true 4K quality for remarkable clarity.
Fast action scenes can be challenging to watch on ordinary TVs. The Sony Bravia features Motionflow XR to maintain continuity in fast-moving sequences.
Sony Bravia delivers excellent audio with features like Bass Reflex Speakers, Clear Audio+, Dolby Audio, Clear Phase Audio, and S-Force Surround. It makes your listening experience as lifelike as your viewing.
This Sony Bravia works on the Android OS to deliver high-quality entertainment tailored for you. Access to Google Play Store allows you to enjoy more than 5000 apps, games, and live TV.
Google Assistant makes your job of searching for content effortlessly. It enables you to communicate with the TV using voice commands.
The inbuilt Chromecast feature enables you to cast content from your smartphones and other compatible devices on the large TV screen and enjoy in full splendor.
The one-click remote feature comes with specific hotkeys that allow you to view content from apps like YouTube and Netflix.
Sony Bravia TV models have the most attractive designs with narrow bezels to project an attractive screen-to-body ratio. The slim blade design adds to the attraction quotient.
Sony Bravia features X-Protection PRO to safeguard your TV from lightning strikes, short circuits, moisture, and dust.
Buying Guide for 4K TVs
Buying a 4K TV is never an easy job. Unlike smartphones, TVs last considerably longer. Therefore, one should exercise great care when shopping for TVs. Various factors come into play, such as your budget, screen size, screen resolution, smart TV features, and many more.
As we have decided on 4K screen resolution, it simplifies our job a bit. However, other factors remain. You have a range of 4K TVs on offer on the market.
Brands like Sony, LG, Samsung, Mi, and many more are waiting on the showroom shelves for you to pick up. This buying guide endeavors to make your job easy.
Have a flexible budget.
Once you have decided on purchasing a 4K TV, you should have a clear budget in mind. Though you have low-cost models available on the market, a 4K TV needs substantial investment.
Xiaomi offers one at prices below Rs 40K, whereas brands like Sony, Samsung, LG, etc., cost more than Rs 50K.
Screen Size is a crucial aspect.
4K screen resolution comprises 3840×2160 pixels. You need a substantial screen size to accommodate nearly 8.3 million pixels. Therefore, the minimum screen size to accommodate 4K resolution is 43 inches.
You cannot have 4K UHD resolution in screen sizes smaller than 43 inches. However, you have a fantastic choice available in sizes 48-inches, 55-inches, 65-inches, and bigger.
Display – You have a healthy choice.
When you discuss 4K TVs, displays like CTR and plasma are out of the equation. These displays cannot support 4K. The best option for you is LED-LCD. We use the term LED-LCD because LED is the illuminating source, whereas the LCD is the display that relies on it.
All LED TVs have liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Samsung has introduced a new technology known as Quantum Dot Technology LED or QLED. These TVs also have LCDs, but quantum-dot LEDs illuminate the screen.
LG has gone a step further and invented the Organic LED panels. In these TVs, the pixels have their own illumination in the form of organic LEDs. We shall explore further and understand these two concepts better.
Quantum Dot LED
QLED or Quantum Dot LED is an extension of the standard LCD-LED technology where you have an LCD panel illuminated by LEDs. QLED TVs work on similar technology, with the only difference being the size of the semiconductor particles.
In QLED TVs, they are a few nanometers in size. As the illuminating source is still LED, QLED is a transmissive technology.
The quantum dots can emit incredibly bright light with vibrant and diverse colors, much better than what OLED TVs manage.
Compared to QLED, OLED is an emissive technology. OLED is a display technology consisting of a carbon-based film having two conductors through which electric current passes, causing it to emit light.
The most crucial aspect of OLED is that this light can be emitted on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Thus, you can have a white-colored pixel appearing next to a black-colored one, with both of them capable of being independent of each other.
This technology is different from the traditional LCD-LED TVs that rely on a separate backlight for illumination.
The advantage of an OLED display is that each pixel works independently of the other. Hence, there is no question of light bleeding from an intentionally bright pixel to the dark ones.
As you have pixels emitting their own light in OLED TVs, it is emissive technology. One of the most significant advantages of OLED TVs is that the panels are lighter and thinner than the standard LEC-LCD panels. Similarly, the viewing angles are wider, and the response times are quick.
However, OLED technology has its drawbacks. LG is the sole manufacturer of OLED panels in the world. The manufacturing process is not an easy one because of the high incidence of breakages. Therefore, OLED panels are comparatively expensive.
Besides, OLED panels are available in TV screen sizes 55-inches and above. However, LG has recently introduced a 48-inches OLED TV.
OLED TVs are expensive today. However, with LG selling OLED panels to manufacturers like Sony, Philips, and Panasonic, you have multiple brands offering OLED TVs. This healthy competition can bring down the prices in the future.
OLED TVs cannot produce the kind of brightness that an LED-backlit TV manages to do. This factor makes the QLED TVs superior to OLEDs on the brightness aspect. However, OLED TVs compensate for the lack of brightness by producing deeper blacks.
Another drawback of OLED TVs is that they are susceptible to burn-in or image retention, much like plasma TVs were in those days. It should not pose much of an issue because manufacturers introduce inbuilt features to reduce the risk.
HDR Support – Is the norm today
When shopping for your best 4K TV, you will come across the word HDR TV. You might even have noticed the same in our product reviews. Let us discuss what is HDR and how does it affect your viewing experience.
In simple terms, HDR denotes High Dynamic Range. Generally, you associate the word HDR with photography as a technique to heighten the picture’s dynamic range. To put it simply, dynamic range is the contrast existing between the brightest whites and darkest blacks.
The thumb rule is, ‘the higher the dynamic range, the closer the image is to reality.’
Here is a simple example to explain the HDR concept. If you look at the clouds with your naked eyes, you can pick up varying degrees of brightness.
However, the clouds appear flat on your TV with indistinguishable white layers. It is because of your TV’s limited dynamic range. It cannot distinguish between the different white shades.
The standard TV emits 100 to 300 nits of brightness where one nit is equivalent to the light provided by one candle.
A HDR TV can deliver up to 5000 nits. HDR allows the TV to distinguish between white layers of varying brightness and bring the images as close as possible to reality.
HDR10 – The most common HDR format
HDR is not a technology but a standard. Today, you have multiple HDR formats. They are HDR10, HDR10+, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), Dolby Vision, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor.
Of these formats, HDR10 is the most commonly adopted by manufacturers, streaming services (including Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, etc.), and Blu-ray Disc Association.
Most of the 4K TVs support multiformat HDR, such as HDR10 and HLG. Some top-end TV models support Dolby Vision, as well.
Dolby Vision – Understand how it differs from HDR
Dolby Vision is a combination of Dolby Atmos and HDR video, developed for Dolby Cinemas to take on IMAX cinemas. However, it is also possible to adapt Dolby Vision for home viewing.
Dolby Vision allows the addition of metadata on a frame-by-frame basis, thereby allowing your TV to display much-improved images. On the other hand, HDR10 applies the parameters on a scene-by-scene basis, like a change in the camera angle.
Thus, Dolby Vision is a better concept than HDR10. However, it is possible for a single TV to have both HDR10 and Dolby Vision. For example, the major OTT app providers like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, and Apple offer both HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatible content.
However, Dolby Vision is not available on all TVs because it requires a license fee payment. LG’s OLED TV offers Dolby Vision. Some of the top-end Sony models also offer this format.
HDR10+ – A Samsung invention
Samsung has a reputation for doing things differently. You had experienced the same in OLED and QLED. Similarly, Samsung has developed its own HDR standard, HDR10+. It is similar to Dolby Vision HDR as it uses dynamic metadata to boost HDR images, frame-by-frame.
Unlike Dolby Vision, HDR10+ is an open, royalty-free platform, whereby it has its certifications and individual logos. However, TV brands have to pay an annual subscription fee.
All Samsung 4K TVs feature HDR10+. Some Panasonic and Philips models also support HDR10+. Among the OTT channels, Amazon Prime Video supports HDR10+, and so do many other platforms.
HLG – Hybrid Log Gamma
Amongst all HDR formats, HLG is the most significant as TV broadcasters use it. HLG is the result of a joint research product between NHK, a Japanese broadcaster, and BBC.
The advantage of HLG is that it combines SDR and HDR images into one feed. HLG-compatible 4K TVs decode these signals and show HDR images in full glory.
Almost all the top-rated 4K TV brands support HLG. However, there is a shortage of HLG content available today.
Advanced HDR by Technicolor
Advanced HDR is the least well-known of all HDR formats, with LG being the only manufacturer to support the format. Like other HDR formats, the content must be mastered and played back by a source capable of reading Advanced HDR data and then displayed on a compatible TV.
However, not much Advanced HDR content is available today.
Smart TVs – Expect the best features in 4K TVs
All 4K TVs qualify as smart TVs because they can access the internet to display the content you wish to watch. You need not depend on cable connections or even dish antenna systems for viewing TV content.
Smart TVs feature powerful 64-bit processors and come equipped with independent RAM and internal storage. These TVs use your home Broadband network or even the smartphone hotspot connection to connect to the internet.
These televisions feature specific operating systems, depending on the brand model, with Android OS being the most popular. LG and Samsung TVs feature WebOS and Tizen OS, respectively.
Today’s TVs’ best aspect is that they can connect to the internet even without an inbuilt Wi-Fi or LAN connection. Such TVs use external streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku Stick, etc., to connect to the internet.
You can access the top content streaming apps like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, and many more with smart TVs.
Other smart TV features include inbuilt Chromecast or Miracast that allow you to view content from your compatible smart devices on the large TV screen.
A stunning feature of smart TVs is the availability of smart voice assistants. You have an exciting range of voice assistants to choose from Amazon Alexa, Bixby, Google Assistant, etc. You can communicate with the TV and control/operate the TV and other smart home devices using voice controls.
TVs are becoming sophisticated by the day. Along with excellent visuals, TVs today offer outstanding audio performances using active support for formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual X, and others.
The objective is to deliver a theater-like surround sound performance. These 4K TVs feature inbuilt speakers to ensure a multi-dimensional acoustic performance.
Suppose you expect better quality sound performance from your 4K TVs. In that case, you can always connect external music systems like home theaters and soundbars using connectivity options like HDMI ports or Bluetooth.
Smart TVs have become the order of the day. With technology improving by the day, you have people investing in high-quality 4K TVs. We have discussed various aspects connected with 4K TVs in this buying guide. It should make it easy for you to invest your hard-earned money in the right 4K TV and take your entertainment to the next level.
Last update on 2021-03-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API