The majority of high end tv’s have been released so it’s time to give a quick overview of what’s changed (for better or worse) in the last 12 months.
Samsung released a new line of tv’s labeled QLED. QLED’s acronym spelled out is quantum light emitting diode. This technology in its true form is much like OLED but Samsung opted to use the name as a marketing tactic instead of utilizing the actual technology. The advantage of QLED over OLED and LED tv’s is that it has a higher color volume. Meaning at different brightness levels, the tv can accurately display its color palette. This tv however can not get as bright as LED nor does it have the black levels of OLED so you are sacrificing here and unless you have to have the best color reproduction, go with another unit. Also, Samsung advertised their QLED’s as being able to achieve 100% color volume and in testing it only achieved 86%. Not to mention their QLED’s start at $2,800. (Side note: This is a tv that I purchased from Best Buy and returned. While I could see the great color volume, it is not worth the price tag.)
LG promised an increase in peak brightness of 25%. What they gave us was about 15%. While that’s an improvement it’s not what was advertised and the lack of brightness is the number one downfall of OLED panels. Though the brightness is disappointing, there are enhancements in that the image retention is far less of an issue than last year and the input lag has improved as well. The starting price tag for a 55″ is $3,500 and with the minor improvements, you should opt for a 2016 OLED if you’re looking to grab one. Sony released their OLED this year and while there aren’t any objective-based tests out, its performance is likely very similar to that of the 2017 LG OLED line because they are using LG’s panel in their tv’s. (It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to share panels or even buy from the same production line.) If you can bite the golden bullet, Sony’s A1E starts at $4,000.
Not much to say about Samsung other than that they released an updated “normal” LED tv (MU series) but it performs worse than the 2016 KS series. Sony on the other hand has stepped up their tv game. Their 2017 LED’s get searingly bright with the peak brightness on the X930E eclipsing the 1400 nit mark. For reference, LG’s 2017 OLED shoots just over 740 nits, almost double! They are also just as thin (or thinner) than OLED tv’s, have much more effective local dimming (for creating deeper blacks and increasing highlights) than last year, and have a very good color volume. This makes for an outstanding tv, particularly for HDR content. Considering its phenomenal performance, the X930E’s $2,300 tag is easily justified. This will be the high end tv to watch for (pun intended) around discount season. (~2 weeks before Black Friday)
-Another great, cheaper alternative to the X930E is the Sony X900E. It starts at $1,500 and may be the best price/performance 2017 tv out there.
-Though they were acquired last year by LeEco, Vizio isn’t totally dead! They released a new E series tv and are working on an updated D series. We’ll see if they get around to upgrading their better performing sets, the M and P series.
-If you’re looking for a 2016 tv, now is the time to buy. Many of these tv’s are currently discounted but will be nearly impossible to find in the next couple months because they are no longer in production.
That concludes the 2017 roundup. If you want to hear about a specific tv, leave a comment on this post and I’ll get back to you. If this post gave you some insight, please give it a like as well!