Now that HDR is becoming more mainstream on 4K televisions, it’s getting to that time where you should be thinking on an upgrade. Netflix, Amazon Prime and other popular streaming services are all offering HDR content now. Granted, their selections aren’t major, but it’s still early days, and HDR in my opinion is here to stay. Gaming is making headway in HDR content with the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, so you may have more luck with them to scratch your HDR itch. With all that in mind, here are five of the best 4K HDR televisions when it comes to image quality. All televisions in this list are OLED and I’ve not considered sound, because audio from all televisions isn’t great.
The Panasonic TX-55FZ952 certainly isn’t for the budget conscious, but the blend of 4K HDR and Studio Colour HCX video processing makes the image quality of an Pana amazing. Granted, you have to watch HDR content to get the full experience, but even still, 4K content is not something you can sniff at. Panasonic have put a lot of effort into their new range of OLED televisions, working with Hollywood colour grading experts to achieve top quality in their shadows and highlights, and the contrast ratio is absolutely huge. With Smart TV, a backlit remote control and a menu system filled with chunky icons for easy navigation, the Panasonic TX-55FZ952 is one badass piece of kit.
AS part of their high end Signature range, the gorgeous floating effect of the OLED77W8PLA would suit any living room down to a tee. As long as you have a flat wall for this to go on as it has to be mounted. This television is thin, and I mean pretty much wallpaper thin. It’s hugely expensive, but wow does it look stunning. It also comes with a Dolby Atmos soundbar which connects to the television with a small ribbon cable which can be easily hidden. It has their new Alpha 9 processor inside which can pull off bigger colour lookup tables which means less colour banding. It also has more intelligence than older models and other products on the market with their new ThinQ platform. It’s got Google Assistant and has Nest compatibility.
Samsung 55” Q9F
This has to be one of the most colourful televisions on this list. I know manufacturers like to call their tech their own names for marketing reasons, but the Quantum Colour from Samsung (which is the Q in their model numbers) is definitely one of the best. The Q9F can hit up to 2000 nits in brightness and it’s powered by HDR10+ which is insane. There’s also something called Ambient Mode which in a nutshell, blends your television into your wall, making it look as if nothing is there all together. Lastly, there’s one cable that comes from the screen and plugs straight into the Connect Box which then takes all of your inputs. A clutter free living space for all. It’s available in flat or curved.
So the last couple of televisions have been really suited for the wall, but not Sony with their KD55AF8BU and that’s a good thing. Not everyone has wall space or the right angle to fit a television of this size. No matter, the stand is insanely minimalist anyway. Sony’s X1 processor plays a huge part here, by enabling some pretty detailed 4K upscaling to regular HD content. There’s no saving SD content unfortunately. Colours are extremely good here too again thanks to their processor. I know I said earlier that sound isn’t worth anything on flat televisions, but the acoustic surface of the Sony KD55AF8BU is actually pretty cool. Their HDR is driven by Dolby Vision too, which means there is some decent quality behind this decent living room screen.
And of course, last but least, a Philips Ambilight television; because you can’t have a list like this and not include it right? The Ambilight technology alone makes Philips televisions look amazing. The P5 image engine driving the television certainly isn’t the strongest here, but it still produces some wonderful 4K HDR image quality. But that Ambilight… daaaaaaaammmnnn.