Not sure which TV to buy? This is our guide to picking the best TV for your budget
Many of us spend a significant proportion of our spare time watching television, which makes choosing the best TV a big decision. If you haven’t upgraded your TV for a while, you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised, as television technology has come on leaps and bounds over recent years.
In addition to the outstanding picture quality you can expect from 4K HDR sets, the latest TVs all have built-in Wi-Fi and slick user interfaces that can negate the need for a Blu-ray player or set-top box. Modern televisions bring Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and many more streaming services directly to your lounge and display your favourite shows and films in glorious detail and vivid colour.
On this page, you will find our pick of the best TVs we’ve tested, along with links to each individual review for more in-depth analysis, and a handy buying guide which explains everything you need to know. The page will be updated throughout the year as we get our hands on the best and brightest new TVs from the likes of LG, Sony, Samsung and Panasonic.
Best TV 2023: At a glance
|Best budget TV||TCL RC630K||Check price at Currys|
|Best mid-range TV||Samsung BU8500||Check price at Amazon|
|Best TV for gaming||LG C2 OLED||Check price at Amazon|
|Best QD-OLED TV||Samsung S90C||Check price at Amazon|
|Best TV for image accuracy||Panasonic LZ2000||Check price at John Lewis|
How to choose the best TV for you
What TV resolution do I need?
High-definition TVs currently fall into three categories: Full HD/FHD, otherwise known as 1080p, which has 1,920 x 1,080 pixels on the screen; Ultra HD/UHD, more commonly referred to as 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels); and the highest of them all, 8K (7,680 x 4,320 pixels). These days, only the cheapest (and often the smallest) TVs utilise an FHD/1080p resolution.
4K is now the de facto standard for any self-respecting TV, offering four times the resolution of 1080p. Although 8K is gaining traction in the consumer market, it’s really not necessary to buy a TV with an 8K resolution just yet. They’re expensive for one, and there’s also barely any native 8K content out there. By and large, you will only be watching upscaled 4K content if you have an 8K TV in your living room.
READ NEXT: The best smart TV to buy
What size TV should I buy?
The size of the TV you buy should be dictated not only by the size of your room but also by how far away you intend to sit from it. To get the full benefit from a 4K HDR set, you need to sit close enough for your eyes to appreciate the increased picture clarity that 4K brings over FHD. Buying a 4K TV that’s too small for your room may mean that it won’t look much better than a much cheaper 1080p TV.
This is all down to the resolving power of the human eye; our eyesight can only differentiate between lines and dots up to a fixed distance. So if you sit 25ft away from a 4K or 8K TV, those millions of extra pixels won’t make a difference. Think of it like a pointillism painting – from far enough away, you can no longer make out the individual dots on a Georges Seurat landscape.
If you want to find the perfect size of TV for your room, head on over to our detailed TV sizing guide.
How can I watch 4K content?
There are plenty of ways to watch 4K TV and movies these days. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ (to name just a few) are constantly adding 4K movies to their lineups, and all of the original shows released on these platforms are in 4K as well. Besides streaming, there’s a gigantic library of movies available on 4K Blu-ray discs, and games consoles have fully embraced 4K as the definitive standard, too.
If you’re thinking about streaming 4K content via the internet, bear in mind that you will need a fast broadband internet connection. Netflix, for instance, can deliver 4K video at a maximum bit rate of 15.6Mbits/sec and frame rates up to 60fps. In comparison, 1080p Netflix content is currently delivered at a maximum of 5.8Mbits/sec. While most modern 4K TVs come with a built-in Netflix app, some streaming services don’t have the same level of support.
Are some TVs better for gaming?
When it comes to playing the latest AAA console and PC games in 4K and HDR, with the highest refresh rates possible, it pays to make the right choice. Ideally, you’re looking for a TV that has multiple HDMI 2.1 ports, supports ALLM (Auto Low-Latency Mode) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and has a 120Hz panel. If gaming is one of your top priorities, have read our primer on how to choose the best TV for gaming.
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How we test the best TVs
All of the televisions listed below have undergone rigorous testing using an X-rite colorimeter and Portrait Displays’ Calman colour calibration software. This combination of tools allows us to test numerous aspects of SDR and HDR performance, including peak brightness, colour gamut coverage, and colour and greyscale accuracy. As a result, we’re able to provide you with data-led reviews of televisions and compare different models objectively.
To complement the data we gather from these tests, we also watch a huge amount of content on the TVs we review. This content ranges from shows on terrestrial channels to films on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
Gaming functionality is tested with TVs hooked up to a next-gen console in the form of either the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, while a TV’s audio reproduction is assessed while we watch content on the product in question and will always involve trying out every audio supported audio format.
The best TVs to buy in 2023
1. TCL RC630K Series: Best cheap 4K TV
Price when reviewed: From £279 (43in) | Check price at Currys
There are two things that set this budget TCL TV apart from the competition: its QLED (quantum dot LED) panel and its Roku TV operating system. Let’s start with that panel first. Quantum dot technology has been around for a number of years now but has historically only been found on mid-range models. TCL is the first manufacturer to bring it to a set starting at under £300 and the impact on picture quality is significant. The RC630K covers over 95% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, elevating its HDR performance above similarly priced sets that lack quantum dots, while support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ further boosts its HDR credentials.
No matter what content you’re watching, the RC630K will support the HDR format it’s mastered in, and boy, do you have a lot of choice when it comes to content. Roku’s TV operating system offers one of the largest ranges of apps and streaming platforms around and is wonderfully easy to navigate. All of the most popular services are available – Netflix, BT Sport and Disney Plus to name but three – and the Roku OS homepage can be customised to ensure your favourites are just a couple of clicks away.
As the RC630K’s panel is limited to a refresh rate of 60Hz it falls short in the next-gen gaming department but that, and the limited brightness just about every cheap TV is hamstrung by, are the only drawbacks to an otherwise exceptional budget television.
Read our TCL RP630K review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 43in, 50in, 55in (tested) and 65in; Display type: VA-type LCD LED direct-lit; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.0; Operating system: Roku TV
2. Samsung BU8500: Best mid-range 4K TV
Price when reviewed: From £399 (43in) | Check price at Amazon
If you’re looking for a TV that won’t break the bank but can still deliver great-quality pictures, this is the option for you. The 43in and 50in models are both available for under £500, while the enormous 75in variant will set you back less than a grand.
The BU8500 is part of Samsung’s 2022 entry-level Crystal UHD range and uses an LED panel without quantum dots, but image quality is very impressive given the price. Screen uniformity is good, as is contrast, while the Filmmaker mode delivers accurate greyscale and colours when reproducing SDR content. HDR content isn’t quite as adeptly handled due to the BU8500’s limited peak brightness and inability to fully cover the DCI-P3 colour gamut, but the overall picture looks natural, saturated and nicely detailed.
A slim and elegant design furthers the BU8500’s appeal, as does Samsung’s Tizen OS, which supports a comprehensive range of streaming services and is both intuitive and easy to use. Sound quality is a little flimsy and there’s no next-gen gaming support due to a lack of HDMI 2.1 ports, but this is a brilliant mid-range buy nonetheless.
Read our Samsung BU8500 review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 43in, 50in, 55in, 65in (tested) and 75in; Display type: VA-type LCD LED; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.0; Operating system: Tizen OS
3. LG C2: Best TV for gaming
Price when reviewed: From £999 (42in) | Check price at Amazon
The LG C1 was our favourite TV of 2021 and its successor improves on it in just about every way. It houses four HDMI 2.1 ports, with each one supporting 4k@120Hz, Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate in the form of Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync. Input lag is extremely low and LG’s Game Optimiser remains a great way of getting the best experience from your next-gen console or PC. The hub has been expanded this year, with new settings including a Dark Room mode and a picture setting for sports games.
Those gaming-specific features are complemented wonderfully well but exceptional SDR and HDR picture quality, impressive Dolby Atmos sound and the latest iteration of LG’s smart platform, webOS 22. The latter provides access to just about every streaming service imaginable and navigating the platform is a doddle using the Magic Remote. Models 50in and up benefit from LG’s evo panel technology, which increases brightness when compared with last year’s model. Sadly, the 42in and 48in options can’t take advantage of this due to the pixel density on their smaller panel, but they’re still more than bright enough to deliver stunning HDR performance.
Read our LG C2 review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 42in, 48in, 50in, 55in, 65in (tested), 77in and 83in; Display type: OLED; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Operating system: webOS 22
4. Samsung S90C: Best-value quantum dot OLED TV
Price when reviewed: From £1,329 (55in) | Check price at Amazon
Samsung made a stellar return to the OLED market with last year’s S95B and the S90C builds on that success, with noticeable improvements to picture quality courtesy of a new screen filter and higher peak brightness. The combination of OLED and quantum dot technologies enables the S90C to deliver pure, accurate colours when watching HDR content, while Samsung’s video processing does a superb job upscaling lower-resolution source material.
The S90C’s LaserSlim design also helps it stand out from the crowd. It’s sleek yet sturdy, and well-connected, with four HDMI 2.1 ports complemented by a pair of USB-A ports, an optical digital output and an ethernet port. Gamers are as well-served here as they are by the more expensive Samsung options on this list, though a few sacrifices are made in the sound department. The 2.1-channel speaker is no match for the QN95C or QN900C but still manages to create a well-balanced soundstage, clear dialogue and decent bass.
Read our Samsung S90C review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 55in (tested), 65in and 77in; Display type: Quantum dot OLED; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Operating system: Tizen OS
5. TCL C845: The best TV under £1,000
Price when reviewed: From £849 (55in) | Check price at Currys
TCL has gradually been strengthening its foothold in the global TV market and the C845 represents the first chance UK consumers have to experience its top-tier Mini LED models. It’s priced extremely aggressively but doesn’t skimp on features and still manages to deliver impressive picture performance.
Out of the box, it’s not as colour-accurate as we’d like, but calibration controls allow you to quickly rectify this. And where HDR images are concerned, the C845 excels, thanks to searing brightness and near-complete coverage of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. The inclusion of a 2.1-channel Onkyo audio system enables it to deliver surprisingly good sound quality, while a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports and the panel’s 120Hz refresh rate mean next-gen gamers have little to complain about.
All things considered, the TCL C845 sets a new benchmark for what can achieved at its price point and is our pick of the TVs available for under a grand.
Read our TCL C845 review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 55in (tested), 65in, and 65in; Display type: VA-type Quantum Dot LCD with Mini LED backlight; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, IMAX Enhanced; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0; Operating system: Google TV 11.0
6. Panasonic LZ2000B: Best TV for image accuracy
Price when reviewed: £2,200 (65in) | Check price at John Lewis
When in Filmmaker mode, the Panasonic LZ2000 is the most accurate out-of-the-box TV we’ve ever tested. Both greyscale and colours within the sRGB gamut are tracked remarkably well, meaning this is the TV to buy if you want to enjoy films as the creator intended. Picture quality is fantastic across the board, however, with the LZ2000 able to deliver stunning detail in light and dark scenes thanks to its impressive peak brightness, while consistently producing contrasty and punchy images. Upscaling and motion handling are superb, too, and a couple of HDMI 2.1 ports ensure you can enjoy next-gen gaming to the fullest.
Though the LZ2000 makes it onto this list as the best TV for image accuracy, it could just as easily be on here as the best TV for audio quality given how immersive its in-built 360° Soundscape Pro sound system is. An up-firing speaker located behind the panel produces convincing Atmos height effects, and is complemented ably by a pair of side-firing speakers and a speaker array running along the panel.
It may be more expensive than its LG and Samsung rivals, but the Panasonic LZ2000 is a first-rate OLED that delivers in just about every department.
Read our Panasonic LZ2000 review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 55in (tested), 65in and 77in; Display type: OLED; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0; Operating system: My Home Screen 7.0
7. Philips 807: Best Ambilight TV
Price when reviewed: £1,199 (48in) | Check price at Currys
The Philips 807 has plenty of attractive features, but its big selling point is its use of four-sided Ambilight technology. LEDs built into the rear of the OLED panel illuminate the wall behind the TV, with different modes achieving different effects. You can have the light match the colours being produced on the screen to increase your immersion in whatever you’re watching or set the Ambilight to neutral white to improve the perceived contrast and make for a more comfortable late-night viewing experience.
The 807 scores highly in the performance department, too. It’s bright enough to articulate a great level of detail in both light and dark scenes, colours are reproduced accurately and motion handling is extremely impressive. Next-gen gamers are well-served by a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports supporting VRR and 4K/120Hz, while Android TV serves up a veritable feast of streaming content along with support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
If you’re torn between which high-performance OLED TV to buy and are in search of a unique selling point to help you make up your mind, Ambilight could well be it.
Read our Philips 807 OLED review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 48in, 55in (tested), 65in and 77in; Display type: OLED ex; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0; Operating system: Android TV 11
8. Sony A95K: Best Google TV
Price when reviewed: From £1,999 (55in) | Check price at Appliances Direct
Sony’s flagship 4K TV for 2022 is also the Japanese manufacturer’s first quantum dot-powered OLED. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the other QD-OLED on the market, Samsung’s S95B, but is crammed full of picture and audio enhancements to deliver one of the most immersive TV viewing experiences currently available.
The A95K is powered by Sony’s advanced Cognitive XR processor and its picture processing is some of the best around. Compression artefacts and noise are reduced to an incredible degree, and upscaling of non-4K content is remarkably effective. Motion handling is equally impressive and these qualities all add up to what is a nuanced and captivating watch regardless of what content you’re consuming. Top-notch picture performance is complemented by excellent audio courtesy of Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology, which transforms the TV’s panel into a speaker.
Throw in the slick Google TV interface and all the streaming options it offers, next-gen gaming features via two HDMI 2.1 ports, and a stylish design that comes complete with two different stand options and you’ve got yourself a truly marvellous OLED TV.
Read our Sony A95K review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 55in (tested) and 65in; Display type: Quantum dot OLED; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ; HDMI inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 2 x HDMI 2.0; Operating system: Google TV
9. Samsung QN95C: Best 4K Neo QLED
Price when reviewed: From £1,799 (55in) | Check price at Amazon
The QN95C may not have the resolution of its 8K stablemate the QN900C, but this 4K Mini LED quantum dot-powered flagship is an incredible TV in its own right. It’s capable of hitting very high peak brightness and the number of independently dimmable zones has doubled from last year’s QN95B. Images are stunning as a result, with plenty of shadow detail, highlights that pop and colours that are both vivid and accurately reproduced.
A quartet of HDMI 2.1 ports, Samsung’s Game Bar 3.0 and extremely low latency make it a great choice for gamers, while those not wanting to invest in a soundbar will be pleased to hear the in-built audio system has the muscle to deliver movie soundtracks and music wonderfully well. The 4.2.2-channel setup isn’t quite as effective as the QN900C’s, and you only get the Plus version of Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound tech, but that doesn’t stop the TV from handling Atmos content with aplomb.
There are some heavyweight 4K Mini LED challengers releasing later this year, but for the time being at least, the QN95C is the best in its class.
Read our Samsung QN95C review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 55in, 65in (tested), 75in and 85in; Display type: Neo QLED LCD; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Operating system: Tizen OS
10. LG G3 OLED evo: Best TV for wall mounting
Price when reviewed: £1,699 (55in) | Check price at Amazon
There are plenty of TVs designed primarily for wall mounting, but the LG G3 is the best and brightest of them all. In fact, it’s one of the brightest OLEDs we’ve ever tested, thanks in no small part to its use of Micro Lens Array technology. This uses the light refraction of tiny lenses to help boost brightness and is found on three of the four screen size options of the G3; only the 83in misses out.
Brightness aside, the G3 delivers crisp, accurate and vivid pictures across both SDR and HDR content and a wonderful gaming experience courtesy of LG’s Game Optimizer Mode and four HDMI 2.1 ports, all of which support 4K@120Hz, VRR and ALLM. The webOS operating system is another great strength of LG TVs and is as easy to use as ever on the G3. The selection of streaming services is enormous, navigation using the Magic Remote is intuitive and the home screen is less cluttered than it was on webOS 22.
Sound quality is a little disappointing given that this is LG’s flagship 4K TV, and you’ll have to pay extra for a stand if you don’t want to wall mount it as there’s not one included, but otherwise, this mighty MLA-powered is hard to fault and one of the best televisions we’ve seen years.
Read our LG G3 review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 55in, 65in (tested), 75in and 83in; Display type: OLED; Resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160); HDR formats: HDR10, Dolby Vision IQ, HLG; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Operating system: webOS 23
11. Samsung QN900C: Best 8K TV
Price when reviewed: From £4,199 (65in) | Check price at Samsung
There still isn’t a huge amount of native 8K content available but that’s slowly changing and increased resolution is but one of the QN900C’s many talents. Its Mini LED backlight and peerless local dimming deliver some of the best picture quality we’ve seen from any television, particularly when you’re consuming HDR content.
Its gaming credentials are first-rate, too, with four HDMI 2.1 ports that support all the features next-gen gamers could ask for, including 4K@120Hz, VRR and ALLM. Audio quality is another standout feature: the QN900C’s in-built 6.2.4-channel speaker system is powerful and articulate and benefits enormously from the inclusion of Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound Pro technology. This matches sounds to specific objects on the screen to deliver an immersive sonic experience that does justice to the gorgeous images the QN900C is able to produce.
Read our Samsung QN900C review
Key specs – Screen sizes: 65in, 75in (tested) and 85in; Display type: Neo QLED LCD; Resolution: 8K/UHD (7,680 x 4,320); HDR formats: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+; HDMI inputs: 4 x HDMI 2.1; Operating system: Tizen OS
What else do I need to know before I buy a TV?
What’s the difference between LCD and OLED TVs?
Flat-screen TVs use two main types of panel technology: LCD and OLED. LCD used to be split into two further categories: those with LED backlights and those with cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) backlights. However, almost all LCD TVs now use LED backlights, which are less power-hungry and tend to produce a more vibrant, brighter picture.
With LED TVs, manufacturers improve the contrast ratio of their displays by using a dynamic backlight that dims the screen when displaying dark scenes. This produces a darker picture with more pronounced blacks, but a side effect is that highlights and details are lost. In other words, you can have bright whites and dark blacks, but not both together.
Awkwardly, LED TVs can be further separated into two categories: those that are edge-lit and those that are backlit. Edge-lit models have LEDs at the edge of the screen, while backlit sets have an array of LEDs spread behind the entire panel (also known as local dimming). Backlighting lets the TV control picture brightness with greater accuracy.
OLED TVs work differently. Despite sharing a similar name, OLED (or organic light-emitting diode) panels use an organic material that emits light when an electric current is passed through it. This means each pixel can generate its own light source, meaning it doesn’t need to use a bulky backlight to illuminate the screen.
This has several advantages, as it not only creates truly deep blacks, but they’re even more energy-efficient than LED TVs and have superior viewing angles. Even when sitting at almost 90 degrees, there’s rarely any visible colour shift. Equally, OLED panels are thinner, lighter and more flexible than LCD displays, so they can be bent and curved more easily.
What kind of apps do smart TVs have?
Most new TVs are equipped for wired or wireless networking, so you can connect them to your home network and the wider internet. This lets you stream multimedia content from your home computer and access online smart TV portals.
The quality of these services varies greatly. Some companies have excellent smart hubs that let you access catch-up services such as Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Amazon Prime Video, Now, social networking tools and on-demand movies, while others only offer iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube video streaming. Many TVs can also play videos, music and photos directly from a memory card, portable hard disk or USB flash drive. Our reviews tell you what each TV can do, and how well it works.
What’s the difference between Freeview Play, Freeview HD and Freesat HD?
Every new TV receives Freeview, but the majority now include Freeview HD tuners, too. This is the easiest way to watch HD broadcasts because you can use your existing digital aerial without having to buy any additional equipment.
Freesat HD is a non-subscription alternative to Freeview HD that’s transmitted by satellites rather than broadcasting towers. If you live in an area with poor broadcast reception and don’t want to pay for Sky TV, this is the best way to get television into your home. You can use an existing Sky satellite dish or pay to have one installed. You will also need to run a coaxial cable from the satellite to your television if no access point is available nearby.
Freesat offers the same free-to-air HD channels as Freeview, with the addition of NHK World, but some minor standard definition channels differ between each platform. Also bear in mind that certain TVs have dual tuners for both Freeview and Freesat installations. Be wary of TVs that just have a DVB-S2 satellite tuner. Technically, these can be manually tuned to receive Freesat channels, but you won’t get the EPG, so they’re practically useless in this country.
If you want to find out more about free-to-air TV, check out our article here: Freeview vs Freesat vs YouView.
Aside from clearer images, another benefit of digital TV is the electronic programme guide (EPG), which can show you what’s on now or later at a glance. All TVs display “now” and “next” information in a small pop-up window, but most models also have a more in-depth fullscreen mode that shows seven or more days of scheduling.
What ports and connections do I need?
You’re almost definitely going to have at least one other device you want to connect to your TV, so it’s important to choose a model with an appropriate number of inputs for them. Most modern devices, including games consoles, Blu-ray players and digital set-top boxes, use HDMI connections, so these should be your top priority. We suggest a minimum of four HDMI inputs, which should cover all the basics and still leave a spare port in case you want to connect a camcorder or digital camera. Look out for an HDMI input with an Audio Return Channel (ARC). This lets you send sound from the TV back down the HDMI cable to a connected amp, so you can get better sound for TV programmes without introducing more cabling.
For future-proofing, it’s well worth avoiding a 4K TV unless it has HDMI 2. And, with the dawn of next-gen gaming consoles, HDMI 2.1 is preferable if you’re after the latest gaming features. The reason for this is simple: HDMI 1.4 only supports frame rates up to 30fps. HDMI 2 adds support for frame rates up to 60fps and also greatly increases the maximum audio throughput. The advent of HDMI 2.1 means that TVs housing those ports can deliver 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 120Hz.
SCART sockets have almost been completely replaced in favour of HDMI, but older devices, such as some games consoles and VCRs, still need them. You’re unlikely to find an S-Video port on a modern TV, so you may have to connect some older devices through the composite or component interface and put up with the inferior image quality.
USB ports are fairly common on modern TVs. If you have a spare external flash drive, these can be used to record programmes, eliminating the need for a dedicated set-top box. You will need to format it for your particular TV, though. Alternatively, you can use them to play your own media files from your PC. Some TVs support a wider range of file formats than others, but our reviews tell you which formats each TV supports. If you want to browse the web, USB ports are also useful for connecting a keyboard and mouse.
Should I worry about the length of the warranty?
If you’re spending a decent chunk of your hard-earned money on a new television, it’s prudent to try and secure the longest warranty possible. This will ensure that youwill be covered in the event of anything going wrong with the set. Most retailers typically offer at least a one-year warranty, which tends to fall in line with the warranty offered by manufacturers. John Lewis is a little different, however, and provides a five-year guarantee on all of the TVs it sells.
That’s a pretty compelling reason to buy your next TV from John Lewis and as such, we’ve included links to products on the John Lewis website where possible. If the TV is available cheaper elsewhere, we’ve also linked to the retailer with the best price.
What is UHD Premium?
Essentially a certification badge, the UHD Premium specification has been agreed by TV heavyweights Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony, industry leaders Dolby and Technicolor, and various huge film studios such as Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. Contributors to the specification include TP Vision (Philips), Nvidia, Intel, Hisense, Amazon and Toshiba. The list is a “who’s who” of audiovisual industry players, making UHD Premium a badge you should be able to rely on.
A set of big players is all well and good, but what does UHD Premium actually mean for the TV you buy? The required specifications for consumer televisions are actually fairly simple:
- 3,840 x 2,160 resolution with ten-bit colour covering 90% of the DCI P3 colour gamut. This is an Ultra HD resolution with more than one billion possible colours. The P3 gamut is a wider colour gamut, meaning you’re presented with more realistic colours, with deeper shades now possible. This creates a more visually pleasing image and is also far closer to the way the director intended you to see their creation. Most high-end cinemas use projection systems that cover the DCI P3 colour gamut, so expect to hear about “cinema-quality” images in the near future.
- High dynamic range (HDR). You will have probably already heard of HDR, and we’ve reviewed a number of TVs that support it. Now the tech has been given an official label and is integrated into UHD Premium. To be UHD Premium-certified, a TV needs a maximum brightness of 1,000cd/m² (otherwise known as nits) and a black level of less than 0.05cd/m². Alternatively, if your set can only get to 540cd/m², your black levels must be less than 0.0005cd/m². It’s not stated in the briefing information, but it’s safe to assume that these figures must be possible simultaneously, giving you incredibly immersive and bright images where punchy blacks and bright colours can coexist.
- Content can also be UHD Premium-certified. We won’t go into it in detail, but content must also be mastered in a way that works with UHD Premium television sets. With the likes of Netflix and Amazon supporting such tech, as well as the new UHD Blu-ray standard, expect more UHD Premium-compatible content to start appearing.