The truth about '4k' TVs?

18
Found 27th Feb
Hey all, hope you're well.

There are hundreds of good deals on TVs about, and loads on HUKD to choose from.

I am looking to buy a good quality TV to upgrade from my ancient 37'' LG TV which isn't even 1080p

I'm looking at all of the '4k' TVs at 300-400 quid that float around on here as deals, but quite honestly all the jargon of 4k Ready vs true 4k vs HDR gets me a little confused. I thought it was easy as looking at the resolution e.g. 1080p vs 3840x2160, etc...

I would love a 4k tv but realistically my budget for a new TV is 400 quid, and preferably under 325.

Would anyone be able to provide some clarity on this issue

For example, isthis TV true 4k and if so why do some 4k tvs cost thousands and some cost a few hundred quid? Surely too good to be true

Any guidance much appreciated, thanks
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18 Comments
it depends on what ya sources are, do you have 4k, netflix, or do you just watch freeview and blue ray.

i say the cheap 4k are still good picture quality better than 1080p but I wouldn't worry about hdr as ya won't really be getting it but still get a good picture.

and u should be able to get a good size,over 40 inch.

hisense are good for budget, mine is m5500, which is now 2 years old and its not true hdr but for the ps4 and stuff, it still looks nice
and i agree, when i was looking for tv, i thought it was just pick size and brand but my god ,how there seem to put too many models and different stuff, so hard to pick a tv unless ya ya got a free 2 thousand pounds
Is your maximum size limited or do you have a preference for a particular minimum / maximum size?
Consider resolution is only one factor in selection criteria, and in simplistic terms the resolution benefit of 4k over 1080p on a 43" screen or below will be near-undetectable from typical domestic viewing distances. What is your actual viewing distance?
Original Poster
AndyRoyd21 m ago

Is your maximum size limited or do you have a preference for a particular …Is your maximum size limited or do you have a preference for a particular minimum / maximum size?Consider resolution is only one factor in selection criteria, and in simplistic terms the resolution benefit of 4k over 1080p on a 43" screen or below will be near-undetectable from typical domestic viewing distances. What is your actual viewing distance?


My viewing distance is a normal sofa to tv ratio, I guess, a few metres, perhaps less if I use an armchair xD

My minimum size would be 40'', looking for ideally 43-50
jonmarz8927 m ago

it depends on what ya sources are, do you have 4k, netflix, or do you just …it depends on what ya sources are, do you have 4k, netflix, or do you just watch freeview and blue ray. i say the cheap 4k are still good picture quality better than 1080p but I wouldn't worry about hdr as ya won't really be getting it but still get a good picture.and u should be able to get a good size,over 40 inch.hisense are good for budget, mine is m5500, which is now 2 years old and its not true hdr but for the ps4 and stuff, it still looks nice


I have an Xbox One S linked to my TV, will probably upgrade to an X this year, use it for watching Freeview and BT TV including sports, and yes have Netflix

What is HDR compared to just 4k?

Sorry to sound like an idiot, just too much misrepresentation on the TV market imho
Edited by: "DatAlbino" 27th Feb
TV manufacturers mislead customers on purpose so you really need to research what panel is in the TV as the specs of the panel give a better indication than the manufacturer specs.
Original Poster
kester766 m ago

TV manufacturers mislead customers on purpose so you really need to …TV manufacturers mislead customers on purpose so you really need to research what panel is in the TV as the specs of the panel give a better indication than the manufacturer specs.


And what is the best panel for TVs? You see LCD, LED, Plasma and TN as the most common if I'm not mistaken?
I bought a 49" and sit roughly 8ft away, and recommend you to look around the 55" and above if you have the room.

The benefit of the resolution comes from proximity, the average viewer in a living room would not benefit greatly from a 40 - 50" 4KTV over a 1080P unit, especially if you are not sourcing 4K (SkyQ, Youtube, certain Amazon Prime or Netflix content or PS4 PRO/XB1X)

I daresay someone will describe this better/ more accurately but HDR affects the colour and brightness rather than resolution, I find the change minimal as I used to have a plasma but LCD users might see a better improvement.
DatAlbino2 h, 39 m ago

And what is the best panel for TVs? You see LCD, LED, Plasma and TN as the …And what is the best panel for TVs? You see LCD, LED, Plasma and TN as the most common if I'm not mistaken?



OLED and the newer QLED sets are the best at the moment. Plasma has been discontinued and I've heard Samsung are reducing OLED output in favour for QLED.
kester761 h, 17 m ago

OLED and the newer QLED sets are the best at the moment. Plasma has been …OLED and the newer QLED sets are the best at the moment. Plasma has been discontinued and I've heard Samsung are reducing OLED output in favour for QLED.


I've the opposite about Samsung the other day. They're going to start OLED production again...
DatAlbino4 h, 51 m ago

And what is the best panel for TVs? You see LCD, LED, Plasma and TN as the …And what is the best panel for TVs? You see LCD, LED, Plasma and TN as the most common if I'm not mistaken?


Plasma isn't made any more. TN is a type of LCD but not a type that's used for TVs any longer (IPS and VA would be the two LCD types commonly available).

LED in a home context is a backlighting method for LCD TVs. All LCD TVs are now LED backlight, CCFL-backlight LCDs are no longer made.

The only panel technology aside from LCD being used for TVs is OLED, but they're currently niche products for the high end.

kester762 h, 12 m ago

OLED and the newer QLED sets are the best at the moment. Plasma has been …OLED and the newer QLED sets are the best at the moment. Plasma has been discontinued and I've heard Samsung are reducing OLED output in favour for QLED.



QLED isn't a panel type, it's a Samsung model range. QLED TVs use LCD panels.

Samsung have never made large OLED panels or used them in their TVs. They've only made smaller OLEDs for mobile devices (which is also a slightly different variation of the technology compared to OLED TVs).


DatAlbino5 h, 6 m ago

My viewing distance is a normal sofa to tv ratio, I guess, a few metres, …My viewing distance is a normal sofa to tv ratio, I guess, a few metres, perhaps less if I use an armchair xDMy minimum size would be 40'', looking for ideally 43-50 I have an Xbox One S linked to my TV, will probably upgrade to an X this year, use it for watching Freeview and BT TV including sports, and yes have NetflixWhat is HDR compared to just 4k?Sorry to sound like an idiot, just too much misrepresentation on the TV market imho


4K itself is essentially filling in around the edges. A Full HD picture is often at the eye's limit of detail at typical TV sizes and viewing distances, but 4K is handy for huge TVs or close viewing. Although it's not of much benefit to most buyers it's being rolled out across the range because it's easier to have everyone on a common standard.

The industry is dangling a couple of carrots from the 4K standard such as higher bitrate (quality) content on some service's 4K streams and the latest HEVC and VP9 video compression standards which can deliver better quality at the same bandwidth.

So while it's not worth upgrading from an existing TV, there are a couple of reasons you might want to go for a 4K TV over a Full HD one if you're buying a new TV anyway, even though the main technology isn't of much interest.

Unfortunately the scalers in 4K TVs often don't cope with SD content quite as well as the FHD TVs that have been refined over years so neither is it an obvious decision. They tend to be somewhat softer.

The 'fake 4K' comment is often applied to LG's UJ6 and UJ7 models that have an unusual subpixel structure that slightly reduces colour resolution. It's an objection purely on principle rather than any practical difference.


HDR is completely different and unrelated to 4K.

For a start, HDR is primarily a set of standards allowing content to define more saturated colours and brighter highlights/larger contrast levels. Unlike 4K it's not a single technology and there are various ways to implement it.

There is also a wide range in capabilities to display it. In fact it's a very ambitious technology and even the top of the range TVs don't get close to full support.

At the price you're looking at you're going to get very little support. No change in contrast, maybe a bit more brightness range depending on your lighting conditions and only a wide colour gamut on the smallest and most expensive TVs in your budget.

Oh, and it only works for programs designed for it and there are very few being broadcast yet. Blue Planet II when it came to iPlayer did and a few of the Netflix series do but not much else.


So basically there's not a lot of interest happening in the sub-£400 TV market right now. When you replace the TV you're looking to buy now you might see some big improvements from new standards but right now I'd just be looking at the usual old measures of picture quality. Contrast, motion handling and so on.
EndlessWaves1 h, 57 m ago

Plasma isn't made any more. TN is a type of LCD but not a type that's used …Plasma isn't made any more. TN is a type of LCD but not a type that's used for TVs any longer (IPS and VA would be the two LCD types commonly available).LED in a home context is a backlighting method for LCD TVs. All LCD TVs are now LED backlight, CCFL-backlight LCDs are no longer made.The only panel technology aside from LCD being used for TVs is OLED, but they're currently niche products for the high end.QLED isn't a panel type, it's a Samsung model range. QLED TVs use LCD panels.Samsung have never made large OLED panels or used them in their TVs. They've only made smaller OLEDs for mobile devices (which is also a slightly different variation of the technology compared to OLED TVs). 4K itself is essentially filling in around the edges. A Full HD picture is often at the eye's limit of detail at typical TV sizes and viewing distances, but 4K is handy for huge TVs or close viewing. Although it's not of much benefit to most buyers it's being rolled out across the range because it's easier to have everyone on a common standard. The industry is dangling a couple of carrots from the 4K standard such as higher bitrate (quality) content on some service's 4K streams and the latest HEVC and VP9 video compression standards which can deliver better quality at the same bandwidth. So while it's not worth upgrading from an existing TV, there are a couple of reasons you might want to go for a 4K TV over a Full HD one if you're buying a new TV anyway, even though the main technology isn't of much interest.Unfortunately the scalers in 4K TVs often don't cope with SD content quite as well as the FHD TVs that have been refined over years so neither is it an obvious decision. They tend to be somewhat softer.The 'fake 4K' comment is often applied to LG's UJ6 and UJ7 models that have an unusual subpixel structure that slightly reduces colour resolution. It's an objection purely on principle rather than any practical difference. HDR is completely different and unrelated to 4K.For a start, HDR is primarily a set of standards allowing content to define more saturated colours and brighter highlights/larger contrast levels. Unlike 4K it's not a single technology and there are various ways to implement it.There is also a wide range in capabilities to display it. In fact it's a very ambitious technology and even the top of the range TVs don't get close to full support. At the price you're looking at you're going to get very little support. No change in contrast, maybe a bit more brightness range depending on your lighting conditions and only a wide colour gamut on the smallest and most expensive TVs in your budget.Oh, and it only works for programs designed for it and there are very few being broadcast yet. Blue Planet II when it came to iPlayer did and a few of the Netflix series do but not much else.So basically there's not a lot of interest happening in the sub-£400 TV market right now. When you replace the TV you're looking to buy now you might see some big improvements from new standards but right now I'd just be looking at the usual old measures of picture quality. Contrast, motion handling and so on.


Well who makes the panels for the Samsung range of OLED TVs such as the 55" KE55S9C ?
I confess that QLED Samsung or LG Nanocell both brand names for Quantum Dot LED displays but I can see QLED being the dominant brand like Hoover was to vacuum cleaners.
Also 4K is really UHD which is 3,840 by 2,160 and not DCI's 4K standard which is 4096 x 2160 due to different screen ratios if you're being picky

I also heard AV1 is replacing VP9.

Also OLED still suck, long live quantum dot
33342683-vTB1V.jpg
kester761 h, 9 m ago

Well who makes the panels for the Samsung range of OLED TVs such as the …Well who makes the panels for the Samsung range of OLED TVs such as the 55" KE55S9C ?!


Did that one ever actually make it into shops? Samsung were promising that for several years and abandoned the tech afterwards. I don't think there were any others.

Quantum Dots are an interesting way to make a wide gamut backlight for LCDs, but they're currently not proving much better than advances in traditional methods. I believe something like the Hisense N6800 uses them at reasonably close to the budget but isn't producing any better colour volumes than competitors using other technologies.

It's not very clear what LG's Nano Cell system is, but again very similar performance to quantum dots and advanced phosphors.
If it was me id get a decent hd tv and save your money. I have 2 Samsung 37" TV's they are both 1080p. But im sure the one downstairs has a worse hd picture - sky box. Where as upstairs I run it through a Freeview satbox and it's much sharper.
If you play a bluray dvd or similar its pin sharp. You would need a huge tv to take advantage of 4k.
EndlessWaves1 h, 50 m ago

Did that one ever actually make it into shops? Samsung were promising that …Did that one ever actually make it into shops? Samsung were promising that for several years and abandoned the tech afterwards. I don't think there were any others. Quantum Dots are an interesting way to make a wide gamut backlight for LCDs, but they're currently not proving much better than advances in traditional methods. I believe something like the Hisense N6800 uses them at reasonably close to the budget but isn't producing any better colour volumes than competitors using other technologies.It's not very clear what LG's Nano Cell system is, but again very similar performance to quantum dots and advanced phosphors.



Not sure myself but check out
premiermounts.com/nan…es/
Original Poster
MonkeysUncle56 m ago

If it was me id get a decent hd tv and save your money. I have 2 Samsung …If it was me id get a decent hd tv and save your money. I have 2 Samsung 37" TV's they are both 1080p. But im sure the one downstairs has a worse hd picture - sky box. Where as upstairs I run it through a Freeview satbox and it's much sharper. If you play a bluray dvd or similar its pin sharp. You would need a huge tv to take advantage of 4k.


I agree with you, but the price difference from an average 1080p TV to a cheap 4k is less than 50 quid so worth it surely ^^
DatAlbino28 m ago

I agree with you, but the price difference from an average 1080p TV to a …I agree with you, but the price difference from an average 1080p TV to a cheap 4k is less than 50 quid so worth it surely ^^



In that case my good man it may be worth it.
although personally I'm not convinced about 4k unless you get over 55" then there's subscription costs in getting 4k to TV. It's just something which seems a bit of a selling point to me. Not really took off because no one wants it.
sd TV is still tv.
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