Over the past decade, Vizio has managed to transition from a TV company that makes a great value TV to one that makes a great TV. This year that transition is finally complete with the updated P65-C1, which is the best looking LCD set I’ve used this year. To get a picture that beats the Vizio, you’ll have to spend way more than $2,000 to do so and even then it still might not be as good. The P65-C1 is so good for the price, and overall, that I bought one for my new AV room to serve as my reference UltraHD display.
Review Types Archives: Flat Panel Displays
The LG E6 is the best looking TV I’ve ever reviewed. It’s not perfect, but it comes closer than anything else I’ve used to date. There’s no reason to bore you with a long introduction or exciting story: if you can afford it and you want the best TV out there today, the LG E6 OLED is it. It’s compatible with both HDR formats on the market today, covers almost the entire color gamut current content uses, and looks better in action than anything you’ve ever seen.
The only thing keeping me from replacing my Panasonic VT60 plasma with the LG E6 OLED is price. $4,000 for a 55” and $6,000 for a 65” is a lot of money for a TV. What makes the LG E6 worth that is a package that other TVs can’t compete with: absolute blacks, wide viewing angles, cutting edge styling, HDR and WCG support, and even 3D that looks better than the competition. The LG E6 TV is a cut above the competition.
The 55” LG 55EG9100 OLED display is the entry-level LG OLED for 2015. For plasma fans, OLED has been billed as the great savior. Not only would an OLED be thinner than our plasma sets, but it could be brighter and have pure blacks. We wouldn’t have to live with the LCD compromises of worse off-axis viewing and backlights that can’t deliver the darkest blacks. OLED promises the potential to make us forget about plasma once and for all.
Having spent time with the LG 55EG9100, I can say it is the first display I might give up my Panasonic VT60 for. The blacks are pure and provide you contrast ratios no LCD can touch. The colors are vibrant and accurate while still looking great off-axis. Even the curve, which I typically dislike, is not as much of an issue. There are a couple quirks that hold the LG back, no set is perfect, but for those that miss plasma you might finally have the replacement TV you are after. (more…)
The Vizio M43-C1 offers UltraHD resolution, superior contrast ratios, and full array local dimming in an affordable package. The integrated streaming supports UltraHD from both Amazon and Netflix, the two main sources of UltraHD material today, and it has an HDMI input with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 support for the future. Finding another TV with all these features from another manufacturer costs hundreds more today making the Vizio M-series a true bargain.
The introduction of 4K was only the first step to improving the home viewing experience. Now this year we see the introduction of TVs that are going to support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and expanded color gamuts. These TVs produce brighter highlights while still offering great shadow detail. We also will get to see movies at home that offer the same wider range of colors that movie theaters offer today. These offer big improvements in picture quality that are visible from any distance and screen size.
One of the first displays to support both of these is the Samsung JS9000 SUHD. It is a curved, edge-lit LED screen that uses Quantum Dots to support the P3 color gamut and can produce HDR highlights. It offers 4K streaming content from Netflix and Amazon, accurate grayscale and color images, and a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. The curved screen still seems to offer no real benefits to me, and in this case makes a flaw in the edge lighting more apparent. That flaw aside, the JS9000 is a nice, though expensive, TV that is as future-proof as you can buy today. (more…)
For years Panasonic owned videophile display market. If you asked almost any reviewer what TV they should buy, it would invariably be a Panasonic plasma. Most of the reviewers I know, including myself, own a Panasonic plasma as our personal reference displays. When they left the plasma market we knew it was going to be hard to find a display that compared to what they had been making. Panasonic’s attempt to move onto LCD and make us forget about plasma is the AX900U. A 65”, 4K, full array LCD TV, it has the specs to match up with almost anything but it probably won’t make you forget about your plasma quite yet.
I’ve taken a lot of grief over the past couple of years for saying you’ll be fine by only getting a 720p display for your 32” set. Even comparing 720p and 1080p sets side-by-side I can only see a difference when within 3-4’ of the screen. Since no one sits that close, the extra money spend on 1080p over 720p was not worth it. Well now we don’t even have to worry about this because people should just buy the Sharp LC-32LE653U which is a 1080p set but at the price of a 720p one.
The $280 Sharp LC-32LE653U is a 32”, 1080p display that packs a pair of HDMI inputs, integrated Netflix with WiFi, and a very accurate Movie preset out of the box. The load times are good for Netflix, better than sub-$300 TVs I looked at last year, and the image looks very good. If you want a 32” HDTV now, you probably should buy the Sharp LC-32LE653U. (more…)
In 2009 it was 3D. In 2012 it was 4K. The past year the big movement for TVs are curved screens. First arriving in OLED displays, now most manufacturers put a curve into their highest-end displays. The biggest question has always been: why? Movie theaters have used curved screens but often that is to compensate for pincushioning in projection lenses. With TVs it has to be something else, and there have been many suggestions about the benefits and drawbacks.
After spending three weeks watching the Samsung UN55H8000 I can say that I am neutral on the curve. I usually don’t notice it when watching. With some reflections it makes them better, while others it can make worse. Take the curve out of the equation and the UN55H8000 is a fantastic set. It has accurate colors, a good local dimming system and contrast ratios, and useful SmartTV features. It offers an image that will make anyone happy no matter what they think of the curve.
Earlier we reviewed the Samsung UN32H6350, which is one of the only 120Hz 32” LCD TVs on the market today. The UN32H6350 has a very nice image, and a lot of good streaming features, but at $525 for a 32” LCD is really pushing what most people want to pay for a smaller TV. The UN32H5500 model loses the 120Hz refresh rate and the stylish stand but keeps the quad-core processor for streaming services and the 1080p resolution.
Earlier this year I reviewed the Vizio E320i-B2 TV which is an impressive 32” display. With good streaming content, a good image, and a low price it became my pick for the Best Small TV at The Wirecutter. Vizio has recently released the M-series model, the Vizio M322i-B1. While the styling is a little nicer, and the speed better, there is one major improvement: rear array LED zone lighting. While it is only 5 zones, it should be able to provide better blacks than one without it.