With so many awesome home theater gear options out there, figuring out exactly which model to buy, or what features you need, can be daunting. Thankfully, High-Def Digest has you covered. Welcome to Home Theater 101 where we'll be explaining emerging technologies while also recommending the very best possible A/V gadgets n' gear you can buy at your particular budget level.
4K ULTRA HD TVs are now an essential component of any home theater setup. But not all 4K displays are created equal. With flagship units hitting $4,000 and beyond, quality can vary wildly depending on which display you settle on. With that in mind, we're going to rank the top UHD TVs for 2018, starting with the very best.
From premium OLED panels with inky blacks and Dolby Vision HDR to LCD sets with full-array local dimming and quantum dots, these are our picks for the year's best Ultra HD TVs. So, without further ado, here are HDD's
BEST 4K ULTRA HD TVS FOR 2018
Note: All listed prices reflect current Amazon or Best Buy discounts at press time and do not include taxes or shipping.
LG OLED65C8PUA 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($3,198) - As one of LG's top-of-the-line 2018 OLED TVs, this display offers some of the best overall picture quality on the market, including perfect blacks and the company's new α (Alpha) 9 intelligent processor for improved image and color performance over last year's models. In addition, the panel also supports onboard Dolby Atmos audio and LG's 4K Cinema HDR suite of high dynamic range formats with wide color gamut capabilities, including Advanced HDR by Technicolor, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). Meanwhile, the TV's new ThinQ AI tech allows customers to take advantage of advanced voice assistant features by speaking directly into the remote, enabling users to search for information, images or videos through verbal requests. 55-inch ($2,297) and 77-inch ($8,997) C8 models are available as well.
Sony XBR-65XA8F 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($3,798) - Like last year, LG's 2018 OLED displays can get a tad brighter, but Sony's latest OLED Ultra HD TV rivals our top pick in almost every way, and some buyers might prefer its one slate design and proprietary X1 Extreme video processing. Other key features include TRILUMINOS tech with wide color gamut support, along with HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision playback (the latter via an update later this year). In addition, the set uses Acoustic Surface technology to create audio from the screen itself. Android TV with Google Assistant is integrated as well. Buyers can also opt for a 55-inch version for $2,798.
Samsung QN65Q9F 65" QLED 4K Ultra HD ($3,498, full review coming soon!) - As Samsung's top-of-line 2018 LCD display, the new Q9 QLED offers some of the industry's leading color volume and HDR brightness specs. And though blacks still aren't quite as impressive as an OLED panel, the company's return to full array local dimming results in fantastic contrast and a huge improvement over the 2017 Q9's edge-lit dimming. Quantum dot technology for wide color gamut coverage is featured as well, along with support for HDR10, HLG, and the new dynamic HDR10+ format (no Dolby Vision**). Smart TV functions with Bixby Voice control and a new Ambient Mode round out the premium package. A 75-inch ($5,998) model is also available.
Samsung QN65Q8F 65" QLED 4K Ultra HD ($2,798) - Brightness and contrast are a little less robust compared to the Q9, and some premium design flourishes are missing, but the Q8 offers very similar performance for quite a bit less. Like its step-up sibling, the TV features full array local dimming along with quantum dot technology for wide color gamut capabilities and some of the industry's leading color volume specs. HDR10, HLG, and the new dynamic HDR10+ format are supported as well (no Dolby Vision**). Smart TV functions with Bixby Voice control and a new Ambient Mode round out the premium package. A 55-inch ($1,998) and 75-inch ($3,998) model are also available.
Sony XBR-65X900F 65" 4K Ultra HD TV ($2,198) - Though performance isn't quite as strong as Samsung's top models, Sony's current flagship LCD for 2018 is also one of the year's best all-around performers, offering TRILUMINOS wide color tech and the X1 Extreme 4K HDR processor which incorporates Object-based HDR remaster, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and Dual database processing technology. In addition, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision (via future firmware update) are supported as well. Likewise, the TV features full array local dimming for superior black levels and new X-Motion Clarity tech to help keep fast motion smooth. Android TV with Google Assistant is integrated as well. 49-inch, 55-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch screen sizes are all available too.
VIZIO P-Series Quantum 65" 4K Ultra HD TV ($2,200) - VIZIO's new premium display features a bezel-less design with 4K Ultra HD resolution and full array local dimming powered by 192 zones. In addition, the set includes support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range formats with UltraBright 2,000 for up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness and advanced quantum dot tech for close to 100% P3 wide color gamut coverage and about 82% coverage for the Rec. 2020 gamut. And unlike last year's lineup, VIZIO 2018 displays include integrated TV tuners for OTA broadcasts with a digital antenna. Meanwhile, the SmartCast OS offers on-screen streaming app support along with the ability to cast even more services to the display from a mobile device.
Hisense H10E 75-inch 4K Ultra HD TV (TBA) - Though we've only seen this one on a wall at CES 2018, the H10E is stunning in person and poised to go toe-to-toe with top models from other brands. The 4K display uses Hisense's ULED engine and includes full array local dimming and quantum dot tech. Wide color gamut capabilities are featured as well, along with HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range playback with support for up to 2200 nits of brightness. Android TV streaming is also implemented and the set is compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
TCL 6-Series 65R617 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku TV ($1,000) - While overall specs are not on the same level as the models featured above, TCL's 6-Series just might the feature the best performance to price ratio of any new display for 2018, helping it to clinch the last spot on this list. The 4K display features Dolby Vision and HDR10 support, along with the Roku OS smart TV platform. In addition, the set uses full array local dimming with 120 zones (96 on the 55-inch model) for improved black levels and contrast. Likewise, the panel incorporates NBP Photon technology with LED phosphors to provide Wide Color Gamut support. A 55-inch model is available as well for an introductory price of just $650.
(Note: Best Buy model does not include Voice Remote)
So, there you have it. Those are current top choices for the absolute best Ultra HD TVs for 2018. What do you think about our selection? Do you have any other UHD TV suggestions? Let us know in the forums!
MORE HOME THEATER 101 ARTICLES
-Best Budget TVs for 2017
-What is Dolby Vision?
-What is HDR?
-What is Dolby Atmos?
-What is DTS:X
-What is LCD?
-Best Sound Bars
-Up-mixed: Dolby Surround vs DTS:Neural:X
-Best Dolby Atmos Speakers
-Best UHD Streaming Services
-HDR Sucks: The Challenges & Frustrations of HDR10
-4K Ultraviolet Headaches: How & Where To Redeem Digital Copies in 4K UHD
**A note about Dolby Vision & Samsung: some folks on ye olde interwebs have accused us of being biased towards Dolby Vision over HDR10+. This is not true; HDR10+ works really well. We are biased towards dynamic metadata HDR (Dolby Vision AND HDR10+) over static metadata HDR (HDR10) because dynamic metadata allows for more accurate HDR grading and more consistent results across various TVs. That all being said, the sad part about Samsung not including Dolby Vision has more to do with available content -- there are already a lot of great DV movies and TV shows available on disc and streaming right now. No waiting. No wondering if anything will be released in the format. That's something we feel our readers should know when buying a TV. If there comes a day where all 4K content is available in Dolby Vision and HDR10+, so the consumer isn't missing out, then it won't matter and we won't mention it. We would also be excited to see HDR10+ capability on more TVs.
All we want is dynamic metadata HDR on as much content, and built into as many displays, as possible.