Posted Tue Nov 20, 2018 at 10:01 AM PST by Steven Cohen
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
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 ($2,697) - 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 ($1,897) and 77-inch ($6,997) C8 models are available as well.
Sony XBR65A9F 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($4,498) - Though we still give a slight edge to LG's model, this new OLED from Sony was crowned the new "King of TV" at the 2018 Value Electronics TV Shootout. Powered by the company's next-generation Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, the display offers new Object-based Super Resolution and Object-based HDR remaster technology, along with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and TRILUMINOS tech with wide color gamut support. In addition, the TV also features a new Netflix Calibrated Mode, along with an integrated 3.2 channel sound system with Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology. A 55-inch model is also available for $3,498.
Sony XBR-65XA8F 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($3,198) - The proprietary X1 Extreme video processor used on this model isn't quite as advanced as the A9F's new Ultimate version, but Sony's step-down OLED Ultra HD TV offers very similar performance when compared to its more expensive sibling. 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 $2,498.
LG OLED65B8PUA 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($2,497) - Though its α (Alpha) 7 processor isn't as robust as the Alpah 9 found on LG's step-up models, this display still features the same OLED panel used on the company's other models, complete with the tech's trademark inky blacks and wide color support. Likewise, the TV 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. A 55-inch ($1,597) model is available as well.
Samsung QN65Q9F 65" QLED 4K Ultra HD ($2,998) - 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 and there are some issues with crushed shadow detail in dark content, the company's return to full array local dimming results in the inkiest performance we've ever seen on an LCD. 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 ($4,998) model is also available.
VIZIO P-Series Quantum 65" 4K Ultra HD TV ($2,100) - VIZIO's new premium display rivals many competing LCD models that cost around $1,000 more, and currently offers some of the brightest HDR performance on the market. The TV 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 over 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.
Sony XBR65Z9F 65" 4K Ultra HD TV ($3,498) - Though black level performance isn't quite as strong as Samsung's Q9, Sony's current flagship LCD for 2018 is also one of the year's best all-around performers. Like its OLED counterpart, the display uses the company's next-generation Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, and offers new Object-based Super Resolution and Object-based HDR remaster technology, along with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and TRILUMINOS tech with wide color gamut support. In addition, the TV also features full array local dimming and the new Netflix Calibrated Mode.
Samsung QN65Q8F 65" QLED 4K Ultra HD ($2,298) - 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 ($1,498) and 75-inch ($3,498) model are also available.
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!
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-What is LCD?
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-HDR Sucks: The Challenges & Frustrations of HDR10
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**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 many more Dolby Vision movies and TV shows available on disc and streaming right now where HDR10+ is limited to Amazon Prime and a few discs coming soon. If there comes a day where all 4K content is available in both 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.
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