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 OLED65C9PUA 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($2,497) - Led by impressive pixel-level contrast and perfect black levels, this display is our top pick for the best overall picture quality performance on the market. The TV is powered by LG's new α Alpha 9 Gen 2 Processor and offers HDMI 2.1 ports, wide color gamut coverage, and extensive HDR capabilities with playback support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). Meanwhile, the TV's ThinQ AI tech allows customers to take advantage of advanced voice assistant features by speaking directly into the remote, along with picture and sound optimization based on the source content being played.
Sony XBR65A9G 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($3,498) - 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 2019 Value Electronics TV Shootout. Powered by the company's Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, the A9G offers all of Sony's advanced features like Object-based Super Resolution, Object-based HDR remaster, and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR. Likewise, the panel features Pixel Contrast Booster tech, enabling more color and contrast in bright areas. In addition, the TV uses Acoustic Surface Audio+ technology to create sound from the screen itself. Finally, the A9G supports Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos, HDR10, and HLG.
Sony XBR-65A8G 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($1,998) - The 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme used on this model isn't quite as advanced as the A9G's Ultimate version, but Sony's step-down OLED Ultra HD TV offers very similar performance for a surprisingly affordable price. Other key features include wide color gamut support, along with HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and IMAX Enhanced playback. In addition, the set uses Acoustic Surface technology to create audio from the screen itself. Android TV with Google Assistant is integrated as well.
LG OLED65B9PUA 65" 4K Ultra HD OLED TV ($2,197) - Though its α (Alpha) 7 Gen 2 processor isn't as robust as the Alpha 9 Gen 2 found on LG's step-up sets, 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 Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). Meanwhile, the TV's 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.
Samsung QN65Q90RAFXZA 65" QLED 4K Ultra HD ($2,798) - As Samsung's top-of-line 2019 LCD display, the new Q90R QLED offers strong HDR brightness and color specs. And though blacks still aren't quite as impressive as an OLED panel, the display's full array local dimming results in some of 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 HDR10+ (but not Dolby Vision**). Smart TV functions with Bixby Voice control and Ambient Mode round out the premium package.
VIZIO P-Series Quantum X 65" 4K Ultra HD TV ($1,600) - VIZIO's 2019 premium display rivals many competing LCD models that cost a lot more, and currently offers some of the brightest HDR performance on the market with peaks close to 2400 nits in Calibrated Mode. The TV features a bezel-less design with 4K Ultra HD resolution and full array local dimming powered by a whopping 384 zones. In addition, the set includes support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG high dynamic range formats with advanced quantum dot tech for close to 100% P3 wide color gamut coverage and about 84% coverage for the Rec. 2020 gamut. 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 X950G 65" 4K Ultra HD TV ($1,498) - Though contrast performance isn't quite as strong as Samsung's Q9 or VIZIO's Quantum X, Sony's current flagship LCD for 2019 is also a great performer. Like its OLED counterpart, the display uses the company's Picture Processor X1 Ultimate, and offers a full-array local dimming backlight with X-tended Dynamic Range PRO. Likewise, the TV features Acoustic Multi-Audio by sound positioning tweeters. Finally, the display supports Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG.
Samsung QN65Q80RAFXZA 65" QLED 4K Ultra HD ($1,998) - Brightness and contrast are a little less robust compared to the Q90R, and some premium design flourishes are missing, but the Q80R 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. HDR10, HLG, and HDR10+ formats are supported as well. Smart TV functions with Bixby Voice control and Ambient Mode round out the premium package.
TCL 6-Series 65R625 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku TV ($800) - While overall specs are not on the same level as the models featured above, TCL's latest 6-Series display just might feature the best performance to price ratio of any new TV for 2019, 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 for improved black levels and contrast. And new for this year's model, the panel incorporates quantum dot tech for improved wide color gamut coverage.
So, there you have it. Those are current top choices for the absolute best Ultra HD TVs for 2019. 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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**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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