IF YOU'RE in the market for the best 4K TV, we’ve got you covered.
The majority of TVs in homes are what’s known as Full HD, which means they have a display made of 1920 x 1080 (around two million) pixels.
This does the job for most shows and films, but if you want to experience movies as if you’re in a cinema – or feel like you’re at the ground watching a football match – you’ll need to give that resolution a boost.
We've answered some key question for TV shopping toward the end of the article. But for now, here's our buying guide followed by our pick of the market.
What features should I look for in a TV
There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for a new TV. We have broken down the most important ones for you here.
Bigger is better. It may sound like an understatement, but there are just so many stories of people buying a TV only to regret they had bought something bigger.
Average TV screen sizes have grown exponentially in the last few years, and today it is not unusual to find screen sizes of at least 36 inches in most houses.
This is partly due to the fact that old TVs used to take a lot of space in your living room, but flat screens have changed that.
Today, TV screens can essentially be as thin as a picture frame, and can therefore be mounted on a wall just as easily, solving many space-related problems.
Of course, if you're going to buy a big TV to hang on your living room's wall and you don't have a lot of space, you may end up sitting very close to it.
Luckily, as TV technology evolved in the last few years, so did the average TV resolution.
Simply put, the higher the resolution, the closer you'll be able to sit in front of your TV Set without noticing pixellation and strain your eyes.
Over are the days of mainstream TVs with "HD" resolution (usually 1024 x 768 pixels).
Today, most TVs are at least Full HD, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but it's easier to find 4K screens, offering four times the pixels of a Full HD TV.
With a 4K TV screen, you'll be able to sit closer to the screen and still get a crisp clear image.
OLED, QLED or LED?
There is a lot of confusion on the net about this, so we'll try to keep it short and sweet.
Owned by LG, OLED technology makes TV screens thinner, lighter, and with better contrast than LED screens.
They also use up less energy and offer a better viewing angle.
As it is a new-ish technology (the first OLED TV came out in 2013), OLED screens have been historically quite expensive when compared to its LED counterparts.
However, today this technology has become substantially cheaper, making OLED the preferred choice of most people looking for a new TV.
In between LED and OLED is QLED, a technology owned by Samsung which is technically more similar to LED but with improved performance.
While OLED technology is ultimately superior to QLED, repeated efforts in this field have brought some of Samsung QLED TVs to compete with LG's OLED screens.
Streaming is the new normal when it comes to people's TV watching habits, and therefore many TVs today come with so-called "smart features".
But what does that even mean?
Essentially, a smart TV allows you to do some of the things you'd be able to do from your PC, but using a remote control or a smartphone app.
Stream Netflix or Amazon Video straight from your couch, or check out your latest photos and videos directly on your TV. Pretty sweet.
Are you still mostly watching traditional TV channels? Worry not. Here is our pick of best aerials for you.
Last but not least, price is a determining factor when looking for a new TV.
Luckily, TV technology has in the past few years become impossibly cheaper.
Just ten years ago, it would have been unthinkable to get a 60-inches TV for less than £2,000.
And yet, today you can get truly amazing screens for a fraction of the price.
Generally speaking, more money here means bigger sizes, deeper blacks and a richer colour spectrum, but today you can get a remarkable TV set for less than £500.
Still not sure about what to buy? Have a look at our picks down below.
1. Samsung Q60R QLED 4K TV
- Samsung Q60R QLED 4K TV, £769 at Amazon – buy here
If it's specifically gaming you're after, you might not want to go the whole hog on a premium priced TV.
And in the sub-£1,000 bracket this Samsung QLED 4K TV is a bit of a catch, with its 120Hz refresh rate, and vibrant colours.
It also boasts some good audio from speakers a notch or two above most of what's around – so no need to put those headphones on if you're gaming home alone.
The Q60R has its own Game Mode, and 'Real Game enhancer' which is designed to deliver variable refresh rates for maximum compatibility with most games – preventing 'tearing' or stuttering.
There's voice-control, via Bixby, and as a Q-range Samsung this is a rather nice Smart TV too – just in case you want to watch something, controller free.
2. Sony Bravia KD-65XG9505 4K TV
- Sony Bravia KD-65XG9505 4K TV, £1,299 from John Lewis – buy here
A large 4K screen alone does not an immersive sporting experience make.
So the best 4K TV for watching sport needs to offer more to better deliver your sport of choice effectively – and the Sony Bravia KD-XG9505 should deliver.
This LED TV comes with a mode called motionflow, designed to reduce the judder and blur created when watching fast-paced action…or sports.
Noticeable judder particularly affects football matches, as the camera quickly pans the field, following the ball.
Motionflow enables a smoother picture and adjusts the backlighting to suit what’s on the screen, to really minimise jarring and juddering.
Bravia TVs like this one also feature a Triluminos display too, designed to boost RGB (red, blue and green) hues, enhancing contrasts and making colours more vivid.
And the XG9505 has its own extra features to take note of: an X1 Ultimate 'intelligent' picture processor, upscaling of non-4K content, and X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro.
All of this adds up to a viewing experience owners love, and there's plenty of connectors and streaming services (and Google Assistant) built in.
3. LG 55UK6300 4K TV
- LG 55UK6300 4K TV, £430.76 from Amazon – buy here
LG delivers year-on-year when it comes to the next-level TV technologies and its UK6300 continues this trend.
Its IPS 4K panel gives wide viewing angles, perfect for film nights in with friends.
It has 4K active HDR that adapts to whatever HDR format the content is available in, and so-called scene-by-scene image mastering designed to reproduce the picture as close as possible.
If you’ve got, or are thinking of getting, a surround sound system for movie watching, the LG UK6300 also comes with Ultra Surround, to enhance the levels of surround sound.
Other benefits include LG’s ThinQ AI built into the set that answer questions, finds content and can make recommendations, and the TV is compatible with Amazon Alexa, letting you control your TV with your voice.
If you’ve got smart lights connected too, you can create the perfect ambience for your film night with a simple command. All of this for a very attractive price.
4. Samsung UE43RU7020 4K TV
- Samsung UE43RU7020 4K Smart TV, £329 at Amazon – buy here
It's not easy to find good 4K TVs under 50+ inches, but not everyone wants a huge screen and some rooms just can't accommodate them!
Samsung's UE43RU7020 is a very option, especially for the price, and sports the style you'd expect of a Samsung 4K set.
The colour and contrast available is good, and the TV functions with Samsung's Tizen Smart TV interface – probably the best at this price for easily accessing apps.
It supports HRD10+ for colour intensity to be proud of and is Bluetooth, WiFi and ethernet connectable.
At a fraction of the price of premium sets, the Samsung UE43RU7020 shouldn't be expected to compete.
But it's still a flexible and impressive LED 4K TV for those with smaller rooms and not the biggest of budgets.
5. Samsung QE55Q90R 4K QLED TV
- Samsung QE55Q90R QLED 4KTV, £1,499 from Currs PC World – buy here
A wide viewing angle is a good boost for movie nights, especially if you like to get a group together to watch the latest flick.
Luckily the Samsung QE55Q90R 4K TV can provide just that – a QLED TV with natural looks and deep blacks for darker scenes too.
QLED's generally aren't quite as dark in black tones as OLED TVs, but here Samsung has pushed the bar with reports this is the QLED which gets closest.
Bright and balanced colours make this a great option for film lovers, and if you're into your apps the set comes with Samsung's smooth Tizen interface.
There is a question mark over the audio side of things, but if you're heavily into movies you may want (or have) your own surround-sound speaker set-up.
But while we wait to see what the rest of the year has to offer, this is our top pick for spending a not-so-quiet night in with.
6. LG OLED55C9PLA 4K TV
- LG OLED55C9PLA 55-inch, £1,299 at Currys PC World – buy here
Like our option for best priced 4K, the LG OLED55C9PLA is a TV with an IPS panel, which means it has a good, wide viewing angle.
That's great for movie nights where you want plenty of people to see what's going on, but there's much more to this TV to enjoy.
Part of LG's new (November 2019) OLED lineup, the C9's price places it against stiff competition so performance needs to be strong.
Luckily, it includes the Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor – allowing some nifty image processing to occur and providing natural colours with a good degree of richness.
Black levels are good, and customer reviews emphatic that the LG OLED55C9PLA 55-inch is actually a great all-rounder.
It's great for gaming too, and comes with LG's WebOS interface with support for Netflix, Amazon Prime and more streaming services.
Concerned about connectivity? Don't be, this 4K TV has 6x HDMI (1.2) connectors and ethernet among its features.
7. Samsung QE55Q80R
- Samsung QE55Q80R 55-inch, £999 at Currys PC World – buy here
Designed to provide the best QLED screen for the price, this TV set from Samsung come with some interesting features at a more-than reasonable price.
It may not have an OLED super thin screen, but the design of the QE55Q80R is far from being unattractive.
The TV's design has a minimal metallic bezel, which is nicely curved at the corners, and a central stand.
In terms of connectivity, this QLED TV features four HDMI sockets, multiple USB ports, Ethernet, a terrestrial TV aerial socket and two satellite TV aerial connections.
Just like other recent Samung TVs, the QE55Q80R also has smart features' capabilities, allowing you to watch Netflix and other streaming services with the click of a button.
Add a Ultra Wide Viewing Angle, solid colours and 4K, and you have arguably one the best QLED TVs under 1k.
8. Panasonic GZ1500 4K OLED TV
- Panasonic GZ1500 4K OLED TV, 55-inch, £1,599 at John Lewis – buy here
If there's a brand able to compete with LG and Samsung in the TV war, that is Panasonic.
With the GZ1500, the company has reached new heights, both in image quality and sound.
The viewing experience with this TV is just marvellous, as the GZ1500 is able to showcase the finest shadow details and colour tone shifts in a wonderfully natural way.
Moreover, having a front-face speaker means the GZ1500 can produce a crispy-clear sound that is usually hard to find built-in a TV system.
This elegant screen from Panasonic also cares about design, and its slim frame sits on a minimalistic metal plate stand.
When it comes to connectivity, the GZ1500 is pretty much on the same category as most TVs in this list: four 4K-supporting HDMIs, three USBs (one 3.0), RF tuner, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Bluetooth.
The TV lacks a little bit on the smart features side, but it still has everything one could expect from a 2019 TV, including various streaming services and compatibility with all of the UK’s key terrestrial broadcaster catch up apps.
9. Philips 55OLED754
- Philips 55OLED754, 55-inch, £989 at Currys PC World – buy here
A significant upgrade from Philips TV line from 2018, the 55OLED754 aims to impress with its second-generation P5 Perfect Processing Engine.
And it delivers.
Image quality here truly is excellent, with amazing detail and impressive contrast.
Of course, the one true feature you won't find in TVs from any other brand is Philips' Ambilight technology.
Essentially, Ambilight refers to an LED array around the side of a TV that projects colour onto the wall behind a TV.
This not only increases your perception of contrast, but also creates an immersivity level you don't always experience from your couch.
As far as audio is concerned, the 55OLED754 offers a decent, if not a good option, with a triple ring woofer and powerful amplification.
The TV lacks some of the connectivity of its other peers (four 4K capable HDMI inputs but only two 2160/60p, and only two USBs), but on the other hand features one of the best Smart TV options.
Philips 55OLED754 is a TV for a somehow specific kind of user, as it excels in some things while sacrificing others.
Still, at that price, it makes for a very compelling option.
10. TCL 50EP658
- TCL 50EP658, 50-inch, £329 at Amazon – buy here
TCL is not a name people immediately associate with TVs.
In fact, the company has started making them quite recently.
Still, since them TCL has grown to be one of the larger TV manufacturers in the world, and the TCL 50EP658 is proof of that.
Featuring High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDR10) and Micro Dimming technologies, this TV offers 4K-optimised colour contrast and image clarity slightly below higher tie TV sets.
In terms of connectivity, the TCL 50EP658 has 3 HMDI ports, 2 USB, and of course WiFi and Bluetooth. No Ethernet, optical or RF though.
The TV is first and foremost a Smart TV, so you can expect it will be compatible with most streaming services.
The TCL 50EP658 is a medium-tier 4K TV with good specs at an interesting price.
You can pay more if you want extra features, but it will be hard to find something much better without spending a lot more.
Is 4K really better than 1080p?
A TV branded as 4K UHD has a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution, around 8 million pixels, making the picture quality four times that on Full HD screens.
Before we continue, there is a disclaimer. True 4K resolutions have 4096 x 2160 pixels, and are typically used in cinemas.
There are a number of these true 4K TVs on the shelves but the majority that market themselves as 4K are actually UHD.
For the size of TV screens on offer, and the content available, it’s a much of a muchness in terms of viewing quality but it’s worth being aware when looking for the best 4K TVs.
Can the human eye see 4K?
The human eye can notice the difference between 1080 and 4K, although you'll have to be sitting fairly close to your TV set before you're able to fully appreciate the extra pixels.
Forbes Magazine reckons the optimal distance to be sat from a 4K screen is 4.3 feet (1.5 metres).
Any further than that and you're gradually going to stop being able to notice the finer details in the 4K resolution.
It's also worth bearing in mind that while 4K TVs will supposedly improve the quality of some regular HD content, there's not that much 4K content available to stream at the moment, although the options available are growing rapidly.
When is the best time to buy a TV?
The practical answer may be when you want or need to, but in terms of pricing there's no hard and fast rule.
TVs see hefty discounts during Black Friday and Christmas sales, but early year sales can also see prices drop.
As with any other tech, prices drop before the launch of new models. So it's sensible to do a bit of research before making a purchase.
We all want to be in the know when it comes to getting high quality products for half the price, keep up with our Sun Selects page to stay up to date.
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