TV purchase guidance (direct email sent to Stephan)

  • Good morning everyone,

    I'm just going to copy/paste the email I sent directly to Stephan here as requested by Richard.

    Hey there Stephan,

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and try to contact you directly in hopes that you are able to give me some guidance regarding purchasing a new TV. I'm sure you get this request a lot but I would truly appreciate your input. I completely trust your judgement when it comes to TV selection.

    I have spent months at this point, reading/watching TV regarding the best TV to purchase today. So far, I have bought the LG UF658500 and was happy with the remote, interface, styling, etc.. but there was one thing I could not live with..the EXTREME white blooming at the edges of the TV..not only the edges though honestly, just simply moving the remote cursor around a black screen would make the bloom follow the mouse, or if there was a logo on a black screen, it would be all bloomed out. It was just unacceptable in every way for a nearly $2k TV. The TV has horrendous black levels. I have included photos for you to take a look at just so you can see how horrible this problem was.

    Pic 1
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    Pic 4
    Pic 5

    I returned this TV and purchased the Vizio M70-C3. Almost exactly opposite of the LG, I dislike everything about this TV other than the great black levels provided by it having full array back lighting instead of the edge lighting on most other TV's these days. The remote, while I do like the idea of the keyboard on the back, is awful, the TV is very thick and has a ugly fat silver border, the menus and icons are extremely fuzzy, look dated and other than nice blacks and practically no noticeable blooming, I would say that the picture isn't very impressive.

    I've tried to do as much research as I can but in most cases it just leads me to an AV forum of people fighting over brands like debating religion or politics. Very few posts are informative and helpful so it gets very frustrating, hence why I thought I'd take a chance and try to contact you directly for some help.

    Basically, here are my wants:

    1. 65" or bigger
    2. full array back lighting (because I'm told this is what gives a better picture and doesn't bleed like edge-lit TVs)
    3. great black/contrast levels
    4. 3D
    5. non-curved screen

    Some of those wants I could easily be talked out of since my most important want of all is the actual picture quality. I realize that means buying an OLED TV, but I just can't justify the $6k for that. But if getting the best picture I can means giving up something on my list of wants, then I would likely do that.

    I'm really just looking for some help from someone who does this for a living and is very good at it. I apologize for bothering you as I'm sure you get asked things like this all the time, but I really really would appreciate any advice, guidance and direction that you can give me.

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing from you soon,

    Steve Herrmann

  • I have a TV that has to be returned/exchanged this week, can I please get a reply to this...?

  • @Herrm Hello Herrm and my sincere apologies for the lateness of this reply. I hope you have received it in enough time to make it a part of your decision making for an effective purchase. What you have just described to me perfectly fits what I have noted and frequently commented on this website, the forum and in the comments: Vizio's M-Series TVs, especially the larger ones, offer excellent or at least great display specs and solid contrast but are definitely weak in their smart TV system and LG's non-OLED 4K TVs from 2015 use the absolutely superb Tizen smart platform but offer some truly disappointing contrast and other related display problems. This is one of their chief problems and a major disappointment for us to see from a company capable of offering such exquisite 4K TVs in the form of the OLED models.

    Anyhow, to get to the main point and cover all of your concerns (again, my apologies for the late reply) The TVs i'd most recommend with all of your conditions above met would be Sony's Bravia models from the x850c on upwards. Most specifically, the model that covers every one of your needs, offers HDR and costs just under $2000 (without taxes and any shipping costs) is the X850C 65 inch Sony Bravia model. The 65 inch version comes with full-array LED backlighting, offers great contrast with HDR technology that meets UHD Alliance "UHD Premium" standards (0.05 nits highest darkness and 1000 nits of brightness in brightest spots for LCD TVs) and also includes 3D features. Also, some older reviews claim the contrast of the X850C isn't superb but these were likely written before it got its HDR update in late 2015.

    The Sony Android TV smart platform is very good (though not quite as good as LG's WebOS 2.0) and this is of course a flat screen TV.

    As a second choice, if you really loved WebOS 2.0 from LG nad want perfect black without breaking the bank, I'd also recommend the 55 inch EF9500. It's expensive but only costs about $3,000 and you're guaranteed some of the best picture quality and contrast in existence with the TV, as long as you don't mind the 10 inch display reduction (the 65 inch model does indeed cost just under $5,000.

    Finally, a decent third choice would be the 65 inch JU7100 from Samsung, it's also a flat screen TV and covers all of the needs you mentioned, though I'd go for the Sony X850C over this one.

  • And to follow up on my advice briefly, In reference to your comments about the wide online debates, try not to let your decision making be saturated by them. On the whole, what I have just suggested is the definite most ideal purchase selection based on your criteria. You will almost certainly be satisfied with the X850C I recommend, and will likely also find the two secondary choices to be great (especially the EF9500 if you don't mind 55 inches) for covering all of the features you'd like. Any further questions you might have and feel free to ask again. Thanks!

  • @ Herrm :

    All great advice from Stephen, however, if you're looking to purchase a Sony 4K set and haven't done already, and you can wait a couple of months then they're releasing an entire new 4K model range (and some standard HD sets too). They're discontinuing the KD65/75X9305 range (the wedge design with inbuilt 90W Magnetic Fluid speakers to the sides), which is a shame as it's a solid set, especially the 75" version.

    Sony's new Backlight Master Drive System is a full backlit LED arrangement rather than an edge lit system, and is reported to pump out brightness levels at around 4000 Nits. By comparison most edge lit LED systems on the market now are up at about 1000 Nits, whereas OLEDs only pump out about 650-850 Nits. One of the main reasons why the image blows out when you bump the brightness to over 50%, destroying those perfect blacks OLED likes to use as a USP.

    With a 4000 nit output the LED Black levels will rival OLED, if not beat it hands down, and you also don't have to worry about messing up your picture quality by boosting the OLED brightness and contrast levels. Hopefully it'll also remove the picture darkening problems prevalent with active 3D glasses as well, if 3D is still your thing that is?

    I'd also recommend buying a good pair of Ray Bans if you buy an LED BMDS 4K set!

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