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Thread: "Small' TV advice

  1. #1
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    "Small' TV advice

    Looking to replace our TV and can accommodate a 43 inch in the allocated space. I have done a bit of research across the net but it seems anything less than 55 inch isn't covered these days or rubbished.

    Looking for advice on what features to look out for please eg is it worth stumping up for 4k. Ideally would like something that handles sport well and I don't do gaming.

    Currently have a good freeview signal and I guess will also have to upgrade the DVD player to Bluray to take advantage of increased quality?

    Any advice appreciated

  2. #2
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    I started a search like this a while back and had similar problems, in the end we have just bought a 50" TV, bigger than we were looking for but it is fantastic!

    We went for this one:
    http://www.panasonic.com/uk/consumer...-50dx700b.html

    There is a 40" version so should fit.

    We don't particularly need a 4K HDR TV, the only source of that quality I have is Amazon which streams straight to the TV. Other than that it's Sky HD and a blu-ray player for which I have 3 blu-ray discs!

    The main reason I went for this over a Full HD or whatever else is that it gives some degree of future proofing should we decide to get more 4K content etc.

    The user interface on it is very good and the online content all seems to work very well.

  3. #3
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    I very nearly bought a 43" Samsung 4K curved tv at currys recently. The 49" was the same price though.

    My parents have just bought a 4K tv and, whilst visiting them recently, I noticed that the picture was far clearer than our HD even on lower resolution channels.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    I dont know what's happened to tellies. I've got a ten year old Sony LCD, 40", which seemed MASSIVE at the time, now it would be considered a portable.

    These 50", 60", and bigger sets. Do the manufacturers think we all live on council estates?

  5. #5
    Craftsman hoopsontoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taxboy View Post
    Looking to replace our TV and can accommodate a 43 inch in the allocated space. I have done a bit of research across the net but it seems anything less than 55 inch isn't covered these days or rubbished.

    Looking for advice on what features to look out for please eg is it worth stumping up for 4k. Ideally would like something that handles sport well and I don't do gaming.

    Currently have a good freeview signal and I guess will also have to upgrade the DVD player to Bluray to take advantage of increased quality?

    Any advice appreciated
    I have been facing a similar dilemma, looking to replace my 42" Panasonic Plasma, and I would love a High Spec or OLED TV in the 42" range, but all manufacturers only seem to make the entry sets in that 'small'.

    Personally, I have yet to be wowed by 4k sets, with SD broadcast, they tend to look pretty terrible, and only start to look great with FHD Bluray or 4K material, given that most 'HD' broadcasts are still only 720P I am still to be convinced that anyone really needs anything over 1080P.

    I'd rather have a set with 'only' 1080P and excellent motion response, viewing angles, color bit depth of the best Plasmas...... over 4k.

    The new 4K screens I've seen at 40"-50", mostly Panasonic have been OK, but again, 4K is wasted on a screen that small, at normal viewing distances I certainly can not see the difference. Something to think about when you look at them in the shops, make sure you do at normal sofa distances.

    Oh and I would recommend John Lewis, competitive, 5yr warranty on most sets and generally fuss free deals.

  6. #6
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoopsontoast View Post
    but again, 4K is wasted on a screen that small, at normal viewing distances I certainly can not see the difference. Something to think about when you look at them in the shops, make sure you do at normal sofa distances.
    I'd agree with everything you've said - the only caution I'd give to anyone reading this - if you consider buying a 4K TV - the viewing distances are not the same as 1080p TVs. You want to sit closer than you would with the equivalent 1080p TV.

    It's explained here:

    http://uk.rtings.com/tv/reviews/by-s...e-relationship


    We went 4K simply because we watch virtually no live TV and do have a 4K bluray machine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    I've got a ten year old Sony LCD, 40", which seemed MASSIVE at the time, now it would be considered a portable.
    Same here,no plan to change either.

  8. #8
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    I too am surprised at the ever increasing size of TVs. I bought a 32" for our house 5 years ago and thought this was a good sized TV. These now look absolutely tiny in the shops compared to the monsters available now.

    As my sofa is only 5 foot away from the TV I can't see myself ever needing anything above 40".

  9. #9
    been researching similar - one issue on size is that the older 40" ones would have a frame around the screen that would make it look much bigger/more bulk. Most of the latest have little surround frame and are thinner so bigger screen size actually looks like a smaller bit of kit

    As people will always say hunt down a local Richer Sounds

    I narrowed it down to these

    Samsung 40KU6300 http://www.richersounds.com/product/...sams-ue40k6300

    LG 43UH661V http://www.richersounds.com/product/...1v/lg-43uh661v

  10. #10
    Last year I changed our bedroom TV, and agree there is a lack of quality "small" i.e. under 49" TVs. (I didn't want an insanely large TV dominating the bedroom, but since we watch at lot in there, I wanted a decent picture).

    I agree 4K isn't noticeable on a 40/43" set at 8 feet, but you'll be hard pushed to get a decent set at that size that isn't. More noticeable is HDR - which gives much better colours and brightness at any distance. (Btw despite what people say, there's loads of 4k, and quite a bit of HDR on Netflix and Amazon).

    Problem is is that most sets of that size don't do proper HDR - the blacks in particular looks very washed out and unconvincing.

    The "smallest" TV that does proper HDR and 4k is the Samsung 43KS7500 - which typically, is about £750. Any others are "HDR compatible" - which means they attempt to show HDR material, but don't have the hardware to fully support e.g. Dolby Vision or HDR10. We initially had an LG set that was HDR compatible, but not "proper" HDR - stuff like Grand Tour actually looked worse than SDR. Contrast was very poor, even in all resolutions.

    If you're not fussed about HDR, Panasonic mentioned above is meant to be good (with the above caveat), or the Sony 43xd80. These apparently are the next best.

    In 32", there's even less choice.

  11. #11
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    I still have a 7 year old top of the range 42" Panasonic plasma and not seen anything that competes with it... even OLED. I've checked out new offerings with John Lewis and am not convinced especially when they don't display standard TV content. The pictures look so enhanced and artificial somehow.
    If I was forced into buying a particular make it would be LG.

  12. #12
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    I recently got a Samsung KU6400 40". Ok it's not groundbreaking technology but it was less than £500 and is a decent picture with a modern look and worth a look IMO.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seamaster73 View Post
    I dont know what's happened to tellies. I've got a ten year old Sony LCD, 40", which seemed MASSIVE at the time, now it would be considered a portable.

    These 50", 60", and bigger sets. Do the manufacturers think we all live on council estates?
    Same here. It was massive at the time. Amusingly, when you compare to what you would pay these days, I'm sure it was about £2,000 too!

    It will only be replaced when it packs up, and even then, I'd like to stick with a similar size.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by spud767 View Post
    I recently got a Samsung KU6400 40". Ok it's not groundbreaking technology but it was less than £500 and is a decent picture with a modern look and worth a look IMO.
    Another vote for the 6400 from me also.

  15. #15
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    Proper pauper here then... our only TV is a 37" Panasonic plasma. We've had it for 10 years but in the last year everything's gone blue three or four times. Turning it off and on again works but I know it will need changing at some point. Accounting for the bezel we could get a 42" TV in there but nothing bigger.

    Having said that we're renovating another downstairs room in the next few months and can put something mahoosive in there!

  16. #16
    The move to larger screens just highlights the inadequacies of LCD screen technology.

    When you look at a larger screen, you see that the lack of effective black and shadow detail is far more obvious, as there are larger dark areas, and the nature of the edge backlighting leads to more backlight bleed and clouding (OLED excepted). These are far less obvious on smaller screen, as are motions errors (which most screens have).

    Similarly, SD is never going to look good on a 50" screen, whether it's being upscaled to 1080 or 4K, as there's just not enough detail for that size image.

    This is why in a smaller room I just don't want a massive telly. Even 1080p looks crap if you're too close, but SD looks terrible.

    We've moved to a situation where it's mainly quantity-rather-than-quality, except at the higher end of the market, where TVs are still very expensive - but frustratingly, you still can't get a top-quality screen at less than 50". (As I said, the nearest is the 43ks7500 - but it's still not a patch on an OLED).

  17. #17
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    I got the Sony 43XD8088 in Nov. Mainly as a gaming tv as it does UHD and HDR with a decent input lag. Picture quality is really good with. Bit of tweaking. One thing to note is that it is a VA panel, which helps contrast, but leads to poorer viewing angles. So you need to sit more central to maintain this. All other panel sizes in that range are IPS.

  18. #18
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    More first world problems, in the UK most of us don't have huge rooms requiring large screens, but lets not allow that to get in the way of spending large amounts of cash just to outdo the neighbours, if I was to try to say this poop down the pub the pi** would be ripped out of me properly.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakeColdplayHistory View Post
    Proper pauper here then... our only TV is a 37" Panasonic plasma. We've had it for 10 years but in the last year everything's gone blue three or four times. Turning it off and on again works but I know it will need changing at some point. Accounting for the bezel we could get a 42" TV in there but nothing bigger.

    Having said that we're renovating another downstairs room in the next few months and can put something mahoosive in there!
    Sounds like we have the same set and the occasional blue monday, but i have no plans to change it as I've yet to see anything with a better picture..

    Watching it now and i still reckon it's the best tech purchase i ever made.

    M

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  20. #20
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    Thanks everyone for their helpful and informative replies. I'm glad I'm not alone in wanting a quality "small" TV. Im not certain where this big TV thing has come from other than marketing from the electronics companies. Similar I guess to the introduction some years ago of bottled water to the marketplace.

    Weather permitting I think a trip to John Lewis and Richer Sounds may be in order this weekend

  21. #21
    i have a 40in 2 year old Sony that i bought for 2 reasons. one was the strength of one review i read online where they said it was very close to a production monitor if you set it to Ďcinema1í and gave a very good picture. the second was the price (around £325 i think)
    i use a £1200 Eizo CG monitor for retouching and grading so am very clued up on colour as i work with it every day (iím a photographer/retoucher and work in moving image too) every time i sit down and watch a quality HD broadcast (BBC or Netflix) iím still blown away by the image quality.
    i cant stand all the super motion high frame rate interpolation sports setting/gaming 200hz bollocks as iím only interested in film/drama. all the tvís in shops have everything cranked up to the max and look awful, having sat in many a soho edit/grading suite i know what stuff should look like but people are swayed by gritty oversaturated contrasty crap.

    this is the review: http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/kdl40...1404233740.htm

    itís not a perfect TV, some apps will not work (4od etc) and its probably superseded by android tvís but i dread finding a replacement like it in 4k. i donít want a 50in tv.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoopsontoast View Post
    Personally, I have yet to be wowed by 4k sets, with SD broadcast, they tend to look pretty terrible, and only start to look great with FHD Bluray or 4K material, given that most 'HD' broadcasts are still only 720P I am still to be convinced that anyone really needs anything over 1080P.

    ...

    I'd rather have a set with 'only' 1080P and excellent motion response, viewing angles, color bit depth of the best Plasmas...... over 4k.
    I bought a 4K set as a significant proportion of the content we watch is 4K; Amazon, Netflix, YouTube etc. We don't really watch live telly apart from kids stuff and they can't even spell 4K let alone tell the difference.

    I agree however that I would rather have a high quality HD set than an Asda own brand 4K set, every day if the week.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Morning Wood View Post
    As time goes on the quality of LCD continues to improve, such as VA 10bit panels, full HDR and moving from edge lighting to full back light arrays, however all of this comes at a cost, some might not think it's worth it but I'm happy with my 65" DX902 which gives excellent 4K results.
    It will be interesting to see. The irony is that backlit LCD is inherently flawed in terms of producing decent blacks and shadow, so advancements seem to involve making the panels brighter (which makes them crazily bright for darker rooms), and more and more complex backlighting to darken shadows (which is expensive). I've no doubt that 10-bit panels will filter down the food-chain, but whether the trick-lighting tech that you need for really good contrast and HDR will make it down to lower and mid-range sets is another question. (Certainly in the next couple of years).

    I would've also added that I've yet to see a VA panel with really good viewing angles, but Samsung claim that their 2017 sets have got this problem licked.

    Obviously OLED has the zero-level blacks without the need for any clever backlighting, and viewing angles are petty much perfect, but afaik 55" is still the minimum size for an OLED screen. Ideally that tech would filter down the food-chain, but given that most of the manufacturers other than LG seem to have abandoned it, it won't happen anytime soon.

    I think they're possibly chasing the wrong tech. (Although I don't pretend to have a clue about the relative costs and potentials of the two different technologies).

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    I'd agree with everything you've said - the only caution I'd give to anyone reading this - if you consider buying a 4K TV - the viewing distances are not the same as 1080p TVs. You want to sit closer than you would with the equivalent 1080p TV.

    It's explained here:

    http://uk.rtings.com/tv/reviews/by-s...e-relationship
    Really useful - thanks for posting.
    Andy

  25. #25
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    Have a gander at the Finlux website, decent TV's at pretty good prices , we have a small 22 inch combo in the motorhome
    https://finlux.co.uk/

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    Really useful - thanks for posting.
    Just take those charts with a large pinch of salt though. (Ironically, the link on that page points to a more accurate discussion of visual acuity, that shows that you can potentially see the difference at much greater distances).

    You can add 50%, if not double the distance at which 4K is noticeable (assuming they have calculated it at 1' of arc), and this is why there are a lot of heated discussions where someone says they can see the improvement, only for someone to "prove them wrong" with one of these charts.

    Obviously you still have to be pretty close to a 40" telly to see the benefit of 4K though.

  27. #27
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paule23 View Post
    I too am surprised at the ever increasing size of TVs. I bought a 32" for our house 5 years ago and thought this was a good sized TV. These now look absolutely tiny in the shops compared to the monsters available now.

    As my sofa is only 5 foot away from the TV I can't see myself ever needing anything above 40".
    Believe it or not - at 5 foot, if you go 4K, you want a 55" TV to get the best from it.


    Just take those charts with a large pinch of salt though.


    The casual viewer has to have something to use a rule of thumb and these are as good as anything. Otherwise you get into the sort of advice for people who spends hundreds of hours discussing which black is quite black enough and normal people just don't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    In the UK most of us don't have huge rooms requiring large screens, but lets not allow that to get in the way of spending large amounts of cash just to outdo the neighbours.
    Which Casio are you wearing today?
    Last edited by Alansmithee; 13th January 2017 at 09:17.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    Believe it or not - at 5 foot, if you go 4K, you want a 55" TV to get the best from it.




    The casual viewer has to have something to use a rule of thumb and these are as good as anything. Otherwise you get into the sort of advice for people who spends hundreds of hours discussing which black is quite black enough and normal people just don't care.


    The point is, these charts are (by some measures) out by a significant margin - a lot of people can see much finer detail than 1" of arc (subject to other factors), so they are likely to underestimate the value of having a 4k screen for a given size at their habitual viewing distance.

    As I said, even just working on Snellen acuity, you can (if I've got my maths right) add upto 50% to the distances (or reduce screen size accordingly). In terms of simple image perception, it's probably quite a bit more than that.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by robcat View Post
    Just take those charts with a large pinch of salt though. (Ironically, the link on that page points to a more accurate discussion of visual acuity, that shows that you can potentially see the difference at much greater distances).

    You can add 50%, if not double the distance at which 4K is noticeable (assuming they have calculated it at 1' of arc), and this is why there are a lot of heated discussions where someone says they can see the improvement, only for someone to "prove them wrong" with one of these charts.

    Obviously you still have to be pretty close to a 40" telly to see the benefit of 4K though.
    But presumably I will still get improved image quality from the smaller screen even though I may not technically taking full advantage of all the technology ?

    Bear in mind this will be an upgrade for me from a 720p 32 "

  30. #30
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    55" at 5'? Wtf!


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  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Taxboy View Post
    But presumably I will still get improved image quality from the smaller screen even though I may not technically taking full advantage of all the technology ?

    Bear in mind this will be an upgrade for me from a 720p 32 "
    If you're not close enough to perceive the higher resolution, then it's more down to the other factors like contrast, colour rendition and motion processing. All should be better than an old TV in theory, but in practice, as the thread is showing, the big brands seem to be neglecting the smaller sizes when it comes to premium features i.e. its easy to find a half decent, adequately performing 40/43" TV, but it's more difficult to find a great one that displays HDR stuff properly (which isn't dependant on being close), and has convincing blacks/contrast.

    I'm not convinced that the contrast/blacks on the 43" LG that I initially got to replace my old bedroom telly (a Samsung 32" from about 5 years ago, but an upper-mid range model at the time), were as good. (Admittedly, a bigger TV will show up the inadequacies more).

    Obviously, it depends on how good the picture is on your current TV (and how picky you are about black levels etc), but newer isn't always better (as the plasma guys will attest),

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by robcat View Post
    If you're not close enough to perceive the higher resolution, then it's more down to the other factors like contrast, colour rendition and motion processing. All should be better than an old TV in theory, but in practice, as the thread is showing, the big brands seem to be neglecting the smaller sizes when it comes to premium features i.e. its easy to find a half decent, adequately performing 40/43" TV, but it's more difficult to find a great one that displays HDR stuff properly (which isn't dependant on being close), and has convincing blacks/contrast.

    I'm not convinced that the contrast/blacks on the 43" LG that I initially got to replace my old bedroom telly (a Samsung 32" from about 5 years ago, but an upper-mid range model at the time), were as good. (Admittedly, a bigger TV will show up the inadequacies more).

    Obviously, it depends on how good the picture is on your current TV (and how picky you are about black levels etc), but newer isn't always better (as the plasma guys will attest),
    Thanks for that. I guess its a bit like pixel peeping in photography.

    A thought has also occurred to me. Will I need to budget for a new hard drive recorder to playback HD programmes. I know I'll need to budget fqr a bluray player

  33. #33
    Craftsman hoopsontoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robcat View Post
    If you're not close enough to perceive the higher resolution, then it's more down to the other factors like contrast, colour rendition and motion processing. All should be better than an old TV in theory, but in practice, as the thread is showing, the big brands seem to be neglecting the smaller sizes when it comes to premium features i.e. its easy to find a half decent, adequately performing 40/43" TV, but it's more difficult to find a great one that displays HDR stuff properly (which isn't dependant on being close), and has convincing blacks/contrast.

    I'm not convinced that the contrast/blacks on the 43" LG that I initially got to replace my old bedroom telly (a Samsung 32" from about 5 years ago, but an upper-mid range model at the time), were as good. (Admittedly, a bigger TV will show up the inadequacies more).

    Obviously, it depends on how good the picture is on your current TV (and how picky you are about black levels etc), but newer isn't always better (as the plasma guys will attest),
    That's the main thing that's put me off changing from my Panasonic Plasma (only 720P), the black level, colour reproduction and motion performance of most newer LED/LCD screens.
    I am not fussed about resolution, personally. I'd rather have great looking SD and HD picture at the expense of worst performance and 4K resolution.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by hoopsontoast View Post
    That's the main thing that's put me off changing from my Panasonic Plasma (only 720P), the black level, colour reproduction and motion performance of most newer LED/LCD screens.
    I am not fussed about resolution, personally. I'd rather have great looking SD and HD picture at the expense of worst performance and 4K resolution.
    This is what I meant about most manufacturers chasing the wrong tech. Backlit LCD is inherently inferior technology - they have to come up with massively complex (expensive) lighting arrays to work around the limitations wrt black levels etc., or else the results are quite poor. Not a problem if you just want "a f***ng big television", but a bit of a shame if you want a more cinematic presentation. To be fair, if you watch in a bright room, the LCD look has quite a lot of impact, but if you view in low light (which is evenings for most of the year in the U.K.), and like movies, then good blacks/shadow detail are the key. (And the problem with looking at TV's in shops - it's quite difficult to gauge the low level performance).

    Plasma and OLED are far more elegant solutions.

    (Goes without saying that there must be economic reasons for this strategy).

  35. #35
    So what do the experts recommend?

    I don't watch blu ray films. I do have Sky HD. My existing Panasonic Plasma is 42" and seems just about big enough, but with the smaller surrounds of new TV's a 48" unit would fit comfortably in the space.

    Our lounge is rectangular - most of the viewing is done from about 10ft away although when we have a houseful, (not that often) the furthest viewer is about 18ft away.
    Last edited by andy tims; 13th January 2017 at 15:13.
    Andy

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    So what do the experts recommend?

    I don't watch blu ray films. I do have Sky HD. My existing Panasonic Plasma is 42" and seems just about big enough, but with the smaller surrounds of new TV's a 48" unit would fit comfortably in the space.

    Our lounge is rectangular - most of the viewing is done from about 10ft away although when we have a houseful, (not that often) the furthest viewer is about 18ft away.
    I'm no expert, but I did quite a bit of legwork and reading up when I changed my TVs last year (both about 5/6 years old), so I feel I've got a decent handle on the market (2017 models excepted).

    If you've got a plasma you're happy with, you're best probably keeping it and seeing where OLED goes over the next year or two.

  37. #37
    ^^^^ Thanks.

    I'm looking to change the plasma. Not quite sure how to describe it, but some greens & reds seem to "flare"
    Andy

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims View Post
    ^^^^ Thanks.

    I'm looking to change the plasma. Not quite sure how to describe it, but some greens & reds seem to "flare"
    In which case, I would definite look at an OLED. Other than the very best LCD's (which ironically cost almost as much as an OLED), you'll be extremely disappointed with the black levels and contrast. On the AV forums, many ex-plasma owners have moved to OLED, and seem to be happy. (There are some dissenters, but if you think there are some fussy buggers in watch forums, there are some complete nutters on AV forums, who've exchanged multiple TVs for minor or imaginary problems).

    OLED's do take a bit of setting up and tweaking, but you can get a very cinematic and subtle image when you get it right. If you view movies and TV dramas in darkish conditions, they're almost certainly the best choice.

    Unless I'm mistaken, you can only get them in a minimum of 55" though.

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