The best TVs 2017: which TV should you buy?

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

The best TVs 2017: which TV should you buy?

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

It’s never easy approaching the wall of TVs at your local electronics store. It’s intimidating, honestly. There are dozens of options on the wall and, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, finding the right television for your needs can be an intimidating prospect. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

On top of that, you’ve got all manner of acronyms and new technologies, and every TV manufacturer claims that theirs have the only tech that really matters.

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

Looking for the best TV can be a hassle. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

Our constantly updated list of the best televisions has everything you need to find a new set that you can be proud of for years to come without worrying about it becoming outdated as soon as next year’s sets roll around. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

The hottest piece of TV tech right now is undoubtedly Ultra HD, which offers four times the resolution of conventional HD televisions. If you’re looking for a buying guide that deals with TVs that only support this new resolution, then check out our guide to the best 4K TVs

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

However, if you’re open to settling for an HD set in order to save a little cash, then read on for our top picks of the best TVs out there today. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

Here’s our list of the best screens you can buy right now, ranked by their performance-vs-price ratio:

1. Sony XBR-65Z9D
2. LG OLED W7 Series
3. Samsung Q9F QLED
4. Sony Bravia A1E OLED
5. LG OLED E7 Series
6. Sony X900E Series
7. Samsung JS8500
8. LG OLED B6 Series
9. Sony X930E Series
10. Samsung KS9800 Series

“So, should I buy a TV now or wait it out?”

We hear this question a lot. Like most technology, TVs are getting better all the time – at least in some small way. That said, it’s unlikely that you’ll see one quantum leap from one year to the next in terms of performance. 

One way to future-proof your purchase is to make sure your new TV supports 4K and HDR – either HDR10 or HDR10 and Dolby Vision. Making sure you have the two latest and greatest technologies means you won’t have to worry about getting a new screen two years from now. 

One final note: we’re only a few months into the new year, and that means we haven’t seen everything that’s going to come out this year. With even more excellent TVs on the way in the coming months you’ll have to check back later in the year to see how this list has evolved. 

  • Want better audio? Check out our guide to the best soundbars available.

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

1. Sony XBR-Z9D Series (2016)

Sony’s 2016 flagship TV set new standards in picture quality

65-inch: Sony XBR-65Z9D | 75-inch: Sony XBR-75Z9D | 100-inch: Sony XBR-100Z9D

Stunning HDR picture quality
Ground-breaking backlight
Android TV feels sluggish
Pretty average audio

From the moment we laid eyes on the the XBR-65Z9D we’ve been desperate to get our hands on one. It is, hands down, the holy grail of television for 2017: a TV able to combine the extreme, high dynamic range-friendly brightness of LCD technology with a backlight arrangement capable of getting LCD closer than ever before to the stunning light control you get with OLED technology.

This backlight arrangement comprises more than 600 LEDs that sit behind the 65Z9D’s screen that are capable of outputting their own light levels independently of their neighbors. This should enable the TV to produce more of the extremes of light and shade associated with new high dynamic range (HDR) technology while suffering less than other LCD TVs with distracting clouds, stripes or halos of unwanted, extraneous light.

As if this wasn’t already attraction enough, the 65Z9D also sports Sony’s new ‘X1 Extreme’ video processing system and the latest version of Sony’s reliable Triluminos wide color technology for unlocking the extended color spectrums associated with HDR sources.

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

2. LG Signature Series W7 OLED (2017)

LG’s W7 OLED melds into the wall

65-inch: LG 65W7OLED | 77-inch: LG 77W7OLED

Insanely slim design
Color, clarity and contrast
Future-proof HDR
Motion issues with TruMotion

The LG W7 OLED is truly something special. Not only is it one of the thinnest TVs to ever grace our vision (it’s 2.75mm thin), but it’s also one of the most gorgeous. When fed the right kind of content – in this case, 4K HDR10 or Dolby Vision video – it truly shines. A super-slim design alone wouldn’t have been enough to warrant the extra cost to upgrade to LG’s latest panel. But the thin frame on top of a Dolby Atmos soundbar on top of four types of HDR support on top of the magnetic mounting system on top of the new webOS 3.5 operating system surely did the trick. This incredibly gorgeous TV isn’t without its faults (see: motion handling, its sticker price and soundbar issues), but in terms of sheer picture performance there’s nothing else like it right now. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

Samsung KS9500 - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

3. Samsung QLED Q9F (2017)

Getting the hots for metal Quantum Dots

75-inch: Samsung QE75Q9F | 65-inch: Samsung QE65Q9F

Unprecedented colour levels
Ultra high brightness
Occasional backlight clouding
Limited viewing angles

It looks like someone on Samsung’s TV design team has been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. The 65-inch Q9 is a ringer for that film’s mysterious black monolith thanks to the way both its front and back sides are completely flat and feature ultra-robust, polished finishes. Ultra HD HDR playback is what the Q9F was created to do and, given Samsung’s potent HDR track record, it’s no surprise to find that it does it supremely well. Even though the Q9F has 4K HDR optimisation in its DNA, it’s capable of looking seriously good with high definition standard dynamic range content too.

Best TV - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

4. Sony Bravia A1E OLED

Sony’s brand-new TV for 2017 is returning to OLED

65-inch: Sony Bravia 65A1E | 55-inch: Sony Bravia 55A1E

Gorgeous picture quality
Startling, monolithic design
Innovative and excellent sound
It’s not very bright

If LG’s OLED isn’t your thing, spend some time checking out Sony’s new OLED.

The 55A1 – and the A1 OLED series overall – are crowd pleasers in just about every way. Their ‘picture only’ design has been beautifully realized, managing to be simultaneously subtle and dramatic. Their vibrating screen delivers a far more powerful and effective sound performance than I’d thought possible, too. The real stars of the show here, though, are the A1’s exquisitely detailed, contrast-rich and colorful pictures. These prove emphatically what we’ve long suspected: More brands using OLED technology can only lead to good things. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

LG OLED E6 - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

5. LG OLEDE7 Series (2017)

OLED just keeps getting better

55-inch: LG OLED55E7 | 65-inch: LG OLED65E7

Gorgeous, contrast-rich pictures
Incredibly thin design
Some brightness-related noise
LCD TVs are brighter

After kickstarting its 2017 OLED campaign with the sensational-but-expensive OLED W7, LG is now following that up with something rather more affordable. Picking the more affordable option means you have to forego the W7’s incredibly thin and flexible screen, as well as its external control box and speaker system. However, the OLED E7 still looks like a million bucks, still boasts an integrated soundbar that claims Dolby Atmos support, still boasts LG’s excellent webOS smart system, and still, most importantly of all, delivers pretty much identical picture quality to its more expensive sibling. For all those reasons and more, the E7 OLED is a worthwhile addition to any home theater.

Best TV - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

6. Sony Bravia XBR-X900E Series

This is the HDR flatscreen we’ve all been waiting for

Direct LED with local dimming
Excellent motion handling
Unfussy but elegant design
HDR is a bit dim

OK, so you don’t want Sony’s new A1E OLED or the fantastic-but-pricey ZD9. So what should you buy? Check out the X900E series. With superb 4K image clarity, powerful SDR-to-HDR remastering, and a smooth direct LED backlight, Sony is offering something very different with the X900E. We loved the consistency of its images, the eye-popping vibrancy of its wide color gamut panel and its easy-to-watch HDR – you get spectral highlights without accompanying eye fatigue. 

Given this set’s high-but-fair price point, any niggles we have are negligible. The X900E is highly recommended and deserved our Best in Class award. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

Best TV 2016 - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

7. Samsung JS8500 Series (2015)

The Samsung JS8500 series combines great value with sharp UHD pictures and a slick smart TV system

48-inch: Samsung UN48JS8500 | 55-inch: Samsung UN55JS8500 | 60-inch: Samsung UN65JS8500

Superb color and motion
Great all round picture quality
Some backlight clouding issues
Needs a large table to put it on

It’s hard to find a better value on the market than 2015’s JS8500 series. Their combination of an ultra bright panel and Quantum Dot color reproduction enables them to deliver levels of dynamism, color vibrancy and punch with UHD sources. The sets are attractive too, featuring slim bezels, gorgeous brushed metallic frames and minimalist T-shaped stand whose curved column reaches under and behind the TV, where it attaches.  

The bottom line, though, the JS8500’s superb color, awesome 4K detail and sublime depth make this one special TV and remains a good value way to sample Samsung’s impressive SUHD TVs even now, two years later.

Best TV - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

LG OLED B6 deals - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

8. LG OLEDB6 Series (2016)

If you like the idea of OLED technology but can’t afford LG’s previously mentioned OLEDE6 series…

55-inch: LG OLED55B6P | 65-inch: LG OLED65B6P

Gorgeous picture quality
Spectacularly thin design
LG’s webOS smart system
Detail clipping in bright areas
Occasional brief color noise

LG’s taken an unusual approach with its 2017 OLED TV range, choosing to base the differences across the series in the range more on design than picture quality concerns. So it is that while the entry level OLEDB6 series isn’t quite as ultra-slim and unfeasibly gorgeous as the premium ‘picture on glass’ OLEDE6 models, they do deliver broadly similar picture quality. Which is handy when you’re talking about the sort of beautifully high contrast, colour-rich, HDR-capable, 4K pictures LG’s OLED TVs are providing this year.

The OLEDB6 pictures lack some of the refinement of the more expensive OLEDE6 screens, and there’s slightly more potential for noise in dark areas. There’s also no support for 3D unlike LG’s other 2016 OLED ranges, and audio is noticeably thinner than that of the sound bar-equipped OLEDE6s. All that will likely matter about the OLEDB6 series for many AV fans, though, is that they represent the cheapest way to get your hands on LG’s latest and greatest OLED generation.

Best TV - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

sONY kd 75xd9405 DEALS - The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

9. Sony XBR-X930E Series (2017)

Sony turns to the bright side using its Slim Backlight Drive

65-inch: Sony XBR-65X930E | 55-inch: Sony XBR-55X930E

Blisteringly bright HDR images
Stunningly rich colors
Android TV is cumbersome
Runs sluggishly at times

The X930E Series builds on last year’s X930D series in a few important ways, the first of which is by including one of Sony’s new X1 Extreme chipsets. These are around 40% more powerful than the original X1 chips, and introduce separate databases to help the TV analyze noise and upscale sub-4K sources to the screen’s native 4K resolution. Add in an apparently much-improved sound system and Sony’s Triluminos technology for delivering today’s wider color ranges and the X930E series seems to tick all the right boxes. 

Unfortunately, though, even an improved version of Sony’s Slim Backlight Drive can’t completely hide the fact that with current edge LED technology there’s always a backlight-based price to pay for all that HDR-sating brightness. 

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

The Best TVs 2017: Which TV Should You Buy?

10. Samsung KS9800 Series (2016)

Samsung’s 2016 flagship UHD/HDR TV raised the bar

Stunning HDR picture quality
Appealing curved screen design
Some HDR backlight issues
Striping with UHD Blu-rays

When it came out, the KS9800 produced the most dramatic demonstration of what new high dynamic range technology was capable of. Its brightness in particular was unprecedented, which helped it deliver a much fuller sense of HDR’s expanded light range and color capabilities than we’d ever seen.

The screen features that helped it excel with HDR also made the UN65KS9800 gorgeous to behold with standard dynamic range sources, and it even sounds fantastic despite having no visible speakers. That said, it was expensive.

But instead of going straight for Samsung’s flagship from last year, consider LG’s E6 or G6 OLED TVs as well. The OLED screens deliver superior black levels, avoid backlight bleed issues and excel with standard dynamic range content, but the UN65KS9800 delivers more punch, dynamism and detail with HDR.

Continue on to page two to read about what to look for when buying a TV! 


Published at Wed, 10 May 2017 21:35:00 +0000

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