LG has long been a supplier of LCD panels for TVs from other major brands. And as the main manufacturer of TV-sized OLED panels, they’ve stepped up their game recently to launch a range of TVs that have been winning praise and awards around the world. The C7 is quite a special thing, too. It’s got it all, from a gorgeous HDR picture with support for Dolby Vision, a fast 1ms response time that will please gamers, a quad-core processor driving the smooth and fully-featured smart TV interface… And of course, those perfect blacks that only OLED can truly deliver. It’s wafer thin and the screen’s almost borderless. Fed with a 4K source (whether it’s Netflix or UHD disc) the picture quality is breathtaking.
This model features Sony’s new “Slim Backlight Drive+” to achieve local-dimming illumination. All without causing the TV to bulk out in thickness like the more complex (and much more expensive) full-array LED backlight, which more than doubles the price. It works beautifully, letting the legendary Sony LCD picture quality shine. Few manufacturers understand how to get the most out of LCD like Sony. This model is no exception, with superb video processing backed up by full support for HDR. It’s also powered at the “smart” level by Android TV, which gives you a crisp, fast and versatile interface. It not only comes with the usual apps for Netflix, Stan and the rest, but can directly stream movies from Google Play, has a Chromecast built in, and can download hundreds of additional apps to expand functionality.
STANDARD 4K LCD
This is a stunning LCD screen available at an incredibly low price – well less than half the price of the two models above. Samsung’s ultra HD TVs feature the company’s own LCD panels, which have been acclaimed over many years as the best around – even Sony uses them! There’s a lot of bang for your back here, with no compromises made on picture quality despite the lower price. Samsung’s well-liked SmartHub is the smart interface on this one. You’ll find apps for every streaming service under the sun along with a bunch of other useful things; it’s a well-supported platform. It also enables the use of your phone or tablet as a fully-featured remote control, complete with info about what you’re currently watching.
FULL HD LCD
An Android-powered full HD (1080p) TV for those who aren’t ready to head all the way to 4K, or simply find the HD delivered by Blu-ray, Netflix and free-to-air to be plenty of quality for them. Boasting Sony’s usual picture quality and graced with surprisingly robust speakers for a modern slim TV, this one looks great, sounds great and is a joy to use thanks to the Android interface. With voice search from the remote control and built-in Chromecast, it has more than a few party tricks up its sleeve as well!
Spoilt for choice
It’s a buyer’s market when it comes to big-screen TVs these days, and there’s a ton of value available even at the more budget end of the scale. The thing to keep in mind is that while “you get what you pay for” still holds some weight, most of the lower-end models from the respected name brands will deliver picture quality and performance you’ll be happy with. The TVs we’ve mentioned here are the “best of the best.” However, think about what’s important to you before making such a large investment. Extra tips:
- Stick to the big brands – they’re the companies that actually make the tech in their TVs
- If you don’t have any 4K sources (UHD player or game console) then you probably don’t need 4K
- OLED is incredible tech, but currently has a shorter lifespan than LCD
Chances are you’ll be able to find a TV that suits your needs for a lot less than you think. But even at the higher end, the level of quality and features available on the pricier TVs is far, far ahead of what you would have gotten for the price even a few short years ago.