Well the price of UHD (aka 4K) has just collapsed. Three years ago a 4K monitor cost $5K now a basic one is more like $500. But if you want a monstrous 70″ one what’s a person to do. Rtings.com is really helpful with detailed reviews and buying guides. They even tell you the best time of year to buy TVs (basically during Black Friday and in the spring when the model is discontinued with Black Friday being great as you get 6 months more modern technology).
In terms of things to watch out for:
- the mandatory is 4K video of course
- motion blur if you watch sports (120 Hz panel)
- local dimming (for movies so black is really black) and the nerd features are HDR which is technically call rec. 2020 (so the colors are really punch)
- true 4:4:4 (for the same reason).
- 10-bit panel. This means more colors vs the mid-range 8-bit panel
- Rec 20-20. Finally there is something called Wide dynamic range coming which is even more colors.
9to5Toys and Rtings.com have a great listing of sales that are going on and the most interesting is the Vizio 70″ (wow!)E3 going for $1K at Bestbuy.com. It is always hard to tell the specs of the various models, but rtings.com has a great decoder ring for Vizio.
Best for the casual viewer who wants size: Samsung 70″ KU6300 at $1300
From Rtings.com, they like this one at $1300 from Amazon. It has a 7.5/10 rating with the low points being no local dimming to get truer blacks but has pretty poor motion blur so not good for sports. It’s a good value choice if you want size and decent quality. It is 4:4:4 with a true 10 bit panel but it is not wide color.
Best for a budget conscious videophile: Samsung 65″ KS8000 at $1500
Sometimes if you move up a little bit you get more of the cool features. This one is 8.3/10 at rtings.com. It is about $200 more than the KU6300 but look you are going to own this thing for years. $1500 at Amazon. The big downside to this television is that local dimming is just Ok and there is fall off at wide viewing angles and compared with it’s KU6300 brother, motion blur is no existent because it is a true 120 hertz panel.
Great value for sports in a home theater: Vizio M series 70″ at $1700
The mid range M series is a really good quality TV. It is 7.8/10 at rtings.com. It’s local dimming (movies) and motion blur (sports) works really well but it is not a bright TV, so you want it in a basement or home theater and isn’t true HDR (so true movie loves will not like it as much.
Not such a great deal: Vizio E series 70″ at $1000
E Series. ($1K for 70″ at or $300 off) There is a 1080p/HD version you probably do not want, but the 4K version is an entry level system. The main problem is that the local dimming doesn’t work super well and the motion blur is not very good so not great for sports. Also for nerds it is not high dynamic range and doesn’t actually display all the colors, it is a 4:2:2 set where 4:4:4 is the best.
And if money is no object: Vizio P Series 75″ at $3600 or the 75″ Samsung KS9000 at $4000
OK this is a really nice television and if you are at this level I’m not sure why you wouldn’t get get the very best Samsung for $400 more, the main issue is that local dimming doesn’t work super well (particularly compared with the Vizio P Series) but has wider color (more punchy for movies), so a little bit of a toss up.
The Vizio P series scores 8.1/10 but that is only because the sound isn’t great (who cares on a TV this big, you will have a home theater system) and the smart tv features (again not super important). On the all important picture quality it’s motion blur, local dimming and 10-bit panel all work. And it is nearly 4:4:4 on output. $3600 at Best Buy.
Kickass Computer Monitor: 43″ Sony X800D for $600 or 49″ for $640 or the 40″ Samsung KU6300 for $400
We had been buying the Philips 40″ monitors but they stopped shipping them. Now it is clear why, with regular monitors providing 4:4:4, 60 Hertz, there is no need for a special monitor. So either get the really amazing LG 27″ 4K at $600 (which doesn’t really show off 4K by the way) as well as 32″ or even 40″. At 40″ a monitor works really differently. It works much better to have static panes when you have a development system.
But some good ones according to rtings.com are:
Sony X800D 43″. $600 at Amazon. This is a nice 43″ monitor but isn’t good for bright lights which could be a problem in an office. But most of the time you want to be light controlled anyway. This is a VA panel so not much wider viewing area than the cheap TN panels used on low end 4K displays. The monitor also calibrates very well for photo and video editing. It also wide gamut although not HDR REC 20-20. It is a native 60 Hz display and supports true 4:4:4 chroma sampling so works well as a computer monitor. You need to make sure you have a modern HDMI output for drive the thing at 4Kp60
And for $50 more at Amazon, you can upgrade to a 49″ desktop monitor, now that would be an amazing computer monitor.
Finally as we previous looked at the KU6300 is a nice choice for a monitor and hard to beat at $400 for a 40″ on Amazon.com