Value Electronics, a Scarsdale, NY retailer, recently hosted its 13th annual HDTV Shootout. Each year, the store invites television and AV experts to view and rate the top HDTVs on the market in a variety of categories. This year’s results are in, so what is the best HDTV for 2016?
The Test for the Best HDTV
The Value Electronics team spent two days showing off this year’s contestants to the experts. The HDTVs faced off on an equal playing field. The sets were all at the same height, with similar lighting conditions, and arranged in alphabetical order by manufacturer name. Each set was also professionally calibrated for both day and night modes prior to the competition.
Experts judged the HDTVs in nine categories:
- Black Quality
- Perceived Contrast
- Color Accuracy
- Off-Axis Performance
- Screen Uniformity
- HDR/WCG Performance
- Overall Day Performance
- Overall Night Performance
The Contestants for the Best HDTV
Value Electronics selected four flagship HDTVs for this year’s competition. All of the models featured 4K resolution and a screen size of at least 65 inches.
The Sony XBR75X940D comes with full-array local dimming technology for better contrast, HDR, and wider color gamut. The TV is only 2 inches (5cm) thick which should make mounting a snap, and it includes Sony’s X-Reality Pro processing engine for upscaling content to 4K and improving the picture quality on low-quality source material. The XBR75X940D has a 4.5 rating at Amazon.
The Samsung KS9800 is a curved 4K SUHD TV featuring Quantum Dot color technology and support for HDR. Although it’s the only curved model in this year’s shootout, that factor alone wasn’t considered. However, the curved design may turn off some potential buyers due to its limited utility and negative effect on off-angle viewing. It’s also available in 65- and 88-inch variants for $4,499 and $19,999, respectively. The 78-inch model has a single 5-star rating at Amazon.
The LG 65G6P is the only OLED HDTV in this year’s competition. It features a 4K flat 65-inch screen with HDR and LG’s webOS 3.0 Smart TV Platform in a thin 2.6-inch design. An LG OLED HDTV won the Value Electronics Shootout in 2014 and 2015, so the 65G6P had high expectations coming into this year’s contest. It has a 5 star user rating at Amazon based on 6 reviews.
Although less expensive than the 65-inch LG OLED, the Vizio is 10 inches smaller than the Sony model at the same price. It supports HDR, but only via the Dolby Vision format, while the other HDTVs support the open HDR10 standard. Still, this is Vizio’s flagship model, with a full-array local dimming backlight and an integrated soundbar and subwoofer package. It’s only available direct from Vizio.
Judges scored each HDTV from 1 to 10 on the nine criteria, with 10 being highest or best. The average of the scores represents each TV’s result for a category.
|Moving Resolution (Sharpness)||8.0||7.2||7.8||6.9|
|Overall Day Performance||8.3||8.1||8.7||7.1|
|Overall Night Performance||9.4||7.6||8.2||6.8|
The results are in, and Value Electronic’s best HDTV of 2016 is the LG OLED65G6P. The LG won 8 of the 9 categories, falling narrowly only to the Sony in Overall Daytime Performance.
This picture quality comes at a cost, however. The LG OLED isn’t the most expensive model in the competition, but it’s $2,000 more than both the Vizio Reference Series of the same size as well as the larger 75-inch Sony.
If you’re intrigued by the OLED’s results but can’t bring yourself to drop $8,000 on a new HDTV, LG makes a cheaper line of OLED models. 55-inch 1080p models start around $1,500, while 4K OLEDs start at $2,800.
For more on the 2016 Value Electronics HDTV Shootout, check out Episode 748 of the HDTV & Home Theater Podcast.