2018’s best TVs

LOOK­ING FOR THE BEST PIC­TURE BUT CON­FUSED BY THE HDR OLED 4K QLED JAR­GON? WE’RE HERE TO HELP WITH THIS ROUNDUP OF THE BEST SETS GO­ING.

TechLife Australia - - CONTENTS - [ BEN­NETT RING ]

IT’S BEEN EX­ACTLY 12 months since Tech­Life last sat back on the couch to gaze at the lat­est and great­est in TVs, so now is the per­fect time to zap some mi­crowave pop­corn, grab the re­mote and do it all again. With most of the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers re­cently re­leas­ing their lat­est ranges, we’ve grabbed six of the best TVs from these brands, as well as tak­ing a look at their over­all range for the year.

If you’re ex­pect­ing a rev­o­lu­tion like the in­tro­duc­tion of 3D, we’re sorry to dis­ap­point, be­cause 2018’s TV tech is more of an evo­lu­tion than a huge leap for­ward. Two panel tech­nolo­gies in par­tic­u­lar are now fight­ing it out to be the king of the hill — OLED ver­sus QLED. While OLED is bet­ter at pitch-per­fect blacks, as each pixel can be to­tally de­ac­ti­vated, QLED of­fers greater bright­ness, at up to twice the level of OLED in some cases.

The real news is the rapid adop­tion of High Dy­namic Range, or HDR, pan­els. These of­fer a much more ap­pre­cia­ble im­prove­ment in qual­ity than 4K res­o­lu­tion, as they can du­pli­cate a much vaster range of colours than non-HDR TVs. Colours are now true to life, with images that pop. There’s just one prob­lem — a mas­sive lack of con­tent. But as with all new TV tech­nolo­gies, we need the tech to be­come ubiq­ui­tous be­fore con­tent cre­ators start mak­ing the most of it.

And slowly but surely, the cat­a­logue of 4K HDR con­tent is start­ing to trickle out, both in the stream­ing world and on Ul­tra HD Blu-ray disks. Un­for­tu­nately, HDR is start­ing to get rather con­fus­ing, ini­tially start­ing with two vari­ants (HDR10 and Dolby Vi­sion) but now en­com­pass­ing five dif­fer­ent types. Along with the orig­i­nal two, we now have HDR10+, HLG and Ad­vanced HDR by Tech­ni­color, all of which have slightly dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments. And some man­u­fac­tur­ers are us­ing the term ‘HDR’ when their sets aren’t ac­tu­ally HDR ap­proved, as you’ll see in our run-down (and we’ll tackle that when it arises).

In the mean­time, sit back and re­lax as we re­veal our couch potato’s guide to 2018.

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