Tom is buying a new TV today and wants to know what to get. Leo says it depends on his budget. If he's spending a few thousand, then OLED is the way to go. Better yet, he should get a larger size than he would think. If he's at less than a 10' viewing distance, 55" is OK, but Leo likes 70". HDR makes a significant difference if he likes to watch movies. 4K, for sure. But everything else in the chain has to be 4K HDR in order to get the benefit.
Scott has been reviewing the LG 55C8 OLED TV and he's pretty impressed with it. It has an automatic calibration utility, but you'd need the meter and software to do it. Once you have that, it will run the calibration and set your TV automatically. There is a bug, however, found by the gang at AVS Forum, but SpectraCal, the company that wrote the auto calibration app, is fixing it. The bug only affects 100% saturated colors, so it has minimum effect since content rarely includes colors that are 100% saturated.
Mark has a 2012 Panasonic Viera and wants to know if he should upgrade to 4K. Leo says that the Viera was a plasma TV and it's really the best quality there is. And it still works! Yes, there's 4K, yes there's HDR. But 4K is only important if he's really close to the screen. Chances are, it won't be all that much of a difference. HDR, on the other hand, offers superior dynamic range. But unless he sees them side by side, he might not notice it. So Leo advises keeping that plasma TV until it dies. He can always upgrade then. And when he does, he's going to want to get an OLED.
Norm has an LG OLED C6 TV. It's the curved one. He loves the HDR and Dolby Vision. He got the Comcast 4K X1 DVR as well, and he's been enjoying the replay of the Olympics in 4K HDR. But there is a drawback — he's seeing some ghosting. Leo says that he can reset that by turning it off for a few days. OLED doesn't have permanent burn-in, so letting it rest for awhile can solve the problem, in theory anyway.
Glen is thinking about buying an OLED TV, and wants to know which one to get — Sony or LG? Which one is more powerful processor-wise? Leo says that Sony isn't doing very well in the TV business, while LG is holding Strong. From a technology viewpoint, it really is a matter of taste. Both make excellent TVs. The chatroom says that Sony has better support.
Scott was at CES this week, putting over 26 miles on his feet in four days. And while there really wasn't much technology for most categories, there were some exciting announcements for home theater including a new MicroLED TV. This contains microscopic LEDs that are less than 1mm in size emitting red, green and blue. The advantage is that microLED can get a lot brighter than OLED or plasma and it can be dimmed down to nothing. So you get incredible blacks and really bold colors.
This week was the Flat Panel Shoot Out for HDTVs, and Scott has the results. This year, the shootout took place in association with CE week and featured mostly flagship TVs in a head to head evaluation. All TVs were professionally calibrated and fed the same TV feed. Then professional colorists made the determination of what TVs were best. There was also a Sony 30" OLED Broadcast video monitor which was used as the standard to compare to.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how January is the big time to buy a new TV because the NFL playoffs are in full swing and people want their new TV before the Super Bowl. It's also the time that TVs get discounted because TVs we see announced at CES will begin selling in the Spring. Is there any upgrade we'll see in 2018 worth waiting for? Scott says maybe not, but CES always has something new coming and Scott has heard of something that is really exciting. But on the whole, Scott only expects incremental improvements, or what Leo calls "fins" this year.
Matthew's Pioneer Elite TV has finally died. He was all set to buy one of the new UHD TVs, and then he ran into someone who told him about OLED. Leo says that OLED is UHD as well. Matthew currently has a Plasma, but all the companies have stopped making those. Leo says the best technology these days is OLED, though, anyway. They do have some issues, but in general, OLED is capable of blacker blacks and whiter whites, a better dynamic range. More than 4K and the higher resolutions, the thing that you're really getting from these new TVs is High Dynamic Range.
David is seeing "banding" when he's watching his HDTV. What is that? Leo says that banding usually indicates compression and comes from the source material. If he wants to test it, he should hook up his TV to a Blu-Ray player and play a Blu-ray DVD. He won't see any banding because there's no compression there. But when he watches on satellite or streaming Netflix, he'll see it because the signal is compressed.