HDR or High Dynamic Range was the latest thing for televisions in the year 2017. Contrast Ratio and Colour Accuracy are the two most important factors in how a TV performs or looks. With HDR, both contrast and colour are significantly enhanced and expanded. Meaning, bright parts of an image will be much brighter, so the image seems to have more “depth.” Colours will show more bright and deeper blues, greens, reds and everything in between.
Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) is also coming along with HDR, and that brings a higher level and wider range of colours to the table. Colours that, so far, were impossible to reproduce on any television back then. Example, the reds of an apple, the deep violet of an eggplant, and even the green leaves.
At the last quarter of 2017, we are seeing HDR ready 4K TVs with sizes ranging from 32 inches and up. Now that 4K TVs are becoming more affordable than ever, let the brand race to bring us these stunning new TVs at affordable prices.
The year 2018 will definitely see a massive growth in 4K content and 4K gaming both with HDR that will continue to be a hot topic.
Will Smart TVs replace the desktop computer in 2018 and will set-top boxes lose their importance? 2017 promises to be a very active year as far as TVs and TV accessories are concerned and we’ll bring you every piece of news, reviews and updates from a UK perspective, so stay tuned!
TopUpTV.co.uk 2017 AWARDS
Best Value Small Screen TV of 2017
- 24-inch LCD TV
- Built-in 16W Bluetooth speaker
- Native Full HD resolution
- USB for multimedia playback
Best Value Large Screen TV of 2017
- 43 Inch 4K Smart TV
- IPS 4K Panel
- 1900 PMI
- Multi HDR Support
- LG Ultra Luminance
Best 4K Smart TV – Overall Winner of 2017
LG OLED E7 Series
- 65 Inch 4K Smart TV
- Intense Color on Perfect Black
- Local Dimming
- Active HDR with Dolby Vision™
- Dolby Atmos®
- webOS 3.5 Smart TV
EXPERT TV REVIEWS FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM!
With the advancement in technology, many manufacturers, jargons, smart TV apps, operating systems and screen sizes, it becomes very hard for buyers to choose the best TV. Everywhere you need entertainment, you need a TV, whether it if your poolside, campervan, motorhome or home cinema.
Every manufacturer offers a different product in terms of features and operating system. On the other hand, buyers choose a product depending on their needs and the budget they have allocated for.
TopUpTV.co.uk is the official TV and TV accessory review website of Top Upminster Technology Venture, a UK based TV research and the news business.
Technology keeps on evolving. One brand that was top of the market last year might be completely faced out by the entry of new products that offer a superior design at almost the same price.
Here we look at the best TVs in the UK in 2017 and the features that they come with. The ones with Internet connectivity and apps (like smartphones) are called smart TVs, with the most popular being in 32 up to 70-inch sizes. We have reviewed the best smart TVs in the UK in 2016 and 2017 in this article. We’ve also reviewed all kinds of Android TV boxes and TV services like Apple TV and BT TV.
Here at Top Upminster Technology Venture, we’ve reviewed televisions in every category. We use a very clear and to the point reviewing process where we focus on the actual usability of the television and not the technical jargon.
4K (Ultra HD) TVs
The 4K (Ultra HD) TVs is storming the market in 2017 and if you’re looking to buy a TV set that offers high fidelity, sharper and crisper images, then 4K (Ultra HD) TVs will offer you just that. Far better quality images than what is available in any 1080p TVs.
BT sports are joining the bandwagon and plan to offer live premier league games on the ultra HD platform. There is a whole more than just 3840 x 2160 resolutions.
It makes use of various technologies such as HDR, Quantum Dot and OLED are able to deliver movies with amazing levels of picture quality. This makes UHD more than just the number of pixels.
LG is a South Korean multinational company that manufactures electronics.
Sony is a Japanese multinational company with headquarters in Tokyo Japan that specializes in electronics, games, music and movies production.
Samsung is a multinational company based in Korea that manufactures a wide range of electronic devices such as TVs and mobile phones.
Panasonic manufactures electronics. It is based in Osaka, Japan.
Toshiba is a Japan based electronics company.
This is an American based company that specializes in the production of consumer electronics goods.
Curved TVs hit the market in 2013. LG, Samsung and Sony have continually invested in curved TVs especially in the year 2015. Curved TVs offer a better viewing experience than normal due to the following reasons. The field of view is wider than flat TVs. With the image outwards towards the viewer, the image appears wider than viewing on a normal flat screen TV. This is despite the fact that two TVs might be of equal screen size.
Another distinguishing feature that places curved TVs over the flat screen types is that the contrast in curved TVs is better. Due to the curvature, the curved TVs focus the light to your eyes at a higher intensity than the flat screen. Therefore the image appears sharper and projected. The home cinema experience can be enhanced with a curved TV and the right home cinema speakers or a soundbar if you don’t have space for surround speakers.
Curved TVs also offer a uniform viewing distance. Curved TVs are known to track the curved edges of our eyes thus providing us with a more comfortable and focused image than the flat screen TVs.
Another benefit that comes with watching curved TVs is that they enhance the sense of depth. Watching movies and TV shows on a curved TV almost feel as if you are watching it on 3D even though the source might be 2 dimensional. Curving the edges of the images outwards enhances the depth perception of the viewer.
Organic light emitting diode or OLED TVs is a new TV technology that allows the creation of thinner or slimmer TVs than what LCD or plasma can provide. Apart from the sleekness, these TVs are also efficient and eco-friendly. This technology is achieved by placing an organic carbon-based film between two conductors. An electric current is then passed through making the film to emit light.
The main difference with LCD TVs is that LCDs use a backlight to produce the light. The OLED pixels generate and emit their own light. OLED technology comes in two different types. Active matrix (AMOLED) and passive matrix (PMOLED).
OLED TVs use active matrix since it each individual pixel can be switched on and off. This is the type used for TVs since it is better in displaying motions. In the UK, there are only two manufacturers that have launched the OLED TV technology, LG and Samsung.
There is a big difference in the OLED TVs offered by the two manufacturers. Samsung uses the earlier red blue and green pixel format and no colour filters which are similar to plasma TVs. On top of the red blue and green colours, LG adds white to make it WRGB pixel structure. To achieve this effect, LG uses a white light which is shone through the three other colours, red blue and green. This results in a brighter image. OLED technology offers benefits over the traditional LCD panels.
OLED TVs are much lighter than the LCD TVs. Due to the lack of backlight; they are also thinner as compared to their LCD counterparts. The picture quality of OLED TVs is much clearer and enhanced. Due to the direct emission of light by OLED TVs, the viewing angle is wider and enhanced.
Contrast and quality of colour remain the same even if you are watching at 90 degrees from the centre. OLED TVs can also achieve infinite and black contrast ratio because of the possibility of turning off each individual pixel. There is minimised blur.
Led TVs is a type of LCD TVs that use light emitting diode technology to provide the backlight. Standard LCD TVs use the cold cathode fluorescent lights to provide the backlight. Led TVs consume much lower power compared to LCD TVs. Led TVs also have a more efficient way of converting power to the light. This means that there is lighter and less heat in the conversion process.
Led technologies used today are categorized into three. Edge-lit led is the most commonly used among the three. With this technology, the display panels can be very thin. With the edge-lit technology, LEDs are arranged at the edges of the screen and sometimes behind the screen. Image contrast is enhanced since the individual LEDs can be switched on and off.
Although manufacturers have ceased production of plasma TVs, there are many that are still in use. Plasma TVs are considered among the best when it comes to darkroom viewing and wider viewing angles. Plasma TVs are available from 37 inches to 100 inches. These TV dimensions are measured diagonally. Manufacturers of plasma TVs include Samsung, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Funai, Proscan and Sanyo.
The main advantage of using plasma TVs is the black level performance. Black level performance refers to the intensity of black in the display which makes the image sharper by compensating for the ambience. High-end models offer excellent picture quality. They have a high refresh rate that provides a smooth picture and minimal motion blur. They are not cumbersome and they can be mounted on walls.
Full HD (1080p) TVs
Also referred to as ultra HD, this is a TV display that provides better image sharpness and quality than the original HDTV. The image resolution is 1920 by 1080 pixels.
A smart TV, which is sometimes called a connected TV, refers to any television that has internet connectivity that allows it to access varying online services. Smart TVs provide normal broadcast content while still giving users access to online interactive media and live media streaming.
In order to access smart features provided by smart TVs, users have to have a reliable internet connection at home. This can be accessed through the inbuilt Wifi or through the Ethernet cables. Read more about what smart TVs are and should you buy a smart TV.
With the popularity of smart TVs and growing competition among brands, you can buy a 4K smart TV or even a 50 inch smart TV under 500 pounds. You can buy an entry-level small screen smart TV for 200 pounds, with some of the best rated smart TVs available under 1000 pounds.
These are televisions that use the liquid crystal technology to display content on the screen. These TVs consume less power as compared to plasma televisions. Users prefer LCD TVs over the cathode ray tube TVs due to their lighter weight and slim design.
3d TV also called stereoscopic TV is a kind of TV technology that tries to make viewing more of a reality. 3d TV in general terms is watching 3D content in the movies or on our TVs at home. This is aided by the use of 3d glasses. There are different 3d TVs on the market all intended for different niches.
For the movie lovers, an active shutter 3d TV will display each and every pixel as of a 3D full HD formatted movie or film. Plasma from Samsung or Panasonic will be ideal. The bigger the size the better the 3d viewing experience. Some of the most popular 3d TVs on the market today include Panasonic’s VT30 Series which are among the best.
Along with traditional Freeview which requires an aerial, Freeview Play offers to catch up and on-demand television streamed over the internet from the television set. It is aimed at smart TV users whose television sets have access to internet connectivity and can stream online content such as music videos or movies. With Freeview Play enabled, you can watch BBC Iplayer, iTV player and channel 4 through an electronic programming guide.
There are TVs with built-in Freesat, Freeview or Youview where all you need is the TV set and you’ve good to start watching free channels, without having to subscribe to a paid service like Sky TV.
Most Common TV Sizes
Television sets come in different sizes ranging from 32 inches to 75 inches. People choose in size depending on their budget and needs. Movie lovers will go for the bigger screens for a better viewing experience.
Know TV Jargons
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR combines the best elements of several photos of the same scene, shot with different exposures. But with TVs, it’s all about improving the contrast between the darker and brighter parts of a scene.
Dolby Vision is a variant of HDR. Basically, it’s an HDR format with dynamic metadata.
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)
It’s the technology designed to deliver a convenient HDR solution for the world of broadcast TV. It combines standard dynamic range and high dynamic range images into just one video signal that can play as SDR on SDR screens, or HDR on HLG HDR-compatible screens.
HDR10 is the industry standard for High Dynamic Range in consumer televisions as of 2017. This “open” format technology is the first generation and is a technology that tells the display the content is being viewed on how bright things should be. To carry that information from the original studio monitor through to your living room.
Reflection is a common occurrence during daytime viewing. The light coming through the windows can fall on the viewing area thus reducing the contrast of the material on the screen. If light hits the screen directly, it becomes very difficult to view any content through that reflection. There are some TV brands that have managed to overcome that through adjustment of TV brightness.
In a television, the input lag is the duration of time that elapses from the moment an image is generated by a source; to the time that image appears on the screen. Input lag is important for gamers who participate in fast games such as Shooters. A slow input lag will affect the reaction time of the gamer.
Viewing angle refers to the maximum distance which is possible to view the screen of a television without loss of brightness and colour shifts. Viewing angle can be directly related to the contrast ratio. This is mainly a concern with LCD TVs.
Black and Grey Uniformity
This is a problem that is mostly associated with LED TVs. This normally happens when some parts of the screen are brighter than others. This affects colour and the black levels of the television. Due to the edge lighting of LED TVs, the left and right edges are brighter than the centre thus causing an imbalance.
The aspect ratio of TV is the measure or proportion between the width and the height and is normally expressed as w:h. A TV displaying images at an aspect ratio of 4:3 means that for a width of 4 units, the height must be 3.
The refresh rate of a television is the number of frames the television can display per second. It is measured in Hertz. 1 hertz is equivalent to 1 second. For a TV with a refresh rate of 120 hertz, it means that the TV can display 120 frames per second.
Fake Refresh Rate
A Fake Refresh Rate is marketing trend used by TV manufacturing companies. Some quote that their TV brands have a refresh rate of 120 hertz while in effect it is 60 Hertz. Watching a TV said to have a refresh rate of 120 hertz and that with 60 hertz has no difference. They offer the same response time.
Local dimming is the technology that alters backlighting uniformity of a led screen. Some luminous zones are changed which lead to a better scene reflection and deeper blacks. This effect greatly improves LCD and led TVs since they have a weaker black level.
3D Plasma Filter
A filter helps in minimizing the light that reflects off from the screen. This effect is mostly observed in rooms with a lot of light or when watching movies during the day. For a plasma TV, a filter reduces the brightness of the picture.
Judder occurs when the refresh rate of a TV panel does not match with the frequency of a 24 HZ video. This leads to uneven images. Some TV manufacturers have tried to overcome this effect using technology that tries to smoothen out the pictures.
Motion blur is a phenomenon that occurs when the TV screen cannot be able to process the fast movements of images on the screen. Games and sports which are fast programmed cause this problem on many TVs. This problem is more prevalent on LCD TVs.
This refers to the ratio of the luminosity of the darkest black and the whitest light that a TV can produce. The higher the contrast ratio, the better the display.
Wide Colour Gamut
WCG is a word referring to a technology that enables a display to display colours to an increase in colour accuracy making red redder, green greened, and blue be bluer.
With so many brands of televisions, UK consumers are spoilt for choice. The innovations are breathtaking and consumers should choose what suits their needs and budget-wise. However, being wise is not always easy especially if you do not know what you are looking for. So better do your research, check the market, and find that TV that gives the best value for your money. Remember, TV’s are an investment and not just any ordinary gadgets.
Before you move forward to check any information on Top Up TV, we want to clarify that after the discontinuation of services from Top Up TV, a new team has taken over this domain name and is currently making it a TV review blog.