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Gamereactor UK

Gamereactor 4K TV Buyer's Guide

There are so many 4K TV options out there, but which to choose? Let us help you out.

It's certainly not easy to choose the "right" television these days. It's not a case of just walking into a shop, looking round, and purchasing a television right there and then any more. Careful consideration and research is needed to make sure you get more bang for your buck, and it's not only about the technical details of it all, it also comes down to personal taste. A certain kind of image might better suit a particular taste, for example, as some might care more about perfect blacks than others.

This also applies to input lag - the time it takes for the TV to receive the signal from your game console (or PC) and display it on the screen. Those who play professionally won't be content with monitors with a longer lag than two milliseconds, while playing on a 4K TV can see a lag of anywhere from 25 to 60 milliseconds. Here at Gamereactor we say this: anything between 20 to 55 milliseconds is clearly acceptable today for a TV, especially considering how much needs to be displayed on a screen panel operating at a resolution of 3840 x 2160.

There's much more to it, though. Maximum focus on the speed of the panel makes some users forget all other aspects of what makes a 4K TV good, or bad. If the built-in scaler and tuner/processor for the motion management in itself is poor, for example, it doesn't really matter how fast the panel is on paper, as the game you intend to enjoy is going to stumble, jitter, and look strange anyway. And here at Gamereactor, we look at all aspects, without getting to bogged down with technical mumbo-jumbo, to provide you with a comprehensive, yet easy to understand guide.

In this guide we also always take into account how well the screens we're testing perform when it comes to watching films as well, as this is important, considering that Ultra HD Blu-ray is available and takes advantage of the full resolution. We find it's important that the TV screens we recommend are good in both areas. We've collected a bunch of more or less recently released TVs that we've tested and deemed brilliant for both games and films, and below we've shared opinions and listed their current price, all in the hope that it will be helpful for those who are looking at buying a new 4K TV, right now.

Sony KD49XD7004
Price: £800.00
For those of you who do not feel the need to go nuts both in terms of costs or in terms of size (inches) Sony's small budget TV is an easy choice. KD49XD7004 not only supports 4K and HDR, but also offers really nice picture quality via a panel with low input lag and lovely motion management. Certainly there are some problems with edge lighting but it's of course expected, and there's nothing that makes us hesitate before recommending this TV. The black level's good, as is grey scale, and the built-in upscaling works very well.

LG 55UF950V
Price: £1,049.00
Although LG is well on its way to replacing this model right now, we at Gamereactor want to take this opportunity to promote it, because it's extremely good. Sure, the blackness of 55UF950V isn't great if you put it up next to the Philips 65PUS7601, but everything else is massively impressive. The picture is smooth, cinematic, and calm, for instance, and the colours are verging on perfect. Even the upscaling of 1080p signal to 4K works very, very well, and the built-in operating system WebOS 3 and the included Magic Remote are the best on the market, no matter the price range. The panel could be faster (56 ms input lag when we measured it) but on the other hand, the total package is so good that we're absolutely not going to whine about that. The replacement screen 65UH850 is even better.

Price: £2,999.00
This TV if pretty expensive, we know, but it's also the very best. With the new software upgrade that makes the panel faster (ideal for those who intend to play in 4K), there's no longer any real concern with input lag (which now stands at a super-impressive 28 ms) and the image quality itself is dazzling. We're talking brilliant. It offers not only the best blacks and colours, but also outrageously good grey scale which is now packed in detail (something that was a concern of LG's first OLED screens). WebOS and LG's Magic Remote are also the best of their kind in today's TV climate. There is nothing that beats it, besides the big brother LG OLED E6 of course.

Philips 65PUS7601
Price: £2,399
Considering what you get for the money you spend, there's currently no better choice on the entire market than this. Philips 65PUS7601 is consistently amazing, boasting reference screen OLED fragrant blacks while being a LED, also having a quick panel (31 ms input lag) and very good motion handling and scaling. It's no exaggeration to call this TV one of the most complete and impressive packages we've ever handed out grades to here at Gamereactor - it's that good. Whether you intend to play games in 4K, play Wii U, watch a Blu-ray film, or gawp at Ultra HD Blu-ray in 4K, this is an easy choice. The remote is wonderful too, and the aesthetic design of the TV is also great. Sure there are faster 65" TVs out there, especially from Samsung, but the 7601 looks better. Deeper blacks and more fluid movements inside the panel make it an easy-choice, if you ask us.

Samsung KS8005
Price: £$3,599.00 USD (roughly £2,891.92)
With its patented Quantum Dot technology, Samsung proves that they belong among the top in terms of LED screens and the KS8005 series is no exception. In fact, this is one of the best screens that you can buy for your money right now, especially for those who intend to play a lot on their TV. This is because the panel is blazingly fast, with only 18ms input lag, and it's better than pretty much anything in this regard, even though competitors such as Philips, LG, and Panasonic manage to cut down the delay in their latest models with software updates. Stunning blacks, lovely motion handling, and brutally good user interface all reinforce the fact this is a great choice. You get an external box to connect all your sources too, and the remote is tiny and very cleverly designed. It's also worth pointing out that this TV is also best at 1080p material despite its 4K panel.