The Best TV

main cover 2
Last Updated: February 15, 2018

After around 3 months of research, rating and reviewing televisions, we pick the best tv’s in India. If you’re want a top pick, the Samsung Series 5 K5570 is a great Full HD  television, with excellent ratings and reviews. It has rich colors, vibrant images, deep blacks, great contrast and works well in bright lit conditions too. We love it’s picture quality, the smart features and the overall design.

In this article we tell you what size TV you should buy, why we don’t recommend getting a 4k UHD television right now and also pick a few cheaper alternatives that are great performers.

 

The Best TV for most people 

1. Samsung Series 5 K5570

samsung

The Samsung K5570 is a top-of-the-line Full HD television from Samsung. It has rich colors, vibrant images, deep blacks, great contrast and works well in bright lit conditions too.We love it’s picture quality, the smart features and the overall design. Samsung has given this TV, it’s internal rating of 400PQI which is the highest in Samsung’s Full HD television range in India.

Check on Amazon Check on Flipkart

 

2. LG Smart 43LH600T

lg

LG’s 43LH600T is a smart TV that brings in all the magnificence of the IPS panel. IPS TVs have a wide viewing angle suitable for use in a bright living room. The contrasts and the brightness levels are not as high as the Samsung, but the color reproduction is accurate and overall the image is very pleasing to the eye. The IPS TV with wider viewing angle and faster pixel response time is suitable for watching sports and fast paced movies especially in a room where some seating might be at an angle. LG’s webOS 3.0 is one of the best smart interfaces and made better with the Magic Remote that lets you point and click on the TV screen.

Check on Amazon Check on Flipkart

 

A Budget non-Smart Pick

3.  VU Full HD  40D6575

vu

If you want a cheap TV or one for your second room, the VU Play Series Full HD 40D6575 is a great budget pick. The brightness and the contrast are good and overall its colors are fairly accurate. The blacks are not very uniform and viewing angles are not too good as with most VA tv’s. The unit has a VGA port which maybe handy if you wish to connect a pc to it. Overall performance is great at the price.

Check on Amazon Check on Flipkart

 

Buying a TV is possibly the most confusing thing you will do. It’s an industry filled with acronyms and confusing terms and when you go to a showroom you are faced with a dazzling array of TV’s in all sizes, all in their showroom demo modes with pumped up lighting and maxed out contrasts playing uncompressed 4k videos. None of this is what you get when you start the TV at home. While we haven’t tested all the TV’s side by side at the same time, we have done over 3 months of research and have tested several of the models, including our top picks in houses and other real life situations. We aim to demystify televisions and help you pick the right TV.

What Size TV should you buy ?

This is the first step in deciding which TV to buy. Hint: it’s bigger than you think. Bigger and sitting closer is usually better when it comes to choosing the perfect television for your room. The ideal is to have a screen that fills a certain amount of your field of view. You get that immersive experience in a movie theatre because of the big screen that fills up your entire field of vision. Of course for getting that experience you’ll need to get a  projector at home, but still, you get the point.

However the closer you sit the more details and pixels you will notice. So if you get a full HDTV and sit too close and watch regular Non-HD channel on it, it’s bound to be pixelated and will be a strain for your eyes. By increasing your distance from the TV this pixelation will decrease, producing a better image. However, if you sit too far from your TV (the distance relative to the TV’s size), you won’t be able to see all the details in the image. That means that if you sit too far away from a HDTV, the picture will look like what you’d get on a non-HD television set.

In most modern-day flats and residences, the distance from the seating to the television is around 6-7 feet. At this distance, the optimal size for watching Full HD 1080p signal is on a TV between 43 inch and 49 inch. For watching 720p content the recommended TV size goes down to 32″to 39″ and for 4K content you can get a TV as big an 70 inches.

Thus, for the purpose of this review, we picked a 43-inch TV as the size that would be suited for most people. If you sit farther and need a bigger TV, just pick a bigger model in the same series.

To understand fully well which size TV you should buy, we recommend using the calculator on Rtings.com.

Should I buy a 4k UHD TV?

“4k” or Ultra HD tv’s have 4 times the number of pixels 3840 x 2160 – as compared to a Full HD 1080p screen (1920 x 1080). The best part of  a UHD TV is to be able to sit closer to your TV and still watch everything without the image breaking down. Sitting closer allows the screen to fill more of your field of vision, which yields greater immersion.

size

However this is possible only if you are watching genuine 4k content. While UHD TV’s have been around for a while, in India, out of around 900 channels available, we have 90 HD channels and 6 UHD channels. This again varies with every DTH or cable provider. Apart from DTH and Cable, we have Netflix Premium which offers Ultra HD channels but you’ll need a truly fast internet with unlimited bandwidth to enjoy that. 

It is estimated that by 2020, there may be around 10 – 20 channels.


So, what happens to HD and Standard definition content on a 4K TV? 

A 4k TV doesn’t improve the picture quality of lower quality content. To present non 4k content UHD TV, the TV has to perform a process called upscaling. This process increases the pixel count of a lower-resolution image, essentially multiplying and adding the same pixel 4 times around the original to expand the image. It’s important to note that the signal is the same and you won’t see any more detail than what’s on the signal. Most 4k TV’s have capable processors that do a good job in blowing up the image – but you aren’t watching “4k” for sure.

What about future proofing?

We think a TV set should last at least 5 years. If you want to truly future proof and don’t mind paying a premium you should get yourself a OLED TV which is the best TV technology out there. Read the Cnet article comparing LCD, LED and OLED Tv’s to learn more. You can get the LG OLED55B6T if you are keen on one. On the other hand, if you’re price sensitive or want to wait until there is more 4k content, it absolutely makes sense to wait. We expect that in the next 3 years, you’ll have more UHD content available and the OLED TV prices will also come down. Till then enjoy your 1080p HDTV which should be enough as broadcasters upgrade most Standard Definition to HD in the coming years. 

 

Should I buy a curved TV?

TV manufacturers are selling curved TVs as the best viewing experience. The claim is that a curved screen is more natural and allows for a more immersive experience. While there is a bit of a difference to the picture, in our experience it’s not really a big one to warrant the premium price. Even other TV tests like the ones on Rtings and Lifewire say that its not really worth the additional price.  

Should I buy a Smart TV?

Smart TV’s can connect to the internet to access streaming media services like Youtube and Netflix.  If you dont get a Smart TV, it is still easy to make your TV smart by getting a Smart device like the Chromecast. You can read our Best Media Streamer Guide to know more. However, nowadays, most TV’s are smart and only the basic models come in a non-smart variant. The higher end models are typically Smart and generally have better video processing and more features, such as additional HDMI ports on the back. 

Why buy a major brand TV ?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. In an era of branded and rebranded chinese televisions, which sell the same specifications for half the price, why buy an expensive branded TV?  It’s quite similar to mobile phones where you have a micromax selling the same specs as a Samsung at a much lesser price. While the differences will vary from model to model, generally you get what you pay for. You can check this report by Consumer Reports.

All HDTV’s share more or less the same specs. They all claim “Full HD” and other marketing terms like vibrant display and 1 million colours etc. They still vary widely in price. Numbers aren’t everything. The answer lies in the quality of the internals which unfortunately the TV manufacturers are hesitant to disclose. Most of the LCD panels are now more or less similar for eg: Sharp supplies LCD panels to both Samsung and Hisense (Which reports say supplies to VU). But a television is not just the panel, it’s also the image processing. Thus the exact same LCD panel can look remarkably better on another TV because of superior video processing. Apart from this, manufacturers have more advanced backlighting systems, color enhancement technologies, upscaling processing and other technologies. Budget brands tend to have low-quality upscaling chips, poorer refresh rates, and not so good smart interfaces. Also you should consider after sales service. Major brands typically invest in parts and service networks, so you’re more likely to find an authorized repair center nearby.

 

What are the different types of Panels ?

An LED TV is just an LCD TV with an LED-backlit to illuminate the pixels. There are two major technologies that used behind LED TV: IPS (In-Plane-Switching) and VA (Vertical Alignment). As conluded by Rtings.com, “neither technology is inherently superior to the other, they both serve different purposes. In general, IPS TVs will have a wide viewing angle suitable for use in a wide living room whereas VA TVs on the other hand usually have better contrast rations and hence they may be better in dark rooms and where the viewing angles are straight on.”

OLED TVs are the latest and they work in a different manner. LED Televisions use a backlight to illuminate their pixels, while in OLED televisions, the pixels actually generate their own light. This allows for the brightness of an OLED TV to be controlled on an individual pixel basis thus allowing better blacks, greater contrast, color accuracy and good viewing angles. It’s a far more superior technology, although currently expensive.

What about Sound?

An equally important aspect of a viewing experience is the sound. Tv manufacturers are focussing on making thinner and thinner televisions and the one thing that takes a hit is the sound quality. This is because it leaves very less room in the cabinet to place good speakers. HD signals or DVD’s and Blue-ray disks in addition to improvement in video quality also provide high – quality sound with Dolby Digital surround. Televisions speakers are simply not good enough to reproduce this sound. We recommend going for an additional sound-system to tackle this. You can opt for a surround system if you watch a lot of movies with Dolby digital surround. Most television signals are stereo and for that you can simply have a 2-speaker setup or a sound-bar which can improve the sound quality tremendously.

The Best TV for most people 

1. Samsung Series 5 K5570

samsung 2

The Samsung K5570 is a top-of-the-line Full HD television from Samsung. It has a colorful, rich, vibrant image, deep blacks, great contrast and works well in bright lit conditions too. We love it’s lifelike picture, the smart features and the overall design. Samsung uses a VA panel and like most VA tv’s they have very good contrast making them better for use in a dark, home-theatre type of environment. However like most VA panels, the viewing angles are best when seen straight on. If you have a large family who sits around the TV or seating that is from the sides, get the LG which has and IPS panel and wide-viewing angles.

The software and the image processing is good. The television has advanced micro-dimming which produces deeper blacks and purer whites. That coupled with the Contrast Enhancer which adjusts contrast intelligently on different parts of the screen, heightens the dramatic effect. Samsung’s Wide Colour Enhancer uses an advanced algorithm to improve the image quality. The upscaling engine works really nicely and most of the Standard Definition content looks good without any judders or color artifacts.

The Smart TV interface is Samsung’s own Tizen OS. It’s quick and a step up from the previous versions found on previous Samsungs. The Smart Hub provides single access point to Live TV, Over The Top (OTT) content and Games and you get it as soon as the tv comes on.

Samsung has given this TV, it’s internal rating of 400 PQI which is the highest in Samsung’s Full HD television range in India. Samsung has its own internal rating that ranges from 100 to 2700 PQI. The Full HD TV’s range from 100 to 600 PQI, the UHD and SUHD Tv’s start at 800 PQI and upwards. Do note that this does not mean that the Full HD Tv’s are bad. Its just relative ratings within each category.

The unit supports Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Codecs. It plays most formats from connected hard disks with media on it. It also has bluetooth connectivity if you wish to connect wireless headsets. There are plenty of ports, 3 HDMI and 2 USB.

Overall, this is a TV that will not disappoint you. It has no compromises, is great for watching movies and the eye popping colors and dark blacks are very pleasing to watch. The unit comes with an 1 year warranty with an option of extending it by an additional 3 years. We recommend taking the extended warranty.

 

2. LG Smart 43LH600T

lg big

LG’s 43LH600T is a smart TV that brings in all the magnificence of the IPS panel. IPS TVs have a wide viewing angle suitable for use in a bright living room. The contrasts and the brightness levels are not as high as the Samsung, but the color reproduction is accurate and overall the image is very pleasing to the eye. The IPS TV with wider viewing angle and faster pixel response time is suitable for watching sports and fast paced movies especially in a room where some seating might be at an angle. LG’s webOS 3.0 is one of the best smart interfaces and made better with the Magic Remote that lets you point and click on the TV screen.

The television supports recording of shows on an external hard disk or in the internal storage. In addition, the TV supports formats like DLNA, Miracast and Intel WiDi which lets you cast your phone or your laptop screens wirelessly.

LG’s remote offers point-and-click functionality, which makes navigating menus a lot simpler. The look of the WebOS platform is refreshing. The design is lightweight and colorful, and the remote is swift and very accurate.

The unit supports Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Codecs. It plays most formats from connected hard disks with media on it. There are plenty of ports, 3 HDMI and 2 USB.

Overall, this is a TV that is a steady performer. It’s great for watching movies and sports, especially if you have a large family around people watch the Tv from an angle. You might miss the eye-popping contrasts and the brightness of a VA panel, but overall we found the LG rather easy on the eye and suitable for long hours of watching. The unit comes with an 1 year warranty with an option of extending it by an additional 3 years. We recommend taking the extended warranty.

A Budget non-Smart Pick

3.  VU Full HD  40D6575

vu big

If you want a cheap TV or one for your second room, the VU Play Series Full HD 40D6575 is a great budget pick. The brightness and the contrast are good and overall its colors are fairly accurate. The blacks are not very uniform and viewing angles are not too good as with most VA TV’s. The unit has a VGA port which maybe handy if you wish to connect a pc to it. Overall performance is great at the price.

The UI of the television is fairy basic and standard. The image quality is good though the blacks are uneven and some have complined about the some backlight bleed from the edges. We watched a few movies on this and found them to be pretty enjoyable with good image reproduction and colours. Overall it lacks the punchiness in colors as compared to the Samsung, but is still good by itself.  Viewing angles are poor and the tv is best enjoyed from front.

 

There is no support for Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Codecs. However, It plays most formats from connected hard disks with media on it. It also has bluetooth connectivity if you wish to connect wireless headsets. Connectivity is ok with 2 HDMI and 1 USB and 1 VGA port. The sound quality is not as good as the Samsung and the LG and you will ideally need some external speakers connected to this.

Overall, if you are looking at a budget TV, this will not disappoint you. It lacks the bells and whistles of our top picks, but is great for watching movies and general television. The unit comes with an 1 year warranty with an option of extending it by an additional 2 years. We recommend taking the extended warranty.

The VU 43 inch T43D1510 which was our original pick was out of stock at the time of this article. Keep an eye out for it if you want a bigger TV than a 40 inch.

 

Team BeforeIbuy is a team of writers and editors who are passionate about their work. We are a bunch of geeks, nerds and modern day detectives who love getting to the root of things. We also work with experienced writers, researchers and engineers who give us the technical guidance on products before we come up with our recommendations. Beforeibuy is a list of the best things to buy for those who do not wish to spend hours and days figuring out what to buy. Our mission is to make buying easy. We have one expert article with links to the best products for each category that you can readily refer before you buy anything. We are unbiased, ethical and open in our decision process. We are open to feedback from all of you since we do see it as community effort.

Posted in Electronics, Television