Buying a new device can feel overwhelming. But if you’re someone who values a crisp screen, resolution is going to be an important consideration.
Here’s what you should know about QHD resolution and how it compares to other resolution options on the market.
What is QHD?
Quad high definition (QHD) is the standard resolution for certain high-end devices like laptops, televisions, and phones. It has a display resolution 2560 x 1440 pixels – or four times that of 720p, hence the name – in a 16:9 aspect ratio.
You may also see WQHD when searching for devices (that stands for “wide quad high definition.”) QHD and WQHD are actually the same thing. The “W” is usually meant to signal that it has a 16:9 aspect ratio, since that can be a selling point for manufacturers, despite that the aspect ratio is already a feature of QHD. QHD is also sometimes labeled as 2K or 1440p for marketing reasons. An ultrawide QHD screen expands the horizontal pixels to 3440 and has a 21:9 aspect ratio.
QHD vs HD vs 4k
If you’re in the market for a new device, it pays to know what kind of resolution quality you want: HD, QHD, or 4K.
Compared to regular HD, QHD is sharper and offers more pixels per square inch (2560 x 1440p versus HD’s 1920 x 1080p). Because of that, it’s also generally better suited to larger monitors, allowing you to do things like have more windows open on your screen at once. However, it will also eat away more of your battery life if you’re using something like a mobile device, so you will have to make a judgement call there.
Related Article Module: ‘What is 4K?’: Here’s what it means to watch content in Ultra High Definition resolution
4K, on the other hand, is going to provide a more detailed screen than QHD. The official cinema resolution for 4K screens is 4096 x 2160p, but on a monitor, you will usually see the specs list 3840 x 2160p resolution. So for the average user, it has double the pixels you get with HD.
Again, the higher-resolution option will drain your battery life faster, so you should check out battery life estimates to make sure it works for you. 4K displays are also generally going to cost more than lower-resolution options, so that’s another thing to consider before buying.
TV pricing has come down a lot in recent years. Gone are the days when buying a 4K TV meant having to spend thousands of dollars.
Now, you can get a nice 4K TV with decent high dynamic range (HDR) support and plenty of smart TV apps for only a few hundred bucks. You can even find big-screen options in sizes as large as 65 inches without totally breaking the bank.
Of course, there are always trade-offs to keep in mind when buying a TV on a budget. A true home theater experience still comes at a premium, but choosing an entry-level TV doesn’t mean you have to settle for poor image quality, a small screen, or a dumb display without the latest streaming services.
I’ve been covering the consumer electronics industry for nine years, and during that time I’ve reviewed numerous TV models at various price points. Through research and testing, we’ve selected the best display models you can buy on a budget.
The Hisense U6G Android TV uses local dimming and quantum dots to deliver some of the best picture quality you can get on a budget.
Pros: 4K with every major HDR format, local dimming, quantum dots, Google Assistant voice remote, solid brightness capabilities for the price
Cons: No HDMI 2.1 ports, 50-inch model has less dimming zones than larger versions
Buying a TV on a budget typically means you have to miss out on some advanced features found on more expensive sets. The Hisense U6G totally dispels that notion, and the 50-inch model is an especially great value at under $500.
The U6G is the 2021 successor to the Hisense H8G. It carries over everything we loved about that model while keeping a similar low price. Meanwhile, our previous pick for best cheap 4K TV overall, the 55-inch TCL 5 Series, has actually gone up in price this year. The TCL is still a fantastic set but, for the money, the Hisense now edges it out.
One of the most important image features you should look for in a new 4K TV is high dynamic range (HDR). HDR enables enhanced contrast and wider colors for a more realistic picture. The U6G offers some of the best HDR specs in its price range. It also supports every major HDR format so all your bases are covered.
It’s a little disappointing that the TV lacks Google’s newest smart TV system, Google TV, but the older Android TV OS is still a solid performer with easy access to tons of services. Google Assistant is also supported via the included remote for reliable voice control.
I reviewed the 2020 version of this TV last year and this new model is expected to perform even better. Buyers who want more advanced features, like HDMI 2.1 for next-gen gaming, will have to pay more for the step-up U7G or U8G, but at this price, the U6G is a bargain.
The best cheap 4K TV for wide viewing angles
The LG 55-inch UP7000 offers better viewing angles than most budget TVs, enabling solid picture no matter where you sit.
Pros: Wide viewing angles, affordable price for a 55-inch model
Cons: Black levels and contrast aren’t great, doesn’t include a voice remote
Though many of the 4K TVs recommended on this guide offer solid picture performance, they all suffer from one pesky drawback: mediocre viewing angles.
This means that colors and contrast wash out when you sit off to the side. Though that’s not a problem for people who can plop down on a couch right in front of their TV, it can be an issue for buyers who have to position their seats in other parts of the room.
If viewing angles are your main priority, then the 55-inch UP7000 from LG is one of your best options on a budget. This 2021 model is the successor to our previous pick, the UN7000.
The UP7000 uses a special type of panel that’s designed to offer improved off-axis picture. This lets you sit off to the side of you display without the TV’s colors and contrast dramatically degrading. Picture quality will still shift a bit, but not as badly as it would on a typical LED TV.
On the downside, TVs with panels like this tend to have worse black levels and contrast than other displays. This particular model also lacks local dimming or wide color support. So, while great for viewing angles, the UP7000 doesn’t have particularly good home theater performance in a dark room.
Like most LG TVs, this one offers access to many popular streaming services. HBO Max, however, is missing. Unfortunately, the UP7000 also lacks a voice remote, but you can use the TV with a separate Alexa or Google Assistant device.
The UP7000 is also available in a few larger and smaller screen sizes, but we think the 55-inch model offers the best value. Also, keep in mind that only the 75-, 65-, 55-, and 43-inch models use panels with wide viewing angles, according to Rtings.
The best cheap 4K TV with a big screen
The Hisense A6G is one of the most affordable 60-inch 4K TVs on the market, offering a big-picture experience for a budget-friendly price.
Pros: Big display for an affordable price, HDR10 and Dolby Vision support, voice remote included
Cons: Image quality is only average, lacks local dimming or quantum dots
Flagship big-screen 4K TVs can cost a couple thousand dollars, but that doesn’t mean that budget buyers always have to settle for smaller screen sizes. In fact, there are several worthwhile big-screen models out there that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Our previous pick for this category, the Vizio 65-inch V-Series, remains an impressive TV for the money, but stock is now hard to come by and its price has increased a bit since its initial launch. With that in mind, we’re recommending the more affordable Hisense 60-inch A6G in its place.
The 60-inch A6G is bigger than most TVs in its price range, and boasts a 4K screen with entry-level HDR and Dolby Vision capabilities. That should net you solid picture quality for casual viewing, but the display lacks local dimming and wide color support so you won’t get the most out of HDR videos.
Android TV is integrated for easy access to most major streaming services. A voice remote is also included with built-in support for Google Assistant.
Budget buyers who favor home theater performance over size will be better off going with the smaller Hisense 50-inch U6G for a similar price, but if you want a 60-inch 4K TV in this price range, the A6G offers good value for the money.
The best cheap 1080p TV
It doesn’t have 4K resolution or other advanced features, but the TCL 40-inch 3 Series HDTV is one of the most affordable 40-inch Roku TVs you can buy.
Pros: Very affordable, Roku TV platform with easy access to streaming apps
Cons: Not 4K, no HDR or wide color support, no voice remote, smaller screen size
The TCL 3-Series is about as basic as a smart TV can get. It’s the smallest display on this list, it features a 1080p resolution screen instead of 4K, and it lacks HDR support — but when it comes to overall value for the money, the TV is still a worthy option for budget buyers.
This 40-inch smart TV uses a modest Full HD panel. While you won’t be able to watch 4K HDR streams from Netflix, the reality is, most live TV content is still presented in SDR high definition. With that in mind, this 1080p screen is fine for casual viewing needs.
Overall image performance isn’t as good as the more expensive TVs on this list, but at a screen size of 40 inches, it would actually be hard to see major benefits from an upgrade to 4K. The lack of local dimming is a bit more of an issue, but contrast and black levels are decent considering the low price.
While the included remote doesn’t feature voice control, you can pair the TV with a separate Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device.
This definitely isn’t a TV geared toward buyers looking for advanced picture quality. Instead, the TCL 3 Series is meant to appeal to people who just want a reliable 40-inch smart TV with easy access to their favorite apps. Thanks to the simple yet effective Roku platform, the 3-Series does just that.
4K TVs are available at many price points and performance levels.
The best 4K TVs balance picture and smart features for stunning images and reliable streaming.
With its sharp OLED panel and next-gen gaming support, LG’s CX is our pick for best 4K TV overall.
4K Ultra HD (UHD) TVs have become the norm for any buyer looking to purchase a new display in 2021. However, while all 4K TVs offer a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, picture quality and smart connectivity can vary wildly between different models.
Some 4K TVs include advanced high dynamic range (HDR) for enhanced contrast and colors. Certain LCD models are able to achieve higher brightness than others, which makes them a better fit for rooms with a lot of ambient light. Other displays use OLED panels for perfect black levels that make their images pop when watching movies in a dark home theater.
Of course, picture quality is far from the only factor you should consider when buying a new display. Smart TV functionality, app selection, voice assistant support, and overall design can all make or break a 4K TV purchase. After all, what’s the point of a pretty picture if you can’t easily navigate through the TV’s menus to actually watch something?
With those factors in mind, we’ve selected the best 4K TVs on the market based on hands-on testing with a variety of models. Our picks represent a range of price points, but each of the displays we’ve selected is good enough to offer capable HDR playback and streaming app support. Since 65 inches is the standard flagship size for manufacturers, all of our selections fall into that category. That said, many of the models listed below are also available in smaller and larger sizes.
The LG CX OLED presents the best balance between picture performance, smart connectivity, design, and value of any 4K TV you can buy.
Pros: OLED panel with infinite contrast, HDMI 2.1 ports, voice remote, several sizes to choose from
Cons: Can’t get as bright as an LCD TV, HBO Max app is missing, a little pricey
When it comes to balancing stunning picture performance and reliable smart features, the CX is the best 4K TV you can buy. Though LG released a 2021 successor to the CX, called the C1, the CX remains a better value since it costs less and offers very similar specs.
Unlike LCD TVs, including those branded as LED and QLED, the CX provides pixel-level contrast thanks to its OLED panel. This enables perfect black levels and precise highlights, which makes this an ideal TV for people who love to watch movies in a dark room. 4K HDR Blu-ray discs and streaming titles are especially stunning on this set, fully showing off what high dynamic range is all about.
Peak brightness is also solid for an OLED panel, with a max of around 700 to 800 nits. That should be more than enough for most living rooms, but buyers who watch TV with a ton of sunlight creeping into the room may need to opt for a brighter LCD model.
When it comes to smart TV features, the TV uses LG’s webOS and ThinQ platforms for robust streaming app support and voice control. The magic remote also features a unique pointer function which allows you to navigate through menus with a virtual cursor you aim at the screen.
The best budget 4K TV
With performance that rivals more expensive sets from the competition, the affordable Vizio P-Series Quantum is the best 4K TV in its price range.
Pros: Full-array local dimming with 200 zones, quantum dot color technology, 120Hz panel, HDMI 2.1 ports, competitive pricing
Cons: On-screen app selection is limited, no voice remote, viewing angles are mediocre, some software glitches
The Vizio P-Series Quantum manages to pack in a lot of the same features you’d find on pricier TVs, but for less. There are some trade-offs, but if you want solid 4K HDR and streaming performance without breaking the bank, the P-Series Quantum is one of the best options out there.
While you won’t get OLED-quality contrast, the P-Series Quantum’s LCD panel does feature full-array local dimming. This tech enables the TV to dim and brighten in specific zones across the screen. As a result, the display can produce better black levels and more precise highlights than LCDs without dimming. Max brightness can hit 1,100 nits, which is fantastic for a display in this price range. HDR support is extensive as well, and the TV’s quantum dot technology enables a full spectrum of colors.
HDMI 2.1 ports and a 120Hz panel make the P-Series Quantum a good choice for gamers. That said, I did encounter some HDMI glitches early on, but these signal problems have been mostly corrected through firmware updates. The display is compatible with separate Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices as well, but the TV’s included remote does not feature a microphone for integrated voice control.
On the downside, like a lot of LCD TVs, viewing angles aren’t great. This means colors and contrast get washed out when you sit off to the side. And, while improvements have been made, Vizio’s SmartCast OS is still a bit lacking compared to other platforms. You can cast plenty of apps to the display from a mobile device, but the on-screen selection is currently limited.
The best QLED 4K TV
Samsung’s Q90T offers some of the best overall picture of any 4K TV model.
Pros: Bright screen with HDR10+ support, full-array local dimming, quantum dot color, wider viewing angles than typical LCDs, voice remote, HDMI 2.1
Cons: Lacks Dolby Vision support, contrast can’t quite match an OLED
Though brands like Vizio, TCL, and Hisense have done a great job bringing quantum dot color technology to their value-priced TV models, Samsung’s Q90T QLED TV remains a good buy for enthusiasts thanks to some key performance and style perks.
The TV features full-array local dimming for deep blacks and impressive HDR contrast thanks to its bright panel. The display can hit a peak of around 1,400 nits when in Filmmaker Mode (the most accurate). This allows the brightest highlights to really shine in ways they can’t on TVs with lower specs.
Samsung’s display also makes use of a special filter combined with unique light output techniques to enable wider viewing angles than most competing QLED sets. As a result, the Q90T has some of the best viewing angles I’ve seen on a TV of this type. Buyers who can’t sit right in front of the display shouldn’t worry too much about distorted colors.
Voice control is enabled via the included remote and you can choose between Samsung’s Bixby, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. Samsung’s Smart Hub platform, powered by the Tizen OS, provides responsive navigation with on-screen support for a big selection of apps.
One HDMI 2.1 port is included as well, enabling next-gen gaming features when hooked up to a PS5, Xbox Series X, or compatible PC.
It should be noted, however, that Samsung recently released the 2021 successor to the Q90T, dubbed the QN90A Neo QLED 4K TV. The new model uses mini LED technology which could improve contrast and black level performance. That said, it costs quite a bit more than the Q90T. We’ll be testing the 2021 model soon for consideration in our guide.
The best high-end 4K TV
Sony’s A80J is the premium TV champ when it comes to image accuracy, but it’s a bit pricey.
Pros: OLED panel with infinite contrast, advanced processing for superior image accuracy, acoustic surface audio technology, HDMI 2.1
Cons: Can’t get as bright as LCD TVs, no VRR support yet (coming in future firmware)
Sony’s brand-new A80J OLED (2021) serves as the successor to its highly rated A8H (2020). Though most people will be satisfied with the older model, both TVs are currently available for the same price and the A80J features a few key upgrades that help it clinch this spot.
Most notably, the new 2021 model adds HDMI 2.1 ports, enabling next-gen gaming features like 4K/120Hz. It also uses Sony’s new image tech which relies on cognitive processing to cross-analyze picture elements at the same time rather than individually. It’s hard to say how big of an improvement this upgrade makes without a side-by-side comparison with the A8H, but the A80J certainly looks stunning in person.
During annual TV competitions, Sony’s OLEDs consistently come the closest to matching the look of professional broadcast monitors and we expect the A80J to be no different. This means, when calibrated, the A80J has the potential to present movies closer to how directors intend for them to look than most competing displays.
Unlike traditional TVs, the A80J also features a unique audio system with acoustic surface technology. Instead of typical speakers, this process uses actuators behind the panel to create sound from the screen itself. This allows dialogue to sound as if it’s truly coming from the mouths of people on screen.
The A80J is also one of the first TVs to launch with the new Google TV platform rather than the older Android TV system. The new interface has a stylish look and emphasizes content rather than apps. It works well, but I’ve run into a few glitches here and there that forced me to reboot the display. Google TV has a lot of potential but some kinks still need to be worked out via firmware updates.
The best deals on 4K TVs from this guide
Every week we see discounts on dozens of TVs, however, it can be difficult to know what you’re buying. There are hundreds of options floating around and some retailers offer different models, which makes it hard to compare. As you might expect, the best time to buy a TV is during events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day. If you can hold out for one of these sales, you might be able to snag one of our TV picks for over $100 less.
Below, we’ve gathered the best deals we found on the sets we actually recommend, so you’ll be absolutely sure that you’ll get a great value.
There are some key specifications that you should look for when choosing which TV is the best fit for your needs.
If you’re buying a new display with image performance as a top priority, you’ll want to make note of a TV’s high-dynamic-range (HDR) capabilities. Even more so than resolution, HDR has become the defining factor for picture quality in modern TVs. This feature allows a TV to offer enhanced contrast and colors when playing specially graded HDR shows and movies on many streaming apps and 4K Blu-ray discs.
There are a few competing HDR formats, including HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. HDR10 is the default and it’s supported on all HDR TVs. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ offer more advanced capabilities, but Dolby Vision content is more common than HDR10+.
OLED vs. LCD
Brightness capabilities (measured in nits), black levels, contrast ratio, color gamut, and viewing angles are all major factors that help contribute to a TV’s overall picture performance. Panel type then plays a large role in determining how well a display can handle all of these elements.
There are currently two main types of 4K TV panels: OLED and LCD (the latter is often branded as QLED or LED). Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. OLEDs excel at black levels, contrast, and viewing angles. LCDs excel at brightness, which can make them better for rooms that let in a lot of light. LCD models also tend to be less expensive than OLED models and they present no risk for burn-in.
HDMI 2.1 ports
HDMI 2.1 support is another feature that buyers should keep in mind. The latest HDMI spec enables next-gen gaming features like 4K/120Hz and VRR, which could be important for people who plan to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
Smart TV features
Smart TV connectivity is essential as well, and each manufacturer either uses their own specific operating system or a third-party system like Roku TV, Google TV, or Fire TV. All of these platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to app selection and performance, but most will get the job done just fine for basic streaming needs.
OLED TVs offer some key performance benefits compared to traditional LCD displays, including better black levels and uniformity. While all OLED TVs tend to be very similar when it comes to picture quality, certain models feature premium design upgrades that make them a bit more expensive.
HBO Max subscribers will get access to more brand-new Warner Bros. movies throughout 2021.
“Wonder Woman 1984” is back on HBO Max, the same streaming service it premiered on in December 2020. The movie was the first in a series of Warner Bros. films made available for streaming the same day they hit the big screen.
Director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine return for “Wonder Woman 1984.” The action picks up 40 years after the conclusion of 2017’s “Wonder Woman.” Kristen Wiig plays Cheetah, a villain who can match Wonder Woman’s superhuman abilities, and “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal plays nefarious businessman Maxwell Lord.
HBO Max subscribers were given one month of exclusive access before “Wonder Woman 1984” was removed from the service and made available to buy from other providers, like Amazon, Vudu, and Google Play. “Wonder Woman 1984” was added back to the HBO Max library in May 2021 alongside other DC films like “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” and “Batman v Superman.”
Warner’s decision to debut its theatrical releases on HBO Max has already helped bring millions of new subscribers to the streaming service, and could influence other studios to pursue a similar course. Data from research startup Antenna showed that HBO Max signups increased 4.3 times during the weekend “Wonder Woman 1984” premiered.
How to watch ‘Wonder Woman 1984’
“Wonder Woman 1984” is currently available to all HBO Max subscribers; the streaming service costs $15 a month for commercial-free access to its library. A $10/month ad-supported plan will launch in June.
Does ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ support 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos?
“Wonder Woman 1984” was the first movie on HBO Max to stream in 4K with support for high dynamic range (HDR). The film is available in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices, matching the maximum quality typically seen on Netflix and Disney Plus.
The VOD version also offers Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos playback though streaming services that support those features, including Vudu and Apple TV.
What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?
The next scheduled Warner Bros. release on HBO Max is “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” the third entry in the popular horror franchise. Other major releases set to arrive on the streaming service throughout 2021 include “The Matrix 4,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Space Jam” and more.
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Apple announced a new Apple TV 4K during its Spring Loaded event
The fifth-generation Apple TV starts at $179 and will be available for preorder on April 30.
Apple also announced a new iMac and a new accessory called AirTags.
Apple just announced a new version of Apple TV 4K, the company’s signature set-top streaming box. The new Apple TV will start $179, the same price as the current model, and will be available for preorder on April 30.
Apple TV 4K will begin replacing the current model in stores in the second half of May. Apple introduced the new product during its Spring Loaded event on April 20, alongside a new iMac and new accessory called AirTag.
Apple last updated the Apple TV in 2017, and the new model will still be capable of 4K playback in Dolby Vision and HDR10 for enhanced colors and contrast. Apple TV’s new A12 bionic processor will support high frame rate content and improve overall performance for the same price as the 2017 Apple TV 4K.
The new Siri remote for Apple TV is cased with 100% recycled aluminum and features a touch-enabled directional pad and jog wheel for easy control. The Siri voice control button is now on the right side, in a similar position to the iPhone. A new color balance feature will let you use your iPhone’s sensors to calibrate Apple TV’s display settings to best match your TV and room lighting.
In addition to the new 4K model, the Apple TV HD will also be available with the new Siri remote. The Apple TV HD costs $149, the same price as the current model. The new Siri remote will be sold separately for $59 and works with older versions of Apple TV too.
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Samsung has revealed a new 110-inch TV model with an advanced Micro LED screen.
Micro LED is designed to compete with OLED, and it could offer even better performance.
We got to examine the display during a CES 2021 event, and the TV looks stunning in person.
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Samsung has been showing off massive Micro LED displays at CES for the last few years, but the impressive technology has yet to hit the consumer market. This year, however, the company aims to change that.
For the first time, Samsung will be releasing 110-, 99-, 88-, and 76-inch Micro LED 4K TVs. There’s no word on pricing, but the 110-inch model is set to launch globally this spring.
Micro LED promises key improvements over other TV panel types, and it could even end up beating our current favorite TV technology, OLED. To help demonstrate what makes Micro LED so special, Samsung invited Insider Reviews to an in-person CES 2021 event.
The 110-inch Micro LED TV was on hand at the demo, and the gorgeous screen does not disappoint. It’s important to note, however, that Samsung described the model as a prototype, so the version we saw could still go through some changes before hitting the market.
That said, based on what we’ve seen, Samsung’s Micro LED shows incredible promise, and the technology could very well end up being the future of TV. It’s not perfect, but the overall picture quality is simply stunning.
Note: Samsung did not allow pictures of the Micro LED TV at the CES event, so all images included here are provided by the manufacturer.
What is Micro LED?
Micro LED is an advanced panel technology used for displays. The tech is designed to compete with other popular TV types, like LCD (often branded as LED or QLED) and OLED.
As the name implies, Micro LED screens are made up of millions of microscopic red, green, and blue light-emitting diodes. Micro LEDs are self-emissive, allowing them to dim, brighten, or turn off individually. This results in an infinite contrast ratio with true black levels and wide viewing angles – which are all areas where regular LCD TVs struggle.
Meanwhile, OLED TVs are capable of similar contrast, but that technology uses organic LEDs which can degrade over time. This leads to brightness limitations and the potential for burn-in. Since Micro LEDs are inorganic, however, Samsung says that they can get brighter and last longer than OLED TVs with virtually no risk of burn-in.
In other words, Micro LED has the potential to combine everything home theater fans love about OLED TVs while also offering similar brightness capabilities as an LCD TV. Basically, it could be the best of both worlds.
Unlike typical TVs which use one panel, Micro LED screens are actually constructed from multiple tiles that are aligned together. This creates the potential for modular screens, where you can add, remove, or shift tiles around to create different display sizes and orientations.
Samsung offers a modular Micro LED screen for business and luxury customers, called “The Wall,” that has this capability. That said, the upcoming 110-, 99-, 88-, and 76-inch Micro LED TVs will have fixed configurations and won’t be modular.
Samsung Micro LED TV picture impressions
For demo purposes, Samsung had a prototype of its 110-inch Micro LED TV set up in a dark room displaying a gorgeous reel of 4K HDR video.
As is typical with demonstrations like this, the footage featured a beautiful assortment of colorful images ranging from shining gem stones to towering cityscapes. The images dazzled no matter what was on the screen with rich saturation, precise highlights, and deep black levels that disappeared into the room.
Samsung didn’t offer a specific number in nits, but to my eyes the peak brightness was very impressive, offering a more punchy image than I’m used to seeing on a screen so large. One scene, featuring a starry night sky over mountains, was particularly striking as each star shined brilliantly from the screen against inky blacks.
It’s the type of infinite contrast that I’ve only ever seen on OLED TVs before, but the HDR effect was even more pronounced. Viewing angles were also essentially perfect, with no real color or contrast issues when viewing from the side.
An LCD TV this big, even with advanced local dimming, would still show signs of blooming, crushing, or off-angle fading. An OLED would likely look similarly impressive but not as bright. The Micro LED was able to demonstrate all the benefits of both of those technologies while offering no real signs of their flaws. That said, pixels were visible if you put your face right up to the screen, but that’s the case with any 4K TV this big.
Of course, demos like this only offer a limited view of what a TV can do, and it’s important to remember that the model on display is still a prototype. At the end of the day, though, the experience has only left me wanting more.
Problems with Micro LED TVs
As impressive as Micro LED is, no display technology is perfect. We’ll need to spend more in-depth time with a Micro LED TV to really evaluate it, but based on what we’ve seen so far there is one slight downside that’s already clear: seams are sometimes visible on the screen.
Since Micro LED TVs are constructed from several display tiles that are connected together, there are seams between each tile, creating the appearance of a grid. Thankfully, these seams are very faint and, during my demo time, I found them to be extremely hard to spot.
In fact, from a normal viewing distance and a centered angle, they are essentially invisible. It’s only when getting very close to the screen or watching the display from an off-angle that the seams faintly come into view. Even then, the seams generally only pop up when certain colors are on the screen. Likewise, you can see them when the TV is off.
It’s too early to say how much of a factor this will be when watching a Micro LED TV under normal viewing conditions, but I doubt it will end up being too much of a problem. Though LCD and OLED TVs don’t have this specific issue, they have their own uniformity quirks that can be just as distracting.
How much will Samsung’s Micro LED TV cost?
Samsung has not announced US pricing for its Micro LED TVs yet, but it’s safe to say that they will be very expensive when they hit the market. New panel technology always comes at a premium, and Micro LED has been particularly hard to scale down to a consumer level.
According to ZDNet, the 110-inch Micro LED TV model is launching in South Korea for 170 million won, which is around $156,000. A similar price is likely for the US.
The closest premium TV we can look to right now as a comparison is likely LG’s flagship 88-inch OLED 8K TV, which currently sells for $30,000. Samsung’s Micro LED TV is 4K rather than 8K, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a similar, if not higher, price tag for the 88-inch model.
Samsung Micro LED TV release dates
The 110- and 99-inch Micro LED TVs are set for release globally this spring, with expected availability starting in late March. The 88-inch model will then follow in the fall.
A 76-inch Micro LED TV has also been announced, but an estimated release window has not been confirmed yet.
The bottom line
Samsung’s Micro LED could very well be the future of TV, but like any display tech, it won’t be perfect. Still, based on what I’ve seen so far, the picture quality pros look like they will far outweigh the cons.
The real question will be how much these displays end up costing. I expect that this first wave of Micro LED TVs will be prohibitively expensive for regular buyers, but the 2021 lineup could help pave the way for more affordable Micro LED TVs in the (hopefully) not too distant future.
If you’re looking for a high-end Samsung TV at a more consumer-friendly price point, be sure to check out the company’s new lineup of Neo QLED 4K and 8K TVs. The 2021 collection starts at $1,600 and promises several improvements over last year’s models.
Samsung has launched preorders for its upcoming lineup of flagship TVs. The company’s Neo QLED TV collection features 4K and 8K models. A a massive 110-inch Micro LED TV is also scheduled for release in 2021, but pricing hasn’t been revealed yet.
The term “LED” (light emitting diode) gets thrown around a lot when detailing new TVs so it can be a bit confusing to figure out exactly what each new variation means. When it comes to Samsung’s “Neo QLED” displays, the key differentiator this year is the actual size of the LEDs. They’re much smaller than before, and smaller LEDs can equate to better picture with improved contrast, brightness, and color.
Below, we’ve broken down what makes Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs unique in greater detail, along with pricing information and preorder links.
Samsung Neo QLED TVs
Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs promise improved contrast and brightness over regular QLED displays.
The “Neo” branding is being used to highlight new panel technology that Samsung is using to improve picture quality over last year’s already impressive QLED models. Unlike regular LED or QLED TVs, Neo QLED TVs use a “Quantum Mini LED” backlight to illuminate the screen. According to Samsung, each Mini LED is about 1/40 the height of a standard LED that you’d find in a typical TV. Smaller LEDs enable more precise control of local dimming with more zones.
At the end of the day, this should result in better contrast with deeper black levels and brighter highlights. Until now, TCL has been the only company using Mini LEDs in its TVs. The TCL 8-Series and 6-Series both employ the tech, and those models do showcase some benefits over the competition.
That said, blooming has been an issue with TCL’s models. Blooming results in a halo effect around bright objects on dark backgrounds. To combat this potential problem, Samsung is touting new “Quantum Matrix Technology” for its Neo QLEDs, which it says will help reduce blooming.
In addition to picture quality improvements, the flagship 8K QN900A Neo QLED TV features a nearly bezel-free “Infinity One Design.” It also uses an attachable Slim One Connect box to house the TV’s ports, enabling a slimmer panel and easier cable management.
Samsung’s Neo QLED TV lineup is now available for preorder through Samsung’s online store. Estimated shipping dates differ depending on the model and size your order, but current dates range between February 27 and March 20. As a special bonus, customers who preorder any of the new 8K models can receive free professional TV mounting service (a $120 value).
Samsung’s Micro LED TVs could best OLED TVs when it comes to overall picture quality, but they’re likely to be very expensive.
Samsung has been showing off Micro LED TV technology at CES for the last few years. The company even released a massive Micro LED display, called “The Wall,” in sizes as big as 292 inches for business and luxury customers. But, the technology has been difficult to scale down to a more manageable size and cost. This year, however, Samsung aims to change that.
For the first time, the company will release consumer-ready Micro LED TVs in 110- and 99-inch screen sizes. Though these displays are still expected to cost a pretty penny, unlike The Wall, you may actually be able to order them from a store.
Micro LED TVs offer lots of benefits over other display technologies, like LED, QLED, and even OLED. Like OLED TVs, Micro LED TVs are self-illuminating, which means that each of the TV’s 24 million LEDs can dim, brighten, or turn off individually without the need for a backlight. This results in an infinite contrast ratio with true black levels.
Unlike OLED TVs, however, Micro LED tech promises higher brightness levels. Samsung also says that Micro LEDs provide a longer lifespan over OLED, with no risk of burn-in across 100,000 hours of use.
Samsung’s 110- and 99-inch Micro LED TVs are expected to launch before the end of 2021. We’ll update this article with pricing and purchase details once they’re available.
HBO Max subscribers don’t have to pay extra to stream “Wonder Woman 1984,” but the movie is only available for one month.
The HBO Max streaming app costs $15 per month, though it’s usually included if you already pay for HBO through your cable provider.
“Wonder Woman 1984” premiered in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25. The movie is the first in a series of Warner Bros. films that will be available for streaming the same day they hit the big screen.
Director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine return for the sequel to 2017’s “”Wonder Woman.” The action picks up 40 years after the conclusion of the last film. Kristen Wiig plays Cheetah, a villain who can match Wonder Woman’s superhuman abilities, and “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal plays nefarious businessman Maxwell Lord.
“Wonder Woman 1984” will be available on HBO Max for just one month starting December 25. It’s possible the movie will return to the service at a later date once it finishes playing in theaters. Viewers outside the US will be able to see “Wonder Woman 1984” in theaters starting December 16, with dates staggered through January based on region.
Updated on 12/25/2020 by Steven Cohen. The language in this article has been revised for timeliness. Added details about which devices you can watch “Wonder Woman 1984” on in 4K HDR.
How to watch ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ on HBO Max
“Wonder Woman 1984” is now streaming on HBO Max. The movie premiered on December 25. Streaming access to the film is included with an HBO Max subscription and doesn’t require any extra fees. “Wonder Woman 1984” will remain on HBO Max for 31 days. The movie will then be removed from the HBO Max library, but it’s possible that it could be added back in the future.
The HBO Max service is priced at $15 per month, and new members can currently receive over 20% off if they prepay for six months. You can sign up directly through the HBO Max website, with your cable subscriber, or through select streaming services, like Hulu. If you already pay for HBO through your cable provider, you should be able to access HBO Max for no extra cost, with some restrictions.
The HBO Max app is available on Apple devices, Android, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation and Samsung smart TVs. Deals bringing the HBO Max app to Roku and Fire TV were announced just weeks before the release of “Wonder Woman 1984,” ending months of tense negotiations between AT&T, Amazon, and Roku.
Does ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ support 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos?
“Wonder Woman 1984” is the first movie on HBO Max to stream in 4K with support for high dynamic range (HDR). The film is available in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices, matching the maximum quality typically seen on Netflix and Disney Plus.
Here’s a rundown of streaming devices with support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos through HBO Max:
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube
Apple TV 4K
Roku Ultra 4800x
Roku 4K TVs
Roku Premiere (Dolby Atmos not supported)
Roku Streaming Stick+ (Dolby Atmos not supported)
Google Chromecast Ultra
Chromecast with Google TV (Dolby Atmos not supported)
AT&T Streaming Box
Xfinity X1 (Xi6) and Flex
What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?
The next scheduled Warner Bros. release on HBO Max is “The Little Things” starring Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, which is due out on January 29, 2021. Other major releases set to arrive on the streaming service throughout 2021 include “Dune,” “The Matrix 4,” “The Suicide Squad,” “The Conjuring 3,” and more.
Hopefully HBO Max will be able to maintain the level of technical quality it’s setting with “Wonder Woman 1984” as more theatrical releases launch in 2021. HBO Max representatives said 4K support will arrive for more films and TV shows in 2021, but it’s unclear which will be prioritized.