By Charles Hall
Two incidents occurred this week that remind us of the three golden rules about buying a UHD TV still apply:
Before you sit back and relax…
1. Get the brand with the best upconversion of 720/1080p HD to 4K. Period. That’s because most of what you’ll be watching for several years will be 1080p or lesser resolutions – even if you watch lots of Netflix and Amazon because they still have very few pieces of content that were shot in 4K. Many of their “UHD” offerings are actually lesser resolutions that they have upconverted to 4K and many of them do not approach 4K quality.
2. Get the largest screen you can a) afford and b) fit in the space you have available. No one ever complained their TV was too large and you can sit closer to a UHD set than a 1080p HD set because the 4K pixels are smaller.
3. Fine tune the TVs settings yourself, with help from the set maker’s support line or hire someone to come to the home to do the tuning.
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An Online Reporter associate recently purchased a Hisense UHD TV – $598 for a 50-inch UHD model at Walmart. While the set did a fair job at upconverting shows with only a few action scenes, it came up short when playing shows with lots of live action scenes. The result is that the Hisense is returning to Walmart and likely to buy a Vizio UHD TV, which we have not yet used for an extended period in the home so we can produce a report on it.
On a related matter, a second associate has bought a 55-inch Samsung 6950 model. On seeing it for the first time this week, it looked like there was a major difference in the picture quality.
A call to Samsung’s customer support department followed. The Samsung support person told us to make one change: switch the picture setting from Standard to Dynamic. The difference in picture quality was so great that anyone could have instantly seen the difference.