If you’re a consumer of visual media, be it TV, film or gaming, and you're on the lookout for a new TV - you’re going to want 4K. There's no doubt about it - they showcase the marvels of modern cinematography and revitalise classics. 4K smart televisions offer four times more pixels than HD screens, with 8.3 million pixels working across the screen to deliver clearer and accurate images.
It’s not just the 4K screens which make these TVs worth investing in. It’s also the additional technologies like 4K upscaling, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ which operate in the background to make the most of those 8.3 million dots. As well as impeccable image quality, 4K Smart TVs also offer an array of useful features. These include seamless access to streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Now TV, an on-demand catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and All 4.
If you’re looking for an immersive experience, look no further. Here are some of the best 4K Smart TVs that money can buy.
There’s a lot of jargon out there, so we’ve included an FAQ at the bottom of this page to help you make sense of it all.
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Empire: The Best 4K TVs
Philips Ambilight 50PUS6754/12 TV 50-inch LED Smart TV, £429
Philip's 50PUS6754/12 doesn't have a catchy name, but it has everything else. The 4K screen is boosted by HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision to deliver a stunning image with pinpoint accurate screen brightness. Dolby Atmos brings the sound while Philip's patented Ambilight technology provides an immersive and atmospheric experience to your entertainment - be it period drama or sci-fi thriller - LEDs are mounted on the rear of the set cast out a glow, effectively removing the concept of a screen border. Plainly, this TV is a delight. Amazon.co.uk
LG 43UM7100PLB 43 Inch UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV, £449
This offering from LG is a fantastic 4K product for anyone looking for a compact solution with all the mod-cons. It's quick to setup and will have you enjoying vivid 4K UHD content in no time. Just be aware that the HDR isn't activated out of the box, you'll need to activate it through the settings. The sound is reasonable for general TV watching, but for those looking to watch films and game, a soundbar would really help create a really great experience. Amazon.co.uk
LG 50UM7500PLA 50-Inch UHD 4K HDR Smart LED TV, £469
This metal-framed LG offering boasts a beautiful large screen which delivers a vivid image supported by an Advanced Colour Enhancer and 4K upscaling, while the punchy audio helped out by DTS Virtual: X. Amazon Alexa is built-in, so no more searching under the sofa for that missing remote. Amazon.co.uk
LG OLED55C8PLA 55" 4K Ultra HD HDR OLED Smart TV, £1,349
LG's inclusion of an OLED on this device pushes out a stunning, bright and crisp image with a vivid, true to life colour palette rivalling the TVs found at the top end of the market. The A9 processor works behind the scenes to improve the quality of image motion and sharpness, while Dolby Vision optimises HDR content. The high frame rate hits up to 120fps, perfect for representing film and game content in all their glory. Amazon.co.uk
Panasonic TX-55GZ950B (2019) OLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV, 55”, £1499
The Panasonic razor thin GZ950B has taken the 2019 tech awards by storm. The THX Certified OLED 4K screen is powered by Panasonic's own HCX PRO Intelligent Processor, which swiftly handles HDR10+ and Dolby Vision to deliver a cinematic and magnificent image. Sound is carried out by Dolby Atmos and it'll accept voice commands with a connected Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. This should be serious consideration for anyone looking for a new TV that'll not only impress, but last long into the future. Johnlewis.com
Sony Bravia KD65XG8196 65-inch LED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart Android TV, £1,049
The Sony Bravia range is synonymous with cutting edge technology and razor-sharp images, and the XG8196 continues this legacy. Sony's Triluminos Display technology brings you vibrant and realistic tones in full 4K HDR resolution, while their Motionflow XR 400 Hz technology inserts additional frames into your visual content to smooth motion and increases sharpness. Chromecast is in-built and Amazon Alexa is supported when connected to an external Alexa device. Amazon.co.uk
Samsung QE75Q90R 75" Q90 QLED 4K HDR 2000 Smart TV, £3,499
Samsung's 75-inch QLED TV boasts not only a more-than-considerable size, but also over a billion Elite colours, promising to show a hugely accurate image with crystal whites and void-deep blacks. HDR10+ is supported to get the most from your tonal range and the UHD 4K screen ensures extreme clarity. It's got a wide viewing angle so everyone in the room can enjoy the picture, while the smart system reads your content (be it film or gaming) to ensure optimised image. The audio is also adaptive, so will equalise itself to suit your content and room. It's impressive, of that there is no doubt. Amazon.co.uk
Panasonic TX-75FX750B 75" Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR LED TV, £1,999
This entry from Panasonic is a real powerhouse. The TV's Wide Colour Phosphor Technology offers stunning tones while the 4K Pro HDR10+, Auto Brightness Enhancer and Local Dimming Pro render images that are accurate, bright and joyously crisp. In addition, the image screen has been tuned in Hollywood, so you can be doubly sure that the image you are seeing is perfect and accurate. Amazon Alexa and Google Home are also supported. Amazon.co.uk
What size TV do I need?
The answer to this question is very much a decision arrived at after a deliberation between space, bank and requirement. However, it tends to be sensible to have the smaller TVs is smaller rooms, larger in the biggest rooms. If you are too close to a TV, not matter how high quality the image, it is going to look blown out and poor. Too far, and you may as well watch Netflix on your phone.
Here’s a rough guide to give you an idea of the minimum distance you should have from your TV when viewing HD content:
40-inches - 80 inches (6.7 feet)
42-inches - 84 inches (7 feet)
48-inches - 96 inches (8 feet)
50-inches - 100 inches (8.3 feet)
54-inches - 108 inches (9 feet)
60-inches - 120 inches (10 feet)
65-inches - 130 inches (10.8 feet)
75-inches - 150 inches (12.5 feet)
Full HD: 1920×1080
Ultra HD/4K: 3840×2160
What’s 4K and what is Ultra HD?
These terms refer to the same thing – TV resolution. 4K screens offer four times more pixels than HD screens, with 8.3 million pixels working across the screen. This means clearer, accurate images.
What’s HDR and HDR10+?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It works to get as much light, crispness and depth into your picture. Whites are brighter and blacks are darker. It offers a huge range of over one billion colours. HDR10+ is an extension of this, but through the use of metadata creates an even more refined picture.
What does 4K and HDR do together?
screens give you the pixels, HDR takes care of making them look good.
What is Dolby Vision?
Dolby Vision is Dolby’s HDR and HRD10+.
LED screens use a backlight to provide the image. With OLED, the pixels produce their own light which gives greater accuracy to the image.
Samsung does not make OLED TVs, they make QLED. QLED is a Samsung property which replaces Liquid Crystals (found in LCD) and replaces them with Quantum dots, which Samsung believes to produce much more vibrant and bright colours and sharper images. QLED technology does tend to make a TV cheaper than it’s OLED competitor.
Blu-ray versus Blu-ray UDH?
Blu-ray disks carry high-definition content, Blu-ray UDH (Ultra-High Definition) supersedes Blur-ray by carrying 4K content. Not all Blu-ray players are equipped to play the UDH variant, so make sure to check before purchasing your player.
The conversion of a lower resolution into a higher resolution. For example, DVD content being played on a HD player will undergo upscaling.
What’s Dolby Atmos and DTS
They're technologies from competing companies which reach for the same goal. An object-based sound system which offers the impression of being in the centre of the action. Sound is given the impression of coming from all around, including above. It’s ground-breaking and extremely immersive.
What's THX Certification?
If a device is THX certified it means that it has undergone vigorous and thorough testing to guarantee an extremely high-level of performance, matching cinema standards. The audio or visuals will be in the quality intended by the director.