8K TVs - The Cream of the crop of TVs?
A 4K resolution is becoming more and more common in living rooms, but for some that’s not enough. You want even more pixels and an even bigger TV? Then an 8K TV might be right for you. The debate about whether an 8K TV is already worth it is controversial, since there isn’t really much content for such a resolution yet. You should also keep in mind that an 8K resolution only makes sense from a size of about 65 inches, since such TVs require a seating distance of several meters. On this page, we present current 8K devices and go into the strengths and weaknesses.
Choosing the best 8K TV is not easy. While there are not many models on the current market, all available models are very powerful. However, since they offer different strengths, it is worth differentiating according to your own needs. You also have to be aware that there is still hardly any content for 8K TVs to display. Although even Sony and Microsoft advertise that their next-gen consoles can play games in an 8K resolution, games that are produced in this resolution are lacking in that respect. Also, thanks to a double-blind study, we know that most people can’t really tell the difference between 4K and 8K.
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The best 8K TV 2021: Sony Z8H
|Movies & Series|
Sony Z8H compared to the alternatives
Sony has an 8K model in its Masters Series that is quite respectable. Thanks to its 120Hz Vertical Alignment, type of LCD Panel panel, it can offer 8K resolution and delivers a deep and even black. Thanks to the Full Array Local Dimming and its 320 zones, a contrast of only 4000:1 is possible, which is due to the X-Wide Viewing Angle layer. However, this expands the viewing angle in return, which would turn out very narrow for the Z8H without this layer. Especially in bright rooms, the TV cuts a good figure, as it can reach a peak brightness of 2100 SI unit of luminance: 1 nit = 1 cd/m2 – The best way of measuring and comparing a TVs brightness . In dark rooms, only its OLED rivals can do better.
The high peak brightness combined with Dynamic HDR-format with a color depth of up to 12 Bits and Mastering of up to 10,000 Nits and the extremely good color space coverage make for a breathtaking High Dynamic Range – image/video with more dynamic range (contrast range) performance, where even very fine, bright highlights can be displayed by the FALD.
When it comes to sound, however, the Z8H can shine with the Acoustic Surface Audio feature, since it turns the TV itself into the center speaker and the sound is created directly in the center of the picture. Additionally, sound formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS are supported. So, if you have an Atmos home theater system with AVR, nothing stands in the way of a real home theater. Here the Z8H offers another innovative feature. You can connect the Surface Audio Speakers as center speakers to the AVR and achieve a great level of immersion.
The Z8H is also equipped with an HDMI 2.1 interface, making it ready for the upcoming console generation. This enables [email protected] or [email protected]. Additionally, a Variable Refresh Rate – synchronizes the display’s refresh rate with the output refresh rate of the graphics card is available.
Furthermore, the Z8H can seamlessly integrate into the smart home and be controlled by voice command via Alexa or Google Assistant. Apple devices are also supported thanks to AirPlay, so you can easily stream content from your smartphone.
Sony Z8H Pro / Contra
- Deep Blacks
- Contrast Ratio: 4000:1
- Full Array Local Dimming (FALD)
- 320 Dimming Zonen
- Max Brightness: 2100 Nits
- Viewing Angle
- No VRR
- No ALLM
- Does not output 8K content in full 8K resolution
Alternatives to the Sony Z8H as 8K TV
Samsung is of course getting involved in the 8K market and delivers a really great TV with 8K resolution in the form of the Q800T QLED. With its relatively low price, it is perfectly suited as an entry-level TV in the 8K world and also serves as an all-round talent. Despite QLED technology, the Q800T also does well in dark environments, delivering wonderful performance in bright rooms thanks to its outstanding reflection handling. A deep and above all even black comes about thanks to the 10-bit VA panel with a contrast of ~1700:1, which can however be increased to 9200:1 thanks to Full Array Local Dimming. In combination with the maximum brightness of 1400Nits and the wide color gamut, HDR content is impressively displayed and highlights are beautifully staged.
The wide viewing angle also ensures that you do not have to do without good picture quality even when watching with several people. Only the lack of Dolby Vision has to be rated negatively, since HDR content cannot be optimized dynamically. The motion handling of the 120Hz panel is also impressive. It is ensured by the response time of unbelievable ~2ms – which is not far away from the motion handling of OLEDs!
The Q800T is also ideal for gaming, as its input lag is one of the lowest we’ve seen so far. The refresh rate is only 10ms at 4K, which combined with the great response time means there is hardly any lag or blurring, which is excellent for gaming. Other features that are especially important for gaming, such as a Variable Refresh Rate, AMD FreeSync, Nvidia G-Sync and HDMI Forum VRR, are supported. Of course, the Q800T also has an HDMI 2.1 interface to get the best out of the latest consoles.
LG can also score with its 8K TV, but the SM9900 Nanocell has to make some concessions compared to the Samsung test winner. Nevertheless, the SM9900 can convince and is especially suitable for bright rooms thanks to the excellent anti-reflective coating. The built-in IPS panel has 10-bit color depth, a 120Hz refresh rate and thus offers an 8K resolution of up to 7680 x 4320p. LG’s proprietary Nanocell technology also grants a wide viewing angle. However, the contrast value of Nanocell TVs is only mediocre, and despite the local dimming function, you only get a value of 2500:1. Unfortunately, this often leads to perceptible flickering in dark scenes and annoying blooming in bright scenes.
However, the motion handling is outstanding, as well as the low input lag of 14ms and a solid response time of 6ms. Thanks to the HDMI 2.1 connection, the SM9900 Nanocell is wonderfully suited for gaming and is thus well prepared for the upcoming console generation. Unfortunately, movie and series fans have to reckon with some drawbacks. Not only the color accuracy leaves a lot to be desired, but there are also often impurities in the color reproduction and a weak gamma value that makes scenes appear brighter than they should. Stutters often occur in low frame rate content thanks to the low response time, causing movements to be rendered in a choppy manner. Thanks to the aforementioned low contrast value, the SM9900 is not really convincing in dark rooms.