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Newsletter Issue #945: So Do You Need an 8K TV?

This past holiday season, 4K TVs hit critical mass. Only the very cheapest models were strictly HD. Starting not too far north of $300, you can buy a genuine Ultra HD set with a decent-sized screen. It’s not that these sets are necessarily junk either. Many come from big-name manufacturers, such as LG, Samsung, Sony and VIZIO. While the latter specializes in mostly lower cost sets, they are often rated higher than more expensive gear, a good market to be in for people looking for the best value.

What this means is that, if you’re ready to trade up from HD, you’ll find plenty of affordable gear. Indeed, when you examine all these sets in stores, it is very difficult to choose one from the other based on picture quality alone. Many of these are cookie-cutter products with fine differences that will never be noticed under the bright lights of a retail outlet. It’s only when they are set up in your home, and actually run side by side, would most of the differences be revealed.

Probably the most immediate distinction, though, is in the viewing angle. As you check the picture from the sides and above and below, you’ll see the picture dimming. But you see the same phenomenon on your iPhone or any device with an LED-based display. It’s the limit of this technology, though some sets manage it better than others. That’s where advantages will be fairly obvious.

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