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Thread: so... what's up with TVs now...?

  1. #1
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Default so... what's up with TVs now...?

    Hello!

    The TV at an aunt's place broke down... She has TV on the whole day and it is quite important for her, so we quickly replaced her TV with one we had in the bedroom (we don't use it much and this makes looking for one less urgent, giving us time to properly look and wait for special offers). She has limited space (<40", otherwise big furniture changes needed) and ours was a perfect fit. Interestingly, the price does not change that much between 40" and 55" (when looking at the same model), so we are thinking of just getting something bigger for us (we are also size limited, above 55" is more of an issue but there is a bit of a price jump anyway, so not worth looking for bigger). In the shop, they are all raving about OLED, but they are a bit more that what I would like to spend on a TV that is not that often used. LG has some nanocell technology, but weirdly on reviews they don't seem to perform that well regarding colour reproduction. Various other technologies on the market as well...

    The previous Samsung at my inlaws did not last long (started having blue stains everywhere after 5-6 years). They now have a Sony, but it seems Sony's right now are quite expensive here compared to the competition, especially their smaller models (55" and below). LG did have a bit of a cheat with 4K panels that were not true 4K and tragic to display text (RGBW lcd screens, where unlike in their oleds the W was not an extra subpixel but replaced a single entire RGB set, read here if you are interested: https://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/rgbw-201510084189.htm - they have abandoned this matrix layout), so no brand is perfect... Still, at the moment I'm leaning towards LG: our previous one was LG and I was quite happy with it, both quality wise and feature wise.

    I'm working on a list of requirements and am thinking of going for a model that has a full HDMI 2.1: this is immediately gives TVs with higher specs, including high refresh rates and more supported standards for audio and video encodings. I would want to avoid Android TVs (personal opinion), but like both Tizen (Samsung) and WebOS (LG).

    The TV hangs on a wall in the bedroom, connected to a PC (Nvidia GTX1070) via an HDMI extender. This is - at least currently - the only video source the TV has. The HDMI extender is this one ( https://www.avaccess.com/products/4kex70-h2/ ), which does not support the high framerates but does support some of the features of HDMI 2.1. Rather important is the position of the vesa mount: some models have it very low, which would position the TV too high given the position of the wall-mount; ideally the vesa-mount should be in the center (does not matter which vesa mount, our wall bracket supports all between 100mm and 400mm). I have a price set, but if I would come across an OLED at a reasonable price, I may go a bit over my set price. Still, while I can find non-oleds with hdmi 2.1 and high refresh rates in the set price, I think finding a oled at not too much more will be a stretch.

    Any things to be aware of in current model ranges (like e.g. that old LG panel-cheat)?
    Or any other specifications worth considering? Or technologies to avoid?


    Thanks!

    J.
    Last edited by VJ; 25th August 2022 at 08:57.
    pixar
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  2. #2
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Never owned a TV.

    Buy a Philips so Umfi's stonks go up.
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 25th August 2022 at 15:05.

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    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    LOL. No, don;t buy a Philips. As a matter of fact, consumer electronics have been divested a long time ago, not sure where it is at really now but not Philips as listed on the exchanges.

    Personally, I like, dare I say it, Samsung. The one thing I do not like about TVs nowadays is that they miss the 3.5mm headphone jack which I use to output sound over my hifi set.
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    In our case, the tv is just used as a big monitor.

    Samsungs are quite nice and very compatible with other hardware (keyboards, ..., but also the ir and hdmi cec control of other devices works well). The LG I have (rather had) also has some nice features: you can play music from usb while displaying any source (it mutes the source) and the player interface pops up when you press a button that relates to it. I'm surprised many entry level models have just one usb port, and then they advertise you can record, connect mouse, keyboard, ... and according to the manual it may work with a usb hub but better not.
    It also surprised me that models from 2021 or later do not have any analog inputs (cheaper brands tend to have, but LG, Samsung, Sony, ... all lack ANY analog input). Just 3 or so hdmi ports, antenna/cable/satellite. Where is the time of several composite video-in, s-video, a couple of euro-scarts, perhaps even some component inputs ... it used to be a Swiss cheese on the back .

    I have still seen that some models have an analog out which is shared with the headphone jack, but it is indeed increasingly rare. But most have an optical output for audio, so a simple optical-analog converter could solve that issue.
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    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    I never figured that :facepalm:
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umfriend View Post
    I never figured that :facepalm:
    That is actually why I often post questions here... Usually I already have a good idea, but someone might come up with an argument I did not think about, or suggest an interesting alternative.
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    Moderator dZeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ View Post
    That is actually why I often post questions here... Usually I already have a good idea, but someone might come up with an argument I did not think about, or suggest an interesting alternative.
    I'm with Utwig on this (as in haven't owned a TV in many years). TV tuner tech changes constantly (analogue to DVB-* to IPTV), while a good monitor has a much longer lifespan (imo).

    So, I would just buy a good monitor with HDMI and DisplayPort/USB-C inputs and an external tuner box that you can easily replace whenever the TV standards or delivery method change.

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    We don't use it as a TV, the only video source is a pc connected to it via HDMI; it hangs on a wall in the bedroom. 50-55" monitors are hard to find (we want the normal 16:9 ratio and non-curved) and more expensive. And as the usage will be TV-style viewing rather than close work, a TV makes more sense in this situation. We don't care about the tuners.
    Last edited by VJ; 28th August 2022 at 10:28.
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    Moderator dZeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ View Post
    We don't use it as a TV, the only video source is a pc connected to it via HDMI; it hangs on a wall in the bedroom. 50-55" monitors are hard to find (we want the normal 16:9 ratio and non-curved) and more expensive. And as the usage will be TV-style viewing rather than close work, a TV makes more sense in this situation. We don't care about the tuners.
    Yes that makes sense

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    The previous LG I got was very good and suitable as a monitor (close up viewing, luckily it did not have the RGBW matrix I linked earlier), unlike some other TVs I've seen - a 23" SkyMaster we got for free is tragic up-close.

    It looks like promotions for TVs are returning, but I think I will have to make a choice between features... TVs are surprisingly not that expensive at the moment, and size is not the main distinction (43-55" variants of the same model are not that far apart) but I would like at least either 100Hz or OLED. I missed out on a promotion on a 100Hz for the pricepoint at which I would get it, but I'm sure such prices will come back. I also would like some IP control, which I know I can do with LG (I figured it out 2 weeks before moving the TV to the aunt ), as that allows me to control it from my home automation server (and thus from the app, which also controls the htpc that is connected to it) - not that important but would be fun to play with as then I have full control.

    Not sure which feature to go for if it turns out I have a choice: 100Hz or OLED... Is burn-in still an issue with OLED?
    The QNED (also LG) technology appears to give a nice image...
    Last edited by VJ; 29th August 2022 at 06:50.
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    Moderator dZeus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ View Post
    The previous LG I got was very good and suitable as a monitor (close up viewing, luckily it did not have the RGBW matrix I linked earlier), unlike some other TVs I've seen - a 23" SkyMaster we got for free is tragic up-close.

    It looks like promotions for TVs are returning, but I think I will have to make a choice between features... TVs are surprisingly not that expensive at the moment, and size is not the main distinction (43-55" variants of the same model are not that far apart) but I would like at least either 100Hz or OLED. I missed out on a promotion on a 100Hz for the pricepoint at which I would get it, but I'm sure such prices will come back. I also would like some IP control, which I know I can do with LG (I figured it out 2 weeks before moving the TV to the aunt ), as that allows me to control it from my home automation server (and thus from the app, which also controls the htpc that is connected to it) - not that important but would be fun to play with as then I have full control.

    Not sure which feature to go for if it turns out I have a choice: 100Hz or OLED... Is burn-in still an issue with OLED?
    The QNED (also LG) technology appears to give a nice image...
    No idea on the TV, but curious what you use for home automation. I've bought some Tado and Netatmo devices that I'd like to use without cloud dependency in future. It seems like Home Assistant and OpenHAB are the most popular automation platforms.

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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    I'm also curious about that. You can try out Ignition - we use that at work and it's a freemium but gets very expensive in factories.

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    My Main TV in the lounge is a 2007 46" Sony 720P panel. Still works as good as the day it was new. One day it will die and get changed out to a new 60" version.
    paulw

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    Quote Originally Posted by dZeus View Post
    No idea on the TV, but curious what you use for home automation. I've bought some Tado and Netatmo devices that I'd like to use without cloud dependency in future. It seems like Home Assistant and OpenHAB are the most popular automation platforms.
    My lightswitches and thermostats are KNX, and I have the full definition file of the KNX addresses.
    I also have a Loxone miniserver, which connects to the KNX bus (no inputs/outputs from the Loxone are used) and to my network. The Loxone itself supports also TCP/UDP connections to control other devices, as well as other optional hardware modules (rs485, dmx, ... ; but I don't have any). Loxone offers an application for development, which defines behaviour and creates an interface on their own app on apple and android, so I used that one to provide app-control from my phones.

    On my HTPC, I run EventGhost, which I have configured to receive and send TCP/UDP: it can receive from Loxone and send to Loxone. EventGhost allows me to translate incoming commands to keypresses or other actions, so I can control e.g. the netflix app, but also my Marantz amplifier (which is connected via RS232 to the HTPC). I can use the UDP control to directly control MPC-HC and my Squeezeboxes. The Squeezeboxes also have a ir-blaster output, so for one squeezebox that is used to power the amplifier and control the volume.
    Control of the LG-TV is possible via NodeRED (I tested this with a NodeRED installation on my HTPC).
    The HTPC also runs a virtual Loxberry, which is a community-made server that increases possibilities of the Loxone Miniserver, but I'm not actively using this at the moment. It allows also to run NodeRED, potentially offers integration of the Squeezeboxes with the Loxone's native music interface blocks and offers integration of open source weather sources (among many other features).

    At the moment, I still have some issues with thermostat control from the Loxone app, as I try to use their implementation of a room controller but that one is not intended for such use: it wants to control heatsources directly, but I think I have a workaround. Unfortunately, my airco is not controlled via wifi or KNX, so that one is not under the automation control.

    I'm still in the process of adding more intelligence to the system, now I have a lot of the basics working but am cleaning it all up. The Loxone application requires you to draw blocks, and programming is like programming a realtime system, which is a bit different to what I'm used to.

    I'm also trying to decrease the functionality in EventGhost, mainly for maintainability, and move as much as possible to the Loxone app. It is easier to maintain if all details are in one place, and EvenGhost could just do a simple translation between communication protocols (I learned that NodeRED also could be an option).
    Last edited by VJ; 30th August 2022 at 12:34.
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    OK, so I got a TV, an LG 55NANO763QA, it was on a great promotion (40% off), this year's model and while I am aware of its restrictions (not 100Hz, not OLED), at the price I got it I figured it will suffice and be good in the price class. Price played a big part as was past experience (Sony's does not seem to have a cheaper range here, we had bad experience with Samsung panels dying quite fast and I liked my previous LG). I also did not want android.

    Off the bat: the UI of the new TV is just a mess. Some things that should be in picture settings are in general (e.g. backlight eco settings, which blocks other picture settings), naming the inputs is via the home app (not in the settings), many settings are hidden behind an entry "advanced settings", in short many such quirks where you end up having to navigate between different menu structures. Functionality also suffered (e.g. the music player is no longer capable of playing in the background while the screen shows other inputs, no dual input side-by-side screen - both features that were present on my old LG 40UH630V, a 40" which costed about the same 5 years ago). The settings optimizer - which analyses your settings - suggests to switch off the AI features for image and sound that are described by LG as a revolutionary improvement... Why bother making them if the suggestion is to switch them off? A nice functionality is that the TV is a remote desktop client, but it looks quite slow (I can play video through remote desktop between pc's on my network, but the TV is not capable of that). So an interesting feature on paper, probably less interesting in practise. The UI is ok - speedwise - for basic things, but slow when you want to open the full settings (once it opens, it is ok again). The on screen sliders (e.g. when you adjust brightness) are clumsy: too big and no easy way of switching between sliders (e.g. brightness / contrast), where this was very intuitive with my old LG.

    The magic remote is nice though, with its gyroscopic control (which in remote desktop mode becomes a mouse control). Also nice is that you don't need any account or whatever to use the TV, share image from a phone or even use the webbrowser or remote desktop. Just for the other apps, smarthome integration - as I understand it just with LG devices - and voice control you need to agree to the personal data agreements (to which I have not agreed - I don't need either functionality) and probably for some of the features you will need an LG account.

    The colours look nice, the image is sharp, although there is quite a bit of bleeding from the backlight, particularly in dark scenes with letterbox in a dark room (mainly from the bottom). I had the impression my previous TV was better with that, but it may be due to unoptimized settings at this point or unfair comparison with different source material. In daylight the image looks very nice. Now just working on getting the picture and sound settings right: the room has varying light conditions so it takes a while to get it right. HDMI inputs have limited adjustments for PC inputs. For sound settings, it can use the microphone in the remote (used for voice control) to learn the room acoustics. Something to try... (a similar system works well on my Marantz home cinema amplifier).
    I don't seem to be able to set RGB with 12-bit colour at 60Hz on the PC (60Hz reverts it to 8-bit with dithering), but it may be due to my extender (or due to the fact the TV does not have full hdmi 2.1). I will try with YCC444... If it also does not work I'll have to make a choice: 60Hz or 12 bit colour... (edit: same effect, I'll probably go with RGB 60Hz 8 bit as the main source will be Netflix, I doubt the source material is 12 bit)

    Physically, the side ports are difficult to reach when the TV is mounted on a wall (and we don't have a very slim mount) as they are too far from the edge and you just cannot reach them. The back ports (1 usb, 1 hdmi, 1 ethernet) may be problematic with a very slim wall mount as they are not angled or recessed (not an issue for us).

    Generally, sufficient for us as second big display (in addition to a projector), but perhaps not worth it at the full price in the sense that there may be similarly priced alternatives that give a better image quality (the normal price-point is almost the entry-point for oled).
    Last edited by VJ; 2nd October 2022 at 07:03.
    pixar
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