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Analysis Review DF - The Best 4K TVs For 4K HDR Gaming: 2020 Edition

Fake

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From the top tier options for 4K gaming to more affordable entries, Digital Foundry's Will Judd and Tom Morgan cover 2020's best TVs so far. LG's B9 and C9 are the clear standouts if you have the budget - as is Samsung's flagship Q90R - all of which support 4K at 120Hz. However mid-range and value TVs are also considered here, plus our choice of best small TV.


LG B9/C9 (OLED): the best 4K TV for HDR gaming
Samsung Q90/Q90R (QLED): best non-OLED for 4K HDR gaming
Samsung Q60R: the best mid-range choice for 4K HDR
Samsung RU8000 (VA): best value 4K TV for HDR gaming
TCL R625 (VA): the best budget 4K TV for Americans
LG UK6300 (IPS): the best small 4K TV for HDR gaming

Display types

With the death of plasma displays, there are two major display types used in modern displays: LCD and OLED, with LCD representing the lower and mid-range of the market and OLED the high-end. LCD displays can be broken down further too, into IPS, VA and QLED displays. Here's what you need to know about each one, in order from cheapest to most expensive.

IPS: These monitors provide good viewing angles and improved colour accuracy compared to monitors using VA panels. However, some IPS panels, particularly older ones, can suffer from slower response times, making them worse for fast-paced games. Another potential issue is 'IPS glow', where the monitor's backlight is visible in dark scenes.

VA: A type of monitor panel which tends to occupy a middle-ground between IPS and cheap TN displays in many respects. These panels generally offer the best contrast, backed with good response times and colour reproduction. However, viewing angles and colour gamut may be limited compared to IPS and OLED.

QLED: This confusingly-named panel type from Samsung is essentially a VA panel that has been upgraded with quantum dots, allowing the monitors to produce slightly wider viewing angles than standard VA panels, plus higher brightness levels and wider colour gamuts. However, as is typical for a VA display, motion handling can be subpar.

OLED: This high-end display tech uses organic light-emitting diodes which produce what is arguably the best picture. Contrast is a strong suit, as individual pixels can be turned off completely to create a true black, rather than the very dark grey that other monitor types can produce. Viewing angles are also impressive, ensuring the picture from a 45-degree angle looks as good as the screen viewed dead-on. HDR is also well catered for, thanks to the ability to see extremely light and dark areas side-by-side. However, OLED can be expensive, its brightness can't compete with traditional LCDs and motion handling can be poor on some models. Image retention or burn-in is also a concern, although it is unlikely to occur through normal use, even when gaming.
 
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rofif

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LG UK6300 (IPS): the best small 4K TV for HDR gaming

No black frame insertion makes that a no from me. I like motion clarity.
excellent price on this one.
I use it's monitor counterpart - Lg 27uk650, 4k, freesync ips monitor
 

Fake

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Is Bravia outside Brazil the worst TV for gaming? I find even the most expensive Samsung TV inside Brazil is terrible. Maybe vary between countries.
 

Skyr

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Hmmm I keep thinking about upgrading to a C9
Upgrading from what?
I'll be glad to shill you a C9.

It's amazing. I'm in heaven.
 

Rentahamster

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No Sony A9G? 👀 That's a red flag for me
The LG OLEDs have better input lag


The LGs are also G-Sync compatible. The LGs have HDMI 2.1. In those aspects, they're objectively better for gaming and future proof gaming.

The Sony might be better for movies though.
 
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Whew this feel like 2006 all over again, gonna have to invest in a new tv and next gen console at the same time to fully get the best experience.

I’m hesitant of Samsung, I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with their stuff but I guess I’ll have to settle for the Q60r to not totally break the bank.
 

Rentahamster

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I’m hesitant of Samsung
Samsungs are good for gaming if you get the models that have black frame insertion, low latency game mode, and even low latency game mode interpolation. This will allow you to use motion interpolation to make 30fps smoother without unplayable input lag.

The RU8000 are an example.
 

GHG

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Whew this feel like 2006 all over again, gonna have to invest in a new tv and next gen console at the same time to fully get the best experience.

I’m hesitant of Samsung, I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with their stuff but I guess I’ll have to settle for the Q60r to not totally break the bank.

Find a deal for the q70r if you can, it's a massive step up from the q60r in HDR performance.
 

Jigga117

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This. The 2020 models are out already, why didn't they just test those. LG CX is available...

maybe because they didn’t get review displays yet? Either way, your not missing much from CX>C9

4k@120
VRR
4X HDMI 2.1
 

kingbean

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Wait, they recommend a samsung TV with edge lighting and a much lower peak HDR brightness over the TCL which has 100 lighting zones and a much higher contrast ratio?

I don't get that.
 

FeldMonster

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Wait, they recommend a samsung TV with edge lighting and a much lower peak HDR brightness over the TCL which has 100 lighting zones and a much higher contrast ratio?

I don't get that.
Didn't they mention as it only being available in the U.S., and not in Europe?
 
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S0ULZB0URNE

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Video sucks.
Doesn't have the Sony X900H or Samsung Q80T and both are (burn in free) Full featured HDMI 2.1 ie 4K/120 etc.
 

Skyr

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They hate Sony over there...at least that's the impression I get.

Same with USGamer...the US equivalent that uses any PS game review as an opportunity to get traffic by giving a ridiculous score and cause outrage.
No, they didn't mention it because as Rentahamster Rentahamster already pointed out the C9/CX is objectivly the better choice for gaming in the OLED department.
Then they proceeded the best QLED alternative for everybody who is concerned about burn in and after that to budged alternatives.

Sony is a bit behind when it comes to gaming related qualities on TVs. I'd assume they will step it up when the PS5 hits the stores. At least it would make sense.
 
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Rentahamster

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They hate Sony over there...at least that's the impression I get.
Nope, these recommendations are based on objective, measurable facts.

Unless input lag, G-sync, HDR peak brightness or HDMI 2.1 don't matter to you as a gamer. At which point, I don't know what to tell you.

Even rtings has the LG OLED as #1.

 

Bryank75

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Nope, these recommendations are based on objective, measurable facts.

Unless input lag, G-sync, HDR peak brightness or HDMI 2.1 don't matter to you as a gamer. At which point, I don't know what to tell you.

Even rtings has the LG OLED as #1.

Sure but they still hate Sony...
 

Rentahamster

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Video sucks.
Doesn't have the Sony X900H or Samsung Q80T and both are (burn in free) Full featured HDMI 2.1 ie 4K/120 etc.
Not out of the box.

In addition, X900H (XH90) will be the first Sony TV to offer support for HDMI 2.1's VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). The former is variable refresh rate for smoother, lag-free gameplay via a PC or game console (must also support VRR). The latter allows the TV to automatically switch into 'Game' mode when it detects a game via HDMI. These features will be added through a future software update for X900H (XH90) only.

Sure but they still hate Sony...
Based on what evidence?

I'm not seeing it.
 

Rentahamster

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Who cares? Is PS5 and XSX available?
Future proofing is a thing, and the new consoles and new GPUs for PC are probably less than a year out from now.
No display baby sitting cause of burn in.
Higher peak brightness (OLED is laughably low) and HDR is getting brighter and brighter.
Longer TV life as OLED is organic based.
Samsung>LG
There are a lot of variables at play, and different people have different usage cases and prioritize different things. This isn't so black and white.

That's why there are different recommendations and not just one.
 
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Jigga117

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No display baby sitting cause of burn in.
Higher peak brightness (OLED is laughably low) and HDR is getting brighter and brighter.
Longer TV life as OLED is organic based.
Samsung>LG

Okay you went from talking spec wise to this? I don't have to "baby sit"(Whatever the hell this means) It is a tv you watch it just like any other tv. You turn it off when it isn't in use like most normal people do like the lights in the room lol. I don't know how thats supposed to work out for you if you plan to get both consoles/HDMI 2.1 PC with 1 port for the display.

Yet reviews constantly side with the OLED overall performance. I guess brighter is supposed to make up for other short comings now?
 

Riven326

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Still rocking my 2016 Vizio D series 4k tv. No HDR, but it has great contrast and picture quality is superb. No HDMI 2.0 ports. So I have to use YUV420 color space instead of RGB. I can't see the difference personally. But I get 4k/60 out of it. Only $500 new at the time.
 

S0ULZB0URNE

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Okay you went from talking spec wise to this? I don't have to "baby sit"(Whatever the hell this means) It is a tv you watch it just like any other tv. You turn it off when it isn't in use like most normal people do like the lights in the room lol. I don't know how thats supposed to work out for you if you plan to get both consoles/HDMI 2.1 PC with 1 port for the display.

Yet reviews constantly side with the OLED overall performance. I guess brighter is supposed to make up for other short comings now?
if you don't want burn in.. you have to baby sit the display.
On top of maintenance to maintain it.
The one port is a negative for the Q80T but I also listed the X900H which has more than one HDMI 2.1 port.
The same reviews that try and spin away burn in when thousands of pictures online show how very real it is.
Brightness is a major weakness for where HDR technology is heading as content is getting brighter and brighter as are the TV's..well not OLED :)