4K 65" TV for Living Room (TV, Streaming)?

DaveF

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  • 65" 4K TV
  • $1500-ish budget
  • TV and Streaming, no Movies
  • Off-axis viewing not a big deal, but I do want to be able to see the image from 60º when I'm in the kitchen (which I can with my Plasma)
  • Top choices: Sony X950H, TCL-8 Series, Sony A8H (on sale)
I think I'm ready to get into the 4K upgrading. I realized, after missing the Sony A8H sale, that I need to decide what I'd buy so I can buy it when prices are good this fall or winter.

First off is a new living room TV, replacing my decade old 50" Pioneer Kuro. I think a 65" will be a good size, an appreciable jump from 50", without getting into the expense of room-dominating excess of a 75". (Size excess is reserved for the basement projector and 120" screen.)

I don't do critical viewing or watch movies in the living. It's casual dinner viewing. It's for chilling to British Baking Competition at night when I'm too tired to turn on the theater and just want to veg on the couch in the evening. It's on all day long with HGTV on as background noise for my wife who works from home.

My budget is about $1500. Definitely not spending $2000+ for a premiere OLED. LG CX is out.

After doing some reading, these seem to be my leading choices with known sale prices, in current ranking:
  1. Sony X950H ($1500)
    1. $1500 on sale
    2. Top tier LCD
    3. I've gotten to love the integrated streaming apps of my bedroom LG TV. But I've read Sony's Android system is pretty garbage. So, not thrilled about that.
  2. TCL 8-Series ($1000 to $1300)
    1. $1300 on sale, as low as $1000
    2. What I've read is really good, maybe not Sony good, but for $1000, hecka good
    3. But no deep reviews on it yet...?
    4. Smart TV stuff is Roku? That would be good.
  3. Sony A8H ($1500)
    1. OLED, out of my budget, but a "Prime Day" two-day sale this week had it for $1500!
    2. But even at $1500, rtings.com ranked is lower than Sony LCD for TV which is what it's for...but should I consider 4K Streaming as "movie" or "TV"
  4. LG and Vizio had been on my list. But my impression is they don't have the same price/quality as the Sony and TCL.

Thoughts? What am I missing? Should I just pull the trigger on the Sony X950?
 

Josh Steinberg

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I have a TCL Series 6 from 2018 and I love it. The smart features are a built in Roku so it has the full functionality of that device. I don’t know the newest model you mentioned but I think in general the high end TCL models are a great choice for the uses you describe and for more critical viewing if you ever find yourself in need.

I wouldn’t pay for a midrange Sony/Samsung/LG over one of the top model TCLs.

My TCL Series 6 was half the price of the LG plasma it replaced and has wound up being twice as good.
 

Angelo Colombus

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Have the 55" Sony X950G for almost a year and it's the best tv i ever had with no issues. I do not stream but watch my DIRECTV, Blu-ray & 4k players on it.
 

Dennis Nicholls

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I just bought a 55" TCL 55S535 (2020) for my "just a TV" set in the great room. The 2020 series 5 is about as good as the 2019 series 6. It certainly is a wonderful set for $450, knowing I have a projection HT upstairs. The black levels are beyond what was considered HT worthy just a few years ago. Sets are becoming disposable after a few years at the present time. The set has Dolby Vision HDR for heaven's sake. The upscaling is wonderful. Major downside is mediocre off-axis viewing, but I live by myself.

I'd save some money for a native ATSC 3.0 set in a couple of years. Do you get decent OTA?
 
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DaveF

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For a tv meant for casual viewing of cable tv or the news etc. I see no need to invest 1500.00 on a tv.

I'm looking at the under 700.00 Vizio M series or MAYBE the TCL 65S535 5 series. Under 700.00

I'd bank the 700-800 and look at these or similar. Paying for a premium tv that won't be used for premium viewing seems like a waste.
Completely reasonable perspective.

I'm an enthusiast, replacing a top-tier Plasma I've had for ten years, balancing desire for best against not needing the best. Getting a high-end LCD is cheaper than a high-end OLED. :)
 

Josh Steinberg

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As someone who jumped from a plasma to a TCL, I was shocked that the TCL was better. I didn’t think it was possible but that’s how much better LED/LCD has gotten in a decade.
 

Worth

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As someone who jumped from a plasma to a TCL, I was shocked that the TCL was better. I didn’t think it was possible but that’s how much better LED/LCD has gotten in a decade.
I recently did the same - picked up a new 65" TCL 635 with mini leds. The last LCD I had was about 10-12 years ago, and they've clearly come a long way since then. The one advantage I'd still give to plasma is that it handles dark scenes with very low contrast better, but overall, I'm impressed with the new toy. If price were no object, I'd have gone with an OLED, but the TCL was less than half the price of a comparable OLED.
 

DaveF

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My run up looks like this now:
  1. Sony A8H
  2. Sony X950H
  3. LG CX
  4. TCL Q825
The Wirecutter updated their LCD recommendations with the TCL 8-Series as upgrade recommendation. Reviews are this is the closest you can get to OLED with LCD. And it's only $1300, right now. That jumped to the top of my list. Like, "should I buy now and stop thinking about it?", top of my list. However, according to rtings, its off-axis fall off is fast.

I measured my living room. Normal couch viewing is only 10º, which would be fine. But I have a townhouse-style home: narrow and long, with living at front and kitchen in back. And I sometimes watch TV while in the kitchen. In that case I'm 70º to 80º viewing angle. On my Plasma, it looks great. There's no perceptible color or brightness shift from 0º to 90º. The TCL 8 Series Q825 looks like it will be noticeably dimmer and color-skewed at those angles. I'm sure I could get used to it, since I'm not doing real "viewing" from the kitchen. But after a decade with the Kuro, I think it will frustrate me for a good while. Too bad, because all info on this TV is it's a steal with best of class performance, smartTV features, and having been as low as $1000 on sale.

That brings the Sony 950H back again in my priority. It sacrifices some contrast (worse than last year's 950G) to have wider angle viewing. I think overall, that's probably a fair trade for total happiness with living room / main floor enjoyment. Reviews have not had kind things to say about Sony's Android smartTV features. Last year's G series were said to be slow, with a bad UI. (I've got an Nvidia Shield, which I think the UI is fine, but maybe Android SmartTV is worse.) The 2020 H series are said to have better processors and work better.

This makes me look again at OLEDs, since they're probably closer to Plasma relative to what I'm used to. And according to rtings, their off-axis viewing is bascially what I'm used to from my Plasma. The LG CX has their webOS smartTV, which is stupidly complicated but works well after getting used to it (I have a 49" LG (2019) LCD.) The Sony A8H has its ill-regarded AndroidTV. But the A8H was just on sale for $1500, which is what I was willing to pay for the X950H. The CX is currently on sale for $1850: a great price for a top-tier OLED, but beyond what I wanted to pay for my living room TV.


Last week, I was >this close< to pushing "buy" and getting the TCL Q825 or Sony X950H. But, I watch the meta-verse around my life, and current indicators suggest I get through Dec 12 before the next big tech purchase. So I think I'll be doing some price checking, looking at Black Friday expectations, and be ready to buy in the next six weeks.
 
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Worth

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...The Wirecutter updated their LCD recommendations with the TCL 8-Series as upgrade recommendation. Reviews are this is the closest you can get to OLED with LCD. And it's only $1300, right now. That jumped to the top of my list. Like, "should I buy now and stop thinking about it?", top of my list. However, according to rtings, its off-axis fall off is fast....
The viewing angles on the TCL 6 are poor - I would imagine the 8 series would be the same (unfortunately they don't sell those in Canada or I would have bought one).
 
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JackieT

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I wonder if the TV is on some kind of swivel stand or just sitting or mounted to a fixed location?
 

JohnRice

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For a tv meant for casual viewing of cable tv or the news etc. I see no need to invest 1500.00 on a tv.

I'm looking at the under 700.00 Vizio M series or MAYBE the TCL 65S535 5 series. Under 700.00

I'd bank the 700-800 and look at these or similar. Paying for a premium tv that won't be used for premium viewing seems like a waste.
In the last 18 months I've gotten Vizio M and P series and TCL 5 series TVs. The M series is an excellent living room TV. It does a very nice job with HDR and you can get them for a great price. The 55" I got was on sale for $480. The P Series is in my HT. I had expected to go OLED, but decided that the life span of TVs today is too unreliable and decided to save the money. The TCL 5 series is fine if you don't mind some obvious edge lighting effects, and it is completely useless for HDR. It accepts HDR signals, but it can't actually handle them. I mean, it looks positively awful with HDR.

The one weakness with the Vizios is upscaling anything lower than 1080. If your upscaling is done elsewhere, which is usually is, you're fine but it does a poor job itself with anything below 1080.
 
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DaveF

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Here's my friend Caleb Dennison of Digital Trends video of the unboxing, settings and his first opinions.

Very accurate and informative review that confirms everything you heard it first on HTF.
Quick look says new processor does great with Android TV. I know it's not considered the best UI, compared to Roku and WebOS. But it's manageable from my experience with Shield.
 

JohnRice

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I'm confused on the TCL 8 series. Best Buy says it's edge lit, which is a deal breaker for me. I thought it was mini LED. Isn't that basically more and smaller dimming zones? There's so much electronic voodoo in marketing these days, you can't tell the real info from the garbage. I would have considered that model this past Spring when I got my Vizio P Series, but I don't know if it was available yet. FWIW, I'm quite happy with the P Series, especially the $900 I paid for the 65". You can sometimes see the dimming zones during moving credits on a black background, but otherwise it's been invisible. I would have liked the Roku TV schedule of the TCL, since I use OTA. That is a very nice feature with OTA.
 

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