Update: Philips has confirmed at a recent event that it is looking to use LG's OLED panels in its next generation of TVs. We should keep an eye out at the IFA show later in the year to see Philips join LG and Panasonic in the OLED TV game. Philips has also proclaimed the death of 3D...
If you're looking to buy a new television this year then chances are you're after a 4K Ultra HD TV. Ultra HD is the new buzzword in TV tech, and these sets can deliver sharper, crisper, high-fidelity visuals than are possible at a measly 1080p.
Every manufacturer is now lining up to offer you a 4K UHD TV. But where it was once almost a content-less gimmick, limited to showfloor showreels, more and more UHD movies and TV shows are becoming available from the likes of Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix.
Ultra HD Blu-rays will be on sale early this year, Samsung offers a UHD content pack with its TVs, and Netflix and Amazon are now set up to deliver 4K content online to their premium subscribers.
There are also a host of broadcasters testing out live UHD content, with BT Sport already sending 4K Premier League football down its pipes.
But Ultra HD isn't just about that 3840 x 2160 resolution.
And it doesn't have to cost the earth to get on the Ultra HD rollercoaster either.
Here's our pick of the best 4K TVs in the world today, from the wallet-busting 65-inch beasts to the best 48-inch TV we've ever seen.
1. Panasonic TX-65CZ952
"Produces the best all-round picture quality I've ever seen."
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: Custom Panasonic | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 1,448 x 913 x 311 mm
Panasonic has set out to make a statement with the 65CZ952. With an eye-watering price tag of nearly £8,000 it's clearly not a TV the brand expects to sell in large quantities. Yet its combination of OLED tech, Panasonic's latest and greatest video processing and input from Hollywood have the potential to set new picture quality standards.
While we will probably never be able to own one, though, the 65CZ952 still represents a key moment in the history of television for the way it harnesses Panasonic's processing power and picture quality know-how to take the performance potential of OLED TV to a previously unimagined level.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-65CZ952
2. LG 65EF950V
"OLED screen technology is quite simply the future of television."
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: webOS 2.0 | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1450 x 883 x 236 mm
Despite a couple of strange lighting flaws, there are times - lots of them, in fact - where the 65EF950V's pictures look pretty much perfect. Certainly the amount of contrast and shadow detail on show will be a dream come true to home cinema fans still mourning the death of plasma TVs. The set is gorgeously designed too, and LG's webOS interface is on hand to make sure it's never hard to find something to watch.
The fact that all the 65EF950V's, in some cases unique, attractions are available here in a flat screen at a more affordable price than expected is just the icing on the cake.
Read the full review: LG 65EF950V
3. Samsung UE65JS9500
"Nothing short of a milestone in TV picture quality"
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD, Freesat HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LED Backlit | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 917 x 1450 x 379mm
Samsung's 2015 flagship TV leverages new brightness and colour technologies to take LCD picture quality to a whole new level - especially once true HDR content starts to roll into town. The difference its HDR technology makes to picture quality is immense - more impactful by far, in fact, than the step up from HD to UHD.
What's more, while you need native HDR content to see the TV at its absolute cinematic best it still delivers superb results with current sources.
It's much easier to use than previous Samsung smart TVs too. We just wish more people would be able to afford it.
Read the full review: Samsung UE65JS9500
4. LG 65EC970V
"The first 4K OLED TV is finally here."
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: OLED | Smart TV: LG webOS | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 880 x 1447 x 257mm
For many home cinema fans the LG 65EC970V is a dream come true. There are many, many occasions where its combination of a native 4K UHD resolution and OLED screen technology delivers pictures more beautiful and natural than any we've ever seen before on any television.
Its webOS operating system, moreover, ensures that the 65EC970V is still easy to use despite its cutting edge nature, and its design is gorgeous.
If you're lucky enough to have six grand to spare you're faced with a stark TV choice between the LG 65EC970V and the Samsung UE65JS9500. The bottom line though is that it's another ground-breaking moment for TV picture quality.
Read the full review: LG 65EC970V
5. Sony KD-75X9405C
"This Sony delivers arguably the most 4K picture I've ever seen on a 4K TV"
Screen size: 75-inches | Tuner: FreeView and FreeSat | Resolution: 4K | Panel technology: Triluminos | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: No | Dimensions: 1041 x 1929 x 322mm
The 75X9405C certainly isn't shy about coming forward.
Its already vast 75-inch screen is further expanded by two chunky side panels and an unusually deep rear end. But there's a good excuse for this bulk, as it enables Sony's set to deliver the best speakers I've ever heard on a TV.
The 75X9405C also carries the new Android TV smart platform - even though this hasn't convinced us it's the future of TV - and best of all it combines a 4K resolution with a direct LED panel design and Sony's latest picture processing to produce pictures that are, for the most part, deliriously good.
Read the full review: Sony KD-75X9405C
6. Hisense LTDN50K321UWT
"Hisense's UK debut is far better than you've any right to expect for the money."
Screen size: 50-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Hisense | Curved: No | Dimensions: 702 x 1124 x 247mm
Hisense is clearly keen to arrive on the UK TV scene with a bang. At £499 the 50K321 is groundbreakingly cheap for a 50-inch 4K TV, yet despite its extreme affordability it offers a pretty impressive set of features.
The breadth of multimedia playback support, strong connectivity, a smart TV system, and some promising picture specifications are all as welcome as they are unexpected.
It has, at the first time of asking, established itself as a brand capable of operating at the budget end of the market while serving up a markedly better-than-budget level of performance and features. All of which makes it potentially the stuff of nightmares for the more established TV brands.
Read the full review: Hisense LTDN50K321UWT
7. Panasonic TX-50CX802B
"Far and away Panasonic's best LCD TV to date."
Screen size: 50-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Firefox OS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 687mm x 1121mm x 211mm
While there's room for improvement with its backlight and motion handling, the 50CX802 is far and away Panasonic's best LCD TV to date.
Its pictures benefit from a unique focus on colour and greyscale nuances that give it a genuine USP, and it backs this up with an appealingly friendly new Firefox smart TV interface and - following imminent firmware updates - both HDR and Freeview Play functionality.
All at what is, all things considered, an attractive price.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-50CX802B
8. Sony KD-65S8505C
"The 65S8505C's pictures are actually outstandingly good."
Screen size: 65-inch | Tuner: FreeView HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LCD | Smart TV: Android TV | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 893 x 1452 x 274mm
For its second generation of curved LCD TVs, Sony has stripped back the design and audio capabilities from those used on its 2014 curved TV debut in a (mostly sensible) bid to hit a much more approachable price point.
Sony's new processing system combines with the screen's Triluminos technology and 4K resolution to deliver pictures of spectacular detail, colour subtlety and brightness.
For much of the time the 65S8505C's pictures are outstandingly good. Especially if you're looking for a quality 'family TV' rather than a dedicated screen for a home cinema room.
Read the full review: Sony KD-65S8505C
9. Samsung UE48JS8500
"Superb colour, awesome 4K detail and sublime depth make this one special TV."
Screen size: 48-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD and Freesat HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: Yes | Dimensions: 689 x 1083 x 308mm
If you're in the market for a Samsung SUHD, the 48-inch model is well worth a long, lingering look. It's considerably cheaper than the step-up UE48JS9000 and UE65JS9500T models and has great image quality to boot.
The UE48JS8500's superb colour, awesome 4K detail and sublime depth make this one special TV, though some black crush does take the edge off. Excellent usability features – from second-screening a TV channel and hosting all UK catch-up TV apps to supporting Netflix/Amazon 4K and playing-back 4K video files – are welcome but slightly under-powered in terms of processing speed.
The UE48JS8500 though still remains a good value way to sample Samsung's impressive SUHD TVs.
Read the full review: Samsung UE48JS8500
10. Samsung UE48JU7000T
"The bottom line is the set is capable of being brilliant."
Screen size: 48-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: UHD 4K | Panel technology: LED | Smart TV: Tizen | Curved: No | Dimensions: 683 x 1087 x 278mm
Samsung's 48-inch affordable 4K TV was almost on a hiding to nothing. When we first checked it out the image quality was blighted by terrible motion blur at its out-of-the-box settings.
With a bit fiddling around though you're left with a beautiful UHD panel.
The UE48JU7000T produces one of the best contrast performances we've ever seen from a non-HDR TV, which in turn helps it produce some of the most vivid and effective colour performances we've seen from an LCD TV. Its Tizen Smart TV system is well populated and easy to use, too.
Read the full review: Samsung UE48JU7000T
11. Panasonic TX-40CX680B
"The TX-40CX680B could turn out to be one of the bargains of year"
Screen size: 40-inch | Tuner: Freeview HD | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Panel technology: LED |Smart TV: Firefox OS | Curved: No | Dimensions: 560 x 904 x 202 mm
Is the TX-40CX680B too small to show-off its 4K panel at just 40-inches? Though the 4K resolution is the headline-grabber, the emphasis from Panasonic on this 40-incher is on better pixels rather than more pixels. This highly talented and great value TV swerves that elephant in the room with some pin-sharp pictures to add to its impressive smart TV OS.
With Firefox OS it really makes use of its eight million pixels by boosting black levels, colour and upscaling prowess to make everything save for standard definition look sumptuous. With Freeview Play incoming, it's an early front-runner for the best value 4K screen around.
Read the full review: Panasonic TX-40CX680B
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