"Big Screen TVs Are The New 4x4 Power-Guzzling SUVs Of Your Living Room”
“A Flat-Screen TV Uses More Power Than The Old, Big Fat CRT TVs”
“Televisions Consume Up To 15 Per Cent Of Household Electricity Across The World”
“The Amount Of Energy Consumed By A TV Increases As The Resolution Increases”
These are obviously frightening headlines. Fortunately, some of them are typical scare-tactics and most of what’s left is about to become old hat real soon. Here are the final facts: Yes, it’s true that flat-screen TVs use more power than CRTs, but only because the average size has moved from 20 inches to about 42. That’s double the screen real estate! Per-inch consumption is way lower. Plasma TVs are notorious for guzzling serious power and energy.
LCD and LED TVs are much better and consume about 70 per cent less power. And the all-new-king OLED will bring that down by another 70 per cent. Thus the big questions being asked by almost everyone nowadays (other than “which smartphone should I buy?”, for which I have no answers), include: Should I buy a really big TV? Will the power bill kill me? Should it be 4K, and which one should I buy? Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to pick your options from the line-up of really jumbo TVs in India.
Well, despite all that melodrama, the actual choices of what you should buy when you want to go really big are limited. Let me set some ground rules here. Fifty-five inches is not considered a really big TV anymore, so it has to be bigger, way bigger than that.
And anything that costs some ridiculous 10 to 20 lakh rupees is also out. This isn’t an exclusive buying guide for Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates or Carlos Slim. It’s for the rest of us who still want a big display and haven’t yet launched a social network or a software company or even a business empire that spans the world.
Read that sub-headline again. Yes, it’s an OLED TV and that’s the main reason it’s here. The 65EC970T is a stunning piece of work with the kind of blacks and contrast levels that LEDs and even plasma TVs can only dream of. I’m not going to bend your mind with boring tech explanations, but you do need to understand why OLED is superior. Plasma, LCD or LED, all TVs need backlighting. OLEDs don’t. Each and every OLED pixel lights up on its own.
Picture (better than) perfect! From LG’s stable comes this 4K 65-inch model that promises stunning colours and a television experience not seen before.
Thus, the colours are stunning, the picture is brighter, shadow detailing is magical and the black level is near perfect. That becomes obvious as soon as you turn this one on. It’s also curved but very gently, and at sizes like this, the curved screen is a truly immersive experience. At this present moment, there isn’t a TV in the country that can give you a better picture.
What’s not so great is that the sound is average, the upscaling (taking a normal HD movie and turning it into near 4K) is okay, and it’s almost impossible to mount on a wall. It’s just been released and will set you back by Rs 5 lakhs.
The KD-79X9000B blows your mind with its looks. Straight out, this is one of the best-looking TVs out there. The sheer expanse and size of this giant TV makes it majestic.
Big brothers: With their overall performance, large size 4K TVs from Sony (above) and Samsung (below) make for impressive options.
Despite its unbelievable size, its ergonomics and the form factor is soothing, with soft curves and rounded edges. This is also about the only big TV with integrated sound that can rival a good soundbar as it has some really good speakers. The upscaling is good and even a normal Full-HD broadcast from a set-top box looks amazing. But the fact that it is LED does show through in dark as well as shadow contrast lit-up scenes, where it doesn’t do as well. Priced at about `5.3 lakhs. Samsung 4K 78-inch Curved TV
Here’s another giant of a display that hides its size well with excellent design and materials. Samsung’s 78HU9000 Series 9 is again a curved screen TV but the extra inches make it even more immersive. At the heart of this is a quad-core processor, it upscales very well and is future-ready as it has a separate box connected to it called a UHD Evolution Kit. The box can handle any major changes in future UHD 4K standards.
The picture quality is again incredible, and this one pumps out some great contrast and brightness. Sound is actually poor on this one as it has almost no space for good sound drivers. Also, it needs a massive amount of space to be set up as wall-mounting options are near impossible. The Samsung 78-incher will set you back by about Rs 6.5 lakhs.
These aren’t the only three contenders. There are quite a few other companies that do a decent job, like Panasonic and Toshiba. Some other brands do a very poor job with their really big TVs. But as of now, these three stand head and shoulders above the rest. Do remember, you may have to sell your car and all your clothes to get one of these. But that’s okay, once you have one of them at home you aren’t going to go out, anyway.
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
From HT Brunch, August 30
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