Buying a TV in Ireland - what you need to KNOW

Updated 14th January 2018

I have an old style tv but am now looking at upgrade at long last. I'm looking at the new '4K' tvs and below is information I have gleaned while doing my research on televisions available in Ireland.

UHD/4K

UHD stands for Ultra High Definition and this is likely to become the new standard in screen resolution. The screen resolution is 3,840 × 2,160. It can also be called 4K.

HDR

Apparently this is a big deal as it will give much richer colours - cnet thinks its great. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR comes in bit ratings - 8 bit and 10 bit. 8 bit gives 16.7 million colours while 10 bit gives 1 billion colours [boards]. I haven't seen any of these tvs in the shops yet and can't say whether the additional colours make any visible difference.

The quality of the TV plays a factor. Just because a TV is HDR-compatible it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be better than non-HDR TVs.[cnet]

HDR content is available on Netflix [cnet] but I don't know how much. I don't think Irish terrestrial and UK satellite channels are currently providing it.

Of the TVs I've been looking at LG supports 10 bit and Samsung provides 10bit support with its 7 series [expert.ie]

There are three types of HDR. Two of them are known as HDR10 and HLG. The BBC is behind HLG [stuff.tv]. I'm guessing the other HDR variety is HDR8. I don't know why the BBC is pushing a different HDR technology. Does this mean that a tv that doesn't have HLG won't be able to see BBC channels?

OLED

OLED TVs, unlike standard LED/LCD TVs, can shut down individual pixels completely which allows them to produce perfect blacks. OLEDs also have a significant advantage with motion, since fast moving objects don't leave long trails, which can be a common issue for standard LCD TVs. rtings.com OLED doesn't require backlighting, so the colour is consistent right across the screen, with greatly enhanced contrast levels richersounds OLED TVs are only available from 55 inch up. Be wary of the deceptively name Samsung QLED which is not the same as OLED. QLED is the same technology as in the older LED/LCD TVs and cannot turn off individual pixels in the panel.

Freeview

Make sure TV has satellite tuner DVB-S. This TV offers a catchup service with freeview. I don’t know if that will work in Ireland and you probably need a hard drive for it.

Saorview

To be able to get the Irish channels your TV needs a digital tuner. Just because it has a digitial tuner (DVB-T) does not necessarily mean that it can get the full features of Saorview – particularly subtitles. Use the Saorview service to check if a tv is Saorview approved.

Current Samsung, LG, DGTEC models don’t have Saorview approval. I don’t know is this because they aren’t Saorview compliant or if they haven’t been submitted for Saorview approval. I’d say they are not fully compliant as there is a long list of specific requirements 2rn.ie

Go to my Saorview specs page for more information on the approval process and technical specs

Teletext

EBU Teletext is the old analogue teletext.

Android TV

These are TVs with an Android operating system.

Mounting

A reference here to a TV having 400x400 VESA mounting holes. Don’t know what that means.

Optical Out

A reference here to a TV having an optical out. I don’t know what an optical out is used for.

Refresh Rate

With a refresh rate of 1600hz there should not be motion blur [amazon.co .uk – response to review]

Apps

Apps that I want are the Netflix app(so I don't need the Roku box I currently use) and the RTÉ Player app. However the RTÉ player app is not widely available for some reason. I don't think that the apps for UK television work in Ireland (UTV, BBC) Plex is an app I have seen mentioned boards.ie. VLC Player app - play videos from the local network. Available for Sony – don’t know about other models [boards.ie]

PQI

Samsung - UE55MU7000 has 2300 PQI [redmondelectric.ie] 6 Series Samsungs have PQI of 1500 [amazon]

Hertz

A 120hz panel makes a big difference to accurate colours, motion clarity, and low input lag per hdtvtest.co.uk

Possible Issues

Motion Blur

Acronyms

IDTV – Integrated Digital Television [2rn.ie]
DTT - Digital Terrestrial Television [2rn.ie]
SDTV - Standard Definition Television services [2rn.ie]
HDTV - High Definition Television [2rn.ie]
IRD - Integrated Receiver Decoder [2rn.ie]
EBU – European Broadcasting Union [ebu.ch]
DVB - Digital Video Broadcast [2rn.ie]
OSD - onscreen display [2rn.ie]