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Buying a TV in Ireland - Understanding the Jargon

Updated 14th January 2018

I have an old style TV and 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 has become the new standard in screen resolution. The screen resolution is 3,840 × 2,160. It can also be called 4K. However you need to have a tv of at least 55inch to be able to notice the difference between HD content and UHD content [digitaltrends.com].

UHD Content

UHD content is not available on RTÉ, TV3 or TG4. I've googled "RTÉ UHD" and "TG4 UHD" and there's nothing to indicate that they intend to broadcast in UHD format any time soon.

SKY produces 4K content for sport and films but I'm not a subscriber.

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. 50 inch would suit my room. I'm hoping that 50inch OLEDs will be released in 2018

Cost is the main issue with OLEDs - costing at least twice as much as LED tvs.

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.

Operating Systems

Smart TVs have operating systems which are used to manage Apps. Manufactures may have developed their own operating system or use the Android operating system developed by Google.

LG has its own proprietary operating system - WebOs.

Android

RTÉ player doesn't feature on list of apps for Android TV on the Google Play Store. Reviewers are complaining about the lack of support for RTÉ player app and also lack of chromecast support.

TV3 player coming in for a lot of flak too on Google Play Store. 3Now app available for Samsung is not in the Google Play Store.

Nothing doing for TG4

Samsung - Smart Hub

RTÉ player - don't know

TV3 player - don't know

TG4 player - doubt it

Can't find a list on samsung.com/ie of the apps available on their TVs. Looks like there is no list because developers are not updating apps for changes in new models coming out.

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]

Panel Refresh Rate

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

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

Stands for Picture Quality Index but I don't know what this means.
Samsung - UE55MU7000 has 2300 PQI [redmondelectric.ie]
6 Series Samsungs have PQI of 1500 [amazon]

Possible Issues

Motion Blur

Streaming boxes

If there's an app that you want and the smart tv's operating system doesn't support it then you might have to get a 3rd party external box. There's a list of third party boxes that support UHD drawn up by Netflix.

Local Dimming

LED tvs with edge lighting can only add extra light to columns on the TV. Fully backlit screens can light up specific areas of the screen. This is known as full-array local dimming [gizmodo]

Acronyms

DTT - Digital Terrestrial Television [2rn.ie]
DVB - Digital Video Broadcast [2rn.ie]
EBU – European Broadcasting Union [ebu.ch]
HDTV - High Definition Television [2rn.ie]
IDTV – Integrated Digital Television [2rn.ie] - A TV that can receive Irish channels without the need for a set-top box
IRD - Integrated Receiver Decoder [2rn.ie]
OSD - onscreen display [2rn.ie]
SDTV - Standard Definition Television services [2rn.ie] - Programmes with a screen resolution of 720 pixels vertically