Updated 17th January 2018I 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.
I'm currently looking at getting a Samsung flat screen 49inch with UK freesat. For the Irish channels I'm going to get the Saorview Connect box released in Dec 2018. With this set up I can have catch up and on demand services for the RTÉ channels, and catch up for TG4. I can also have a seven day programme guide (EPG) for the UK channels. I'm also hoping set up a second satellite dish to pick up European channels and put it through the saorview connect box.
The Samsung UE49MU6400 fits the bill available from laptopsdirect. I saw it in the Euronics Store but it is not online
The Samsung UE49MU7000 is another more expensive contender that isn't widely available. It's available from redmondelectric
And another step up to UE49MU8000. Available from Currys and John Lewis.
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].
SKY produces 4K content for sport and films but I'm not a subscriber.
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 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.
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
EBU Teletext is the old analogue teletext.
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.
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
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.