The Four Best HDTVs of 2016
Whether you want to admit it or not, TV is one of the great equalizers in life. Beg, borrow, or steal…or (usually) just buy, most people either have one, or have access to one. It’s something we all appreciate or at least acknowledge. And like any other commodity, we all want to have the best one. Sometimes we really just want the best for the sake of quality and an appreciation of the medium. Other times we just want the best for its own sake. Sometimes it’s a bit of both. Life is about gray areas, right? Well, forget that nonsense, because if there’s one thing TVs are not about its fuzzy gray areas. HDTVs are about rich, vibrant color, clarity, and immersion in an experience so vivid it pulls you in and completely disengages you from your own life. THAT is what TV is about…or at least that’s what the best HDTVs are about. So, whatever, your reasons whether ego or appreciation, we present without further ado our list of the best HDTVs of 2016, with the added caveat that we are avoiding an exclusive discussion of 4K TVs as these are a niche item and could be the subject of a separate article all on their own, but we’ll certainly touch on those as well. So let’s get started, shall we?
A Word About 4K
4k TVs are well, simply amazing. With four times the resolution of current 1080P HDTVs you can see amazing levels of detail, and see them much more closely as well. Go ahead. Walk up to a 4K TV and try to find the pixels. You can’t. It’s that clear. So, it’s no wonder that film enthusiasts love these so much. The only downside to them is that many of them are LCD TVs and so have all of the inherent problems associated with that including poor contrast resolution and off axis response.
Vizio P-Series 2016
A perfect fusion of price point and quality, the Vizio P-Series clocks in at a competitive $996 to deliver a top notch quality picture that competes very well with many of its fancier and more expensive competitors. The remote is basically a free Android tablet, and the integrated Google cast system provides more apps and updates than many other Smart TVs. On the downside, there is no integrated tuner or HDR10 compatibility – though this is pending. If you want an even better deal and can deal with a barely (if at all noticeable) reduction in quality, also consider the Vizio M-Series of 2015 – 4K for just $730.
On the flip side, if you just feel like setting fire to piles of money like Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight then the LG OLEDB6P might very well be the one for you. Some men just want to watch the world burn, and there’s no better TV on which to do it than this one. But seriously, at $3,729, this is the “Price is no object” model. You’re going to pay and pay dearly. Your wallet will scream, and your heart will break…until you watch this TV. Then you’ll see where all that money went, and it will have been worth it. The amazing 4K picture on OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology, strong black levels, startling clarity and color, and flawless HDR playback make this a no-brainer…almost. It is still REALLY expensive. On the hand, if even this glorious monstrosity isn’t enough for you to consider the upgrade to the LG OLDE6P. It’s basically the same, just…more. It also costs about $3, 000 more as well, or you could go still further into decadence with the LG OLED65G6P 65 inch 4K Smart LED TV which tops both of these at the cost of $7,997 and boasts…well…really the same things as the other two models. I mean come on. If you buy this model, you’re just showing off.
For those who still want an LCD TV (for some reason), you would be hard-pressed to do better than the Sony XBR-X930D. At close to $3,000 this is a bit pricey and (believe it or not) not even the highest-end LCD TV you can buy. That, notwithstanding, this is still an excellent television. Boasting a wide array of apps via integrated Googlecast and a very user-friendly remote, the TV is already miles ahead of many of its competitors. The slim local dimming is a nice touch as well, both for cutting down on the form factor size and reducing the infamous “blooming” effect so prevalent in LCD TVs. However, in the final analysis, even a high-end LCD TV cannot compete with an OLED for color, clarity, and contrast. Seriously, if you’re going to spend $3,000+ on a TV, just buy an OLED already. But, if you must have an LCD, this is an excellent fusion of price and performance.
TCL S 3800 Roku Series
The TCL S 3800 Roku Series gets an honorable mention even though it is by NO means the equal of any of these in terms of picture quality. That said, it does have a pretty nice picture. Where it really shines though is in the integration of the Amazon Roku into the system. In terms of functionality, options, and ease of use, this system outdoes most if not all of the Smart TVs it’s in competition with, and at $169, it’s quite a steal. If 4K isn’t really a consideration, give this one a spin – especially if you’re primarily interested in streaming. The package you get with Roku is really exceptional.
That’s it. Those are our selections for among the best of the best HDTVs. We’ve allowed for factors in performance, functionality, cost or just sheer picture quality. We’ve allowed for those who aren’t’ quite willing to let go of the past and embrace the future that is the Organic Light Emitting Diode. After all, it’s your viewing experience, and you should watch on whatever medium you like. So best of luck to you all and happy viewing. Go forth and make some retailer very happy!