In just a few short years, know that we will all make that giant leap from 4K and be mesmerized by what the 8K TV universe has to offer.
So, if you already have been thinking long and hard about going “all in” on an 8K set, then you can give yourself a solid pat on the back because what you’re really doing is future-proofing your TV technology. It is true that 8K HDTVs are definitely not the cheapest entertainment options out there, but know that this set will be an integral part of your living room for years to come.
Also be aware that today, unfortunately, there is still a dearth of worthwhile 8K content, as most are still just limited to demo footage and nature documentaries—or basically what you would see in the TV display section at your local Best Buy. But that will eventually change, and as more 8K content gets developed, you will then get to enjoy the full glory of your big purchase.
If you’re already excited about the prospect of investing in an 8K HDTV but don’t know where to start, make sure to strongly consider these five top options below. Know that they won’t come cheap, but that’s the price you have to pay for a ticket into these next-generation panels.
Samsung Q900 Series
The Korean tech giant has a great 8K option for you right now—and it’s the 65-inch Q900 Series, currently retailing for roughly $2,400. What you’ll be receiving is a premium TV-viewing experience, thanks largely to its much-vaunted QLED technology and excellent overall image quality that boasts plenty-deep black levels and outstanding contrast ratios. Samsung’s highly regarded quantum-dot technology enables you to experience images bursting with a dazzling range of colors, each upscaled to incredible clarity driven by an intelligent 8K quantum processor. Tapping into one of QLED’s major strengths, the set’s high light output works incredibly well with HDR. The Q900 also features 8K AI upscaling technology that can theoretically transform 4K content into 8K by adding in the “missing” pixels.
The Sony Z9G easily could be considered the top 8K LED TV on the planet. The eighty-five-inch beast, currently retailing for $10,000, boasts Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor that does an excellent job of preserving detail in bright objects and scenes and eliminates banding as images fade in and out. Like Samsung’s 8K offerings, this set upscales 4K and 4K HDR content relatively well, though such technology will likely never be a substitute for real 8K content. Also know that the Z9G makes use of Android TV, a robust platform in terms of apps and content for sure, but does lack the aesthetics and user-friendliness of Roku TV.
LG NanoCell 99 Series
The 99 Series taps into the Korean tech giant’s enhanced LCD display technology called NanoCell, which makes use of a layer of one-nanometer-sized particles. Previously called Super UHD, NanoCell employs a light-absorbing filter that removes unwanted wavelengths of light to offer more precise color reproduction. The end result is greater wide-ranging color accuracy that works incredibly well with an 8K panel. If you do have some cash to spend, the advice is to take action now, as the seventy-five-inch model is currently going for $3,500, a grand off the regular price.
LG Z9 8K OLED
For $30,000, you can get yourself a pretty nice vehicle. So, if you’re going to shell out that same amount for an HDTV, then you should expect nothing short of perfection—meaning unrivaled picture quality, accurate colors, wide-angle viewing, the deepest blacks, and inimitable uniformity and contrast ratios. With the 88-inch LG Signature Z9 8K OLED TV, you can rest assured that you will achieve all that and more. As you would expect, this OLED beauty comes fully loaded with all of the cutting-edge features found on other highly praised OLED offerings from the tech giant—including state-of-the-art processing power, the webOS smart platform, a handful of AI assistants, HDMI 2.1 connections, and Dolby Atmos.
The eighty-five-inch Q950TS QLED 8K TV is huge and expensive—currently retailing for $10,000. But it is considered by many to be Samsung’s best HDTV of 2020. Its appearance is absolutely gorgeous, as you can barely even make out any bezel at all when looking at it straight on. The panel also boasts top-notch image-quality specs, including the much-coveted full-array local dimming and 8K capability, which flaunts sixteen times more resolution than a regular HDTV. Equipped with the AI Quantum Processor 8K, the Q950TS comes with a next-gen feature called Adaptive Picture, which can optimize the screen to both ambient conditions and individual images. The processor also helps power Samsung’s open smart-home platform Tizen—a mixed bag for some but has made noticeable strides in recent years.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.