How to choose the best 4K HDR TV for your PS4 Pro or Xbox One S : These are strange times for console players. We are in the middle of a generation but have just launched more powerful consoles that release new features. Meanwhile, Nintendo announces a new machine that neither is portable nor is a console, the Nintendo Switch.
The Xbox One S and PS4 Pro consoles are more powerful than their predecessors are, but their main contribution is the 4K resolution, to make them compatible with the new 4K televisions.
If you are looking for the right 4K HDR TV for your PS4 Pro or Xbox One S, you face a second dilemma: which 4K TV I should buy? Not all are good. Or at least, there are many 4K TVs that do not take advantage of the virtues of new consoles, such as HDR technology or the greater gamut of color. Moreover, within the HDR technology, there are several different qualities.
Let us try to put light into this chaos.
This article explains how to choose a 4K TV with HDR from the point of view of video games and 4K movies , to get the most out of the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro consoles, or to a PC equipped with an HDR compatible card: The new GTX 10x ranges from NVIDIA and the AMD Polaris boards.
Resolution 4K: The New Holy Grail
Every few years, whether consumers demand it or not, TV manufacturers are renewing their technology. It has been a few years since the release of 1080p TV, and 3D technology has not had the expected success, so manufacturers have taken out the sleeve 4K resolution, also called Ultra HD or UHD.
The 4K resolution equals 3840×2160 pixels, that is, more than 8 million points, which means a resolution four times higher than the current standard 1080p (1920×1080 pixels).
Although 4K televisions have been on the market for years, neither the PS4 nor the original Xbox One are compatible. That is why they have launched the new Xbox One S and PS4 Pro, whose main novelty is the support of the 4K resolution at 60 Hz.
Does that mean that the games on both consoles will have a 4K resolution? No. It only means that they can display 4K content. Xbox One S plays 4K HDR series and movies in streaming and in the new format Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD, as it includes a disc reader of this type. The games do not offer 4K resolution but they do support HDR (we now explain what it is). The PS4 Pro plays 4K HDR series and movies in streaming but does not accept Blu-ray discs 4K Ultra HD because it has no reader. It supports simple games with native 4K HDR resolution and games with 4K HDR resolution rescaled from 2K or 1080p resolution. In this table, you will see it more clearly.
|Consoles||4K Series and Movies||Series and films with HDR||Blu-ray Discs 4K Ultra HD||Old games rescaled to 4K||New games with native 4K resolution||New Games Rescaled to 4K||Games with HDR|
|Xbox One S||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes (simple games)||No||Yes|
|PS4 Pro||Yes||Yes||No||Yes (with patches)||Yes (simple games)||Yes. Rescaled from 2K||Yes|
Therefore, you should keep in mind that if you buy a 4K TV very few games would be seen with native 4K resolution. Most are rescaled from 1080p or 2K resolution.
A 4K TV is the first step, but it is not enough. You need to meet additional requirements to take advantage of the HDR and the new color gamut of the new consoles.
HDR: that gibberish
1080p televisions and the Blu-ray format have had a very slow implementation because many users do not need more resolution. With the DVD, it is okay with them. Something similar has happened in mobiles. A couple of years ago appeared smartphones with 4K screens, but never heard again. The current high range uses 2K and even 1080p screens because the user does not ask for more.
Manufacturers know that more resolution no longer serves to sell TVs. Now it is about offering more image quality. “A window into reality, “as Sony calls it. That is achieved with the HDR.
The HDR has been used for years in PC games or mobile cameras, but it is a substitute, an emulation. This is HDR by software. TVs implement the HDR by hardware, so their quality and realism are infinitely greater.
HDR is a technology that gets whiter whites, darker blacks, and brighter and more authentic colors. Basically, it captures an image closer to reality than the current technology (SDR):
For this, different parts of the screen are illuminated independently. It is used in movies and series as well as in video games. Sony explains how the HDR works in this article.
There are 4K TVs with and without HDR, and since platforms like Netflix or the new format Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD and games of PS4 and Xbox One already support HDR, you should buy a 4K TV with this technology. The problem is that not all 4K HDR TVs are the same. There are three types of HDR and the consoles are only compatible with one. And within each format, there are different qualities, depending on how each brand implements the technology in the panel. Let us explain it in simple words.
The most popular HDR format is HDR10, and it is the one used by Xbox One S and PS4 Pro. Also some TV platforms, and Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD. It is implemented on Sony, Samsung, and many other popular brands.
Dolby Vision comes from the cinema and is used in some films and in TVs like the Vizio brand. It is more advanced than HDR10 because the light settings are made scene to scene while in HDR10 they are the same for the whole movie. However, everything points to that, it will become the less preferred format because it belongs to Dolby and must be paid to use it. HDR10 is open to all.
Then there is the HLG format, used by some TV channels like the BBC.
Each television brand is compatible with one or two of these formats. Only LG TVs are compatible with all three. Remember, consoles use HDR10, so make sure you buy an HDR10 compatible TV. A Dolby Vision TV will take advantage of 4K resolution but not HDR enhancement on consoles.
Wide Color Gamut (WCG) and Rec.2020
Buying a 4K TV with HDR10 is not enough to get the most out of the new consoles.
4K TVs manufactured in 2016 offer a wider color gamut (Wide Color Gamut or WCG), which conforms to the standard Rec.2020. This means that they offer more colors and a greater chromatic gradation between each color, as we will see below. In contrast, the 4K TVs of 2014 and 2015 follow the standard REC 709 (less color range), and almost all use 8-bit panels.
You will see that some TVs also carry the Ultra HD Premium label. It means that they meet the optimum quality standards set in a 90% DCI P3 color gamut, a maximum brightness of 1000 nits, and a black level of 0.05 nits. For OLED TVs, the range varies between 500 and 0.0005 nits. Any TV that matches these values will offer an excellent light level with HDR. Lower values also work, but the image quality goes down.
8-bit vs. 10-bit: A big difference
There are many cheap 4K TVs that claim to be HDR, and that’s true, but even here there are differences. There are 4K HDR TVs with 8-bit and 10-bit panels. It looks like a simple number, but the difference is huge. An 8-bit panel can only display 16.8 million colors with only 257 variations of each of the primary colors. However, a 10-bit panel displays more than a billion different colors with 1024 different values for each of the RGB colors. In simple words, a 10-bit panel presents a much smoother gradation between variations of the same color, which produces a much more spectacular and real image, and the HDR offers much more realism. The famous gradients or colored auras that are so common in video games are eliminated:
There are even panels capable of delivering 12-bit color, supported by the Dolby Vision format.
The HEVC codec that employs the Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD supports 10-bit color, as well as a lot of streaming content, or the PS4 Pro itself. Of course, these types of panels are more expensive, but the difference is obvious.
Keep in mind also that there are 8-bit panels capable of reading HDR but do not show HDR improvements. Others assure that they are 10-bit panels but are actually 8-bit with a technique called FCR to simulate greater variation of a color. It is not the same as native 10-bit, so learn it well.
Eye with the input lag!
More features to keep in mind. One of the most important is the lag input, that is, the latency or delay that takes place since you make a move or you press a button on the gamepad until you see it on the screen. Both 4K resolution (which requires moving 8 million pixels 60 times per second) and the HDR add delay to the image. Check in the features that the gaming mode with HDR enabled does not have a lag input greater than 45 ms. With a higher value, you might notice a slight delay between what you do with the gamepad and what you see on the screen.
Curved or flat?
Curved TVs had a boom a couple of years ago, but they have not finished convincingly. Some brands no longer make them and others offer the same curved or flat version, to cover their backs. If you like, you can buy them, but they are no longer a trend.
Also important is the manufacturing technology of the panel, as it greatly influences the price. The IPS panels are the most common. They guarantee the highest viewing angles (ideal for large families) but blacks are not very deep, they look more washed. The panels VA offer a better color but with lower viewing angles. The OLED panels are those that offer the highest image quality and are perfect for HDR, as each pixel can be switched on or off individually, but are quite expensive.
Another aspect to take into account is the way the panel is illuminated, as it influences the quality of the HDR. There are televisions that receive light from the back and full surface (Full-array Backlight). Others are lit from the edge (Edge-lit Backlight), so they are not so accurate when it comes to lighting the independent areas required by the HDR.
HDR Pro, ULED, Crystal Color … What is that?
The technologies we have explained are the standards, but then each brand puts its own names to make them sound more spectacular. Pure marketing. Do not let overwhelm and go to specifications or user forums to translate these terms and ensure that strange name refers to HDR10, for example, and not something else. There are websites like Display Specifications where they show the actual specifications of the televisions.
Best Cheap 4K HDR TVs for PS4 Pro and Xbox One S
It has been hard, but we already know the necessary requirements to take advantage of the new consoles. In summary:
- Panel with 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels) at 60 Hz
- HDR in HDR10 format
- 10-bit color
- Input lag less than 45 ms
- (Optional): Brightness range 1000 – 0.05 nits and color gamut 90% DCI P3
With these specs in mind, we have selected some TVs that qualify, are not too expensive and have good reviews.
Panasonic Viera DX750
We could consider it the input model. It does not meet some of the optimum requirements (it has an 8-bit panel) but it complies with the rest, offers excellent image quality, and costs around € 950.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to obtain in India, where the upper model has been imposed, but also something more expensive. You can get a Panasonic Viera TX-50DX780E 50-inch for € 1245 on Amazon or € 1199 on El Corte Ingles.
Samsung KS7000 / KS8000
The new Samsung KS7000 range (called KS8000 in some countries) offers excellent value for money. It fulfills all the requirements of the new consoles, and offers an excellent image quality with an HDR to a very good level, without emotion the pockets. It is available in various sizes, up to 65 inches. The most economical model, the Samsung KS7000 49-inch, is in stock on Amazon for Rs. 1, 45,000.
Note that the first version had a high delay in the games when using HDR, but Samsung has released a firmware that lowers the lag input to 22 ms, so be sure to install it.
Despite falling short in brightness, not meeting the 1000 nits of the Ultra HD Premium standard, and increasing the latency above 50 ms (high but acceptable), it complies with everything else, especially emphasizing the excellent implementation of the HDR And on the 10-bit color support. Sony 108 cm (43 inches) Bravia X Series KD-43X8500C model is at Rs. 83,200.00 on Amazon.
LG B6V OLED
If you are looking for the extraordinary image quality offered by OLED technology, one of the best options is the LG B6V, as it meets all gaming requirements we have evaluated, including a low input lag with the HDR enabled, and also supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The 55-inch LG OLED65B6T costs ₹ 347,894 on Tata CLiQ.
A cheaper option is the LG 49UH850T, which is not OLED but IPS, and the latency rises to 48 ms still acceptable. In return, it only costs ₹ 138,499 on Amazon.