Smart TV advice

Advice | 09-09-2022

The choice to buy a smart TV is a non-existent one in 2022. You will have to seriously try your best to find a TV that isn’t smart. That is no longer a selling point. Unfortunately, the marketing departments have coined so many new terms to show that their television is really better than all the rest.

Time for SmartHomeGuide to dive deeper into this and separate sense and nonsense.

What is the ideal viewing distance for a television?

By viewing distance we mean the distance between your eyes and the screen. Sitting close to a very large television is not pleasant and very far away from a small one even less. As a rule of thumb you can take approximately 2.4x the screen diagonal in cm. A 65 inch equates to almost 4 meters.

We have put the ideal viewing distance in a table:

Screen diagonal inchImage diagonal (cm)Ideal viewing distance (cm)
22 inch55.9 cm134 cm
24 inch61.0 cm146 cm
28 inch71.1 cm172 cm
32 inch81.3 cm195 cm
40 inch101.6 cm244 cm
43 inch109.2 cm262 cm
49 inch124.5 cm299 cm
50 inch127.0 cm305 cm
55 inch139.7 cm335 cm
58 inch147.3 cm354 cm
65 inch165.1 cm396 cm
70 inch177.8 cm427 cm
75 inch190.5 cm457 cm
85 inch215.9 cm518 cm

What is the difference between LCD and OLED?

There are only 2 different types of televisions on the market at the moment. LCD and OLED with the biggest difference the way they dim the light. For this we first look at the LCD television.

In an LCD television, small LED lights are used as background lighting. These LEDs radiate light through small crystals in a screen that is placed just in front of it on which the image is displayed. The crystals in the screen provide the colors through which the LED light shines. With black these crystals should therefore not transmit light, but the crystals are not so good at blocking light. Black will therefore become gray sooner.

There are different ways to illuminate LCD televisions, we will also explain them

Edge LED

On a television of this type, all the LED lights are in the bezel and shine on a layer that tries to spread the light over the entire television. The big advantage of this is that the TV can become very flat, but you often see that some parts of the screen are lighter or darker. We call this clouding.

What is QLED and how does it work?

QLED is very similar to the term OLED, but it is not. It is a marketing term from Samsung to give the latest technology in the field of LCD televisions a nice name. Samsung has added an extra layer of nanocrystals. This allows them to block the light 100% and black is really black. Samsung has called these crystals Quantum Dots, hence the Q in the abbreviation QLED.

What is mini LED and local dimming?

These are again regular LCD televisions, but the LEDs in them are much smaller. So small that they can sometimes hold more than 30,000. If you can turn these all on and off separately, you can make dark parts darker, which automatically makes your contract much larger, which makes it more pleasant to look at.

How does an OLED TV work?

An OLED television works on the basis of pixels that can emit light themselves. Where with an LCD television you still need separate LED lights to send light through the image, the pixels in an OLED provide light themselves.

The pixels of an OLED television consist of an organic material (carbon-based) that emit light themselves as soon as voltage is applied. This allows OLED televisions to be much thinner than LCD televisions.

Which should I choose: LCD or OLED?

This is a difficult choice in 2022. It used to be clear: if you wanted image quality and contrast, you couldn’t ignore OLED. But that was for the QLED and local dimming of other brands that also give the same contrast but with a number of properties that only LCD have such as brightness and no burn-in.

Our opinion is that Samsung still offers the most value for money in the somewhat higher price range, but then we also take the speed and operating system of the television into consideration.

Below you see another table with the properties in which each technique excels.

Characteristic LCD OLED
ContrastWinner
PriceWinner
Image qualityWinner
Viewing angleWinner
No burn inWinner
Energy consumptionWinner
BrightnessWinner

What minimum refresh rate should my television have?

To answer this, we first have to look at what the refresh rate actually is. According to Wikipedia the refresh rate is the number of times per second that the television can refresh all its pixels per second. A refresh rate of 100 Hz means that a new image can be shown 100 times per second

Why is refresh rate important?

The refresh rate is important because the more images per second your television can display, the smoother the image appears. People often describe this as a calm, flowing and natural image.

To compare fairly, we only look at the refresh rate of the panel itself. Software tricks and marketing terms, you should not fall for that. You cannot show a 200Hz image if the panel is only 50Hz, no matter how much the manufacturer would have you believe that.

Does a 400Hz television make sense?

Yes, this makes sense even if you don’t have 400Hz source material. Televisions are nowadays very good at calculating the missing images. A 100Hz television that receives a 50Hz signal will calculate the intermediate images itself. Otherwise, he has too little to show. Over the years, the TV manufacturers have become very good at this, which makes older footage a lot smoother. So yes, if you really have a panel of 200Hz or even 400Hz, it is worth it and you are well prepared for the future.

Should my television support HDR?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range (or High Dynamic Range in Dutch) and is extra information added to the images that contains extra data about the contrast, brightness and colors of the image. This is additional information recorded by a camera that can store this information along with the images. In short: with HDR, light parts become even lighter and the dark parts even darker.

And then the marketing departments came into play again and came up with the following terms:

  • LG: Cinema HDR, 4k Active HDR, Active HDR
  • Samsung: Quantum HDR 1500, Quantum HDR or HDR

HDR also has the most effect with an OLED television and therefore also with a TV with QLED or local dimming. An “old” LCD television will not be able to show the contract that you would see on another TV with the same material.

Is an 8k television worth it?

In terms of image quality, we can say yes to this. But only because there are no cheap 8K televisions yet. Resolution is only one part of the image quality and because 8K TVs are only in the top models, the other parts are all top quality too.

As 4k became cheaper, there were fullHD televisions with a better picture quality than a cheap 4k that only had a high resolution as a selling point.

Also 8k material is slowly coming to market (Yes really! The Olympics have already been broadcast in 8K in many places in 2020) and the latest models are very good at upscaling AI. Game consoles such as the PS5 can also display 8K at 60 frames per second.

Overview of the amount of pixels of a television:

ResolutionNumber of pixels (horizontal x vertical)Total pixels (megapixels)
8K Ultra HD7680 x 432033 177 600 (33 MP)
4K Ultra HD4096 x 21608 847 360 (8 MP)
Full HD1920 x 10802 073 600 (2 MP)
HD Ready1280 x 720921.600 (1 MP)

Which HDMI version should I have?

The HDMI standard started in 2002 with HDMI 1.0 and meanwhile we are on HDMI 2.1a For a normal 4k television you are already fine with the standard HDMI 1.3 and it comes from 2009.

So unless you If you have very specific wishes, you should always go for at least 2.0 in 2022 and preferably 2.1. Currently, an HDMI cable that can pass 2.1 costs about 15 euros if you look carefully and with that you are good up to 8K with a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

So often the HDMI ports are faster than the TV can display or the equipment can transmit. Below is a table with the history of all HDMI specifications

HDMI specificationYearVideo
  Max. resolution / refresh rateMax. Transmission Rate**HDR 
HDMI 1.020021080p @ 60 Hz4.95 Gb/sNee8 audio channels
HDMI 1.1/1.220051440p @ 30 Hz4.95 Gb/sNeeDVD-Audio, One-Bit Audio
HDMI 1.3/1.420094K @ 60 Hz10.2 Gb/sNeeARC, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD
HDMI 2.020135K @ 30 Hz18.0 Gb/sJaHE-AAC, DRA, 32 audio channels
HDMI 2.120178K @ 30 Hz48.0 Gb/sJaeARC
HDMI 2.1A20228K @ 60 Hz48.0 Gb/s