Embracing the New Standard
Even with the advent of smartphones and the Internet, televisions still have a vital place in every home. It is the one gadget that the whole family converges around, which is why it remains a focal point in most interior layouts even to this day. Just like our love for it, the TV has also evolved over the years, going from a bulky box and grainy imagery to slim bezel-less designs and hyper-realistic display quality. Interestingly, India’s tryst with the device didn’t really start until after the reforms of 1991, which led to the introduction of private and foreign channels, as well as new digital broadcast technologies. Once content started becoming available, the demand for TVs also grew as the Indian audience eagerly adopted newer technologies like Plasma, LCD, LED and now even OLED, QLED and much more. With each new technology, the average size of televisions has also increased, going from 14” in CRT units, to 32” in LCD panels, and eventually, 40” for full HD LED sets.
This progression has now reached another tipping point as the industry at large has begun adopting the next big thing, which for TV lovers is 4K. 4K for those who still live under a rock is a new resolution standard which literally stands for 4 times the resolution of a regular 1080p full HD display i.e., 3840 × 2160 or more. It truly represents a giant leap in terms of visual quality and clarity. Those that have witnessed this in real life have become quick converts, and thanks to the availability of high-speed Internet and streaming platforms, the conversion is happening on a large scale. We have decided to help those that are still on the fence by listing a few models that represent the best that this format has to offer, at different price ranges. Since the new average size for 4K panels is 55”, we have decided to follow it as well to avoid the confusion of different shapes, sizes and aspect ratios.
LG is one technology giant that delivers high-quality 4K TVs, but thankfully, at an affordable price range (₹1,38,000). The model we have chosen is the C8, which features a thin bezel-less design that gets gradually broader near the bottom in order to make room for the electronics and speakers. The speakers are uniquely fitted as bottom-firing units that use the curved strand to bounce the sound towards the viewer. The result is a louder, wider sound output that is surprisingly good for such a thin TV.
The visual quality is on par with the competition, with deep blacks and vibrant colours, thanks to LG’s Alpha 9 processor at work. The processor supports the WebOS interface, which uses a unique ThinQ AI feature to learn your viewing habits and offer better recommendations. All this combined with various connectivity ports help make this a well-rounded offering in the entry-level luxury TV segment.
Mi 4 PRO
Mi has made a name for themselves by disrupting various tech categories with quality products at an astonishingly affordable rate (₹47,999). They have done the same with the Indian TV market by offering their Mi 4 Pro TV with a 4K/60Hz display that is housed in an elegant package that redefines what it means to be thin, at 4.9mm width. The ultra-thin display is also frameless and light with good build quality. Powering everything is a relatively slow quad-core processor that only has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Even the speakers are a bit disappointing at just 16W; however the sound quality isn’t compromised, thanks to supporting for Dolby and DTS sound through external speakers. However, what really makes this TV special is the in-built Chromecast and set-top box, which gives you access to over 700,000+ hours of local and international content using its PatchWall interface.
When it comes to TVs, Sony has repeatedly showcased their superiority in terms of visual quality and the use of cutting edge technologies. The same can be said for their flagship OLED model, the A9F, which represents the best that 4K can be at a price (₹4,22,000) that backs up that statement. What you get for the price is one of the best 4K displays on the market, which not only supports flawless 4K output at 60fps but also doubles up as the speaker system. This is accomplished through its one of a kind Acoustic Surface Audio+ system that uses three actuators and two bass drivers to vibrate the OLED display itself to create sound. This represents the next level in 4K entertainment with lots of connectivity options and Android OS threw in as well.
TCL is a well-known brand that is making its comeback in the Indian market with their latest series of smart TVs that features a 55-inch model with a 4K/60Hz display, being sold at dirt-cheap prices (₹40,000). The TV utilises a Google certified Android TV setup, thanks to an in-built Chromecast that gives users access to all types of apps and content services. The quad-core processor works fine with the 2.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage availability. This combined with support for Dolby DTS Premium and HDR Pro gives the TV a slight edge over the competition in this price segment, which has been pushing the highest sales for 4K TVs, giving a clear indication that people want quality products that they can actually afford.