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What are the three best 2016 HDR 4K TVs for less than $1000? These ones..

by on October 3, 2016
 

Stephan Jukic – October 3, 2016

As the 4K TV market becomes more competitive and mainstream than ever, several things are happening to make buying one of these TVs in 2016 a more consumer friendly experience than ever before. For one thing, the technologies of ultra HD display and all related features are standardized as never before and much more content and user friendly. Secondly, the range of high quality specs and features in even lower priced 4K TVs has expanded to the point where most of 2016’s mid-range or lower priced 4K TVs have much more to offer than even the best 4K TVs of 2013 and even early 2014 did. Finally, the best features now go into 4K TVs, with specs like HDR not even being available in HDTV models so far.

All three of the 4K TVs below offer HDR, as demonstrated in these two images comparing SDR display (above) and HDR display (below)

SDR 4K TV image

SDR 4K TV image

HDR 4K TVV image

HDR 4K TV image

Given all these market trends, getting that first 4K TV you’ve been considering is in fact a pretty good idea in 2016. Sure, new models will emerge in 2017 with even cooler specs and possibly better prices, but if you don’t feel like waiting until the next year, buying an affordable TV just now is perfectly fine as far as viewing quality and future-proofing are concerned. Thus the question is, which models from which brands cover all the above conditions? Well, we have three such models in mind and the first one on this list is by far the best budget offering of them all for this year. Here is our ranking of the three best 2016 HDR 4K TVs for less than $1000.

  1. 50 inch 2016 P-Series P50-C1 model from Vizio $999

vizio-p-series-google-cast

Yes, the Vizio P50-C1 is the priciest 4K TV on this list of budget models and yes it costs only a couple hundred dollars less than the 55 inch versions of some premium competitor models like the Samsung SUHD KS8000 or Sony’s X850D 55 inch model. However, the P50-C1 comes with at least a couple features which make it a superior offering to many of these other models and for that reason it deserves the top spot here.

Quite simply the P50-C1 delivers the most robust overall package of display, smart TV and premium features for a hair under $1000 that we’ve seen in any 2016 television. For starters, this model comes with the full package of HDR display technologies. This includes full wide color gamut with excellent digital Cinema-P3 coverage, full 10-bit deep color and a level of black performance which is simply stunning. In fact, the P50-C1 and most of the other P-Series TVs offer some of the best overall contrast we’ve yet seen in a 4K LCD TV.

Beyond these superb specs, the P50-C1 also delivers stunningly good motion control and thus comes with full capacity to handle judder-free 24p content, perfectly smooth motion interpolation, and nearly perfect motion blur handling on ll content types. These are impressive specs indeed for a 60Hz television.

Finally –and this is where we really love the P50-C1—this is one of the only 4K TVs you’ll find on sale today with support for both Dolby Vision HDR and HDR10 standards. In addition to this, the P50-C1 is the only 4K TV we know of selling for less than $1000 with superb, premium levels of local dimming thanks to its full-array LED backlighting.

We’ve gone on for quite a bit about the P50-C1 but the above features of this wonderful model should be enough to make you understand why we like it so much.

  1. Sony XBR-49X800D HDR 4K TV $798.00

sony-xbr-x800d-feature-1500x1000

Sony’s X800D 49 inch model offers some truly superb value for a very low cost and is one of the most affordable full-HDR 4K TVs on sale today in this size range.

This compact television comes with HDR10 high dynamic range support, some very good black level performance and great contrast while also delivering some very good motion control qualities for a 60Hz 4K TV. It’s judder-free 24p content playback could be improved a bit but the X800D definitely follows the typical Sony tradition of high quality motion handling in nearly all of its 4K TV models. On the other hand, the X800D does not support local dimming technology and this puts it well behind the Vizio TV above in terms of display performance.

The color performance of the X800D is also another major strong point of this television. Wide Color Gamut with well over 90% DCI-P3 (Digital Cinema) color space coverage offers excellent HDR color performance and the addition of 10-bit color is another specs we love, especially in a Sony TV since the manufacturer tends towards delivering excellent color performance even in its SDR 4K TVs.

Finally, Sony’s Android TV smart platform is a winner as usual and the selection of 4K and other streaming content apps in the X800D is definitely not lacking for variety.

Sony has also released an even cheaper 43 inch X800D with all of the same premium specs if you want some very serious price savings and don’t mind small display size.

  1. Samsung UN55KU7000 4K HDR TV $847.99

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The Samsung 55 inch KU7000 garners the lowest ranking here because it’s also the weakest performer among these three TK TVs but what it lacks for through a couple moderate specs it also makes up for with a sizeable display size at such a low price.

Like the X800D and P50-C1 TVs from Sony and Vizio, the KU7000 offers HDR10 high dynamic range support for color and contrast/black performance but unlike these other two TVs, it lacks support for 10-bit color, offering only 8-bit SDR TV color instead. The difference between the two color specs is no minor thing either since 8-bits translates to 16.7 million colors while 10-bits means display of 1.07 billion colors.

On the other hand, the black performance and contrast of the KU7000 are superb and its general color accuracy and HDR Wide Color Gamut support are also excellent. Furthermore, the KU7000 is a very decent performer as a 4K TV for gamers, with a nicely low input lag of 23 millisecond. However, and this is another major weakness of this television, the KU7000 delivers very weak motion performance specs compared to its budget rivals above. Motion control is mediocre, motion interpolation is poor and the TV comes with no support for judder-free 24p content playback.

All that said, we like the KU7000 and less finicky consumers will almost certainly love this model’s display performance and stylish design.

The Runner-Up models

With that we finish up our review of the three best 4K TVs of 2016 in terms of value per dollar spent. However there are also other models out there which offer some great performance specs at a low price but fail to deliver quite the same display performance or features that our three winners above offer:

Sony’s XBR-55X750D 55 inch 4K TV: $798.00

Samsung’s KU6300 55 inch KU-Series 4K TV: $797.50

Vizio’s 2016 M-Series M55-D0 55 inch HDR 4K TV: $999

 

Story by 4k.com

7 comments
 
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  • Benson
    October 3, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Thank you for the informative write up of these 3 4k Tv’s

    Reply

  • Kevin
    October 3, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Sony’s X800D uses the same 8bit+FRC as Samsung’s KU7000 to display 10bit color on a 8bit panel.

    X800D spec sheet> http://www.displayspecifications.com/en/model/ae99638

    Someone ask Rting to confirm and they pretty much said along as it can display in the 10bit color range(1.07 billion colors) they don’t care about the panel tech.. they’ll naming it 10bit.

    If we’re naming Sony’s X800D a full fledged 10bit the same should be said about for Samsung’s KU7000.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      October 3, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      Hello there Kevin, we actually agree with Rtings on this point. As long as our own metrics confirm a practical visual capacity to display 10-bit color gradation though temporal dithering (frame rate control) or even spatial dithering we consider it good enough to be considered 10-bit even if it’s not the true deal. Thus in the case of the X800D, it actually produces a fine smooth 10-bit effect while the KU7000 does not in our measured view. Thus we don’t consider the KU7000 to be 10-bit and the X800D to be so. Perception of 10-bit color by specific measurement results and normal content viewing is more important on this front.

      The X800D in any case is also benefited by WCG, as is the KU7000 though the color value gradation does spoil its HDR colors a bit.

      Reply

  • Kevin
    October 3, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    The industry considers 8bit+FRC 10bit. Rtings(DanielOKeeffe) post on AVS on X800D > http://www.avsforum.com/forum/166-lcd-flat-panel-displays/2518833-official-sony-2016-xbr-43x800d-x800d-owners-thread-9.html#post46429569

    I don’t disagree… as-long as it can display 1.07 billion colors. But I disagree with this article naming X800D 10bit and not KU7000 when they’re both using the same tech.

    Reply

    • marc
      January 25, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Isn’t Stephen saying that although technically it is capable of displaying a billion colors, the gradient performance as viewed on screen does not suggest it can (ie bands in colors i guess?)

      “it actually produces a fine smooth 10-bit effect while the KU7000 does not in our measured view”

      Question is why is this the case? different chipsets and firmware, Sony’s higher performance? or do they all use the same chipset? Is this something a samsung firmware update might address as a bug?

      Reply

  • Bryan
    October 4, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Great stuff Stephen. Thanks for all you do running this site with great content. 2 questions – which tvs have the brightest display? I have issues with a bright room with windows. And if you had to go with a 55 inch minimum which one would you lean for the best bang for the buck? Go with the mid tier vizio or samsung or pay extra for the p series vizio?

    Reply

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