The Three TV Finalists

My never ending saga to buy a new TV has yet to reach a conclusion. From the early trickery that almost fooled me into making a very big mistake, to the Super Bowl sales that failed to impress I have been waiting and waiting for the right price to make my move. In hindsight I probably should have bought on “Cyber Monday”. Oh well, live and learn. I fully expect or at least I truly hope that “President’s Day” will be my moment in the discount sales sun.

With that in mind here are the criteria for my three finalists in the decision for my next TV. They are all around 55 inches, I choose that size for two reasons. First is cost, that is the biggest size for my budget and secondly its bigger than the 40 inch I currently own. I find that men always want a TV one size bigger than the one they own. I’m buying a 55inch but the 65inches in the store looks so nice. Even if I had a 100 inch TV I would still probably turn to my wife and say “Not getting the 110 inch TV was a mistake.”

They are all 4K. I’ve been getting a lot of flack from friends about this, that no one really makes 4K content so why buy the TV. First off Amazon and Netflix offer content and a blu ray player that plays in 4K is in the works. Secondly, its ready for the future, so while it might not make sense now if will in 2 years and more so in five years.

They are all 3D. Again a lot of people seem puzzled by this. They argue that it is a frivolous gimmick. I will meet them half way on this, most 3D is nonsense, but Jurassic Park and Titanic are not. If you haven’t watched these films in 3D I encourage you to do so, amazing.

With the a fore mentioned parameters in place here are my three finalists.

  • The LG 55UB8500 55 inch 4K 3D Smart LED TV – This is my third place finisher, but that doesn’t really do it justice. LGThe reviews on Amazon are fantastic. According to professional reviews this TV has some of the best 3D viewing of any TV around. It also uses the WEB Os browser which has a clean simple layout that is innovative and intuitive. The smart remote  feels good in the hand and is easy to use. While I am not crazy about the stand I do like the thin bezle edge of the screen. My two concerns with this TV are black levels and support, some customers have complained that when they do run into trouble the LG customer support is weak. The current price is about $1600, if it falls to $1100 I will probably pull the trigger.
  • The Sony XBR55X850B 4K 3D Smart LED TV – The silver medalist, this TV was on sale in the Sony store for $1400 with a $400 in store credit the week before Christmas. sonyI was so close to moving on it, but I don’t like making snap decisions about such a large purchase, my loss. On the positive side, it’s a Sony. They have a well earned reputation for making quality products and this is no exception. The look of the set exudes style, the stand is simple and minimal. The color quality is very good, but to me, when I watched it in the show room the black levels seemed a bit off. I will need some more hands on interaction with it to make a final judgement.
  • The Samsung UN55HU8550 4K 3D Smart LED TV – The elusive champion, the TV I have been watching like a hawk for 3 months now. Before the holidays it was selling for $1500, then it dropped to $1400, then up to $2000 after Christmas, then down to $1600, 8550and as of now it sits at $1700. Can Presidents day get it back to $1400? I hope so because this TV is a dynamo. It is the number one ranked TV on Consumer Reports and CNET. It has a beautiful image, amazing smart capabilities, one of the best remotes in electronics, and a ton of connectivity options. My wife bought me a 4k up converting 3D bluray player, also a a Samsung, for Christmas and it just sits in the corner waiting for its mate. A sad tale to be sure.

This is a very fluid situation that I watch daily, sometimes hourly. I will share the developments as they unfold and report back to you with a review of the eventual winner.

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