You Requested: streaming inequality, Dragon showdown, and holy grail TVs

You Requested is our sequence the place our Television professional Caleb Denison solutions your incessantly requested or insightful questions that we expect will help loads of our readership. On this installment, we discover if it issues what you employ to stream Netflix (or some other streaming service) and whether or not we’re in a time when you need to actually simply wait to purchase a brand new TV. What about Hisense U8K versus TCL Q7? And can there be extra Nakamichi Dragon comparisons?

Let’s get to it.

High quality streams

The app selection on the home screen of Apple TV 4K.
Apple TV 4K Zeke Jones / Digital Traits

John Golla writes: Does it matter which piece of kit one makes use of to look at a streaming service similar to Netflix? I’ve a fiber optic TV service, a Panasonic 4K BluRay participant, and LG C3 TV. All supply Netflix. The sound is fed to a Denon AVR. Would the image and sound high quality be the identical regardless? Does it solely rely on the web pace?

Thanks, John. I’m glad you requested. The timing of your query couldn’t be higher. Our current Sony X95L versus TCL QM8 comparability addresses this difficulty. In it, I present how the Max app on the Sony TV appears to be problematic, and the YouTube app on the TCL TV appears to be problematic, each when it comes to image high quality.

However that’s actually simply the tip of the iceberg. One thing I’ve been studying slowly during the last couple of years is that many, if not all, of the preferred streaming apps behave wildly in a different way from platform to platform. So, the Netflix app on LG’s webOS, for instance, might behave dramatically in a different way from the Netflix App on Roku, which is totally different than Netflix on Google TVs or Chromecast with Google TV, and so forth and so forth.

I don’t even find out about all the problems, however some embrace sure platforms limiting colour bit depth to 4:2:0 – which implies extra colour banding simply since you are watching on that platform. It’s additionally true that some platforms refuse to permit buffering in favor of higher image high quality, so regardless that you pay for 4K, you won’t be getting it as a result of the web connection is just too gradual. Some platforms might current 24 frames-per-second (fps) content material at 30 fps with out you having any say in it.

The difficulty is wide-ranging, and there isn’t a single streaming platform or machine that’s good. All of them have points. And, no, I’ve not created a database to trace or cross-reference all this, however that’s a good suggestion.

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What I can inform you is that I’ve determined to choose Apple TV 4K as my private, most popular streaming OS and streaming machine. It’s the one with the least quantity of questions and simply sufficient management. It additionally comes with the fewest variety of complications, and for that, I’m prepared to pay additional. It’s not good, however it’s the least flawed, and, sadly, I feel that’s the place we’re at with streaming proper now. Decide the lesser evil. And for me, that’s Apple TV 4K. I desire utilizing Google TV, however it looks like I can’t belief it.

TV suggestions

A view of a Japansese courtyard looking from within a house displayed on a Hisense U8K.
Hisense U8K. Chris Hagan / Digital Traits

Subsequent is a query from Tyler Creador, who wrote: I’m in the midst of the highway of selecting both the Hisense 55-inch U8K or the TCL 55-inchQ7. I watch TV largely at dinnertime and extra on the weekends. We like to look at Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Paramount Plus, and ESPN + for softball and cornhole. Our viewing angle isn’t straight on, however 6 to 10 ft away from the TV that’s wall-mounted. I’ve a Samsung Mannequin Code: UN55H6350 with a 2.1 soundbar and subwoofer combo from Samsung. The TV is in a room with a big window that solely will get the solar when it’s setting within the sky. I’m additionally wanting into getting the Nintendo Change OLED to hook as much as as properly. I take advantage of the Xfinity Flexbox and the Roku Extremely field for streaming. 

Given this use, I’m inclined to say go for the Hisense U8K. When it comes to image high quality and, to a lesser diploma, sound, It’s the better-performing TV among the many two you listed. And because you gained’t be utilizing the onboard Google TV interface for a lot apart from deciding on your required enter in your Roku or Xfinity Field, I’m snug with that suggestion. My most important gripe is that Hisense’s OS slows down after a few years of updates. Which may be altering, however I haven’t had an opportunity to check it. So till I do, that’s the one factor I take into accout.

An aerial view of a skyline at night on a Sony A95L.
Sony A95L Caleb Denison / Digital Traits

Alongside comparable traces, Basim Obeida wrote: If funds shouldn’t be a priority, which TV mannequin is healthier to purchase contemplating the usage of it’s streaming content material (Netflix, Disney+, and so forth.) and informal console enjoying (PlayStation 5 to be actual)? Please be aware that the area permits for 65 or 75 inches most. The video high quality is essential, however I’m not a “nit-nerd” and the room is semi-dark so brightness shouldn’t be a difficulty. I simply watched Episode 6 of You Requested, and following your recommendation, that is probably the most quantity of knowledge I used to be in a position to present that can assist you assist me.

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You gave me simply sufficient data to reply there. You’re looking at a 65- or 75-inch TV, value isn’t any object, you stream Netflix and perhaps play some PS5, and big brightness shouldn’t be a difficulty.

Given these issues, particularly the cost-no-object factor? I’m going to exit on a limb right here and say that the Sony A95L might be going to be the very best TV to purchase when it comes to image high quality and total efficiency. Now, please perceive that I’ve not but reviewed that TV. I’ll quickly, Sony assures me of that. So, if you wish to await that overview simply to make certain, that’s actually the protected, sensible play. However, until Sony actually, actually screws one thing up, which it doesn’t have a historical past of doing, final 12 months’s A95K is an effective indication that the A95L goes to be a fully excellent TV, and simply barely higher in some small methods than the A95K. In case you might nonetheless get an A95K, although? I’d in all probability simply get that and avoid wasting cash. That’s IF and solely IF you don’t thoughts going 65-inch. If you wish to stretch a bit and get a 77-inch, you then would want to attend for the A95L to return out.

I’d additionally strongly think about the LG G3 OLED or the Samsung S95C QD-OLED, as each are very robust TVs as properly, every with its personal little benefits. However, yeah, in case you’re going to pin me right down to only one and inform me the fee isn’t any object, I’d say get a 77-inch Sony A95L when it comes out. That has all of the makings of the very best TV of the 12 months.

Nakamichi Dragon vs. Sony A9 showdown?

The soundbar component of the Nakamichi Dragon Surround System.
Nakamichi Dragon Zeke Jones / Digital Traits

Mohammad Arafat says: Hi there Caleb. Love from India. (Love proper again at ya!) Can we have now a Dragon versus Sonos 300 versus Sony A9- SW5 comparability?

I’m sorry to say that the reply to that’s, for now, no. I actually am sorry. I feel that’s an important thought. And if I had the Sony HT-A9 right here to do comparisons, I’d have accomplished that already. However Sony wanted their HT-A9 again, so I returned it once I was accomplished with the overview. Maybe I ought to have pressed more durable to maintain it. That’s my mistake. However, not solely do I not have an HT-A9 from Sony, even when I did get them to ship me one once more, I additionally don’t have the Nakamichi Dragon anymore. I needed to ship that again to Nakamichi, which was sort of a bummer. But additionally, it was big and heavy and I didn’t actually have room for it to stay round so … it’s bittersweet. If I needed to do a sizzling tackle that, although? I’d say Nakamichi for the films and Sony for the music, and the SW5 is OK, however it may possibly’t maintain a candle to the twin Nakamichi subs. That’s simply primarily based on reminiscence.

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Holy Grail TV FOMO

The LG G3 OLED TV on a stand, showing a mountain scene on the screen.
LG G3 Zeke Jones / Digital Traits

John Sprecher writes:  It looks like there may be a lot innovation on the horizon. [That includes] brighter-than-G3 OLEDs, mini-LED/Quantum colour [going] from good to nice, and even bigger big-screen codecs subsequent 12 months. In case you’re a multi-big-screen family, does it really feel to you want a foul time to spend money on a holy grail TV for the primary viewing space of a house?

Properly, John, I hope it lets you know that you’re not alone with these emotions on the market. I get this query on a regular basis as a result of this concern at all times exists. However there’s your reply in a means: This concern won’t ever go away. There’ll at all times be a fear with client tech that the following new model proper across the nook is gonna be considerably higher sufficient that ready to purchase is wise. As a result of the priority is that what you purchase now could be out of date, proper?

Right here’s the factor. I don’t assume I can recall a 12 months by which any new model of a TV made the one earlier than it out of date. And even that a lot much less fascinating! The introduction of QD-OLED was one of many larger moments in TV tech, and whereas it was new and spectacular, it didn’t render OLED earlier than it out of date. Identical with the LG G3 — MLA made issues brighter, and that’s thrilling, however how crucial is it for most folk? It isn’t. The G3 didn’t make something out of date both. Heck, some thought mini-LED was going to make common LED out of date and that clearly hasn’t occurred both.

So, you’re not going to run into obsolescence. What’s actually taking place is you might be frightened you aren’t going to have the most recent and biggest. And I get that. However that may at all times be true. There’ll at all times be little upgrades over the prior 12 months. So, don’t attempt to wait issues out for stabilizing – as a result of they are going to at all times be in flux. Purchase while you need to purchase. Purchase when you should purchase. And do what you’ll be able to to refuse your thoughts the urge to expertise FOMO.