- Pro Video
- Lighting & Studio
- Pro Audio
- TVs & Entertainment
- A/V Presentation
- Shop Categories
- Used Dept
In the hundred or so years that TVs have been around, countless innovations have been made in the field, some of which I covered in a previous article. But this isn’t about history—this is about what’s available and innovative right now. Without further ado, let’s get to the list!
Admittedly, this kitchen cabinet-mountable TV isn’t particularly innovative, but the type is pretty scarce at the moment, so I felt it was worth mentioning, and I promise this is the only model of its kind on this list. This Sylvania model is generously equipped with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, bringing some modern home theater features to the kitchen.
Though not the largest on this list, an 85" screen is pretty big. Aside from its size, the XBR-85X950B features Sony’s Motionflow XR 960 technology. While Sony tends to not disclose the native refresh rates of their TVs, Motionflow technology is a way of digitally smoothing out fast-moving images and reducing the blur effect they may have—such as that of a football being thrown downfield.
The 79UF9500 is one a few 4K models to make the list, but resolution alone isn't the reason it's listed here. IPS technology has been sought after in the world of computer monitors for its wide viewing angle, and this technology is also welcomed in the home-theater arena. If you’ve got a wide sectional or if you’re mounting the TV at an extreme angle to some sitting areas (such as an adjacent dining room), IPS can showcase its advantages of traditional panels, and this 79" LG model is the only IPS model to make the list.
The largest model to make the top 10 certainly brings more to the table than its extra-large display. Screen size aside, Sharp also outfitted this model with a full-array LED backlight, which is designed to eliminate the light-bleed effect that occurs on the screens of some edge-lit models. This results in a higher overall brightness uniformity. Let’s not forget about this model’s AquoMotion 240 technology, which takes the native 120 Hz refresh rate and, similar to Sony’s Motionflow, digitally enhances the image to minimize the blur of fast-moving objects.
This Sony 4K offers Android-powered Smart TV connectivity and features Sony's Motionflow XR 960 technology, which offers reduced image blur and distortion on fast-moving content.
It is also Google-Cast-ready and has Miracast built in for wireless streaming from compatible devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Sony breaks into the top 5 by bringing sound back to the TV equation with the XBR-75X940C. While similar to the XBR-75X910C, it adds an impressive-looking 2.2-channel speaker system built onto its sides. While that may not sound like much, this system outputs an impressive 90 Watts of power. This is clearly aimed at customers who want an audio experience that's just as impressive and immersive as the TV's video presentation. Well done, Sony!
Full-array LED backlighting is back on the list, courtesy of VIZIO. One main thing sets it apart from the Sharp model at #7: local dimming. This feature will dim the light panel in dark areas around a light object, effectively increasing the contrast ratio temporarily. This results in brighter whites and darker darks throughout the image.
Samsung packed a number of features into the UN88JS9500 to get into the top 3. We know about 4K, 3D, and multi-zone full-array backlighting (similar to the “local dimming” feature on the previous VIZIO) from models lower on the list, so let’s look at the differences. For starters, this model features a curved panel, but that’s not its only trick. When mounting a TV on a wall, a common concern is having unruly wires trailing along the wall from the TV to connected components . Samsung aims to alleviate this concern with its external One Connect Box. Simply put, this external device handles your component connections. While it connects to your TV via a single cable, it offers four HDMI inputs and three USB inputs. Did I mention that this model also offers access to streaming content? You should expect no less from a TV of this caliber.
As covered here, we're pretty familiar with LG’s OLED TVs, so maybe I’m a little biased in giving them the #2 spot on this list, but I really believe OLED is the future of TV. It provides what LG calls Perfect Black, thanks to the fact that each pixel lights itself without the use of a backlight, so if you’re looking at a view of space where all you see are stars and the rest is black, only the pixels making up the stars are producing light; the rest are simply off. Also, with no backlight, the panel can be slimmer and lighter than traditional LEDs.
Maybe I cheated making this #1 because it’s the same as the #2 model, just curved; however, coming from a time when TVs weighed more than 100 pounds and were convex, a concave TV is pretty innovative, especially with the viewing angles from which it’s viewable. Of course, if you’re sitting in the “sweet spot,” the corners curve directly toward you which, if you’re close enough, create a pretty immersive environment. Of course, that’s what all of this–4K, 3D, OLED–is about, immersing yourself in your media. We want to feel ever closer to the action; that’s what drives innovation. Do you agree or disagree with this list? Tell us why in the Comments section, below.