And This Year’s 2018 Value Electronics TV Shootout Winner is…

And This Year’s 2018 Value Electronics TV Shootout Winner is…

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(September 23, 2018) Today, a new King of TV was crowned in Scarsdale, NY at the 2018 Value Electronics TV Shootout. In a much-welcomed return to Value Electronics’ home turf, owner and store president Robert Zohn recruited the help of top industry talent to make this year’s event something special.

There’s little doubt that 2018’s crop of reference 4K televisions represents the very best we’ve ever seen, carrying hi-tech processors that command advancements such as wide 10-bit color (more than a billion colors that lend to ultra-smooth gradations), High Dynamic Range, fine-tuned interpolation and upscaling processes, and – of course – 4x the number of pixels found on traditional HD sets. And while enthusiasts might have an eye on bigger and better tech that promises to find its way to production in the coming years, it seems that 4K HDR televisions have finally hit full stride.

As revealed last week, this year’s TV Shootout contestants were comprised of LG’s OLED65E8PUA (retail $3499), Sony’s Master Series OLED XBR-65A9F ($4,499) and LCD XBR-65Z9F ($3,499), and Samsung’s affordable LCD QN65Q9FN (currently selling for $2,999 as part of a 10-day promotion). Each of these models are available through mainstream distribution channels, meaning you can purchase them from big box stores, online e-retailers, and independent stores alike. Which raises the question, why not include models from secondary brands such as TCL and Vizio? According to Zohn, those brands were excluded because they’re only available for purchase through three large-scale retailers. And because of this kind of limited distribution, the Value Electronics’ event chose to leave evaluation of these sets to standard review outlets.

All four competing TVs were compared in both daytime and nighttime viewing conditions, with a panel of nine expert judges (consisting of David Medina, Gregg Tarr, David Mackenzie, Dave Abrahams, Bill Schindler, Jon Reformato, Rob Sabin, and Steven Cohen) and guest attendees voting on various performance parameters using material sourced from Direct TV (1080i), Blu-ray, 4K UHD Blu-ray, and image generators. And to help with the evaluation, Value Electronics had two Sony BMV-X300RGB OLED studio monitors on hand for Hollywood-grade reference image comparison. While the judges’ total scoring ultimately decided on a winner, all votes were also combined for purposes of discussion.

The winner (expert scoring only) of “Best Home Theater TV” (dark room viewing) was deemed to be Sony’s Master Series OLED XBR-65A9F, scoring 263 points (LG E8 = 262 pts, Sony Z9F = 258 pts, Samsung Q9FN = 185 pts). And the winner of “Best Living Room TV” (high ambient light viewing) was Sony’s OLED A9F with 254 points (E8 = 250 pts, Z9F = 243 pts, Q9FN = 226 pts). The overall winner of “King of TV” was voted to be Sony’s OLED XBR-65A9F with 850 points (LG E8 = 845 pts, Sony Z9F = 832 pts, Samsung Q9FN = 715 pts). It’s worth noting that both OLED models tied for overall HDR performance (noted as High Dynamic Range Reference Mode) with scores of 333 points (the LCD Z9F was a close second with 301 pts).

And with that, Zohn and the event attendees honored Sony with a champagne toast and congratulations as the industry’s holder of the new top TV model. LG, which has won the TV Shootout for three years running, came in a close second, proving that both OLED models are excellent buys.

Scroll down to see complete scoring tallies from the event.
 
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tripplej

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Congrats to all the winners in the various categories.
 
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Robert Zohn

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Check out Spare Change's YouTube video of our TV Shootout. You will enjoy this well produce and informative video.

 

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We appreciate your efforts Robert... congrats to Sony... who seems to have won really big!
 

4kfilme.de

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Hello. 2 quick questions from Germany. First... am i stupid or are the tvs all the same size (65 inch)? Sorry but in the press release and in the first results, the zf9 and q9fn are marked as 75 inch?

Second question... i watched and skippend and watched and skipped the live-youtube-video and the youtube-clip from sparechange. I cant figure out, how exactly you tested "high ambient light viewing". Did you crack up the curtains and let the sun in, or did you only switch on some lights? Im just wondering how both oleds are ahead of the much more bright zf9 and q9fn?

Thx in advance for your feedback and sorry for the bad english.
 

Matthew J Poes

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I always look forward to this shootout every year.

I just happened to see the Sony and LG back to back yesterday. Not only was I impressed by the sony, but so was my 3 year old daughter. While I’m sure I biased her by my focus on the LG and sony OLED’s, she picked the Sony as the one she most wanted me to buy. The Sony is a little out of my price range right now, but wow, super impressive picture. In my casual viewing and no real calibration between the E8 and A9F I was never sure what I was seeing, but the Sony looked better.
 

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Hello. 2 quick questions from Germany. First... am i stupid or are the tvs all the same size (65 inch)? Sorry but in the press release and in the first results, the zf9 and q9fn are marked as 75 inch?

Second question... i watched and skippend and watched and skipped the live-youtube-video and the youtube-clip from sparechange. I cant figure out, how exactly you tested "high ambient light viewing". Did you crack up the curtains and let the sun in, or did you only switch on some lights? Im just wondering how both oleds are ahead of the much more bright zf9 and q9fn?

Thx in advance for your feedback and sorry for the bad english.
You're correct. All TVs used were 65"... model numbers noted above are correct (sizes have been corrected!).

As for high ambient light, the house lights were turned on and a door was opened to let in day light.
 
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Todd Anderson

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Hot off the press!!

Here's the official tallies from the TV Shootout. Please note, all were rated on a scale of 1-10.

First, here the judges' ratings:

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.07.06 PM.png


Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.07.18 PM.png


Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.07.29 PM.png



And these are the combined Judges and Audience/Attendees voting tallies:

Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.07.43 PM.png


Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.08.07 PM.png


Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 2.08.15 PM.png
 

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Nice to see the chart. Can't go wrong with the LG or the Sony that is for sure. I am surprised that Samsung didn't do as well. But then again, hard to beat OLED. :)
 

Todd Anderson

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Probably most notable (to me), Samsung's absolutely abysmal Shadow Detail score (Dark Room) and notably low marks for Off-Axis (Day time), Near Black Uniformity (Dark Room), and Motion Handling (Day time).

All scores below 7... and in the case of Shadow Detail, below 4.

The fact that the Samsung didn't capture a single high mark, tells you to set your sights on the other three TVs. Of course, the Samsung is significantly less expensive than the other options. But if you're looking for reference performance, LG and Sony have the market cornered.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Probably most notable (to me), Samsung's absolutely abysmal Shadow Detail score (Dark Room) and notably low marks for Off-Axis (Day time), Near Black Uniformity (Dark Room), and Motion Handling (Day time).

All scores below 7... and in the case of Shadow Detail, below 4.

The fact that the Samsung didn't capture a single high mark, tells you to set your sights on the other three TVs. Of course, the Samsung is significantly less expensive than the other options. But if you're looking for reference performance, LG and Sony have the market cornered.
Are there major differences between the upper end and lower end LG’s? I know the Sony looks noticeably different from the LG but then it has different processing and firmware, different tuning, etc. I haven’t really tried looking at different Lg’s From the same generation to see how they differ, by my impression was that picture is the same across the board.
 

Todd Anderson

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Are there major differences between the upper end and lower end LG’s? I know the Sony looks noticeably different from the LG but then it has different processing and firmware, different tuning, etc. I haven’t really tried looking at different Lg’s From the same generation to see how they differ, by my impression was that picture is the same across the board.
Though to compare the Sony and LG OLEDS in a store because you have know idea what settings are implemented. Differences are indeed extremely subtle in most cases. Same panels, different processing. Of course, the Sony also utilizes a different kind of audio deployment.

In terms of differences between more expensive LG OLEDs and less expensive OLEDs, @Robert Zohn can speak better to this, but I believe overall picture capabilities are relatively similar. In the past, they were nearly identical (yes, differences were there but the ability to humanly see differences would be more difficult). Of course, if you're throwing LCDs into the mix, then yes, big differences.
 

Matthew J Poes

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Though to compare the Sony and LG OLEDS in a store because you have know idea what settings are implemented. Differences are indeed extremely subtle in most cases. Same panels, different processing. Of course, the Sony also utilizes a different kind of audio deployment.

In terms of differences between more expensive LG OLEDs and less expensive OLEDs, @Robert Zohn can speak better to this, but I believe overall picture capabilities are relatively similar. In the past, they were nearly identical (yes, differences were there but the ability to humanly see differences would be more difficult). Of course, if you're throwing LCDs into the mix, then yes, big differences.
My side by side was at the high end shop I consult with. The displays were both calibrated but your point is well taken. While I’m confident they were both accurate, the LG was older than the Sony. The guy who does their video calibration did it much earlier. Differences I saw could have been minor differences in his calibration or in choices he made. It’s also possible someone meet with some settings after the fact. This was not a scientific study or even of the caliber of this event.
 

Todd Anderson

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That's interesting! I totally believe you saw a difference. I've had a very difficult time seeing differences between last year's models (I believe the Sony had better shadow detail...), but it certainly appears if the Sony had the upper hand this year.

I'd be interested to see the Shootout performed in a way where brands and technologies (OLED vs LCD) weren't revealed. That would obviously require some sort of housing or rig to be constructed (perhaps carefully placed black curtains?) to keep bezels concealed. From a testing perspective, that would wildly interesting!
 

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Is there a place where the measures are listed? I have been up to my elbows in getting ready for the hockey season lately and haven't had time to look at this. I'd love to see what the peak brightness readings were.
 

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Ah.... I don’t think that kind of info was officially released.
 

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