If you bought your TV before the last World Cup, prepare to be amazed: the latest 4K HDR TVs deliver the stadium buzz, noise and colour in a whole new way – and they’re just as entertaining long after the final whistle has blown.
Technology has transformed the humble TV in two key ways. The first is the widespread adoption of smart TV technology that gives you apps for catch-up TV, boxsets, YouTube, Amazon and Netflix, so there’s always something great to watch. And the second is in the actual displays. You can walk into your nearest John Lewis and see TV technology that was impossible just a few years ago.
Take the Panasonic TX-55FX750B (opens in new tab) for example. Its massive 55-inch display has 4K Ultra HD resolution, which puts a whopping 8 million pixels on screen; a 720p HD TV only has 1 million. The difference is dramatic – not just because the Panasonic has more pixels, but because those pixels are better too. It employs High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to deliver 1 billion colours. That means the blackest blacks, the whitest whites and extraordinarily vivid colour whether you’re watching the match or a movie. That’s because Panasonic worked closely with movie experts: the display processor was actually tuned by a top Hollywood colourist.
The right kind of Q
QLED TVs such as the Samsung QE55Q9FN (opens in new tab) incorporate Samsung’s patented Quantum Dot technology. Quantum Dots are tiny particles that turn out to be brilliant at emitting specific wavelengths of light, and that means Quantum Dot TVs deliver even better colours and even more brightness than normal LEDs. The 4K HDR display has an extraordinarily wide viewing angle, blur-free motion and a superb Ambient Mode that enables the TV to blend in with its surroundings when you’re not watching the game.
QLED isn’t the only clever TV tech out there. Unlike traditional HDTV displays, which use backlit LEDs, TVs like the astonishing Sony Bravia KD55AF8 (opens in new tab) use organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs for short. You may well already have OLED technology: it’s used in the screens of recent high-end Samsung phones and the iPhone X. With OLED technology every pixel provides its own light – so if it doesn’t need to light up, it isn’t lit. That means even deeper blacks and incredibly realistic colour reproduction.
That’s not all the Sony offers. Its innovative Acoustic Surface technology uses the screen as a speaker to deliver incredible sound you won’t believe comes from something so thin, and the combination of Sony’s TRILUMINOS display and MotionFlow XR processing delivers silky-smooth action. The X1 Extreme 4K HDR processor is 40% more powerful than its predecessor, and the results are spectacular whether you’re watching native 4K content or upscaling from full HD.
Real, real, real
LG has created a whole range of jaw-dropping OLED displays such as the 55-inch LG OLED55C8PLA (opens in new tab): where many manufacturers claim that their pictures are lifelike, the LG’s picture really is. It delivers ultra-fine gradation and a colour palette that’s so close to life you’ll think you can climb into the TV and join the game yourself.
It sounds as good as it looks, too. The LG has Dolby Atmos surround sound, which delivers 3D audio for an extraordinary soundtrack: you’ll feel like you’re right there in the stadium. It’s the kind of experience you’d normally have to go to the cinema for and it’s right there in your room.
Boom! Shake the room!
You can add Dolby Atmos to almost any TV, and it can be an incredible upgrade for existing HDTVs. One of the problems with some older flat-screen TVs is that the manufacturers were short of space and stuck tiny speakers into the TVs’ ultra-thin frames, and as a result some older flat-screens sound rather tinny. A soundbar solves that problem – and in the case of the stunning Samsung HW-K950 (opens in new tab) soundbar it solves it with 3D (5.1.4) surround sound, 15 speakers (four of them firing upwards for that immersive Dolby Atmos experience) and a thunderous subwoofer that’s loud enough to be heard in Russia.
The soundbar also works with your existing AV kit, your games consoles and even your mobile devices: Bluetooth means you can stream music to it from your favourite apps, and it works with Samsung’s multi-room tech so that you can play music throughout your home.
You can see all of these products at John Lewis, which is currently running a range of great TV deals – and of course, because John Lewis is Never Knowingly Undersold you can be sure that you’re getting the best price. And that’s before you consider the 5-year guarantee John Lewis gives you for free on every single TV.
To find out how you can experience the World Cup like never before, visit your local branch or check out the range online (opens in new tab).