Any TV-tech gearheads with a few free minutes, willing to give some advice?

My wife and I are in the market for a new TV, and she’s tasked me with the research. I haven’t really been paying close attention to the home-electronics market for a while, so I’m playing catch-up and could use some advice.

Brief background: We relocated from the U.S. to Europe a while ago. We brought our old Vizio HDTV (1080p, 50-inch) with us. At that point it was already a few years old, so it’s now pretty long in the tooth, and it’s time to replace it. That means we’re shopping in the European market, so U.S.-based readers should note some common TV brands are not sold here (e.g. Vizio), while at the same time we have other brands available that are not well known in the U.S. (e.g. Telefunken).

What we’re looking for:

  • Normal 4K is fine. We’re not looking for the ultra 8K or whatever the bleeding edge is right now. If better picture can be had without breaking the bank, then fine (HDR? QLED? I can read the written descriptions but I don’t know how they actually hit my eyeballs), but bottom line, good enough is good enough.

  • We’re specifically looking at models with 58-inch screens. There aren’t that many, compared to the other categories, but there are enough to give us some selection. We want this size very particularly because we have a 135-centimeter-wide opening, and the 58-inch screens range from 130-cm to 132-cm in width, so that’s perfect. This narrows our searching quite a bit.

  • We’re not looking to drop a fortune. Under a thousand euros certainly.

  • TV usage is pretty standard: HD viewing via streaming apps, blu-ray, game consoles, local cable TV with decoder box.

  • Re the gaming, I have three last-gen consoles, and I do plan to upgrade to PS5 whenever availability stops being a crap shoot. I’m not a hardcore serious gamer, though, so I’m not timing millisecond response time with a stopwatch or anything. Again, good enough is good enough.

  • We don’t care if there’s a limited range of smart-TV apps. We watch Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+, etc. using the apps on the Xbox. Quality and performance via that channel are fine, so push-button convenience on the TV remote is mostly irrelevant.

  • I’m aware that sound quality out of a flat screen is middling at best, and I’m thinking about a sound bar add-on, but ultimately top-end audio is not really a priority. Maybe later.

What I’m seeing as I browse my options:

  • The entry-level range for the 58-inch screen size seems to form a price cluster between 500 euros to 700 euros. Then there seems to be a bit of a gap, and the higher-end models start to come in north of 900 euros. I can’t tell whether the extra expense is meaningful for a casual viewer, with a noticeably better experience, or if this is where the “videophile” tier appears and I’d be wasting my money.

  • In this price range, sets appear to be limited to three (or in some cases two) HDMI inputs. I’m using all four HDMI inputs on my current TV (three game consoles plus cable-TV decoder), which means I’ll probably need to get a switch. That’s fine, as long as I can plan for it.

  • Also, in the entry price range, it looks like a sound bar would probably need a hard-wired connection, as relatively few of the sets have a Bluetooth option.

  • As a final note, yes, all of this searching has been entirely online, and I haven’t been to an actual retailer to look at anything with my own eyeballs. I’ll be doing that this weekend.

Some of the specific TVs I’ve found:

  • Bargain-hunter models from Kiano and Hisense. Appear to be compromise options, where a low price gets you okay visual performance but not much else.

  • Also at the cheap end, Telefunken offers this, which appears to have stronger customer feedback than the other inexpensive models, though detailed independent tests/reviews are kind of sparse which makes me nervous.

  • Samsung seems to have a decent offering.

  • Phillips has a couple of choices (one, two), but reviews seem to be mixed. The version with the included soundbar uses Bluetooth, which is good, but it’s at the top of the price range. Also, the Ambilight thing seems to me to be a ridiculous gimmick, despite some enthusiastic endorsements on YouTube, and I don’t need to spend money on a gimmick.

  • JVC has this, which is interesting because it’s one of the rare sets with Bluetooth, but it also seems to sit closer to JVC’s low-end models which get crap reviews than to their better-reviewed more-expensive models, which doesn’t inspire confidence.

  • There’s also a Toshiba, which seems relatively promising.

  • At a slightly higher price point is this Panasonic, which appears to perform reasonably well, though some of the commenters complain about limited viewing angle (a common issue with cheaper flat screens, obviously).

  • LG used to make 58-inch TVs, but they appear to all be discontinued, and I don’t see a local retail option for LG anyway.

So — if you were to lean toward any of the above, which would it be? Is your opinion based on your experience with the manufacturer in general or with the particular set? Is there a better comparable option I haven’t included?

Finally, if you want to argue for moving out of this budget-TV category into a more premium tier, what exactly would be the concrete case for doing so? And which models would you suggest we consider?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts and guidance.

I don’t have anything concrete to add, but in my experience you can’t go wrong with Panasonic for electronic stuff.

No specific advice on the television selection, but if you have space for an audio/video receiver, then consider adding one in the future versus a sound bar. The TV should have an ARC HDMI input, and then you can connect all of your devices to the receiver and a limited number of inputs on the TV won’t matter.

Nothing to add either but in my opinion, one doesn’t need anything above 1080p. Paying extra for more would be a waste.

(Others would argue against that. Just my opinion. Not a hill I’m willing to die on. :slight_smile: )

It may be true that you don’t need anything above 1080p, but based on my experience shopping for a new TV last summer, you really can’t buy a 1080p TV any longer. They all seem to be 4K or better.

Really what you are looking at is OLED vs LED/QLED. With OLED, the individual pixels light up (or stay black). With LED/QLED the pixels are illuminated from behind by a light. OLED will have a visibly better picture (blacker blacks, no “blooming” or bleeding colors and all that) but at a higher price.

Thank you, this is a useful “for dummies” summary. This is discussed at length in a lot of the technical reviews, but they either assume I already know the basics, or go too far into obfuscatory detail. This is the “just right!” version, and it gives me a place to start.

Being an AV geek I’ll definitely say Panasonic OLED would be my choice. I have an LG OLED and I love the fact the black levels are black. Low light scenes aren’t washed out like I’ve seen in most LED sets (Even the ones with multi panel backlighting) and the colours are accurate and not screamingly bright.
You say that sound is not a concern but budget for a sound bar at the very least. The sound out of most tvs is utter crap. My wife, who is about the most apathetic tech person ever admitted to me that the money I spent on our surround system makes movies and tv better.

No matter which TV you choose spend some time adjusting the settings as the default modes are typically pretty bad. is the site I use most and I’m sure there are equivalents for Europe. Once you’ve decided post back here or message me and I’ll find a reference for you.

The OP mentioned a budget of less than a thousand euros, and I think all of the OLED sets are much more than that.

Possibly with all the increases in electronics, although there may still be stock that the retailers are trying to blow out (2019-2020).
@Cervaise Which country in Europe, if you don’t mind telling? That will help with more local pricing.

Not a 58" but OLED and 4 HDMI ports.