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The 5 TVs we’re most excited about this year

Another CES has been and gone, and as ever, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG used the tech bonanza to raise the bar for TVs to mesmerising heights.

We’ve put together this roundup to showcase a selection of the most impressive TVs we had the pleasure of seeing in Las Vegas, and though their manufacturers have kept typically quiet on the pricing and release date fronts, we’re hopeful that some − if not all − of the models we’ve listed below will become available to buy in 2020.

Whether you, me or anyone else can afford them though, remains to be seen.

LG CX 48-inch OLED (OLED48CXPUA) G-Sync

G-Sync turns the LG CX 48 into a proper gaming display

LG CX 48-inch OLED (OLED48CXPUA)

Key features:

  • 48-inch 4K OLED display
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
  • Nvidia G-Sync
  • Filmmaker mode

The LG CX 48-inch OLED is a rare thing indeed − a sub-55-inch OLED. If the size of your living room has been stopping you from enjoying the gorgeous deep black levels that only OLED displays can offer, that won’t be a barrier for much longer.

You can also use it as a gaming monitor, thanks to its inclusion of Nvidia G-Sync and a dedicated gaming mode.

Here’s what we wrote after spending time with it:

“The full judgement will come when the TV comes in for review but the first impression is that this TV has the right traits to be a winner. The smaller size opens up the quality of OLED to new people that don’t want a massive television, while the range of features and options show this to be a TV that can keep up with the high end, delivering the quality that those that want the best from games and films demand.”

Samsung Q950TS

Key features:

  • Stunning design
  • Native 8K resolution with AI upscaling
  • Filmmaker mode
  • Adaptive picture
  • 65-, 75- and 85-inch models

Just as we thought we could no longer be struck by the beauty of a new TV, Samsung proved us wrong by unveiling the Samsung Q950TS. It’s a beautiful thing, the kind of TV that instantly makes the one you’ve got looks dated, and Samsung has found a way to deliver a strong sound system too through the speakers that sit in all four of its edges.

What’s more, 8K AI upscaling system is also impressive enough to make you think twice about dismissing all 8K TVs as pointless.

Here’s what we wrote after spending time with it:

“A striking barely-there bezel-less design, outstanding picture quality and a string of unexpected new features make the Samsung Q950TS a strong contender for 2020.”

Panasonic HZ2000 Hero

Panasonic HZ2000

Key features:

  • 4K
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG, Dolby Vision IQ
  • Filmmaker mode
  • 55- and 65-inch models
  • Higher-than-average peak brightness

We described 2019’s Panasonic GZ200 as “arguably the best all-round OLED TV”, and the Panasonic HZ2000 takes things up a notch with a custom-made Master HDR Professional Edition panel that can reach a maximum brightness that’s 20% higher than rival OLED models without impacting black levels.

Dolby Vision IQ and Panasonic’s own Intelligent Sensing make sure it adjusts to the lighting in the room, and the built-in TV speaker system sounds good enough that you might not feel the need to stump up extra for an audio boost.

Here’s what we wrote after spending time with it:

“It can be hard to differentiate OLED TVs between manufacturers but the Panasonic HZ2000 brings something different to the party with Intelligent Sensing that can make the best of Filmmaker Mode under any lighting condition. Excellent image quality and higher-than-average peak brightness could make this TV the one that home cinema fans will really want.”

The Sony ZH8 at the CES 2020.

Sony KD-75ZH8

Key features:

  • 75- and 85-inch 8K models
  • X1 Ultimate processor
  • X-Wide Angle

The words “more affordable” and “8K TV” don’t sound like they should go together, but that’s exactly what Sony’s tried to do with the Sony KD-75ZH8. It’s essentially a cheaper alternative to the ZG9 range, which uses a more straightforward Full Array with local dimming system in place of the pricier Sony Backlight Master Drive system.

It does, however, feature the 8K-optimised version of Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor and Sony’s X-Wide Angle technology, and the subtly designed forward-facing speakers hidden under its bottom edge pump out far more power and dynamic range than you’d expect, underpinned by more than enough bass to stop action scenes sounding thin or harsh.

In our hands-on review of the Sony KD-75ZH8, we described it as “an innovative set that’s already looking as though it could give Samsung’s new 8K flagship a serious run for its money.”

Samsung’s 75-inch, Micro LED ‘Wall’

Samsung 75-inch The Wall MicroLED

Key features:

  • 75-inch 4K MicroLED
  • Modular design
  • Jaw-dropping picture quality

The Samsung 75-inch Wall MicroLED is the smallest MicroLED screen Samsung has ever officially ranged – and it may actually go on sale one day. It’s made from a cluster of smaller MicroLED blocks, and Samsung seems to have now perfected the process, with the joins between blocks almost invisible and the surface flatter than we’ve ever seen before.

We could spend much longer talking about its design, but the performance is the true star of the show. The Wall seems to take the best things about OLEDs, their black levels, and pairs them with levels of brightness and colour volume that even go beyond what the best current LCD TVs can do. The effect is astonishing.

Here’s what we wrote after spending time with it:

“While the astonishing 292-inch, 8K version of The Wall Samsung showed off at CES 2020 might well be the single most jaw-dropping screen I’ve ever seen at any CES, the 75-inch model may be the most exciting. Why? Partly because in some ways its performance was the best I’ve seen from any non-8K MicroLED screen to date, but mostly because, eternal tech optimist that I am, it feels like a product which I might actually get to review at some point – and which richer versions of me might even be able to buy in the not too distant future.”

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