Welcome to FlatpanelsHD anno 2015. We have spent the last six months working on a major redesign for our popular site as we wanted to improve the reading experience across all the different devices that you guys use. And there are many new features, too, including a killer dynamic score system for reviews!
One page for all devices
Our site is now fully responsive thanks to bootstrap. This means that you can use the site from any device, including PCs, phones and tablets, and it will always look great. It automatically adjusts depending on what device you use.
We have aimed to make the reading experience as good as possible on every device by leveraging their respective strengths. We have changed the font to Open Sans and increased its size.
We have introduced a new image carousel at the top that highlights news and relevant content. If you visit us from a large screen you will see two boxes side-by-side at the moment, whereas smaller displays have one box. This will change regularly, for example during CES and IFA periods. The carousel is fully touch-optimized, so it is great to use on a tablet or phone.
Try loading the page on a PC and resize the window size. You will notice how the site changes automatically as you resize it.
On an editorial level we will continue as before, meaning in-depth reviews, news, and articles. We have more writers than in the past so we are very excited about the future. With display technology entering a new phase and TVs entering the Internet era a lot will change in the coming years, and software companies will try to make a contribution. Read all about it here on FlatpanelsHD.
A more dynamic menu
We have added a number of features to the new top menu, which now dynamically loads news and articles so you can always find the latest content at your fingertip, no matter where you are.
“Articles” contains all of our most popular articles in categories such as "guides", “overview articles”, and “focus articles”.
In the “sections” menu you can find everything about your favorite subject be it UHD/4K, Android TV, Apple TV or virtual reality.
If you visit us from a phone you will see a slide-in menu in the upper right corner (the blue icon).
A new forum
The forum has received a major facelift. Just like the rest of the site, it is now fully responsive based on bootstrap. It will automatically adapt to any screen size so it looks great across PCs, tablets, and phones.
We added a lot of new stuff in an area that you guys really care about; our reviews. The reviews now take full width, meaning that the right menu is gone. This gives us freedom and gives you a better reading experience. We are sure that you will find the new reviews prettier and notice how the new layout improves the reading experience. But there are also many new features!
We have gone back one year in time to update graphics (work ongoing). There are new tables, larger images, and new tab panels. However, it is for future reviews that you will experience the greatest improvements. You will see what we mean very soon. We have only just begun improving reviews.
But most important of all; a new dynamic score system!
Dynamic score system
We have recently introduced our score system for reviews. The primary reason why we have not used a score system to date is that oftentimes scores for earlier reviews quickly prove invalid, and that new reviews will constantly push towards 100% and thereby render the full scale invalid.
So we developed our own dynamic score system. In the process we had to overcome certain technical challenges and we have spent months evaluating before putting it into action. Here it is.
All our TV, monitor, and media player reviews will use the new score system that is divided into categories. For TVs the categories are:
“Picture quality” is an assessment of factors such as color reproduction, image processing, motion handling, contrast / black level, light homogeneity etc. “Features” is an evaluation of functionality such as apps, smart features, tuners, recording, as well as sound quality. “User experience” is an assessment of the user interface, speed, usability, the remote control, and build quality.
The total score is a weighted sum of the subcategories where; “Picture Quality” weights 50%, “Features” weighs 25% and “User Experience” weighs 25%.
We have three different sets of scores; one for TVs, one for monitors, and one for media boxes (media streamers, game consoles etc). Monitors will be assessed based on picture quality (40%), speed / response time (10%), features (25%) and ergonomics (25%). Media boxes will be assessed based on features (30%), ecosystem / apps (40%) and user experience (30%).
And then the “new” dynamic element: Each of the three categories will score on an absolute scale where the maximum number of points that can be achieved is a moving target that we determine. In 2015, we start with all categories on index 100 but as new and better technologies are introduced the maximum score (one for each category) is increased. For example if a new TV sets a new bar for picture quality. This means that a TV with a score of 85 points in 2015 will have a score of 85% (= 85/100). But in 2016 a new and better TV might increase the maximum score to index 120, and the old TV will now score 85/120 = 71%.
That is why the score system will allow you to compare TVs even across years.
All of our reviews will include the score and conclusion box seen below. It is updated automatically and dynamically. You can find older reviews and read the score that compares to what is available today. Neat, right?
Picture quality is assessed as overall picture quality, including color reproduction, image processing, contrast, motion etc. Features is an evaluation of the built-in functionality such as apps, connector ports, tuners, recording capabilities, decoder formats, and how useful they are, as well as sound quality. User experience is evaluated on the basis of user friendliness, speed, build quality, and day-to-day use of the TV. Total score is weighted: 50% Picture quality, 25% Features, 25% User experience. All scores are calculated based on a moving maximum target, defined by what we currently consider the best on market. It is then presented as a percentage. This means that a score will fall over time as new and better TVs set new standards. This allows you to compare scores across years. A score of 100% in a given category means that it is consider the best available product in this category to date.
We will raise the maximum score whenever we find a better or revolutionary technology that sets new bars for quality, but as a general rule we reexamine the maximum score once a year. This year, for example, almost every new TV will offer a new operating system, so if we had launched the score system in 2014 it would probably have its maximum score increased this year. Another example is the introduction of new picture technologies such OLED, 4K, 8K, HDR that will increase the bar. But as said we start on index 100 this year.
It should be noted that a maximum score may well be composed of factors not found in a specific TV (and therefore not available to buy) – which differs from our “Reference Award”. For example, a 4K OLED panel with HDR from manufacturer A, combined with image processing from manufacturer B, an operating system from manufacturer C, and various other features from manufacturers D and E. It is therefore unlikely to see any product score 100% - even if it has the Reference Award! One consequence of this is that you will probably find the scores a bit lower than on other reviewer sites that have more loosely defined score systems. This is not because the product is bad, just because our target is very high.
When it comes to our two awards, things are a little different. You can read a full explanation of the Awards above, but in relation to scores it is important to note that scores do not take into account price. Our Highly Recommended Award does. So it is not directly related. For example, a TV with a 60% score in picture quality might receive a Highly Recommended Award whereas a TV with 65% does not, because of the simple fact that the former is considerably cheaper. More value-for-money.
We will shoot more video during reviews to give you an idea of features and the experience of using a specific TV. We will highlight innovative features as well as issues.
You can also follow us on YouTube where we share not only videos from reviews but also from trade shows, presentations and more.
Readability & tab panels
We have aimed to improve readability of news, articles, and reviews, by allowing some of them to take full width. All you will see is what really matters. We have also introduced new tab panels where we group related images such as calibration images. See the example below.
We wanted to streamline the site, especially reviews, and we think that tables are great for this purpose. So from here on you will find all our measurements grouped in a single table that includes power consumption, black levels / contrast, input lag and calibration settings.
We have also begun taking time readings, meaning that we include a number for boot-up of the TV, and the most important apps. That way you can compare products from different manufacturers.
You can see an example of a new “measurement table” below.
47 ms (Game)
You obviously already know where to find us and the front page will continue to be the main entrance to FlatpanelsHD. But you can also receive updates on news, articles, reviews, video, and reports by following us on social media.
We are on Facebook, twitter and YouTube. We share – in addition to the latest news - photos and video from presentations and major trade shows that you will not see in articles. So there are plenty of reasons to follow us!
We also have a great newsletter (sign up at the bottom of the page) and we have a RSS feed with news. You can also follow and write in the FlatpanelsHD forums from a mobile device using the Tapatalk app – or just be visiting the forums.
And if you want to get updates when someone posts a comment in a specific article, you can click “Subscribe” under the comments.
We have worked on the new design for months and we have made significant changes to many underlying systems that you will never notice. FlatpanelsHD has existed for many years so the back catalogue is not just big; it’s huge.
We hope that we have found all the small bugs and issues, but if you spot anything out of order, we appreciate your feedback. Just drop a quick comment.