HDTVTest 2018 TV Shootout winners announced

16 Jul 2018 | Rasmus Larsen |

Four TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony were competing in HDTVTest’s 2018 TV Shootout event where attendees were asked to rank the TVs. OLED TVs won four awards, while Samsung’s LCD won the fifth.

HDTVTest 2018 TV shootout

This is the first major TV shootout of 2018 as the other one – the annual US shootout – has been delayed in order to include upcoming TV models. UK-based HDTVTest held the 2018 TV shootout on Sunday, July 15, in London, UK.

The four TVs were calibrated by HDTVTest’s Vincent Teoh with assistance from Portrait Displays’ Tyler Pruitt and Marcel Gonska, and HDTVPolska’s Maciej Koper. The TVs were all running the latest firmware. Two Sony OLED studio displays (BVM-X300) were used as reference monitors. The TVs were easily identifiable by logo and design. It was not meant to be a blind test.

- “The TVs were arranged in alphabetical order according to UK model number, so it's KD-65AF8, OLED65C8, QE65QFN, then TX-65FZ802B from left to right,” said Vincent Teoh from UK technical review site HDTVTest. “Two Sony BVM-X300 broadcast monitors were present for reference purposes: one between the Sony AF8 and the LG C8; the other between the Samsung Q9FN and Panasonic FZ802, so each display can be assessed directly beside a reference monitor.”

The 4 TVs included in the 2018 TV Shootout:
  • 65” LG C8 OLED – $3000 / £3000
  • 65” Panasonic FZ802 (FZ800) OLED – £3500
  • 65” Samsung Q9FN LCD – $2900 / £3300
  • 65” Sony AF8 (A8F) OLED – $3000 / £3100

    HDTVTest 2018 TV shootoutPhoto: Tyler Pruitt, Spectracal

    HDTVTest 2018 TV shootoutPhoto: Tyler Pruitt, Spectracal

    And the winners are…

    The 26 attendees were asked to rank the TVs from best to worst on eight parameters (see below). The methodology was similar to last year’s event where OLED TVs won in all five award categories.

    HDTVTest 2018 TV Shootout Award winners

    Winner Runner-up
    Best Home Theatre TV: Panasonic FZ802 (14.93 points) Sony AF8 (13.27 points)
    Best Living Room TV: Sony AF8 (15.82 points) Panasonic FZ802 (15.69 points)
    Best Gaming TV: Samsung Q9FN (4.23 points) LG C8 (4.10 points)
    Best HDR TV: LG C8 (4.15 points) Panasonic FZ802 (4.13 points)
    Best TV of 2018: Panasonic FZ802 (32.59 points) LG C8 (31.49 points)

    Category parameter scores

    Winner Runner-up
    Contrast performance: Panasonic FZ802 (4.58 points) Sony AF8 (4.45 points)
    Colour accuracy: Panasonic FZ802 (4.36 points) Sony AF8 (4.31 points)
    Motion: Sony AF8 (4.27 points) Panasonic FZ802 (4.18 points)
    Video processing: Sony AF8 (4.27 points) Panasonic FZ802 (3.87 points)
    Uniformity: LG C8 (4.19 points) Panasonic FZ802 (4.05 points)
    Bright room performance: Samsung Q9FN (4.52 points) LG C8 / Panasonic FZ802 (3.43 points)
    Gaming: Samsung Q9FN (4.23 points) LG C8 (4.10 points)
    HDR: LG C8 (4.15 points) Panasonic FZ802 (4.13 points)

    After last year’s year event, the results are hardly surprising. All three competing OLED TVs are based on the same LG.Display OLED panel but the video processor inside each TV differs. As the scores in the table reveal, it was very close.

    - "Just like last year, the attendees of the 2018 TV shootout voted the Panasonic FZ802 as the best home theatre TV (for critical viewing in a darkened room) and the best TV overall, which is a testament to the Japanese brand's commitment to colour accuracy and video fidelity. 2018 has seen Panasonic introduced dynamic LUT for more HDR impact, as well as lower input lag, allowing the company to successfully defend its crown against stiff competition” said Vincent Teoh. “The audience also continues to prefer OLED in the majority of categories scored, owing to the display technology's self-emissive characteristics which deliver true blacks, vibrant colours and wide viewing angles.”

    Samsung Q9FN was the only LCD TV in the shootout. It features a full array local dimming LED backlight. Of the four TVs, it is the only one to offer support for adaptive frame rate technology – also known as FreeSync or VRR. Q9FN won the gaming category.

    In addition, Vincent provided the following explanations as to why the specific TVs won:
    Best Home Theatre TV: Panasonic FZ802 has the most accurate colours, providing the closest match to the Sony BVM-X300 reference monitor.
    Best Living Room TV: The Sony AF8 handles less-than-pristine off-air broadcasts in the cleanest manner, as well as boasting the best motion for watching sports.
    Best Gaming TV: The Samsung Q9FN has the lowest input lag, supports Auto Game Mode switch and VRR (variable refresh rate), and poses no burn-in risk.
    Best HDR TV: LG C8's looks generally brighter than other OLEDs thus giving more HDR impact. Samsung suffered in dark scenes where local dimming could be too aggressive causing loss of shadow detail.

    Like last year, HDTVTest’s 2018 TV Shootout results largely mirror FlatpanelsHD’s reviews. OLED TVs in general continue to outperform flagship LCD TVs in most areas – even HDR.

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