New TV Advice

My current TV is a 1080p 21:9 Phillips that I have owned for the best part of a decade. In the play room is a 720p panny plasma that has done stirling service, but the PSU is probably on the way out.

My initial thought was to relocate the phillips to the playroom and buy a new TV for the living room. I researched:

  • 8k vs 4k;
  • HDR, HDR10+, Dolby Vision;
  • OLED vs QLED;
  • HDMI standards …etc.

However, the issue the we have is that we enjoy older fare, such as the BBC series made in the 70s, rather than the newer adaptations. These are all SD in nature, and will not look good on a new TV.

What I would truly like is a higher res TV that can EMULATE 1080p, that is aggregate the smaller pixels into larger groups that act as a single pixel. This would, I would hope, make the best of SD sourced material AND allow us to get the most from modern sources.

Does such technology exist? I can’t find it.


Sony oled is my choice.

Performance varies, but most television’s offer an upscaling feature for lower resolution content. Some offer detailed controls for how the set performs the function, with others it’s simply on or off. Panasonic’s have a setting for the kind of direct mapping (by four pixels) you’ve described.

I use my Lg oled 55c8 for gaming with ps4pro and streaming services like Netflix and Viaplay. Regular tv gets less use but not because of the tv.
No screen burning even though I sometimes fell a sleep during watching and game/netflix menu’s still picture is on for hours. Earlier oleds had issues in that territory. Screen is quite fast so I play fps games and have no problems with latency.
Black truly is black and that is what I enjoy the most in oled tech.
I have no experience about sd quality or emulation with this tv.

If I were you, I’d buy one of the top of the range LG oleds. The quality and quality control is superb, and they still seem to be the best manufacturer to buy. Forget 8k. There’s so many advantages of oled smart tvs. Just buy one and accept they’ll be something better in every 3 year steps.


Thx Gents.

A friend who has forgotten more about TVs than I know is recommending the current Phillips OLEDs, and to use them with NO upscaling for SD material, which may be the most pragmatic choice.

My friend mentioned the Panasonic Quad Pixel mapping, but also said that he was unimpressed by it.

I think OLED will be the route forward for me, but when the world normalises I will have to go and look at these screens, and hope they have been adequately set up.

I will look at: Phillips; Sony; Panasonic; and, LG.

Hi, depends on your budget, but we’ve recently had to replace a Panasonic plasma and also wanted a relatively by today’s standards small screen. For under £400 we found a Panasonic gx800 led tv in 40” - our watching habits are SD / freeview hd and blurays, the only 4K material we can access is a recent nature series on bbc iPlayer. I have to say with “true cinema” setting “normal” tv looks great, and that includes reruns of Lovejoy and similar. This tv is better than the plasma was.

Thx Robert,

Did you look at the larger screens at all?

This looks like a good candidate to replace the playroom TV.

Hi no we concentrated on the 40/42 size. Our plasma was a 42 and with a much narrower bezel this led 40 is physically smaller. There are a plethora of 50/55 and larger sets available but they all would have been too big for our needs. When I unboxed the 40 it seemed so small but for us it’s perfect. I think I would have regretted getting the next size up which I think is the 50.


This is an interesting possible answer:

Bottom line. the HDMI cable comes in two flavours, Gaming & Cinema. It does upscaling. Apparently the Cinema version is especially good at upscaling SD material, as long as you remember to NOT then upscale on your TV.

In the vid they point out that the results are not as good as the advertising on the site.

Interestingly their specs do NOT state which version of HDMI they comply with. On video they list the highest throughput as 2160p, which is 4k.

Sooooo, if I was American I would arrange to borrow one. Unfortunately the company appears to have no UK distributor, so I will need to just take a risk …or not.

You need to consider is it worth spending thousands to buy the latest “best” telly to watch SD movies through it and gain access to the latest 4k/8k content. Or maybe buy a decent led tv which in some other internet forum’s threads are considered better in outputting SD than most 4k tvs.
Also screensize demands can narrow options. 4k/8k 's are mostly up from 50 inch. Larger screen equals larger pixels so in SD material it may have more picture quality issues.
HDMI website shows several types of cables and their spec differences.
I use HDMI 2.0 cable that came with ps4 pro to get the best picture out of the console. HDMI 2.1 is becoming more popular in 2020 offering better specs for better quality.
In my country 1080i is the nationwide default for tv-programs. 4k quality is used in some Netflix materials but mostly in console games. That’s where HDR and 4k really shine. For regular tv material my older 1080p ledtv offered good enough performance.
One more thing to add. After oled tv purchase and fixing the video settings I compared several Bluray 1080p movies and their Netflix HD (not UHD) versions. Both me and my wife thought that streamed versions were noticeably better looking. During test I ran both through ps4 pro. Now I use tv’s own app for streaming services because tv’s magic remote is brilliant.
Not sure if this helps you but I thought I share it anyway.

Thx Pertu,

Yes, it is helpful. Just mulling things over.

I find the HD picture quality on streamed film is frequently a step up, what I have ALWAYS found suffers is the sound quality when compared to a physical media rip. Depending on the film this can be less relevant.

Ultimately the ‘gains’ of a 4k/8k TV my be less worthwhile for me …but I am enjoying the process of updating my knowledge of the standards and look forward to actually LOOKING at some screens, some time in 2022 :wink:


I had a reply from mconnect. Thy have a warehouse in the UK/Europe so you can buy their cable without import duty …I am following up about a trial.

In the meantime I saw a cable labelled as Thor 4k on sale for £30, the parent company no longer makes it although they do exist, I had a chat with them.

It arrived yesterday and I trialed it for all of twenty minutes.

On a DVD ripped SD film with upscaling turned off on my 21:9 TV there WAS a definite improvement in image.
However, this only used 50% of my screen real estate.
Once I turned ON the screen upscaling then I saw no meaningful difference.

On two other of the films I tried the with:

  1. No sound was passed through; and
  2. All sorts of interesting screen antics ensued.

It is going back today.

Here’s a thorough review of a Philips OLED television:

The section about video processing begins at 7:12

The image processing offered by most televisions should allow you to achieve similar results to that cable.

It is an interesting device. It would be fun to compare.

That was my thinking as well.

Thx for the link. Worth watching.

Hi Mr Underhill,

This is all a bit of a complicated minefield, isn’t it? I can only relate my own experiences with 4K TVs, which you may find of some help.

I moved from a 65" Panasonic plasma (last generation) to a 65" Samsung QLED. This was a considerable improvement, but I made the mistake of buying a curved screen, which seemed to have no benefit and indeed, gave lots of unpleasant reflections. Still missing the scale of my old projectors, I then fancied something a bit bigger so bought an LG 77" OLED, which we still have. The picture is really superb, and it makes a very good fist of portraying SD content - it’s sometimes difficult to discern the difference between BBC1 HD and their local SD news transmissions.

I confess, given the difficulties of seeing a properly-adjusted display in shops, I’ve relied on other folks’ reviews to make my choice which, so far, has been a success. I really think, if you take the plunge with an OLED set from any of the premium brands, you really will be impressed. One aspect that I did compare with some other sets were the interfaces, and the LG’s OS is very good indeed, as is the remote control.

Good luck!


Thx Tony,

I am going to need to go and look at some screens.

I have decided not to rush this, in part due to the complexities you mention, but also as I will need to upgrade the HDMI cable I have that runs from my HiFi, under the floor, through a brick wall, rises under the stairs (which requires the cupboard being cleared so I can take up the floorboards; a bit of a job - and I will need to look at how the physical connections work with these TVs.

I thought I would have a look at ‘that’ cable out of interest, and in the hope that it might raise the quality of the large number of SD videos I have - nope.


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I can heartily recommend LG OLED smart TVs. Not only on most models do you get good brightness, but you get extended colour gamut (Deep Colour/YCbCr 4:4:4) which seems to really make a difference and many support calibration.
It has a basic computer built in running LGWebOSTV so can access the web, run Amazon, Netflix, BBC etc, as well as even stream music.
I think the sound on many is pretty impressive, and some have room correction DSP.

One thing I have discovered, if going for a big screen with good quality imagery, try and mount the screen at eye level, and avoid what used to be fashionable a few years back of mounting higher on a wall, if you want to avoid strain and fatigue.

We used to have a Panasonic Plasma, which I thought was the business, but this is very much superior.