The best TVs of CES 2020 are not necessarily the ones with clever tricks. We’ve seen rollable TVs, transparent TVs and even Micro LED TVs at the show before. More than anything, this year’s Las Vegas tech show has been exciting for AV because it’s shown us some sets that will actually be available to deliver this year and maybe at some affordable prices too.
Naturally, there’s been another big push for 8K and it would be churlish of us to ignore that just because of the lack of 8K content. Either way, many of the top models are going to be 8K ready whether 8K is ready or not.
So, regardless of resolution, here are the five TVs we're most interested in from what’s been announced at CES 2020. We look forward to seeing whether they’ll deliver on that promise as the year draws out.
Sony KD-75ZH8 8K LCD TV
The ZH8 is actually a step down in panel technology from 2019’s Master Series ZG9 but, then, with any luck, that means it will cost significantly less than £13,999 too. The 75in ZH8 is now Sony’s smallest 8K TV which should drop the price even further and that makes for an 8K set that quite a few customers might be able to invite into their homes.
Picture quality looked promising in our demo but its most innovative feature is the new frame tweeter which appears to deliver a clear and immersive sound. Actuators vibrate the metal frame of the set to produce the high-frequency audio notes. The ZH8 can also act as the centre speaker of a home cinema set-up
LG OLED48CX 4K OLED TV
Not everyone can accommodate a 55in or 65in TV and that's been a problem in the past for those looking to buy themselves the very best in OLED technology. LG has answered that cry at CES 2020 by launching the 4K LG OLED48CX TV. Part of the CX series, it's very similar to 2019's all-conquering C9s which picked up a What Hi-Fi? Award.
The 48in CX features LG's new Alpha 9 Gen 3 processor, Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ which, all in all, gives a fair few modes and features to toy with. Fortunately, it can identify different content genres and auto select the best ones. From what we saw in our demo, the CX is typically sharp, colourful and punchy. Don't expect a significant drop in price from the larger OLED models, though.
Panasonic HZ2000 4K OLED TV
The Panasonic TX-55GZ2000 is the best OLED TV we've tested so far. This year its successor has arrived in the shape of the HZ2000. It introduces the next generation of Panasonic’s custom-made Master HDR OLED Professional Edition panel, as well as an improved version of its HCX Pro Intelligent processor. There's also Dolby Vision IQ and Filmmaker Mode to help balance the picture for the best possible HDR image.
As previously, the HZ2000 will feature Panasonic's beautifully performing seven-speaker sound system with upward-firing, Dolby Atmos-compatible drivers although these have been slightly modified. While Panasonic wouldn't give exact figures, it did promise a peak brightness for this set of over 1000 nits which bodes well for a possible contender of OLED of the year.
Samsung Q950TS 8K LCD TV
Samsung hasn't blown us away with its 8K offerings so far but we've high hopes that it's third time lucky with the Q950TS. There's been no mention of panel sizes for this incredible-looking bezel-less TV but it promises to fill up 99% of the screen with picture while also measuring just 15mm thin and being completely flat at the back.
It uses a new AI quantum processor with particular focus on upscaling lower resolution content but it will also be able to stream 8K video from YouTube. AI ScaleNet will maximise picture performance when streaming from Amazon Prime Video and there are sound upgrades such as object-based audio - the technology at the heart of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Samsung also claims that its OTS+ tech will be able to better track objects as they move through the soundstage.
TCL Mini-LED 8K TV (8 Series)
TCL is huge in the US, by sales volume, and the Chinese company is spreading its wings toward the UK and Europe in 2020. It's the value proposition that it's most known for but it's the premium, Vidrian Mini-LED TV that's got us interested at CES 2020.
It's not much of a looker but the panel technology is made of thousands of LED backlights which are fused into the glass panel along with the circuitry. The idea is to boost brightness, clarity and contrast, providing something of a best of both worlds of OLED and QLED.
It was difficult to get any real impression of performance on the stand at the show and it may well turn out a flop but we're pleased to see a TV company trying out some new, commercially available panel tech.