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Stiftung Warentest: The best Ultra HD TVs in the test of 2020

In its "test" edition from January 2020, Stiftung Warentest tested TV sets with Ultra HD. We show which models were test winners and give tips on buying a new television.

The testers from Stiftung Warentest brought a total of 31 televisions in sizes 40, 43, 49 and 50 inches (102 to 127 centimeters) to the test laboratory for the current test ("test" edition 01/2020).

For the larger televisions with 49 and 50 inches, 17 devices had to prove themselves, for the televisions with 40 and 43 inches screen diagonal it was 14. All televisions presented have UHD or 4K resolution, support HDR and can be connected via WLAN or LAN cable integrated into a home network and connected to the Internet.

55-inch televisions were tested the previous month. We also present recommended devices from the popular size class.

The best 49 and 50 inch TVs

Six televisions with 49- and 50-inch screens came in first with the test quality rating of "Good (1.9)" - even if the TV sets differ in price and equipment. Good news: two of the televisions only cost around 500 euros. The low price, however, comes at the expense of the equipment: Buyers of these devices have to do without extras such as a second receiver to watch and record different programs at the same time. Due to their good image and sound properties, they are still at the forefront at Stiftung Warentest.

Test winner best picture: 4K TV LG 49SM82007LA

The 4K TV 49SM82007 from LG stands out in particular for its picture quality. It has a very brilliant picture, which earned LG TV the sub-grade "Good (1.9)" in this discipline. He also got good grades for tone and handling. The test quality rating was "Good (1.9)".

It is equipped with four HDMI and two USB ports; Recordings via USB and time-shifted television are no problem. Headphones can only be connected via Bluetooth. In addition, only one triple tuner is installed (for reception via satellite, antenna or cable), more expensive televisions are usually equipped with two triple tuners.

Current notice: Unfortunately, this model from LG is no longer available at the moment. As an alternative, we recommend the 49SM8050PLC NanoCell 4K television from LG, which has only been available since spring this year and impresses with its good picture and color quality.

Test winner best sound: 4K TV Samsung UE49RU7379

The 4K TV EU49RU7379 from Samsung is also one of the two inexpensive devices among the six test winners. It is one of the few curved TVs in the test, so it comes with a curved display. The testers gave it a good picture, and the sound of the Samsung TV even received a "Very Good" - this is not very common with flat screen televisions due to the lack of volume.

It has three HDMI and two USB ports as well as Bluetooth. A recording function is missing, however. It is also equipped with only one triple tuner. Overall, like all test winners, it received the test quality rating "Good (1.9)".

Test winner best features: 49-inch TV Samsung GQ49Q70RG

The Samsung GQ49Q70RG has the best equipment with the best image quality at the same time. It has a dual triple tuner on board so you can watch one program while recording another. Recordings via USB and time-shifted television are also possible.

The Samsung TV is well equipped with four HDMI and two USB ports as well as Bluetooth. For the picture quality it received the partial grade "Good (2.0)", for the overall grade it was sufficient for a "Good (1.9)".

The best 40 and 43 inch TVs

In the case of the smaller televisions with a screen size between 40 and 43 inches, there are two good devices for less than 400 euros. The two test winners in this size are again a TV from LG and one from Samsung.

Price-performance winner: 43-inch Samsung UE43RU7179

The Samsung UE43RU7179 convinced the testers with its good picture (grade "Good (2.0)"), the sound is satisfactory. Samsung saves on the equipment in its entry-level models, so there is no recording function. The operation by remote control was only enough for a "satisfactory" rating. There are three HDMI and two USB ports as well as Bluetooth.

The best 55 inch TVs

When it comes to screen diagonals, 55 inches are now the favorite size in German living rooms. This was made possible by the 4K / UHD resolution: Even with this size, a seat distance of 1.10 meters is sufficient. Stiftung Warentest tested televisions with 55- and 58-inch screens in November 2019 ("test" issue 12/2019).

The 55-inch test winner: OLED television LG OLED55C97LA

The LG OLED55C97LA with a 55-inch screen received the quality rating "Very Good (1.5)". The verdict in the individual disciplines of image and sound was also very good. The equipment of the LG TV leaves nothing to be desired: A double triple tuner, four HDMI and three USB connections, Bluetooth and a headphone connection are on board. Recordings via USB and time-shifted television are of course possible. The price for the test winner is still moderate, other models are significantly more expensive.

Conclusion - Ultra HD television in the test

The test by Stiftung Warentest shows: most of the devices tested do well and are recommended. We liked the test winner best, the 49-inch TV 49SM82007LA from LG. Here you get excellent image quality at a good price. Practically: The program can be recorded directly on a USB stick. So you can later watch the recording on another device or laptop without much ado.

Frequently asked questions about Ultra HD televisions

What do 4K, UHD, Ultra HD mean?

UHD or Ultra HD means nothing other than four times the full HD resolution. In numbers, this means that UHD offers a resolution of 3,840 × 2,160 pixels. 4K is a slightly higher resolution of 4,096 × 2,160 pixels, but is typically used for all resolutions that are around 4,000 × 2,000 pixels. UHD and 4K therefore mean roughly the same resolution. The real difference is marginal and can no longer be seen with the naked eye.

LED or OLED: what's the difference?

Most televisions today are still LED televisions because they are significantly cheaper than OLED TVs and have a longer lifespan. In the case of an LED television, the lighting comes from behind. It must be correspondingly good and even, then LED TVs also have a very good picture.

In an OLED television, the pixels light up themselves. OLED is valued for rich black and very good contrasts. In addition, the image refresh rate is very high, which is great for fast movements. OLED technology also ensures that televisions are thinner than LED devices.

What is HDR?

HDR stands for "High Dynamic Range" and is a function that enables higher image contrasts. With HDR, the television picture appears more vivid, since greater differences become clear between very light and very dark areas of the picture and objects are better shaded. So the colors look richer and the picture gets even more depth and looks more impressive. HDR10 and Dolby Vision are the manufacturers' usual names for HDR.

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