Best 8K TV: The future has arrived. While 8K TVs aren’t cheap, they are some of the most innovative TVs on the market. If you want the best the TV world has to offer, 8K is the new frontier.
And 2020 is shaping up to be the year where they could become more affordable than ever. Packed with as much technology as can be fitted inside their flat-screens, you won’t find a TV that’s brighter, or as colourful, as the entries in this list.
The jump to 7680 x 4320 resolution affords more detail and clarity than ever before, producing a dramatic increase in picture quality over native 4K content. Many people ask whether 8K is worth it – the size, the cost, the fact that native 8K content is few and far between. But once you’ve seen an 8K TV in action, it becomes evident why they’re so attractive, as well as why TV manufacturers and a few broadcasters are gearing up for a big push.
8K needs a big screen, so the smallest TV on this is a paltry 75-inches. Samsung has produced TVs at 55-inches (which we’ve not reviewed), but higher resolutions look better with bigger screens, so you’ll need to clear out plenty of space.
And a number of these 8K TVs support HDMI 2.1, bringing ALLM, VRR and eARC into the fold for higher-quality gaming performance. and sound quality. The following represent the best 8K TVs. If you want the future of home cinema tech now, roll on up.
- Best 8K TV: Samsung QE75Q950TS
- Best 8K OLED TV: LG OLED88Z9
- Best 8K HDR TV: Sony KD-85ZG9
Arguably the best picture quality of any TV
- Spectacular picture quality with a wide range of resolutions
- Beautiful, cutting edge design
- Innovative and effective object tracking sound system
- One or two very rare backlight glitches
- It will be too expensive for most households
- No Dolby Vision support
Samsung’s latest 8K TV is one of the year’s best, and one of the more cutting edge TVs we’ve ever seen.
While at £7,999, the Q950TS lacks mass market appeal, but the performance it’s capable of is truly sensational. Even with 8K content scarce, its upscaling skills are remarkable, displaying 4K content that looks sharper and more textured than on native 4K displays. Its HDR performance is punchy and bright, black levels are phenomenally deep and colours are consistently balanced and natural looking.
The new OTS+ sound system also works, offering a level of accuracy in terms of effects placement that other rivals haven’t yet matched. As we called it in our review, “it’s one hell of a TV.
Bigger, better and more expensive
- Stunning picture quality with 8K and good 4K sources
- Gorgeous design
- Strong smart TV system
- It isn’t cheap
- Needs an external decoder box for non-HDMI 8K sources
- Some streamed sources can look noisy
This is a TV that’s spared no expense to deliver an optimal 8K OLED performance, producing one of the most beautiful picture performances of any TV.
With little native 8K content available, upscaling is the focus here and the Z9 takes 4K content and delivers it in a dense, crisp and detailed manner. Colour performance is also stunning and with all that detail, plus OLED’s self-emissive OLED pixels, the Z9’s picture quality is a treat: rich and natural in how images look.
It needs an external decoder box for non-HDMI 8K sources, which is something of a disappointment, but this is nonetheless an astonishing 8K TV.
A stunning next-generation TV
- Sensational 8K HDR picture quality
- Very good, immersive upscaling
- Excellent video processing and backlight management
- Occasional limited backlight blooming issues
- Voices can get lost in action movie audio mixes
This is a belter of a TV, and probably the best showcase of bright 8K HDR content. Sony won’t reveal how bright it can go, but it’s peak brightness is higher than Samsung, generating deep blacks and punchy highlights for impressively natural-looking image.
Detail levels are immense, and Sony’s motion processing is the best on the market. Audio is pretty good, though not the room-filling sound you might expect for a TV of its size. Backlight blooming is an issue, but now that it’s available at for the same price as the Samsung above, it’s quite competitive pricing for an 8K TV.
What you need to know about buying an 8K TV
What is an 8K TV?
8K carries four times as many pixels as a 4K TV. That’s a jump from eight million pixels to 33 million, and a resolution bump from 3840 x 2160 to 7680 x 4320.
That makes for a sharper, more detailed and clearer image. Watching 8K is akin to peering through a window, such is the level of clarity it offers.
Is there any native 8K content to watch?
Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that 8K content can be found on YouTube – although, while it looks beautiful, it’s mostly animals and helicopter shots of cities.
No, in the sense of any broadcast, physical media or content from streaming services. The issue of 8K’s lack of content has been brought up many times, but in order for 8K to get there, the infrastructure and end-user experience needs to be in place to stimulate demand.
Do I have to sit closer to the screen to get the 8K effect?
You could. The 8K effect works best for big screen sizes, and it’s best to sit near enough so that the majority of your view is taken up by the screen.
Does 8K TV support HDMI 2.1?
Yes, it does, and that’s important, as HDMI 2.1 supports higher video resolutions and frame rates, including 8K at 60fps. The specification also supports Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), both of which are expected in the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles. eARC is bundled in too, and with the higher bitrate that HDMI 2.1 allows for, that makes room for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to be sent to AV receivers from streaming services and apps.
When will 8K TV become affordable?
2020 is expected to be the year when 8K TV becomes more than just a tantalising piece of TV tech. The TVs will be expensive, but the expectation is that Samsung’s new 8K TV will be in the same ballpark as its 2019 flagship Q90R 4K TV.