Saturday, November 27, 2021

Stiftung Warentest The best televisions 2021: One manufacturer beats them all

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What equipment is important, does it always have to be the most expensive model and how big should the television be? The Stiftung Warentest shows 30 of the best tested models of the year 2021. One manufacturer dominates the list of the best. We present the test results.

One answer in advance: Yes, televisions with a good picture can also be bought for little money. Some devices, however, have problems with the sound, which can be compensated for with a good soundbar. Expensive smart TVs often convince with better equipment and a brilliant OLED screen, LCD models are cheaper. The Stiftung Warentest shows in their “test” edition 12/2021 the best tested TV of the year. Nobody can get past a manufacturer. We take a closer look at the test results.

The Stiftung Warentest presented a total of 30 of 96 tested televisions from the five major suppliers LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and Philips. They all come from the product year 2021, offer high UHD resolution and HDR for high contrasts and rich colors and have a screen diagonal of 122 to 165 centimeters (48 to 65 inches). In three size groups, the testers show the two best tested televisions from the five manufacturers. Among other things, the image, the sound, the handling, the versatility and the environmental properties were evaluated.

The five big manufacturers LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and Philips are in the test and entice with high-end models and real price tips. In the test, the televisions are divided into three size classes: the huge ones with 65 inches screen diagonal, the large ones with 55 inches and the medium-sized ones between 48 and 50 inches.

The good test results are hardly surprising, as Stiftung Warentest only shows the best televisions of the year. Only six models do worse than “good”.

The manufacturer LG is in first place in the test in all sizes. the OLED models of the G19LA series can convince all round. However, the prices are correspondingly high, even with the test winner of the medium-sized TVs, the LG OLED48C17LB. The big one is available for less than 1,000 euros Panasonic OLED televisions and with that LG 50NANO809PA the cheapest “good” TV in the test.

The test result: With the “test” quality rating of “good (1.6)”, these smart TVs from LG are the best televisions that Stiftung Warentest tested in 2021. They score “very good” in terms of image and sound as well as versatility.

Product details: Are you looking for the best TV currently on the market? Then the LG is the right choice. The biggest plus point is its 65-inch (164 centimeter) or 55-inch (139 centimeter) screen with OLED technology. It impresses with its perfect black. This is ensured by eight million self-illuminating pixels that reproduce a billion colors.

Of course, the test winner offers the high 4K resolution, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and much more. In addition, the built-in processor automatically optimizes picture, sound and brightness. The refresh rate is 120 Hertz, so that the smart TV is also interesting for gamers.

Practical: With this LG television, you can use the twin triple tuner to record a program on a USB stick and watch another at the same time. The device has many connections, around four HDMI and three USB ports, and can be controlled with the voice assistants from Amazon and Google. Small drawback: the TV has to be wall-mounted or a Stand to be purchased separately.

The test result: With the overall rating of “good (2.4)”, the 4K television set from Panasonic is not one of the test winners, but it is still in the top group. It is the cheapest large television in the test, which received good marks from the examiners. Only when it comes to sound is it enough for a “satisfactory” rating.

Product details: The smart LCD television from Panasonic has a screen diagonal of 58 inches (146 centimeters) and with UHD also offers the high 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. HDR, Dolby Vision and other image enhancement systems ensure an excellent picture.

20 watt speakers are integrated for the right sound. In addition, the TV comes with supporting systems such as Cinema Surround Sound Plus and Dolby Atmos. Nevertheless, the sound can be significantly enhanced with a soundbar. Stations can be received via satellite, cable, terrestrial or even over the Internet.

Connectivity is provided by three HDMI connections (one with eARC), two USB interfaces, Bluetooth, LAN and WLAN. This also gives you access to streaming services and apps. You can also use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, alternatively you can of course control the television by remote control.

The test result: Among the medium-sized televisions in the test, this OLED TV is right at the front with an overall rating of “good (1.8)”. Particularly noteworthy is the “very good” image of this LG model, but the versatility is also pleasing.

Product details: This OLED television from LG is somewhat smaller in comparison, but with a screen diagonal of 48 inches (121 centimeters) it still brings that cinema feeling into the living room. Like the bigger test winners, the device impresses with perfect black and rich colors in UHD resolution (4K).

Its equipment is in no way inferior to the large TVs with twin triple tuners for simultaneous viewing and recording, 4K Cinema HDR, Dolby Atmos and 120 Hertz refresh rate. In addition, the processor also takes on the intelligent image optimization here.

The voice assistants Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2 are available on the smart TV. It offers numerous connections, including four HDMI and three USB as well as Bluetooth, LAN and WLAN. Unlike the devices in the G19LA series, it comes with a stand.

The test result: At well under 1,000 euros, this LCD TV from LG is the cheapest TV tested by Stiftung Warentest. It achieved good partial grades in almost all points and thus the “test” quality rating “good (2.1)”.

Product details: The cheapest TV in the test also comes from LG. Instead of OLED, the device with a 50 inch (127 centimeter) screen diagonal uses LCD technology. Here, too, eight million pixels, HDR and a powerful processor ensure a crystal-clear UHD image with intense colors.

Compared to the test winners, the equipment is a little less lavish. 4K, a triple tuner, 60 Hertz and numerous connections (four HDMI, two USB) are just as much a part of it as voice control with Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa or Apple AirPlay 2. Otherwise, use the Magic remote control that LG has on its televisions gives.

You can connect the television to the Internet via LAN or WLAN to access streaming services such as Netflix or Disney + or to use apps. With the help of Bluetooth, you can also easily transfer content from smartphones, tablets, etc. to the TV. You can mount it on the wall or on the supplied stand.

With the G19LA series, LG has the best televisions on the market today. The model is the test winner in two sizes and impresses with the great OLED screen and the manufacturer also has the OLED48C17LB one step ahead. Of the LG OLED65G19LA is the top model, also the smaller one 55 inch variant is recommended. The data sheet leaves nothing to be desired, but the TVs rarely cost less than 1,000 euros.

Good, large TVs are also available cheaper. But then often with an LCD screen. That doesn’t have to be a disadvantage, because the displays are particularly suitable in bright rooms due to the high screen brightness and also offer good image quality. The award winner is that 50NANO809PA from LG for well under 1,000 euros. This is also a bargain with a huge screen diagonal Panasonic TX-58JXW854, which also scores “good”.

The term 4K describes the resolution of the television and is to be regarded as the successor to Full HD. The 4K resolution is 3840 × 2160 pixels, which is twice as much as with the Full HD resolution. 4K is also known as UHD (Ultra HD).

The refresh rate is important for the image quality. This frequency is specified in Hertz (Hz for short) and indicates how often a process is repeated per second. For example, a 50 Hertz television shows the images fifty times per second and a 100 Hertz device accordingly a hundred times. The television should have 50 Hertz, almost all current models offer at least 60 Hertz. For gamers and sports fans, a TV with 120 Hertz, like the LG test winner, is recommended.

HDR means “High Dynamic Range” and describes a function for a high contrast range. As a result, the television shows more brilliant colors and greater differences between very light and very dark image areas. This gives the picture even more depth and looks more natural. Manufacturers often use different names for HDR. HDR10 and Dolby Vision have become established.

A screen diagonal of 55 inches corresponds to a little more than 139 centimeters. In the past, there was a simple rule for the seat spacing of measuring twice the screen diagonal. With the high 4K resolution, however, the rule is outdated. With 4K Ultra HD, you can also sit a meter in front of the screen. For a comfortable distance, however, at least 1.50 meters is recommended. For even larger models with a 65-inch screen diagonal, Stiftung Warentest recommends a distance of at least three meters for 4K content. If you have less space in the living room, a TV with a smaller diagonal is recommended.

The television should be switched off for at least 60 minutes before cleaning. You can ensure even more security by disconnecting the device from the power supply. Dry cleaning is not a risk. To do this, take an antistatic cloth and carefully clean the surface of the TV. Cracks and corners can be cleaned with a dust brush. It is best to clean the ventilation openings with a vacuum cleaner.

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