Value Electronics in Scarsdale, New York, recently conducted its annual TV face off, inviting videophiles, calibrators, and general consumers to compare a variety of flat-panel TVs and choose a favorite. This year's roundup included both 1080p and Ultra HD models in screen sizes from 55 to 105 inches, from the LCD, plasma, and OLED categories. The "popular vote" winners were LG's brand new 55EC9300 OLED and Samsung's PN64F8500 plasma (pictured here), while the calibrators gave their vote to the Samsung KN55S9C OLED.
The King of TV for 2014 is now a tie between LG's soon-to-launch 55EC9300 curved-screen OLED Full HD TV and last year's king, Samsung's PN64F8500 Full HD plasma set, according to a recount of votes from a gathering of videophiles, experts and customers of A/V specialty boutique Value Electronics.
The crowning of the displays from the retailer's 10th annual TV Shootout last weekend marked a transition of sorts from plasma displays, long-favored by the retailer's shootout voters, to the newer OLED technology that offers very high black-level, contrast performance and energy efficiency.
"Samsung's plasma and both the Samsung OLED and LG OLED all scored very close," explained Robert Zohn, Value Electronics proprietor, in changing his earlier declaration. "This year, we're declaring a tie for first place between the Samsung F8500 plasma and the LG EC9300 OLED TV for popular vote, and the Samsung KN55S9C OLED as the expert calibrators' choice. Each offers exceptional video performance across the board, but particularly in the areas of black level and contrast. If we look only at the individual scores, add them up and take the winner (as we did last year), then the Samsung F8500 plasma has the highest average score. But we believe that contrast ratio is the single most important element in overall picture quality. It's what can make a TV look more alive and three dimensional. So if we weight the contrast ratio more heavily in the scoring, then the LG OLED is the winner as it clearly had the best score for contrast ratio based on the popular vote. It's clear that the audience loved the Samsung plasma, and the two OLED TVs. We believe any of these three sets will make even the most discerning videophile happy for years to come."
Technically, both the Samsung OLED and plasma displays are still available in limited supplies, but the manufacturer is not producing any new OLED models to replace last year's initial entry at this time and all of the company's plasma displays will cease production by the end of the year.
This year's shootout pitted a variety of flagship displays from Samsung, Sony and LG, both curved and flat panels; 1080p and 4K Ultra HD; and plasma, LED and OLED technologies.
Zohn of Value Electronics, said, "OLEDs infinite black levels and contrast ratio won the attention of videophiles and enthusiasts.
The winning LG 55-inch OLED display will go on sale at Best Buy and other stores around the country on Aug. 24 for $3,499.
Other competing models included the Samsung 78-inch UN78HU9000 curved LED UHD LCD TV; the Sony 79-inch XBR79X900B LED UHD LCD TV; the Samsung 85-inch UN85HU8550 LED UHD LCD TV; the Sony 85-inch XBR85X950B LED UHD LCD TV; the Samsung 55-inch KN55S9C OLED FullHD TV; and the Samsung 105-inch UN105S9 21:9 LED Ultra HD LCD TV."