TV Shootout judges declare 3 winners

Sunday and Monday, September 12-13, 2021, Scarsdale, NY Retailer Value electronics brought together calibrators, cinematographers and other video professionals to evaluate flagship televisions and, for the first time, ultra-short throw (UST) projectors, to determine which model was the best of the best. I discussed the annual event in detail last week, including how the evaluations were carefully set up and provided links to each day’s live feed.

Before the shooting started, Stacey Spears, co-creator of the Benchmark series of test and evaluation discs, provided some opening remarks and explanations of the test patterns that would be used. In the photo at the top of this article, he explains the intrusion pattern on his latest album, Benchmark Ultra HD, which exercises all the pixels of a 4K screen equally. This is especially important for about 100 hours before calibrating an OLED TV.

Calibrator John Reformato was quite impressed with Stacey’s presentation. “We got to see a lot of the test patterns and content on Stacey’s new album, but it was a unique experience to be in the same room with him as he showed and explained everything.”

2021 watch 4k shooting Mark Jessamy

The 4K TVs were lined up side by side for a direct comparison. A Sony BVM-HX310 professional monitor, commonly used to dominate commercial content, was placed in the center to see how accurately televisions reproduced what content creators saw.

The King of 4K TVs

There were four contenders in the 4K TV category:

  • Hisense 75U9DG Dual Cell LCD / LED ($ 3,499.00)
  • LG 65G1 OLED ($ 2,999.00)
  • Samsung QN65QN90A QLED ($ 1,999.99)
  • Sony XR-65A90J OLED ($ 3,799.99)

The 4K TV shooting featured three performance modes: SDR Day (standard dynamic range content with some ambient light in the room), SDR Reference (no ambient light), and HDR Reference (high dynamic range content without ambient light). The judges were asked to assign a numerical score from 1 to 10 to various attributes in each situation:

SDR day

  • Movement / DSE
  • Image quality / brightness
  • Enhancement / sharpness

Reference SDR

  • Black level / shadow detail
  • Color Accuracy / Skin Tones
  • 24p movement

HDR reference

  • Black level / shadow detail
  • Color Accuracy / Skin Tones
  • 24p movement
  • UHD detail / sharpness
  • High APL
  • Live sports
  • 4000 nit tone mapping

And the king of 4K TVs is (drum roll please)… the Sony XR-65A90J OLED. As you can see from the final score, which was calculated by averaging the judges’ scores for each attribute, the 65A90J ranked at the top in all attributes of the SDR day mode and SDR reference mode tests. In the HDR benchmarks, it achieved the best score in four of the seven attributes, and tied with the LG 77G1 OLED for the best score in another. The 77G1 barely achieved the highest score for color / skin tone accuracy and had a more comfortable lead at 4,000 nit tone mapping.

2021 results watch 4k shootout Value electronics

4K TVs were evaluated on various attributes with SDR Day mode (SDR content with ambient light), SDR reference mode (SDR content without ambient light), and HDR reference mode (HDR content without ambient light). The scores shown here are the averages of the individual judges’ scores for each attribute.

Host Stacey Spears gave me three examples where the LG fell short. First of all, it had relatively poor uniformity compared to Sony. Also, there was a visible hatching noise close to black. Finally, in a shot of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA, the image on the LG was smoother than the Sony due to some kind of filtering.

2021 sees 8k shooting Mark Jessamy

Once again, the Sony BVM-HX310 was placed among the 8K sets.

The king of 8K TVs

There were three contestants in the 8K TV category:

  • LG 77ZX OLED ($ 19,999.99)
  • Samsung QN75QN900A QLED ($ 4,999.99)
  • Sony XR-75Z9J LCD / LED ($ 6,999.99)

In this case, the televisions were tested without ambient light, and the judges were tasked with assigning numerical scores on just four attributes:

  • 4K black level / shadow detail
  • 4K upscaling
  • 4K color
  • 8K native quality

As you can guess, the first three attributes were based on 4K content, while the last one used native 8K images provided by cinematographer Phil Holland. 8K content was played from a USB drive, but unfortunately Sony can only play 8K over HDMI, not USB. Therefore, this attribute was not considered in the final determination; It was for display only at LG and Samsung.

The winner in this case didn’t surprise me: the LG 77ZX OLED. As the average score clearly indicates, it easily won two of the three 4K attributes, coming in second after Sony’s 4K upscaling. Of course, it costs three to four times more than the other two games, and it’s the only OLED of the bunch.

8k results from 2021 TV shooting Value electronics

8K TVs were tested with HDR content only and no ambient light. The native 8K content was played from a USB drive, which Sony was unable to accommodate, so that attribute was for display only and was not included in the final determination.

Once the Kings of 4K and 8K TVs were crowned, it was time to put them side by side and feed 4K and 8K content to see what the difference, if any, might be between them. Using Phil Holland’s footage in 4K (converted to 8K for the 77ZX) and 8K (converted to 4K for the 65A90J), everyone agreed that the 8K image was clearly better, even at a distance of five or six feet. . According to Stacey Spears, calibrator John Reformato had been an 8K skeptic until he saw this demo, which made him an 8K advocate.

2021 TV Shootout Ultra Short Throw Projectors Mark Jessamy

All ultrashort throw projectors were evaluated on the same size screen of the same material.

The King of Ultra Short Throw Projectors

On Monday, the judges turned their attention to three Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors:

  • Hisense L9G ($ 5,499.00 with 100-inch screen)
  • LG HU85LA ($ 4,999.99)
  • Samsung SP-LSP9T ($ 5,499.99)

Since UST projectors are marketed as “TV replacements,” the evaluation was done in three modes, just like 4K TVs:

SDR day

  • Movement
  • Maximum brightness
  • Black level / perceived contrast

Reference SDR

  • Black level / shadow detail
  • Color Accuracy / Skin Tones
  • 24p movement

HDR reference

  • Black level / shadow detail
  • Color Accuracy / Skin Tones
  • 24p movement
  • UHD detail / sharpness
  • Geometry
  • Attention
  • High APL
  • 4000 nit tone mapping
  • Color range

The Hisense comes with its own screen, while LG and Samsung do not. Even so, after some discussion, the team decided to evaluate all three projectors in the same Draper UST ALR screen material, each measuring 98 inches diagonally with a 16: 9 aspect ratio. This puts them all in the spotlight. Same playing field, so to speak, but it doesn’t represent what most Hisense buyers will experience if they use its included display. I could have recommended that the comparison include two Hisense projectors, one using its own screen and the other using a Draper screen, if not in the main shootout, then at least in a separate view.

2021 TV Shooting Ultra Short Throw Projector Results Value electronics

Ultra Short Throw projectors are intended to be “TV replacements,” so the judges were asked to rate them in the same ways as 4K TVs. The attributes were very similar, with some different elements specific to the projectors.

Interestingly, the Hisense L9G was crowned King of UST projectors. As you can see from the scoring summary, he won two of the three attributes in SDR Day mode and tied for the highest score in third. It achieved the highest score on two of the three attributes in the SDR benchmark mode, and it won five of the nine attributes in the HDR benchmark mode and tied for the highest score at a sixth. I wonder how it would have worked with its own screen.

That’s a summary for 2021

John Reformato was excited about the whole event. “Now that the television shooting is over, I want to say how amazing it was to work with the likes of Stacey Spears, Phil Holland, Dave Mackenzie, Jason Dustal, Tyler Pruitt and the rest of the incredibly talented team. The test patterns and content that Stacey, Phil, and Tyler brought in really showed the differences on the screens. A great TV shooting this year! “

So there you have it; The 2021 Value Electronics TV shooting is now in the history books. I congratulate the store owner, Robert Zohn, calibrators Jason Dustall and John Reformato, presenters Stacey Spears and Rob Sabin, and all the judges for putting on such an ambitious event. Bravo!

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