Xiaomi entered the television market in India in early 2018, and since then, it has launched a whole range of Mi TV models. Following in the footsteps of the Chinese giant, have been other Chinese companies in OnePlus and Realme. The influx of their smart TVs that once gained fame and popularity for their smartphones has made the competition tougher for giants of the industry in LG, Sony, and Samsung. At the same time, the new contenders have brought many new choices for consumers.
The big thing thanks to the new entrants has been the war of specifications. Features such as HDR, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos are now available widely. There are now 4K TVs under the Rs. 30,000 price segment, all with Android TV support.
And these new players are always expanding their offerings. But just like their budget counterparts in the world of smartphones, these companies must make compromises in their affordable smart TVs. That mostly has to do with the quality of the panel. Established brands such as LG, Samsung, and Sony often use high-end panels on their smart TVs along with their proprietary tuning to deliver superior experiences. While the budget players also use panels from the same manufacturers, they pick cheaper options — and skimp on tuning — to reduce costs.
Part of that compromise is using display technologies such as QLED that offer a better picture and black levels than traditional LED LCD models, but far from the price of OLED displays that are used by the likes of LG and Sony.
Speaking of the major players, LG and Samsung have also begun working on mini LED TVs, a new display tech that goes beyond OLED. But it’s going to take a while for that to become mainstream — thanks to their sky-high prices. Also in that department are 8K TVs, which Sony is now offering in India. But do we really need 8K?
As part of buying advice, we also talk about how one should pick between the myriad display technologies, the various screen sizes — do you go with a 32-inch or 43-inch TV, or maybe a bigger 55-inch or 65-inch option? — and the specifications at offer.
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