The sheer endless selection of TVs often makes it difficult for buyers to find the right model. Stiftung Warentest therefore took a closer look at the market and tested various models with OLED panels. One provider in particular was able to convince with good models.
In its current product test, Stiftung Warentest focused on TVs from 2021, where OLED models in particular could convince with a good picture. The picture quality was the main focus of the test and accounted for 40% of the rating. The testers rated the handling and the sound at 20% each, followed by the versatility of the connections and the power consumption at 10% each.
Table of contents
Surprisingly, one manufacturer in particular came out on top in the current test – LG. The South Korean company already emerged as the test winner last year with the LG 55SM8050PLC. The LCD TV achieved an overall score of 1.9 in the Stiftung Warentest test. LG is particularly active and well-known in the production of displays, and even manufactures OLED panels for other companies. It is therefore not surprising that the manufacturer is also ahead in Stiftung Warentest’s TV test. Several OLED TVs achieved good results in the test.
The best OLED TV according to Stiftung Warentest
The LG OLEDG19LA currently performs best in both 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. Like all other currently tested devices, the model is a 4K TV whose price averages at 1800 euros (55 inches) and 2500 euros (65 inches). Highlights here are the 120 Hz panel, which should especially excite gamers, as well as Dolby Vision IQ and Dolby Atmos 4.2, an HDMI 2.1 port required for the PS5 and webOS 6.0. In addition, the LG OLEDG19LA has a sensor that adjusts the screen’s brightness to the ambient light.
The overall package convinced the testers. The TV is a particularly versatile model that scored 0.9 “very good” in this category. It also did very well in terms of picture and sound – the TV received a score of 1.4 from Stiftung Warentest in each case. The experts rated the handling as 2.1 “good”. Only the power consumption was not convincing. The device therefore only received a 2.9 “satisfactory” in the environmental properties. Overall, it emerged from Stiftung Warentest’s TV test with an overall score of 1.6 “good”.
LG OLED55C17LB – the runner-up
The LG OLED55C17LB took second place in Stiftung Warentest. The 55-inch TV achieved an overall rating of 1.7 “good”. In terms of picture and sound, the device was only marginally worse than the test winner. It achieved a partial score of 1.5 each, although it is just as versatile due to the numerous connection options, with even slightly better handling. On the other hand, the TV disappointed in the environmental properties, for which Stiftung Warentest only awarded a 3.1.
The LG OLED55C17LB also has a 120 Hz display, but only offers Dolby Atmos 2.2 instead of 4.2. In return, an HDMI 2.1 port is also on board here. The common voice assistants are also supported.
The remaining places
The same model also ranks 3rd and 4th in Stiftung Warentest’s TV test, but with different display sizes. The 65-inch model of the LG OLEDC17LB also gets a good score of 1.7, with the sound and environmental properties scoring slightly better than the 55-incher. However, the versatility is worse here.
Stiftung Warentest also awarded other sub-scores to the smaller 48-inch model. Overall, it managed a score of 1.8, with picture and versatility each rated at 1.5. The sound in particular is worse here than on the runner-up due to the smaller format.
By the way, not only TVs from LG were examined in the Stiftung Warentest test. Models from Panasonic, Sony and Philips were also included, although they lagged behind those from the South Korean with scores starting at 2.0. Samsung, however, was missing in the test, since the manufacturer does not offer OLED TVs so far.
Tips for buying a TV
If you are looking for a new TV, the results of product tests like the one from Stiftung Warentest are always a good way to get an overview of good models. However, you can narrow down the selection a bit in advance by answering a few questions yourself.
What size should my smart TV be?
When choosing a new TV, buyers often go for the larger models. But a smart TV should not be too big, because then you might have problems viewing the picture. Therefore, stick to the following guideline:
- If the distance between the sofa and the TV is about two meters, a rather smaller TV with a screen diagonal of up to 49 inches is ideal.
- If, on the other hand, the seating distance is around three meters, you can confidently go for the popular size of 50 to 65 inches.
- In even larger rooms with a higher distance to the sofa, there is also room for the large smart TVs from 65 inches.
LCD or OLED?
OLED TVs are often significantly more expensive than models with LCD screens. This is due to the screen technology used. LCD TVs are usually built very flat and are therefore ideal for hanging on the wall. They are also considered to be quite durable. The disadvantage is that the backlight is usually attached to the edge and covers a large area. For this reason, individual pixels are illuminated even when they should actually remain dark. Black tends to look a bit gray as a result, and the contrasts are less pronounced.
OLEDs are different. Here, each pixel is illuminated individually. When it is turned off, it appears in deep focus, which is how the high contrasts and rich colors come about. In the past, some users were afraid that the picture might burn in if left on for a long time. However, modern OLED TVs have been improved so that this no longer happens.
Samsung’s QLED technology is a kind of intermediate product. This is actually an LCD panel with large-area backlighting. However, Samsung uses a second layer with so-called quantum dots that act as light and color boosters. This creates the high contrasts and rich colors that are reminiscent of OLEDs.
Does it really have to be 4K?
Meanwhile, 4K/UHD televisions predominate on the market. They have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Their price has dropped considerably, so that it is hardly worthwhile to buy a TV with Full HD resolution. However, buyers do not need to reach for the slowly emerging 8K resolution yet. There is still far too little content for that and such high-resolution TVs are simply too expensive.
A smart TV should also have all the necessary connections. Therefore, check exactly which devices you want to connect before buying.
- Stiftung Warentest (retrieved on August 30, 2021, full test behind paywall).