1080p vs Ultra HD: Which one is right for you?

Samsung 55F9000 (R32 000)


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Which HDMI cable should you buy?

From video games consoles to BluRay players and even the latest satellite TV decoders, almost everything connects to a TV using an HDMI cable these days. Here’s the best advice you’re ever going to get when it comes to buying HDMI cable for your electronics.

There are only four kinds of cable that you can buy: High-speed with Ethernet, High-speed without Ethernet, Standard-speed with Ethernet and Standard-speed without Ethernet.

Since standard speed cables can’t support 1080p or ultra-high definition resolutions you’re going to want to buy high speed cables only. The Ethernet connection allows a smart TV to act as a network hub and share its internet connection with other electronics via an HDMI with Ethernet cable. Both the TV and the other device need to be manufactured with the ability to use the HDMI Ethernet channel for it to work.

Don’t be fooled into spending extra money for specifications like HDMI 1.4a which refer to the port on the TV and have absolutely nothing to do with the ability of the cable to transmit a picture. Buy the cheapest, best looking, high speed HDMI cable you can find, safe in the knowledge that it will work perfectly.

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Samsung has truly created a beautiful looking television with the 55F9000 model of its smart TVs. Whether you choose to mount it to a wall with a bracket or use the supplied stand you will be left looking at it in awe whenever you sit down in front of it. Samsung has chosen to move all of the ports from the back and sides of the TV into a ‘One Connect Box’ which also houses its quad core processor and all of the software. This makes it dead simple to upgrade the features of your TV year after year just by switching out the box for a newer version without needing to replace your whole TV. Picture quality on the Samsung 55F9000 is superb. Not only does the ultra-high definition resolution panel look incredible when playing 4k content it also makes regular full high definition video look spectacular. Like the Sony, the Samsung 55F9000 excels when displaying fast moving video like sport and gaming which made it a favourite around our offices.

For those who have an abundance of natural light in their TV viewing room and have complained about having too much glare in the past the Samsung 55F9000 should definitely be on your radar. Our test unit was able to crank its brightness level up high enough to cut through most of the stubborn glare that we encountered making it the ideal companion for sunny rooms. That’s not to say that dark colours suffer when using the 55F9000 either, in fact it offers deep, rich blacks that as good as we’ve seen on an LED TV. As far as Smart TVs go, Samsung has got the formula down pat. The interface on all of their 2014 smart TVs is clean and simple to use. Downloading apps from the Samsung app store is as simple as it would be on a smartphone, in fact Samsung has gone to lengths to almost mirror the experience of downloading mobile apps as closely possible which we think was definitely a smart move.

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There is no doubt that as time goes on more and more 4k content will become available and the demand for TVs with the new UHD resolution will increase. As with all technology the price will steadily come down as that demand increases and you will more than likely find that the same TV that cost R35 000 in 2014 only costs R25 000 in 2015

If you can afford the premium price and have the desire for one of the best TVs available today then there is absolutely no doubt in our minds that the Samsung 55F9000 UHD television should be at the top of your list. It offers everything that a smart TV should offer while still managing to be ahead of the curve with its staggering resolution.

However if you’re looking for a great TV that can play regular old high definition content while delivering phenomenal picture quality, then you simply cannot go wrong with the Sony KDL-50W800B. Sony has done a brilliant job in making a great TV that also does other things well, which we happen to think is the right way for TV manufacturers to go.


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