Gear of the Year – Televisions

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Display technology has come a long way since the days of cathode ray tubes; this is no more on display than in the ever-advancing TVs we see hitting the market every year. This year saw some excellent display tech become mainstream (HDR anyone?), and some manufacturers packing ever-more of this tech into ever-slimmer designs. So which TV won our readers’ hearts? Read on.


Samsung 78-inch SUHD TV KS9500 Series 9
Price: R150k

[su_box title=”Specifications” box_color=”#f37021″]
• 78-inch 4K SUHD Panel @ 3840 x 2160 (Curved)
• Quantum Dot Colour
• Built-in WiFi
• Edge-lit LED
• Supreme MR 240 Motion Rate
• HDR 1000
• UHD Upscaling
• Dolby Digital Plus
• 60W RMS Sound Output
• Bluetooth, WiFi Direct
• Samsung Smart Hub
• Quad-core processor
• Local dimming
• 4x HDMI inputs, 3x USB, 1x Ethernet

Looking at this particular Samsung TV, it’s easy to see how it managed to win almost 60% of our readers’ votes: it’s huge, boasts all of Samsung’s latest innovations and it’s curved – basically, everything a cutting-edge TV can be.

The most hyped of those innovations include “Quantum Dot” technology that ups the screen’s colour palette to one billion individual shades for more true-to-life colour reproduction, and HDR – “High Dynamic Range” – tech that handles lighting and contrast so well that scenes featuring high contrast look more like real life than ever before.

Hyped or not, the end result is a gorgeous high-tech screen that the majority of our voters would clearly take in a heartbeat if they had the cash for it.

Yes, this innovation doesn’t come cheap – the 78-inch KS9500 costs a staggering R148 683.33, and that’s the cheapest option we found online.

On top of arguably the best overall television image quality money can buy, this TV has plenty of other bells and whistles, like built-in WiFi, four HDMI inputs, support for Dolby Digital Plus, access to Samsung’s app store and Bluetooth.

Clearly, this is an aspirational LIKE from the South African public, but no matter – that’s what our Gear of the Year awards are all about.

[su_box title=”Votes” box_color=”#f37021″]
Percentage of votes: 59.4%
Runners-up: LG OLED65E6 65-inch 4K Smart TV (26%), Hisense UHD 3D Smart TV (14.5%)

Journalist’s choice

Nicholas Cowen

Samsung’s 78-incher may have found favour with our readers’ choices, but for me, this 65-incher TV from LG stole my heart with its excrutiatingly thin but utterly dazzlingly design. Did you know the screen is barely 3mm thick? I don’t know how LG did it, but I’m guessing “magic” (although some will have you believe it was achieved by mounting LEDs onto a glass sheet). Samsung has the tech, the name and goodwill from local consumers, sure, but LG won in the style and looks sweepstakes in my book.

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.