The new Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5 consoles have been on the market for around a month. Compared to their predecessors, the devices offer significantly more performance and promise a higher resolution, a higher frame rate and many other functions. Is it worth buying a new 4K television if you currently own a Full HD model? We found out for you guys.
4K resolution at up to 120 FPS, HDR, VRR, ALLM – PS5 and Xbox Series X / S offer numerous interesting functions, which you can only use if you have a corresponding 4K television. It is by far not enough to choose the cheapest model. If you want to use and exhaust all the new features of the consoles, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. For many, the legitimate question arises: Is it also worth it? GIGA found it out for you!
For this purpose, Samsung provided us with a corresponding test device: the Samsung GQ55Q90T. The 55-inch QLED TV is one of the Group's current top models of 4K TVs and has been washed with all waters. Cost: 1,399 euros.
The QLED display dissolves in 4K, offers a native refresh rate of 100 Hz (therefore also supports frame rates of up to 120 FPS), supports three HDR standards, a variable refresh rate and automatic switching to game mode – or in other words: All functions of the new consoles can be used with the Samsung GQ55Q90T. We connected our Xbox Series X and a PS4 Pro to the TV and checked how great the added value is compared to an old Full HD TV with a classic LC display from the same manufacturer.
Radiantly bright: the Samsung television shows its strengths
The setup and initial start-up of the television work perfectly. Connecting the console is also not a problem, as the corresponding HDMI 2.1 port is marked with a controller symbol. So plug in the Xbox Series X, start the console and take a seat on the couch. After a few seconds, the Samsung GQ55Q90T has recognized the exact console model and automatically switches to game mode. This deactivates some effects in order to keep the input lag as low as possible.
After we have made all the settings in the options menu of the Xbox Series X and activated the HDR mode, it is time for a first test run in Doom Eternal. The first-person shooter from Bethesda runs natively in 4K at 60 FPS and already shows impressively how much potential the right combination of 4K television and next-gen console offers.
The bright QLED display ensures that image content can be seen clearly on the screen at all times in direct light, the colors are really incredibly rich and radiant £. Thanks to 4K resolution, the picture is always crisp and thanks to the game mode, the delay between controller inputs and what is happening on the television feels surprisingly short. The Q90T does not react as fast as a gaming monitor, but the result is definitely impressive when compared to other televisions.
Probably the biggest plus in my opinion, however, is the support of 120 FPS – this is a real game changer! So far, only a few games like Gears 5 (Versus Multiplayer) and Ori and the Will of the Wisps support the high refresh rate. It's a shame, because the added value is simply breathtaking! Movements appear as smooth as butter on the Samsung GQ55Q90T, inputs feel even more responsive – this is next gen!
4K TVs for Xbox Series X / S and PS5: The weaknesses of the Samsung Q90T
The constant switching between normal and game mode is a bit annoying. Both Xbox Series X and PS4 Pro only pass the corresponding ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) signal to the television when a game is started. In these moments, the screen goes black for a few seconds and switches to the other mode, sometimes briefly back and forth.
What also stands out negatively in some situations is the aggressive local dimming of the Samsung TV. In contrast to OLEDs, QLEDs cannot display real black, since their backlight cannot control each pixel individually. In order to still offer a high-contrast image, many manufacturers rely on so-called “full array local dimming”.
The screen is divided into dozen or even hundreds of zones, the backlighting of which can be regulated separately. The advantage: larger image areas that are dark are also really dark.
The disadvantage: If there is a bright white image area in one dimming zone, while the next dimming zone is only dark, this can be seen at the zone transitions. The zone with the bright image area also looks more gray than black in the dark areas, especially in direct comparison to the completely dark dimming zone.
The more dimming zones a television offers, the less visible the disadvantage described is. The problem: Compared to its predecessor, the Q90R, Samsung has reduced the number of dimming zones for the Q90T from 240 to 96. A decision that annoys many fans.
Another drawback is the minimalist design of the remote control. The reduction in the number of buttons may seem modern, but You really shouldn't have done without a “Sources” and an “Options” button, Samsung!
This forces you to scroll all the way to the left to the corresponding entries in the home menu in order to make the desired settings – annoying and annoying. Especially since the interface sometimes reacts a bit sluggishly and only works a few seconds after the button has been pressed. With a television set for around 1,400 euros, that can be a bit more jagged.
Conclusion: Do you really need a new TV for PS5 and Xbox X / S?
The short and concise answer: yes and no. If you buy one of the new next-gen consoles, you can operate it on an old Full HD television with 60 Hz and don't care about the numerous additional functions – but to be honest: Then you don't need to buy a next-gen console.
The number of exclusive titles for Xbox Series X / S and PS5 is currently anything but abundant – most games can still be played on the last-gen models without major restrictions (Cyberpunk 2077 excluded).
There aren't too many games available for the new consoles yet – but that should change in the coming years:
In other words: Anyone who still owns an old “HD Ready” or Full HD television at home should definitely consider buying a new television when switching to the next-gen consoles – because the added value is actually amazing! Above all, the opportunity to experience selected games in buttery smooth 120 FPS is, in my opinion, reason enough to switch to a more recent model like the Samsung Q90T. But other manufacturers such as LG, Sony or TCL also offer various TV models that make use of all the functions of the next-gen consoles:
If, on the other hand, you switched to a rather inexpensive 4K model with corresponding HDR support only a few months or years ago, you can postpone the purchase a little longer. A leap in image quality would also be noticeable here if one switched from a classic LCD to OLED or QLED – but the first wow effect usually wears off quickly.
The most important questions at the end: When buying a new TV, is it best to go for OLED or QLED? And what functions does the new 4K TV have to offer if you really want to get everything out of the new consoles?
Basically: OLEDs offer better contrasts, QLEDs are brighter and therefore more radiant. You can see this difference especially in bright scenes in HDR. In these cases, QLEDs often achieve peak brightness levels that almost hurt your eyes – for example, when you look directly into the sun in a game like Ghost of Tsushima. You have to accept compromises in dark scenes because QLEDs do not offer real black even with FALD.
The high brightness of QLEDs also has another benefit: If the television is in a room with a lot of sunlight during the day, QLEDs reflect significantly less than OLEDs – the image remains more visible.
We have summarized all other differences and special features for you in the video:
Finally, a small list of functions that your new TV should offer if you really want to get the most out of your consoles:
- 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels)
- native 100 or 120 Hz panel
- HDR support
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
- HDMI 2.1 connection
If your new TV should meet all of these criteria, you have to dig a little deeper into your wallet than usual. In rare cases, inexpensive models can be bought for around 800 euros during a discount campaign – In most cases, however, you should budget at least 1,000 euros to buy a new 55-inch TVwhich really supports all functions of the PS5 and Xbox Series X / S – but then usually a simple LCD is built into the TV.
If you want to have a QLED or OLED panel in your new television, you should plan a few hundred euros more.