Now that the Las Vegas dust from CES 2022 has been laundered from my wardrobe, I look back at the big TV announcements that were made at the show and find myself more excited than usual to start this year’s TV review season. I expect a steady flood of TVs starting this spring, from big-name brands like Sony, LG, Samsung, Hisense, and TCL. And among the torrent of various sizes and models are some standout offerings that I’m especially eager to test.
Here’s a rundown of the TVs I’m most excited for in 2022. I suppose you could also call this my predictive list of the Best TVs of 2022. We’ll just have to see how that plays out.
I’ll start with LCD-based TVs and then make my way into OLED-based displays, ultimately landing on what is shaping up to be the most exciting TV tech of 2022: QD-OLED.
First up is TCL’s new OD-Zero TV. Part of the reason I want to review this TV so much is just the spectacle of the thing. I’m curious what kind of box it comes in and what it’s going to be like to set it up. And I’m really interested to see what the sound system on this TV is like. It’s got a big subwoofer on the back, so this TV should really bust out the bass, but it also pairs speakers mounted to the sides of the screen with an array of drivers that are located well down toward the bottom of the stand. Finally, we’ll have to see how well dialogue and sound effects match up with the screen location?
Then, of course, there’s the picture quality aspect. The OD-Zero (model number X925) uses TCL’s third-generation mini-LED backlighting. I expect it to have thousands of mini-LED backlights and maximum dimming zones. This is TCL’s flagship TV for 2022, and it is priced like a flagship TV from more expensive brands like Samsung and LG. Will it hold up in the picture quality department, or is a big chunk of the cost sunk into the super-thin profile and that rather elaborate soundbar stand? I feel like this is the TV that’s going to show us exactly what TCL can do, when price is no object. That will tell us a lot about the years to come.
I am also super curious to get my eyes on TCL’s new 8-Series TV, which is, interestingly enough, a 4K model (while the lower-tier 6-Series is an 8K model). Regardless of the confusion surrounding that decision, the 8-Series has TCL’s maxed-out mini-LED backlighting technology, and I want to see what that will look like in practice, and how much it will cost would-be customers.
And, of course, I’m excited to check out TCL’s 98-inch XL collection TV as well.. mostly because it is just massive and I love a good challenge. Can we even get that thing into our office? Where am I going to put it? How’s the picture quality? The TV offers 98-inches of sprawling screen for under $8,000 — but does it look good for that kind of money?
In the past, I’ve had to travel to see TVs this big. Will they finally come to me in 2022? I’m about to find out.
The two Samsung TVs I am looking forward to are among its Neo QLED TVs: The top-of-the-line 4K and 8K models. I’m presuming the model numbers will be Q90B and Q900B respectively, but Samsung can switch up its naming convention based on previous history. Whatever they are called, the exciting feature coming from Samsung in 2022 is 14-bit brightness processing. In a nutshell, this tech should give us more detail in bright areas for a better HDR experience. I want to see how well that works in practice, especially compared to TV’s from Samsung’s competition. Will Samsung be crowned the brightness king for something other than brightness for brightness’ sake?
I noticed Samsung didn’t talk a lot about its mini-LED backlight system this year and instead focused a lot on all the different user features its TVs would enable, not the least of which was NFT browsing and buying – take that for what you will. So perhaps Samsung’s fancy feature list could be what makes the company stand out this year.
I also have to wonder if this will be the first year Samsung ships me a micro-LED TV to review? The company did introduce an 89-inch prefabricated model, so it’s within the realm of possibility that they would send me one. Unfortunately, this is the kind of TV that is so expensive, I don’t know if they’ll ship the TV to me or ship me to the TV. However it goes, if I can get a solid three or four hours with a micro-LED TV, we could all end up learning a lot about this extremely expensive TV tech.
I’m interested in both the new U9 and U8, since they are the first mini-LED backlit TVs to come from Hisense. But I’ll be homing in especially tight on the U9 model because it’s Hisense’s flagship for the year, and is likely to be the best-performing TV we get from the company this year — and possibly the best-performing TV Hisense has ever made for the U.S. market.
As promised, it’s time to talk OLED TVs — and yes, eventually, we’re going to land on the new QD-OLED TVs we can expect this year.
First, let’s talk about LG OLED TVs. I’m excited to check out the G2 Gallery Series OLED TVs because they have a new heatsink technology that enables higher brightness and the G2 series now comes in a 97-inch model.
While QD-OLED is in its infancy for the next couple of years, LG’s best-performing, brightest OLED yet is going to be available in a 97-inch model. And you’ll get to see it reviewed right here. I’ve got a call into AFLAC to cover the inevitable back injury I’ll sustain while trying to wrangle it up to the 10th floor of my office building.
All the excitement doesn’t go to the G2 series and its 97-inch variant alone. I’m also excited to see the C2 OLED TV series in all of its sizes — especially the little 42-inch model.
This looks like a big year Sony TVs. There are more models in Sony’s lineup that I’m excited about than I am for any other single manufacturer.
There’s the Z9K, which is an 8K mini-LED backlit set and potentially the brightest TV ever made. Then there’s the X95K, a 4K mini-LED set that, while expensive, may be one of the most beautiful LCD-based TVs made that most folks cold to hope to attain.
I’m especially interested to see what Sony (it’s-not-about-how-many-LEDs-and-zones-you-have) Electronics does with mini-LED backlighting, specifically how the company’s much-hailed Bravia XR Cognitive Processor adapts to the challenge — and it will have to adapt. Sony promises big things, so I wanna see them. Especially notable is the return of Sony’s Backlight Master Drive, a naming convention I feel like Sony brought back just because its 2016 Z9D model had it and people are still talking about how intense that TV was. Now that it’s back for the Z9K, I think we have a foreshadowing of just how bright things are gonna get around here.
Now let’s talk about Sony’s OLED lineup. This might be the year I don’t test an A90K television since the model series is only available in 42-inch and 48-inch sizes — an odd move by Sony. I will, however, be reviewing the A80K, which gets Sony’s brighter OLED panel and the same heat sink tech that the 2021 A90J got.
But the most fun I’ll probably have all year will be when the Sony A95K TV comes through. That, my friends, is going to be a moment.
The Sony A95K is a QD-OLED TV, and if you don’t know what I mean by that, here’s an explainer. It’s going to be amazing. The only question is: Is it amazing enough to justify what is sure to be an insanely high price?
Samsung QD-OLED TV?
The Sony A95K is not the only QD-OLED TV I’ll be reviewing this year. I also expect to be reviewing a QD-OLED TV made by Samsung.
It is true that Samsung Electronics announced no such TV at CES, but I have very good reason to believe that by early March, we will get official word that Samsung Electronics has a QD-OLED TV. Or, at least, it will use the tech that we’re all calling QD-OLED. Samsung Display, which is a different company entirely, calls it QD-Display right now. The marketing wizards at Samsung Electronics need to figure out what they will call it when it is in their TV, but whatever it is called, it will be the same panel technology as what is in the Sony A95K, and I can’t wait to get my eyes on it.