Click here to go to the forum index Click here for the home page
 
Author Message

<  AV & other discussions  ~  To UHD or not to UHD?

Page 1 of 1
nwhitfield
Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:30 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9577
For anyone tempted by 4K / Ultra HD tv sets, I've attempted to set out here all the reasons why you should save your money, and wait a few years:

http://gonedigital.net/2015/10/17/should-you-buy-a-4k-television/

_________________
Support this site - make a donation to our running costs
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Darucla
Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Jun 2007 Posts: 1542
Life is such a disappointment. We're supposed to be chasing down rogue androids in 2019, in flying cars. But it looks as though UHD may not even be ready by then. Frankly, I have reached a point of not really worrying about it. I currently sit about 14 feet away from a 50" set, and on good SD material, I can just about tell the difference from HD stuff. (Slight exaggeration, black levels are much better on HD). But I really do feel that I would need a 100" set to really appreciate a UHD display. When they put out a fully featured OLED UHD 100" set at around the 1,000.00 mark, I'll get excited.
View user's profile Send private message
simonc
Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5639 Location: Cheltenham
Yes, on the face of it, it seems you need a very large set or to sit very close to benefit from UHD. More fundamentally, the lack of content and unlikelihood of any means to deliver the content other than on physical media in my town makes me suspicious that the UHD is a "because we can" tick in a box marketing exercise akin to the race for megapixels in photography, rather than a genuine benefit to the end user.

Reading around the subject of motion enhancement reminds me of this Register article which is roundly critical of the push for higher resolution without consideration for what need to perceive higher resolution in a moving image. Higher frame rate is actually what's required, but of course that's much more difficult to organise - the industry has just made the leap from SD to HD, so it's easier and cheaper to repeat the pattern using carefully constructed demo footage to get the wow factor in store.

I'd love to see more variety available in OLED based sets, i.e. some models that aren't stupidly large and/or curved. I feel that black levels are more important than size or resolution. Unfortunately OLED is a currently a high end tech, and for the rest of the world it seems that high end also means massive screen Rolling Eyes
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Bizman
Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:31 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2010 Posts: 1707
I don't have room for a large TV. If I upgrade my current 22" model, it will be to a maximum of 32", yet viewing the SD output from my Toppy on my current TV the picture has sufficient quality for my requirements. Don't need more channels, could do with less USA content for my liking.

_________________
TF5810, F/W: 5.15.09T 4/9/2009 -FmTe+EzHsVb
TAPs: EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; SecCache (UK) v0.4; MHEG On/Off A3; MPDisplayLITE V1.2; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0; EPG2MEI v0.96; QuickJump 1.72; Extend v1.7; (fsSave 1.1);
Sig generated by MyInfo on 3/8/17

Other TAPs : FsCheck, Channel Organiser. PSU Caps 7/2/2011 Tx: Mendip. TV: Samsung (32"), NSLU2, STB: Labgear FV300. PC Acer Aspire One with Win7 Starter
View user's profile Send private message
YorkshireJumbo
Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:45 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 16 Sep 2005 Posts: 741
I'm with you Bizman. Our main TV is a 28in CRT, which fills the only alcove suitable for it. When we do finally relinquish CRT, we'll only be able to get at most a 36in screen. But then what will I do with the SCART connection for my Toppy?

_________________
YJ - You may have speed, but I have momentum
Black Panther since Sep '05, Caps replaced July '10, WD10EZRX and Turbosat adaptor added May '16
F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+U+Uu
TAPs: MS 6.6 Suite, UK OZ Surfer
View user's profile Send private message
Darucla
Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 4:15 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Jun 2007 Posts: 1542
There are still a lot of TVs that have SCART sockets: a friend has a 2015 model with one. Plus, if you are using an AVR, many of those will take a component or composite (maybe S-Video, but these are rarer now) and output it via HDMI. So, no need to worry about whether you can use the Topfield just yet.

You can also buy converters, but these are normally false economy, as they are often quite expensive: a reasonable AV receiver will be quite inexpensive and be usable for a much longer time.
View user's profile Send private message
munk
Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:04 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 60
(This post is mainly in reference to ppl above saying that they can't do justice to a UHD set because of size limitations)

FWIW we just upgraded to a (mid range) 40" UHD Panasonic from a 10-15 year old 28" CRT (also Panasonic). Was quite reluctant to let go of the CRT because it had done such a great job over the years, and there wasn't anything really wrong with it other than the fact that it doesn't accept an HDMI input from all the myriad of new devices that now require HDMI and won't really function properly with a converter (primarily for me this was an Xbox One, which only at the last minute did I find out only has HDMI output).

I read a lot of things online about the pros/cons of UHD vs HD and a primary concern - as alluded to above - was that it wouldn't be worth going with a UHD set because to fully appreciate it we'd need at least a 55" set for our fairly average to large front room (sitting between 5-7' away).

However, it's quite hard nowadays to purchase a new TV WITHOUT it having UHD functionality. You see a lot of comments along the lines of 'you would be better spending all that money you'd be spending on a UHD set on a higher spec HD only set instead' - but the truth of the matter - in my experience at least - is that you can't actually FIND a higher spec HD only set nowadays, they're all UHD (I suppose you COULD perhaps argue you should be looking at OLED instead, but that puts you in a totally different price bracket for now).

Whilst I'm mainly talking about mid to high end TVs, I think this issue will only be more pervasive over the next few years as UHD tech becomes cheaper (for the budget markets) and OLED similarly so for the mid to high end markets. All TVs in the next few years will be UHD ready, just as most TVs now are HD ready, and I would be very surprised if the main UK broadcasters didn't move to at least 4K resolution broadcasting (it's a good question as to whether or not UHD/4K+ is a gimmick like 3D was... IMO it's not and it's more likely that broadcasters will move to 4K from HD).

So... in the end I went with a 40" UHD panel for what is (so I'm told) much too large a room... and in my opinion all that guff about screen ratios (screen size = viewing distance / 1.2) is nonsense. The 40" panel we went for looks absolutely amazing when viewing 4k content, and even upscaling content from the Toppy (or viewing SD content directly via the TV's tuners) doesn't look too shabby at all - far from it in fact, I'm very impressed and happy at how the Panny handles the upscaled Toppy source via SCART (yes, the Panasonic TX-40CX700B DOES have a SCART shock horror!!).

Sure, if you're looking for a cinematic / reference experience - looking for a proper Home Theatre experience that is totally immersive - then you will want to maintain that 1.2 ratio. But for casual viewing of content on a day to day basis I think the 1.2 ratio can be ignored fairly safely and you don't have to be looking at any greater than a 1.5 ratio or even less (ie divide your viewing distance by 1.5 or more even to get the TV size required).

Generally re the article though, I found it a very good read and to some extent it does have merit viz whether UHD "now" is worthwhile. However, if you're in the market for a new - decent spec / nice / mid range - TV , then you're a bit stuck with taking UHD I'm afraid. The good news though - IMO - is that you won't be sorry with what you get, far from it. (Of course one thing you could try is reverting to an old 28" 2005 TV for a year or two... moving up to UHD from that will definitely make your eyes pop out.Wink)

_________________
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/8/15
View user's profile Send private message
nwhitfield
Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:50 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9577
Broadcasting in 4K is going to be a minority pursuit for the moment - and unlikely in my view to ever come to Freeview.

Even on satellite, a lot of the broadcasters are wary of committing, at least for the moment. We may see something a few years down the line, but some people haven't even got over their HD roll-outs, let alone paid for/written down all the kit. A sudden leap to 4K (and the various studio updgrades) is not something easily done in such cash-strapped times.

_________________
Support this site - make a donation to our running costs
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
andyfras
Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 3439
It's not just the electronic kit that the broadcasters have to invest in; the sets, costumes and make-up (wigs, prosthetics, etc.) need to be far more detailed as the viewing resolution increases.

_________________
Toppy PSU repair service or capacitor kits for DIY available - PM me for details.
MyStuff 6.6 : Little Clock : MHEGOnOff : Extend : EPG2MEI : SecCache : EIT_Sub : TSSaver : Prune EPG
Channel Organiser : Tap Commander : HDD Info : PCControl : Signal Monitor : MyInfo
URC-7555 remote: TF5800 320GB 2.5", Recommended_5800.tfd + CfPePsScUUuWfZ
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
nwhitfield
Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9577
One big potential problem for 4K broadcast is royalties. While the MPEG LA manages most via a patent pool, on the same sort of sensible basis as for H.264, a new group called HEVC Advance sprung p this year.

It includes a few companies who say they have essential patents, and they want to licence them on much less favourable terms - including revenues from video services which they initially said would be 0.5% of gross revenue, with no upper limit.

That, as you can well imagine, has some broadcasters (and streamers) a bit worried, hence the announcements last month that some web companies would be working on nex gen codecs together. Would Netflix really want to hand over 0.5% of gross subs from people with a 4K subscription (backdated, too, in the original plans from HEVC Advance)? How about ITV? 0.5% of gross revenue for ads shown in 4K? And what of European PSBs who don't show ads? Would the BBC have to hand over a chunk of the licence fee?

Naturally, much fuss has been made; the latest is that HEVC will "adjust" their fees, but not much more is known yet. This blog entry includes links to earlier stories:

http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2015/09/hevc-advance-will-adjust-fees.html

_________________
Support this site - make a donation to our running costs
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
munk
Posted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:24 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 16 May 2006 Posts: 60
I think you're right, particularly in your point about how it's 'technically' pointless upgrading to 4K at this point and it will probably be at least another 4-5yrs before broadcasters start pushing out content in 4K 'de rigeur'.

My point is that it's hard to find any TV set nowadays without subscribing to the UHD mantra - if you're in the market for a half decent TV nowadays then you have to go with UHD. Exceptions to this I suppose are in the reference level / top end kit where you have enough money to pick and choose, but for the retail market 'mid range' models around 5-1500 are generally just UHD with HD only being pushed out of site.

Another good argument for waiting - maybe buying a cheaper / low end HD only model (sub 500, where "HD only" IS certainly an option) - is that in 5 years time OLED prices will come down dramatically, giving much better picture quality and incorporating newer technologies as standard. And by that time hopefully the broadcasters will have caught up as well, broadcasting content with higher NITS values than they do at the moment.

Re brightness and fairly much on topic still, there was an interesting article on the Gadget Show jsut this week. It was an interview with people from Dolby about their efforts to increase the brightness level of broadcast transmissions from the legacy 100 nits (current default, apparently unchanged from the time of CRTs when those units could only handle 100nits) up to an eye popping 4000 NITS level. Seems quite incredible that the brightness levels that are broadcast haven't changed for decades.

Interview is available on channel 5 on demand (sorry it's probably nothing new at all and I can see references online to "Dolby Vision" going back years... still I found it quite interesting and it seems very relevant to this discussion):

Gadget Show S22E05
(article/interview starts at 26mins14secs in)

All of that said... I bet what you say about royalties might be applicable if Dolby managed to usher in an increase in brightness levels at the broadcast level, they're not a charity of course...

_________________
TF5800, TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy
TAPs: EPG2MEI v0.96; MyStuff 6.6; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MHEG On/Off A3; MyInfo B5.6; PruneEPG 1.0;
Sig generated by MyInfo on 14/8/15
View user's profile Send private message
nwhitfield
Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9577
I won't fault anyone for getting a UHD set by default; as you say, there'll be plenty of panels about.

Some of them, though, will be in chassis that will be flawed in terms of connectivity and processing, in ways that will make "HD Ready" look like a paragon of consumer-friendly labelling.

One Australian company punted a low cost 4K set earlier in the year (or it may even have been late last year) that didn't even have HDMI 2 at all!

If you get UHD by default, that's great; but if you're planning on investing in it specifically for the cinematic experience, then having all the standards in place is key to that, in my opinion.

_________________
Support this site - make a donation to our running costs
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Display posts from previous:  

All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum