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4K for life......for now.

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For the past few months I have been going back and forth on wether I wanted to buy a new 4K TV. My Panny plasma is only three years old, but I have been getting the itch for a new TV. I've been looking at several TVs, and kept talking myself out of it. The whole HDR10 and Dolby Vision format war had me balking at any purchase. Only a few TVs do both, and I wasn't impressed by the TVs that did. Yesterday I just decided to take the plunge. The new Samsungs caught my eye a few weeks back when they released. I ended up going with the new KS8000 series. I stuck with a 55". 

 

Brought it home, got it all setup, updated my Netflix account so I can stream 4K, and away I went. I have been holding out on Season 2 of Daredevil just so I could watch it in 4k. The 1st few minutes I checked out looked spectacular. I then decided to check out some real 4K and hooked up my Samsung Ultra Blu-Ray player that I also bought. Threw in the Deadpool UHD disc and had my eyes pop out of my skull. Holy fucking shit does that look so, so good. I was so hesitant to move away from my plasma because of the blacks. Watching Deadpool made me not care, especially since this Samsung is producing some real nice blacks. I'll be picking up Fury Road on UHD later today. :)

I'm also going to check out a few movies on a streaming service to see how they are. I'm trying to move away from physical media, but after experienceing Deadpool in 4K, I am totally fine with it again. 

 

So, I am 4K for life, at least until something better comes along in a few years. I don't know how the HDR format war will play out, but since HDR10 is the actual standard, I think I will be OK with my choice. 

 

 -Dean-

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Samsung are making excellent sets (staggering difference to where they were fifteen, even ten, years ago). Nice purchase. I think they are still boasting the lowest latency for gaming over other manufacturers too.

At the very least you're safe in that Dolby Vision mastered content must also include the HDR10 base layer (I don't think we'll see many Dolby Vision discs until Disney get on board with the format as theatrically they are enjoying a special repationship with Dolby. It seems to have more presence with 4k downloads at the moment, and studios seem to be holding back on embracing it on disc until some actual players appear on the market that can support DV, as well as more displays).

Honestly if I had the money to spare I'd be quite happy replacing my Pioneer Kuro with Panasonic's 2016 LED displays which are already on sale in the UK and are really exceptional sets. LCD/LED has come a long, long way. Likewise, this year's Sony sets appear to be excellent too (they're not UHD Premium certified but they do meet all the performance requirements of the Premium spec). 

1080p upscaled well to 4k is not to be dismissed either. There's a lot of value in quality UHD displays I think.

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Watched The Force Unleashed trailer in 4k, glorious is all I can say.

 

Played some Doom and The Witcher on the PS4 today. The upscaling this set does is pretty fucking incredible. 

 

 -Dean-

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First off, congrats Dean. But, damn you. I've had my 61" DLP for quite a few years now and, although she's still putting out, I've been leaning towrards upgrading.

 

Which Samsung Ultra BD player did you pick up?

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Which Samsung Ultra BD player did you pick up?

 

 

They only make one, the K8500. Panasonic have a high end player available here in Europe right now and coming to the US sometime later in the year (don't know why we got it first). I'm expecting/hoping the revised PS4 hardware will have a UHD laser so it can read the higher capacity discs the format uses. 

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What Dan. Said. I got the only player available in the US right now. I thought I read that Phillips has a player coming out in June. Couple of episodes into Daredevil and I am blown away. The clarity of the image is fantastic and it has a very cinematic feel to it.

 

 -Dean-

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Well spotted, yes. Phillips have a BDP7501 model out in the US for $400 soon. It's weird that Sony are holding out, but that fuels my suspicion that they are going to use the PS4 Neo as their entry point into players as supposedly they are not looking to introduce dedicated players until the software library has grown. 

 

I've been writing about some of this in our Blu-ray thread, but even though a hell of a lot of "4k" content out there is in fact based on upscaled 2k masters there is still potential to enjoy a healthy improvement over a straight 1080 Blu given the difference in compression codecs and bitrates. That might not be true of every movie, but it's something to think about. HDR is really where studios are trying to push UHD, far more than any resolution difference (which quite honestly is not going to be like DVD > 1080), and I think that could be a really big deal provided it is handled well at the mastering stage. HDR could take us into murky waters on catalogue movies where no authority involved in a film is alive anymore to oversee remastering. 

 

I'd certainly like UHD Blu to succeed. I've been amazed that Blu-ray's library expanded as much as it has and, though I find it difficult to believe the availability of content on UHD Blu will ever reach the same level, I think there is still room for a very healthy library of content over the next few years, so we may end up with a format that's kind of a throwback to what we had in the Laserdisc days with it growing as more of an enthusiast format. Early indication shows UHD Blu's launch sales to be exceeding that of blu-ray in its first few months of sale years ago, and that 4k TVs apparently have a 50% attach rate with UHD Players and discs in the US. That's encouraging. I think the format is also potentially helped, on the manufacturing end, by being quite a natural extension of Blu-ray. So with studios increasingly moving to 4k and HDR archiving for their new films and back catalogue, there is not so much of an expense as there was when things shifted from DVD to Blu-ray as they've been building towards this for several years already.

 

It's great that every studio is also doing combo pack releases for pretty good prices considering you get the UHD, blu-ray and digital copy discs in one package. I suspect that trend and will cese eventually, but hopefully not for a good while yet as it certainly encourages me to think about picking up UHD discs now and just watching the included Blu-ray disc for the time being. I also love that the UHD disc format has no region coding whatsoever.

 

The kinks that need ironing out are really being able to accurately calibrate these HDR display devices and settling on what the hell is going to happen with Dolby Vision and HDR10. 

 

 

I'm going to start a dedicated UHD disc software thread and have a little primer in there.

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It sounds like Oppo will have their UHD player ready by the end of the year, or early 2017 at the latest according to indication they have given. The price is expected to be around the same as their current players too. That should be worth the wait, even though my initial entry into UHD disc I hope will come via a new PS4 revision. One thing I dearly wish would happen is for Oppo players to get a Plex app, but with Oppo being such a niche and Plex being so understaffed who knows if this could ever happen. 

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So I want to do some research, which I suspect won't come to fruition until two years from now.  Is there anything I need to pay attention to when researching 4K TV's?

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So I want to do some research, which I suspect won't come to fruition until two years from now.  Is there anything I need to pay attention to when researching 4K TV's?

. Make sure they're upgradable to 8K, or how Sony advertised it, "True 4K" - which makes no sense I know. But if there is even a 1% chance that 8K is truer, we have to take it as an absolute certainty.

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So I want to do some research, which I suspect won't come to fruition until two years from now.  Is there anything I need to pay attention to when researching 4K TV's?

 

 

I spent a lot of time researching. I would make sure that at a minimum it does HDR. Not many are doing Dolby Vision yet, LG and Vizio are the only ones I know of right now. There are no Dolby Vision discs or players yet. The only content for it is being streamed. Also, your viewing distance will be very important. If you are going to be sitting 12' away from a 55" TV, don't get a 4K. With that said, when I was choosing a TV, I made sure of the following:

  • HDR a must
  • Must be judder free (this isn't an issue for some, but I see it, so it was a necessity)
  • If you are not worried about viewing angle, don't get an IPS panel. The ones I viewed could not produce blacks.
  • Built in apps were done right. I did not want to buy a Roku just to stream 4K on Netflix.

Feel free to ask any questions. I'll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction. I have been very very happy with my purchase.

 

-Dean-

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So I want to do some research, which I suspect won't come to fruition until two years from now.  Is there anything I need to pay attention to when researching 4K TV's?

 

 

HDR support, what kind, how good it is, is going to be the main point of focus for a long time in choosing the right set. You're going to want a 'UHD Premium' branded display, or one that is known to meet the specs of the premium banding despite not carrying the badge of honour. As Dean said, we've not seen much of Dolby Vision in displays yet, but that will change, though the jury is out on whether it is much of an improvement over a higher end display with regular HDR 10. 

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I suppose the easiest way for me to upgrade to 4k will be to replace my existing Epson 1080k projector with one of those snazzy 4K HDR units. I can't believe I'm actually thinking about this right now. I swear I built the home theater of the future just a decade ago.

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I wish I could upgrade my projector to 4K, but haven't had much luck with the lottery lately.

No joke!   The minimum buy-in I saw for a 4k projector was around $8K when I was looking at them.   I need 4K to be around $4K before I can even begin to seriously consider an upgrade.

 

 

Carlos.

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No joke!   The minimum buy-in I saw for a 4k projector was around $8K when I was looking at them.   I need 4K to be around $4K before I can even begin to seriously consider an upgrade.

 

 

Carlos.

 

 

I'm confused.  Wasn't it a big story that Epson's projectors are 4K HDR for 3K or less?

 

http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/epson-home-cinema-5040ub-pro-cinema-6040ub-4040/

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I stopped looking at PJs after making my decision in March to go with the Sony 1080p.  These look good.  Hmm, maybe next spring, if the reviews are good.

 

 

 

Carlos.

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It's great that they are coming down in price rapidly, though.  If I could get a decent value on selling my own, and if these get good reviews, I would definitely take the bait.

 

 

 

Carlos.

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The Epsons are not true 4K projectors. They accept the signals, and support HDR, but they are natively 1080 and using pixel shifting trickery (which, from reports, is impressive). 

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Ok then, this sounds a little like the Sharp Aquos TV I bought in 2014, which accepts 4k signals but plays with the pixels to get "near 4K" resolution.  It does an admirable job, but has problems with very fast motion.  I will pass on a PJ that does this unless the reviews and benchmark tests are stellar.  And even if they are, I would really rather wait until true 4K PJs are more affordable.   

 

 

 

Carlos.

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