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back to article Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Amazon has announced that it's teaming up with Samsung Electronics and media firms like Warner Bros and Lionsgate to try to drum up consumer interest in "4K" ultra high-def tellies. The online warehouse's Instant Video subsection said that it wanted to work with top Hollywood studios and the world's leading electronics firms on …

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FAIL

WGAF

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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Re: WGAF

Go and see one of these in the store and tell me you still don't want one.

Over the Christmas holiday I ran into a samsung 84 inch 4k tv (with an eye-watering price of $39,997). There was a moving cityscape playing, and it reminded me of "Gallifrey Falls No More" (spoiler alert!). It was scary how much detail there was.

It's silly to buy one now while there's almost no 4k content (though it does upscale HD stuff really, really well) and they're not ramped up for mass sales yet, but those same crazy prices were true of the orginal 1080p sets, and they came down to earth in a year or so.

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Linux

Re: WGAF

> Go and see one of these in the store and tell me you still don't want one.

Of course putting your nose up to the screen doesn't count.

What kind of impression does it give in a real viewing environment that closely matches your own house?

"Artificial benchmarks" really don't tell you anything and never have.

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Holmes

Re: WGAF

@Pet Reeve - "Go and see one of these in the store and tell me you still don't want one."

I saw one in the store. I didn't want one.

Before, that, I saw 3D TV in the store. I didn't want one.

Want to hear more about the premium-TV market I haven't wanted? It's a pretty long list. To give you a hint, my only video-related expenditures for several years have been a Netflix subscription, and a few tickets to first-run movies at the theaters.

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Re: WGAF

I want one in the 32 to 40 inch range for use as a computer monitor, but it has to be priced at $500USD or lower.

Qua 4K TV: I mostly am still watching upscaled DVD content on my HD TV. Bluray still does not have enough content, never mind 4K.

In any case, the reason for consumer apathy is not the tech. Such a low percentage of Hollywood movies are good movies that the future of HD and UHD is a steady stream of vapid action flicks with a very rare quality drama or sci-fi in the mix. Explosions look great at UHD and HD, but more pixels do not equate to dramatic tension, good plot, good dialog or good acting.

Given Hollywood's lack of interest in releasing re-mastered HD quality back-catalog movies, I see no future in UHD panels for TVs.

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Re: WGAF

"though it does upscale HD stuff really, really well"

Cannot bring myself to... yep, lost the will to live.

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Mushroom

Re: WGAF

"Go and see one of these in the store and tell me you still don't want one..."

I don't need to go to the goddamn' store to decide that I don't want one. Christ, man, have you seen most of the crap that's on American TV these days? Nearly FORTY THOUSAND GOD-DAMNED DOLLARS so I can watch Duck Dynasty and Two And A Half Men in 4K Hi-Def? Are you fucking NUTS?

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@PetPeeve

Oh, you mean the rigged demos where they show you high quality 4K content on a top dollar 4K screen, then show you a deliberately crappily encoded HD version on a middle of the road (at best) HD screen?

I was lucky enough to see a demo in Vegas last year that was exactly what you need to see to actually see the difference (or lack of) It was a 4K screen that was running a high quality demo next to a middle of the road HD screen blah blah blah as usual, but they screwed up and at one point in the 7 minute long demo they showed the same content in 4K and HD on the 4K set - first with upscaling and next without. It was designed to show you how great the upscaling of HD content was, but if you looked at it from the distance you'd view that TV if you owned it, you found the 4K difference was not really noticeable unless you looked for it - and even then it was minimal. It is miles from the difference between HD and SD.

Those 4K viewing distance charts are right, unless you sit so close to your TV you need to turn your head to see action move from one side to the other, or you have a 80" TV in a NYC apartment living room, the difference is so tiny you'd never notice it if unless you knew to look for it.

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Re: Mike Flugennock

You're still watching TV? Don't you have a life? I guess not...

Now, given a good copy of LOTR directors cut, a 4k UHDTV and some mushrooms I think this would make a wonderful weekend.

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Trollface

I love seeing Internet forum commenters tell other people that they don't have a life.

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Re: WGAF

And why do they always show slow motion stuff on these demo screens? Is it because the pathetically low frame rate means that in faster moving stuff, you lose much of the benefit of the extra pixels?

The other problem I have that an 84" screen is way too big for my flat. Let me know when there is a 32" or smaller screen that I can put on my desk and attach a computer to.

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Re: WGAF

"I want one in the 32 to 40 inch range for use as a computer monitor, but it has to be priced at $500USD or lower."

I think you are pushing your luck to get any sort of decent monitor in that size range at that price, let alone a 4K monitor.

However, there is the Dell P2815Q which is a 28" 4K monitor that has an RRP of $699. To keep the cost down they don't really support gaming at 4K, it will only do 30Hz (but will go to 60Hz for FullHD).

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4K Streaming?

I can barely manage 1080p streaming with my crappy rural internet speed of 3-5mbps, never mind 4K: Think I'll pass on this one

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Re: 4K Streaming?

Amen to that, plus I've bought and re-bought enough of my movie/TV collection in the various formats over the years to want to do it again in 4K format. And of course a lot of the stuff will either never be available in that format anyway, or would be so messed about with that the higher definition would probably show up more imperfections etc and make the whole thing look worse.

That said I'm old enough that my eyes would probably struggle to notice the difference anyway, at least without Amazon-sponsored laser surgery... ;)

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Re: 4K Streaming?

I can get about 7.5 and I can't tell the difference between 720 or 1080 at that (some high action stuff looks better in 720). 4K I hope you have 30-40 mb/s, unlimited bandwidth, and a BIG TV.

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Coat

Re: 4K Streaming?

Same here. I can barely manage 480p streaming on YouTube, never mind 4K.

Plus it only seems like five minutes ago I bought an HD telly, so I probably won't be in the market for a replacement for another couple of decades, if my last one is any indication. In fact I still have a Sharp B&W portable somewhere, circa late 70s, with a "Solid State" symbol next to the rotary tuner. Yes, it still works.

Maybe if we weren't stuck in the middle of The Great Depression 2.0 (are we allowed to call it that yet, or do we have to keep calling it "austerity"?) I might consider pissing away all the money I don't have on Hollywood fads like 3D, 4K or whatever other bullshit they come up with to convince us to pay again for all the films we already own, and it'll take a hell of a lot more than stupidly high resolutions to convince me to buy any of the new garbage that passes for entertainment in Hollywood these days. Maybe if they tried making something with an actual plot I might be more interested, or (God forbid) a film targeted at intelligent non-American adults instead of gormless American teenagers, preferably one that isn't yet another fucking comic-book adaptation.

Excited about 4K? I've been more excited waiting for a bus.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4K Streaming?

I hope you have 30-40 mb/s, unlimited bandwidth, and a BIG TV

Yes (Virgin media), Yes (VM again), and No .... need to explain this to my wife!

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Re: 4K Streaming?

I have 30mbs, was 60mbs, often still get issues with Netflix, maximum speed is the whole issue; there are servers, caches and everything in between.

We will need the infrastructure to improve somewhat, however, I think it will improve somewhat, it generally does.

By the time I come to replace my 2K telly, years away I hope, a 4K one might be a reasonable choice, along with OLED, curvyness and the sure-to-upcoming 6D or whatever.

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Re: 4K Streaming?

I hope you have 30-40 mb/s, unlimited bandwidth, and a BIG TV

Yes (Virgin media), *Yes (VM again), and No .... need to explain this to my wife!

* Until the traffic shaping policy kicks in and then you don't have 30-40 mb/s.

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Re: 4K Streaming?

6D - you can go back in time, watch original release of great flicks of the past and do so in alternate universes while moving along a different vector!

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Re: 4K Streaming?

I hope you have 30-40 mb/s, unlimited bandwidth, and a BIG TV

No ( Virgin Media ), no ( Virgin Media again ), and no ( 28" CRT and it still shows the artifacts from the over-compressed crappy SD (!) video sent by Virgin Media )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4K Streaming?

"Yes (Virgin media), Yes (VM again), and No .... need to explain this to my wife"

The same Virgin Media that is well known for video streaming issues as well as being the only major ISP to still have traffic management limiting the unlimited bandwidth. Imagine adding 4k streaming to a network which already often has traffic congestion problems.

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You mean those 3D TVs aren't the absolute pinnacle of audio visual technology, and were really just a barely-useful novelty?

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Coming soon...

4K, 3D, Smart TV.

Come on, everyone buy a new TV... please.

The stock market expects us to keep growing like we did when everyone was switching from CRT to HD.

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Re: Coming soon...

I recently purchased a new 32 inch HD TV. It cost me roughly £290 and its lovely quality. The store had other 32 inch TVs that looked nicer and were slimmer, but they cost roughly £100 more because they were SMART TV's.

Oh boy, a TV that can connect to the internet?

Isn't that just my computer?

I was, however, disappointed to find that the TV I had purchased had no VGA or DVI input.

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DVI input

Just need a DVI to HDMI cable. It's the same signal except no sound over DVI, Should be cheap (if you avoid Monster and friends).

Something like this...

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10231&cs_id=1023104&p_id=2405&seq=1&format=2

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So, how will my collection of DVDs going to look on the 4K bendy TV?

Actually, what my two year old would love is a massive touchscreen TV. Any sign of those?

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I hear you there. So many fingerprints all over my lovely telly.

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They'll probably look great. I can tell the difference between a blu-ray and a DVD picture at a glance, but DVDs still look quite good on a modern set, and they'll look as good or better on a 4k tv. It's all about the upscaling, and digital anything upscales very well.

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JB

I remember as a lad many moons ago touching the TV screen and getting a huge static charge right through me. Those damn CRTs! Now when you touch a flat panel, you just get a slightly warm finger, and strange looks from the wife!

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You did not do it right then. As a poor mans Van De Graf I used to use a square of silver foil which would "stick" to the screen when you turned it on. By appying a crocodile clip to the edge various static exp could be performed.

However just be careful when taking the foil off the telly..............

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Re: digital anything upscales very well

Oh really ? Here's something to try : go take a picture of anything, put it in an image editor and enlarge it by a factor of 4.

Then I dare you to come back and say that again.

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3D

No doubt once this is out, there will be 3D 4K (maybe it's there already?). Then there will need to be a new generation of media formats to replace blu-ray, as it will only be able to hold 25% of a film. So on top of your £5,000 telly, you'll need a £1,000 player, and a fibre-to-the-house data connection. You'll need to wear annoying, bulky glasses (only 2 people can watch at once, unless you want to spend £150 more per person). And of course you'll need to to re-buy all your existing films again at £45 each (remastered yet again, so they'll have to be much more expensive).

So remind me again, what's the real benefit to the consumer? Where's the problem needing solved?

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Joke

Re: 3D

You forgot the laser eye surgery required for the percentage of the population where that's the limiting factor on how things look anyway...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 3D

Until it can reach out and play with my junk I'm really not interested.

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Re: 3D

Do people replace their media? Must be fanatics if they do. Old DVDs are largely pointless, they transmit the same movie in 1080i/p often. One can scale up the DVD reasonably well with cheapish BluRay player.

And, most importantly, except for a few favourites, I would replace very few movies indeed, there are always newer ones that one could buy instead.

As it happens I don't buy them at all anymore, waste of money since I rarely show them to multiple people or share them around. It is much, much cheaper if you live near a Cineworld to have an unlimited pass - and the screen is much, much bigger as well as being able to see it before knowing all the spoilers.

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Re: 3D

A 4k TV can send an HD picture to each eye, plus the ones I've seen have a really bright screen with great contrast.

Personally I can't stand 3D and avoid it as much as possible, but if you like it, it will look better on a 4k tv than an HD one. Funny though, the sets I saw didn't even mention 3D on the info card.

I'm sure they support it, but since it's practically a negative marketing feature nowadays, the manufacturers are pretending it doesn't exist.

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Re: 3D

Benefit to the CONSUMER? I'm sorry, I don't seem to have that on my list. Hold on, I'll pencil it in at the bottom, underneath 'Another helicopter for MEEEEEE!'

There you go - sorted.

- semi anonymous Hollywood middle manager

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nope

Netflix and Lovefilm etc can all show as much interest as they like - but while my 80mb Fibre connection might stream a 4K film, it'll still be horribly compressed and nowhere near the quality of those sexy demos we're seeing at the shows.

Much like the 1080p Youtube etc stuff I currently watch is, then. Labelling something HD because the vertical resolution is 1080, but the compression is turned up so high to make it look crap, really is a scam.

Physical content will have to do for quite some time then, but not seeing many 4K blu-ray players out there yet....

(And talking of scams... what's with all this "blu ray optimized for 4k TVs" shit? or "blu ray, filmed in 4k". BS-hype, the lot of them eg http://www.amazon.co.uk/Total-Recall-Blu-ray-4K-Copy/dp/B00D6AASDA/ )

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Re: nope

4K is the current projection standard for theaters. What they're saying is that you're getting a theater-quality transfer, though I don't actually believe that - I imagine that digital theater projectors run on a much higher bandwidth than a blu-ray player can pump out through HDMI.

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Devaluation of the K

The K used to be 1024

Then it became 1000

And now it's 960!

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Re: Devaluation of the K

"The K used to be 1024"

Wrong! The K is short for Kilo - which is 1000 (of anything)! If they wanted a measure for 1024, they should have called it something else! That's where the error is! - Same goes for Mega, Giga, etc.!

Phew! I! must! have! been! spending! too! much! time! on! Yahoo! lately! with! all! these! exclamation! marks!

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Re: Devaluation of the K

Wrong! The K is short for Kilo - which is 1000 (of anything)!

Wrong! The "bit" or "byte" after "kilo-" is relevant to the meaning of "kilo-" in this circumstance, specifically that the prefixes are binary prefixes, and are powers of 2.

This is how it has always been. In 1998, le Bureau international des poids et mesures decided that they "owned" giga-, mega- and so on forth, and decided to tell us that we didn't know what we were doing, and here are some new names, and aren't you stupid for not using it.

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Devil

Re: Devaluation of the K

Kilo as 1024 makes perfect sense in context... once you realize that you aren't dealing with base 10 anymore.

NONE of the SI units make sense in a base 2 context. It's best to not bother getting your beaurocratic panties in a bunch to begin with.

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Re: Devaluation of the K

Yes, yes, yes...

1024 is supposed to be a kibbi- and 1024^ a mebbi-, and 1024^3 a gibbi-.

Which ever gaggle of wankers came up with those prefixes should be made to speak pig latin for the rest of their natural lives.

Common usage is good enough for the OED: in computer context a kilo is 1024, mega is 1024^2 and so on.

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Dolby Vision

I'm more excited about Dolby's recently announced Dolby Vision than I am about higher resolution. Like some of their audio protyocols, it covers the entire process, from camera to screen. Basically, screens that support it will be able to display a huge dynamic range - from deep shadows to very bright highlights - but the protocol also describes the extra data stream.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2014/01/dolby-display-4k/

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Re: Dolby Vision

This is the Brightside HDR tech shown back in 2005

http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/08/sony-licenses-dolbys-hdr-tech-to-make-brighter-better-bravia/

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Re: Dolby Vision

Similar yeah, but taken up a few notches. The Brightside press release makes several mentions of local dimming of the backlighting LEDs. The newer Dolby Vision system includes additional data about how bright to make some pixels, and far brighter LEDs to expand the dynamic range. Their prototype was a cinema projector focused onto a 21" screen.

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Can anyone tell the difference?

ISTR reading an article (may even have been on this august site) back when HD tellies were just going mainstream, saying that the human eye simply can't see the difference between 1080p and 720p on a TV smaller than 36" when sat six feet away.

On that basis, there's going to be remarkably little point getting a 4k telly unless you've got the 105" monster in your living room!

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