... "Get 4k'd"
The 2014 IFA tech expo could well go down as pivotal in the yet to be written sputtering history of 4K home entertainment. While most (well, me) take it as read that the large panel market will migrate entirely to 2160p resolution over the coming months, big questions remain over just what you’ll be able to do with all those …
Ofcom came to the same conclusion in its (2004?) consultation on the future of Freeview, when they rejected it because people said they weren't interested. The broadcasters objected and Ofcom ran more research when they actually showed them some HD vs SD. Guess what? They wanted it.
Same here - I wasn't fussed until I saw a good quality 4K TV in a shop. It was very impressive. However the thing holding me back (aside from sensibly waiting for prices to fall a little), is that I've heard old SD content on a 4K display looks awful. Can anyone confirm? I like new movies, but I like a bunch of old ones, too. I would hate to spend a lot of money on such a TV and then find that many of my favourites looked worse than on HD.
Don't go and press your face against a 4K screen and get over excited: get 3 or 4 metres from one like you would at home
I have rooms in my house where viewers could sit 3-4m from a television screen, but I'll be damned if I'm going to put a TV in one.
In the parlor, where the TV is (the only set in the house), we're 1.5 to 2 meters from the screen. Maybe 2.5m for the furthest comfortable seat with a decent view.
Mind you, I wouldn't buy a 4K set either, regardless of where I'm sitting.
"However the thing holding me back (aside from sensibly waiting for prices to fall a little), is that I've heard old SD content on a 4K display looks awful. "
Wouldn't it be nice to ask for a demonstration in the shop and actually see?
(the ones with usb ports could probably be easily tested...)
Most people who use Windows XP are happy with it. In their opinion, it is good enough for them. It's a security nightmare, but that is another problem.
Most people who have a DVD-player and a DVD collection are happy with it. The quality is not at all bad, even on big screens. They have forked out once to have their video collection replaced by DVDs and the last thing that they want to do is to replace the whole bloody lot with 4K.
The entire industry has to leave a gap with technology so that one can appreciate the leap. Blu-ray was a mistake because it came too soon after the introduction of DVD. We are being metaphorically boiled alive in video standards. Now, DVD was so measurely better than VHS that moving up to DVD was an obvious thing to do (what the leftpondians refer to as a 'no-brainer'). Likewise 4K has to be so much better than DVD that upgrading is worth their while, rather than just worth the industry's while.
It seems to me that the likes of NetFlix and video-streaming is the way that people have chosen. Consumers pay a regular fee (not often, just regularly) and get whatever standard they wish. No need to replace the DVD collection because it is all available online. If they want to buy a new 4K telly, then let them do that.
no-one 'replaces' their DVD collection unless something new/better comes along.
eg the remastered Star Trek Next Gen Blu-Rays whcih look stunning compared to the original un-remastered DVD's.
Streaming is the way forward, of course.
I loved the improvement when I went from PAL -> Digital -> HD TV.
4K will be great for a more immersive domestic experience, but of course, for most living rooms, HD, 16:9, 37" screens are pretty good.
I'm glad that Netflix & Amazon/LoveFilm are embracing it and hope Google Play Movies /' Apple catch up so there's even more choice!
no-one 'replaces' their DVD collection unless something new/better comes along.
I think VHS to DVD was the last time people fell for this ruse. The main changes people notice are the improvements in the codecs: DVD looks shabby on a HD screen because the MPEG artefacts are sharpened. If pushed people can notice the difference between 720p (or lower) and 1080p but that requires concentration not usually associated with the living room.
You have already purchased the viewing rights to whatever it is so you shouldn't have to do so again for a different format. If Hollywood wants us to change formats something like an incentive to trade-in would do wonders.
Google and Apple already have the infrastructure for 4k but Google prefers (rightly in my opinion) WebM over HEVC which is why all new Android devices have to support it in hardware: the format wars aren't over.
There is also the fact that Blu-ray players can play DVDs making the upgrade less necessary.
As far as 4K is concerned, some of these techie execs need to crawl out of their studios and go stand in the average person's living room. Are we really going to see screendoor on an 1080p 46 inch display viewed from 8 to 10 feet away? 4K is more like the audiophile market: about 2% of the population will notice the difference and the rest will get on with watching whatever crap is served up.
And, yes, on the net please. The vast majority of the stuff I watch, I'll watch once and never again. I have a collection of DVDs that are gathering dust (at least they were cheap when I bought them). I might pull one or two out to watch in a year.
Digital Terrestrial depended on
Your TV & decoder
Where you live
I have seen DTTV which was as good as a good DVD, I have seen DTTV as good as a video CD.
Where you live, my digital reception was better than my analogue - same aerial
TV Anamorphic widescreen is prefereable to letterboxing, RGB usually bypasses artificial sharpening. My last TV had pretty shocking sharpening that I actually considered physically disabling it. It was disabled in movie mode so I used that for video tapes, everything else used carefully set up personal. BUT RGB sources were DVD, PS2, DTTV PVRs, and the TV tuner was internally RGB, so I just never bothered.
The decoder in my TV was also very good, but the TV basically wore out and was also not 8K compliant, sold due to wanting HD.
Early bitrates were higher than today.
"4K will be great for a more immersive domestic experience, but of course, for most living rooms, HD, 16:9, 37" screens are pretty good."
Most? There's a huge number of people that haven't even progressed to HD yet, and tremendously more who have HD TVs but don't have an actual HD signal. Don't underestimate the number of (metaphorically) old fuddy-duddies like myself. I only bought an HD 16:9 40" screen 15 months ago, and that was because it was to be used as a monitor for my most recent media center PC. The two televisions in my house that are actually used for TV-viewing are 25" & 36" 4:3 CRTs. Nobody cares enough for the quality difference to replace a working unit. On the 40" HD I really can't tell the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray. Heck, even 4/8 of the PCs at home are still using CRT monitors.
Streaming is the way forward, of course.
With streaming, you're stuck waiting for your ISP to catch up. Some do. Some, often advertising their own streaming service, do not.
At least you have noticed the problems of large screens in the living room.
The commonplace domestic TV now is, by the standards of the CRT era, a huge.screen. But how does it compare to the screen sizes the professionals use? How big a screen do the 4K enthusiasts use?
Don't forget the cables. You have to use HDMI with Blu-ray. When I connected my new Blu-ray player to my HD telly via HDMI cables and played a Blu-ray disc, the sound kept skipping. The sound in DVDs skipped too. When I connected the Blu-ray player to the telly with component cables, no sound skipping. Of course I couldn't play my one and only Blu-ray disc anymore, but the video quality seemed much the same to me and I don't like being treated like a pirate anyway, so bye-bye Blu-ray until something really compelling that actually plays reliably comes along.
I've had a Blu-Ray player since I bought my UK PS3 in 2008 along with a 32"1080P telly connected via HDMI and I've never had an issue with audio skipping on either BDs or DVDs in two TV and one console upgrade since then.
So it's probably just a faulty player, rather than a failing in the whole format.
You owe me a new laptop. Mine shorted out when I puked at the idea you suggested.
But to your point... What's the sense of 4K TV when the content itself is crap?
I think that's going to be the larger problem. (As pointed out by the 4K movies that are available...)
"If you can see the pixel grid you're sitting too close / your TV is too big for your room!"
No, if you can see the 'pixel grid' you're sitting too close FOR THE RESOLUTION.
If you're viewing something low-res on a high-res screen, it's going to take multiple actual pixels to display "one" pixel from the low-res image. So a distance that is perfectly fine for viewing 4K material will potentially make older stuff look pixelated from the same distance. That's not the fault of the screen, or its size, or its distance, and it's certainly not an argument against 4K per se; it's down to a mismatch between content and display.
I'm not a big apologist for "new" media tech. Tube technology has gone, plasma screens have more or less died the death, and LCD is cheap to the point of being commodity; the TV hardware industry is clearly at a point right now where it desperately needs to find a "next big thing" to get everyone replacing their sets and revive its business. That, it seems, wasn't HD; it was never going to be 3D; it most certainly wasn't "curved screens" (!). 4K? Perhaps. Maybe. I don't know. I'd happily put a larger screen in the corner of my room, IF the quality of picture was good enough, and *if* it was comfortable to watch. Right now, my screen is at the "right" distance", for its size and resolution, for comfortable viewing - I did quite a bit of work to get those factors right before I bought. So I'm not going to simply boot it out and buy something else that's supposed to be "better" unless it genuinely is - and in MY house, to boot.
The technical demos of 4k video that I've seen are incredibly good - however the content available in 4k is, for the most part, mediocre at best and I've got 1500 DVD's that look great at 1k. So where's the incentive to upgrade?
I can't see the justification in paying $100/month for the bandwidth for 4k video when there's nothing worth watching ... for some reason the entertainment corporations never seem to understand this.
How's the weather there back in 2000? I'll upgrade, and care not at all about streaming. I couldn't stream uncompressed 1080p with my crap connection anyways. I'll be buying a 90 inch 4k for my feature wall as soon as the price comes out of the stratosphere, and I'll watch regular crap compressed HD broadcast TV on it, I'll play PC games which have supported the resolution for years, and the odd 4k blu-ray I pick up out of the bargain bin.
Some people with money to spare will upgrade - your DVDs may be upscaled for instance and look better (probably).
Also, new entrants to the market (young people growing up and newly-wealthy types in growing economies) will go for the new tech as it reaches reasonable affordability.
Finally, followed by replacement people (like me and maybe you) who buy the (no longer new) tech because the price premium is no longer prohibitive (thank you early adopters and new-car buyers for making it so cheaper for me later).
By then, the internet will be standard at 1gbps to the home no doubt and can handle the insane data load (since all TV will have been replaced by VOD coz they will have sold all the bandwidth for mobile 5G services for 4K via your phone to your head-up 3D Ocular rift successor glasses.
So, 10 years from now, ubiquity. Can't have ubiquity without starting somewhere.
By then, the internet will be standard at 1gbps to the home no doubt
Hey, can I borrow your unicorn?
So, 10 years from now, ubiquity
Not unless there's nothing else available. Frankly, I expect my current set (20-something inch LCD) to still be working, though its possible the no-doubt-crap capacitors in the power supply will have given up the ghost by then. And if it's still working, I'm not replacing it.
That's absolutely fine, but unless the resolution police kick your door in and force you to buy a 4k set at gun point how are you being harmed ? Unless you believe that because you feel a certain way everyone else does or should as well. I'm sure there's a clinical term for that.
I kept my mouth shut about 4k until I saw a true 4k feed into a 4k set (not uhd) at which point I decided I would buy one when pricing dropped to sane levels. Others are free to not buy into it. You can still stream Netflix at 480p or but new releases on DVD but don't berate others for choosing a different path. I can see a difference, I'm looking forward to 4k tablets next year and I'm going to get a 4k monitor for photo editing as soon as I replace my desktop. No company is forcing you to do anything other than what you want. It's not like we had to relent and buy 3 sets is it? We looked, we barfed, we didn't buy. That's how the market works.
@Rampant Spaniel; where, exactly in Version 1.0's original post did he say the things you were accusing him of?
"That's absolutely fine, but unless the resolution police kick your door in and force you to buy a 4k set at gun point how are you being harmed ?"
He didn't claim *anywhere* that he was being harmed. He expressed his own personal opinion that there was no incentive to upgrade. (*)
"Unless you believe that because you feel a certain way everyone else does or should as well. I'm sure there's a clinical term for that."
There's no evidence that he "believes that" because he never said it- you put the words into his mouth.
Go back and read what was originally said, and you'll see he was expressing his own opinion in a perfectly legitimate manner- you can disagree with that, but you don't get to act as if he was forcing it on everyone else when he wasn't.
(*) Is this another example of a misapprehension *way* too common these days- that because a free market exists, or because it's a free country and no-one is forcing someone to do something, that somehow people have no moral right to criticise something? e.g. in response to iWatch criticism, "Don't Like the iWatch? No-one's pointing a gun at your head to make you buy it"- implication, you have no moral right to criticise it for that reason.
Taken to its logical conclusion, no-one would have the right to criticise *anything* they didn't have to buy.
A close relative of this is- again, in response to criticism- saying (e.g.) Apple or whoever are a free company to develop and sell what they like. Implication, what you said infringes on that freedom- no, it doesn't- they still have the freedom to do that, and others have the freedom to say what they like about it.
Freedom cuts both ways, but too often fanboys- without even realising how entitled, hypocritical and/or misguided they're being- expect that freedom to work in their favour but somehow think it protects *them* against that supposed infringement of their freedom.
Except that there's no such infringement- freedom of speech does not imply freedom from criticism- quite the opposite, to do so would be to suppress *others'* free speech- and criticism itself in no way affects your freedom of speech (unless expressed in a clearly menacing manner). End of rant... but see how often you can spot this mentality; it's annoyingly common.
So whats the incentive to upgrade. That's exactly the point, he is stating because he cannot see an incentive there isn't one despite opinions to the contrary being posted here. Just because one person doesn't feel inclined but frankly I get sick of the crap from people who can't see it from any other perspective than their own. I totally understand why people wouldn't want to buy a 4k set, however plenty of people do and they have valid reasons.
The technicals incentives have been covered repeatedly, the shortcomings (such as lack of content) have also been covered. So what is the sense in asking what is the incentive? The incentive is there is an upgrade which offers superior quality which may or may not make sense to people depending being on their budget, priorities and potential use. 4k makes a huge amount of sense to photographers and videographers. You can't bemoan a lack of content yet say there is no incentive, obviously for content producer there is an incentive which will then lead to new content. The article itself explains the lack of content and that it will change. The $100 a month for Internet was what made me suspicious of the op's attitude. I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific, 2500 miles from the nearest Frys (and therefore civilisation) where bread is $5 a loaf and I pay half that for a connection that can stream 4k. When people start distorting the truth because it suits their rant then yes it makes me look to other motives
The entire industry was geared for a move to 3D, people decided they didn't like it so we moved to 4k being the next thing, however the content producers were caught out. The screen technology was ahead of delivery method. Some movies shot digitally were shot in 4k but there wasn't a wide range of cameras, film needed to be rescanned and even then nobody really knew how it would be delivered as there were several competing formats for bluray 2.0. So yes, perhaps the incentive may require a little thought and it might not be enough for everyone but bleating about a situation that's been explained in the article you are commenting on? What do you expect? Its one thing to say the incentives don't work for you, another entirely to say they don't exist because they suit some luddite superiority complex.
Isn't it just that we're at an evolution vs revolution argument? The ones that need everything to be re-bought tend to be the revolution ones, whereas the ones that are "backward compatible" are the evolution ones. And it tends to be the revolutionary items that need (and hopefully give) the incentive to update.
Film projectors --> VHS - convenience of viewing on the telly, plus being able to fast forward/rewind easily without the risk of your media ending up around your feet.
VHS --> DVD - random access, bonus features, not having to rewind the damn thing afterwards, physical size (for physical storage and transportation) and durability.
DVD --> Download/Stream - playable on wider range of hardware (e.g. phones and tablets), no physical media to store (but nothing to own either, plus DRM), reliance on net connectivity.
Blu ray of course was an evolution of DVD, giving nothing new, just stuff that was better (resolution mostly, but also maybe more extras due to higher capacity). Blu ray 2 (or Violet ray, or whatever it will be called) will be more of the same, but again better still for resolution.
I would wonder between discs as physical media and streaming for non-physical if there would be anything more that could be revolutionary rather than evolutionary, as there's not much more that could really be bolted on or made more convenient?
I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific, 2500 miles from the nearest Frys (and therefore civilisation) where bread is $5 a loaf and I pay half that for a connection that can stream 4k. When people start distorting the truth because it suits their rant then yes it makes me look to other motives
I'm happy for you but I live 30 or so miles from the movie studios in LA and the fastest service I can get is 3 mbps down at any price. According to Netflix I'm good for SD but nothing more. Strictly speaking only internet service is about $40 per month; they advertise internet access at a lower price but that is on top of the other crap in the bundle that I don't use so I'm not eligible for the "lower" price. I've tried the upgrade to the fastest speed offered, up to 15 mbps, and in reality it isn't substantially faster on any benchmark or test I've performed so there is absolutely no reason to spend the money. I've also tried the only other "broadband" ISP in the neighborhood and the line quality was so bad VOIP simply wouldn't work and speeds were about half what I currently get for roughly the same price. Frankly, I had faster service when I lived in the woods over 100 miles from Boston for the same money.
Your claim that the truth is being distorted doesn't hold up as you freely admit you're pretty much on your own little island so unless you walk the proverbial mile it's nothing more than an assumption. Also he didn't say incentives didn't exist, quite the opposite in fact as he said the technical demos were "incredibly good". It was just that as a practical matter, that was insufficient incentive given his current library of videos. As for motives, the only place I've been to that is as you describe is a place called Minato. There are a few companies there, perhaps you work for one of them.
Then you have my sincere condolences, that's a pretty piss poor situation for the mainland. The costs here in Hawaii for a 20 mbps is $50 a month, $10 less if you want 15mbps but I picked 20 as is a fairer comparison as it had some headroom. There are usually more discounts to be had above that as well.
The reason I said if we disingenuous was because if you have access to a connection that fast if implies you have access to an adsl max or reasonably fast cable provider and these days 20 mbps is usually close to entry level where docsis 3 cable is available. I respect there are areas you can't get consumer connections that fast but if you can they generally aren't that expensive.
The problem here is that you're using the 15Mbps figure (Amazon 4k) as your yard stick, and that's just wrong. 4K at 15Mbps is not 4K, what you gain in the resolution you lose (significantly) in the picture quality. It's these shoddy streams that will likely damn the whole 4K movement to slow adoption, if not sink it entirely.
Bluray's average over 30Mbps for 1920x1080, albeit with the older H.264 (AVC) codec. Do you honestly believe that HEVC is so incredibly efficient that you can encode 4 times the number of pixels, at 10 bits per pixel (vs 8 for Bluray), into a file that is half as small? Of course not, you have to throw away huge amounts of information. True 4K streaming will require internet connections of at least 50Mbps and even that won't be up to the standards of Blu-ray 2.
I believe you're missing the point. The picture quality of these streams, by comparison to what they should look like will be so bad that you cannot and should not call them HD and 4K respectively. To achieve those ridiculously small bitrates they are throwing out all the definition.
Amazon are watering down a 10 year old Scotch and marketing as a 25 year old single malt, and you're buying it. Sure consumers will see a difference against their equally crap HD streams but they'll also recognize that the '4K' doesn't as good as the broadcast quality HD they receive through their aerial, let alone their Blu-ray collection and ultimately they'll wonder what the fuss is all about.
In short, don't buy a 4K TV to watch Amazon 4K. Save your money until true 4K arrives, Amazon are selling snake oil, don't be a victim.
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