back to article Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Only 6 per cent of broadband homes are "moderately" or "highly likely" to buy a 4K TV, and 83 per cent of consumers are completely unfamiliar with the term Ultra HD. LG 77EC980V Ultra HD 4K OLED TV LG's 77EC980V Ultra HD 4K OLED TV... pricey but beautiful These are the major findings from a new report from The Diffusion …

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Happy

Re: Speaking as a CRT user...

Only a fool or a deadbeat would waste time watching "Ancient Nazi Alien Ghosts".

However, "Ancient Nazi Alien Ghost Sharks" is a very different kettle of fish.

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Joke

Re: Speaking as a CRT user...

Don't sharks have multiple gill slots, which is how you know its a kettle of fish (single gill slot) and not a kettle of sharks?

Oh, and fish don't have lasers...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Speaking as a CRT user...

"Oh, and fish don't have lasers..."

Oh you've obviously not been watching Inane Sports TVs "Kettlegeddon rematch live! Fish with Frikkin' Lasers vs Ancient Nazi Alien Ghost Sharks". Great stuff!

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Re: Speaking as a CRT user...

"You could just not plug it into the network?"

So I should pay for crap I don't use? No. How's about they just don't put the crap in there? I have no issue with the TV showing me local network content; it's the reporting back to big-brother and only letting consume specific on-line services I don't want.

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Re: Speaking as a CRT user...

"So I should pay for crap I don't use?"

No. Someone else pays for the crap you don't use. Once you've designed and tested a universal telly, the cost of taking out features and re-testing exceeds the savings of doing so. It's the same reason Intel put instructions on their chips that most programs can't even see, let alone want.

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Coat

Re: "Ancient Nazi Alien Ghost Sharks" is a very different kettle of fish.

Now that's really jumping the shark, so you know everybody will see right through it.

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I think there is a bit of user fatigue with tech becoming obsolete and "needing" to be replaced regularly. A lot of households (me included) still haven't even gone full hd yet. I still have a 720p tv and will only replace it when it breaks - and I'm a tech enthusiast.

I think a full hd tv, possibly with 3D, will do me for a replacement unless 4K sets are at a comparable price. But then my TV is 7 years old and my previous one from the same manufacturer lasted me 15 years so maybe it'll be 8K, or 16K, or direct brain connection by then.

You can see this weariness in other tech sectors too, there is no longer the same drive to upgrade your smartphone every 12-18 months that there once was.

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i feel exactly the same - still rocking an older samsung 720p TV which does me absolutely fine. let's face it - it's only a TV. and most stuff on TV is shit anyway.

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" it's only a TV. and most stuff on TV is shit anyway."

But on a 4k set it glistens more realistically, and you can see every hair on the flies' legs.

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Reminds me of this old cartoon from when the HD marketing push began in earnest:

http://www.claybennett.com/pages/hdtv.html

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quote: "But on a 4k set it glistens more realistically, and you can see every hair on the flies' legs."

HDTV channels like Sky are broadcast at 720p, so unless you actually have a 4k source you really won't see a difference between a 1080p set and a 4k set. That's why nobody is buying 4k sets, there is literally no need because none of the source tech (Sky boxes, BluRays etc.) is set up for more than 1080p.

I'd consider buying a 4k display for my computer (games would look good in 2160p, although I'd probably need to go SLI to keep a decent framerate), but as a TV set it just isn't necessary yet.

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Re: user fatigue with tech becoming obsolete

Yes! And a fair bit of user fatigue with the price gouging too.

Our primary set does the full 1080 while the 720 has been relegated to the rarely used basement (it has DVI inputs which tells you how old AND short lived the model was). But given how much cable wants to charge for "full" HD, most of the stuff we watch is still in the old size format. If I can't get "full" HD at a reasonable price from the cable company now, why in all the realms of Hades would I buy a 4K unit?

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Anonymous Coward

Sky broadcasts at 1080i I'm afraid.

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FAIL

Forget this whole idea of a "TV" whether 'smart' or dumb - what I would love is a decently-priced mid-size (28-inch max) 4K *monitor* that I could then connect to the local content-source of my choice (which will rarely-if-ever include 'broadcast media').

Personally, I don't want big screens - they're obtrusive and take up space which some of us would rather have occupied by that rather-more-traditional viewing technology known as "windows" - through which I can watch the outdoor-wildlife in real-time without any cheesy soundtack or narration.

[Last night there were three fox-cubs playing who-dares-get-closest-to-the-hose].

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Won't happen for some time. If you could "roll your own" the major labels and providers wouldn't be able to gouge your pockets at every turn.

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Anonymous Coward

there are some appearing now at around £500-£600

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Here you go

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/monitors/4kuhdmonitors/u2868pqu.html

28in £499.98 inc VAT.

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Re: Here you go

Nearly, but that item's description pointedly fails to describe its display technology - I'm betting it's not OLED or it would harp on about it. Probably LCD with LED backlighting. (ugh)

All we need is a proper OLED monitor (and affordable too.)

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Re: Here you go

Ta Steve

I feel a shopping twitch coming on.... now I just need to find a graphics card to match it

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Linux

Don't antagonize the window repairman Marty.

> would rather have occupied by that rather-more-traditional viewing technology known as "windows" - through which I can watch the outdoor-wildlife in real-time without any cheesy soundtack or narration.

Unfortunately the view out my window doesn't include spectacular helicopter shots of the Australian outback, the Fjords of Norway, or even the more interesting Bronze age archeological sites from rural Britain.

They look dandy at 1080i on the 10 foot projection screen though.

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Just bought a Samsung 40HU6900 40 inch TV for work - I do a lot of CAD, so a big monitor is very handy. Post World Cup prices are plummeting - at release in early May it was £1000, now it's £639. We bought from John Lewis for £729 inc 5 year guarantee (we have a ton of first-generation 2560x1600 panels with faults where they overheat and fail: worth paying a bit extra to avoid early adopter risks like this)

It's a nice display - there are two main issues. One is the graphics cards haven't caught up: the TV has HDMI 2.0, but there's no hardware that outputs that. The alternative is DisplayPort 1.2, which uses a hack called multi-stream transport (MST) to pretend that it's two displays to the GPU. The Samsung doesn't have DisplayPort, so I'm on 3840x2160 30Hz at 4:2:x on my late 2013 Retina MacBook Pro 15". When a suitable HDMI 2.0 GPU comes out I'll use that on my Linux box. The chroma downsampling is slightly annoying, but it's OK. I'm not bothered by 30Hz as I don't game. This was about the only affordable 40" panel I found: the alternatives were a variety of 28" TN models, which I suspect are all the same panel inside. A 28" 16:9 UHD panel would have been worse than the 30" 16:10 2650x1600 panel I previously had, hence the reason to go for 40". It also has 4 HDMI inputs, while the previous only had 1x dual-link DVI so I had 3 monitors on my desk for different machines.

The other issue is that being a TV it's laden with crapware. What TF is 'football mode' and why TF would I want it? There's also tons of 'smart' (arse) features that I don't want, like on web browser and apps. However, by not connecting the TV to the internet most of these mercifully don't work. But more annoying is the 'picture improvement features' which just serve to mangle the picture. I think I've turned most of these off now - the worst was something called 'Motion Plus' that was a special 'blur all scrolling or typing' feature. The most important feature, being the 'Source' button on the remote control to select input, works OK - a few more clicks than the usual monitor button, but I'll survive.

The other useful feature would have been picture-in-picture, but that only works if one source is TV. It's also slightly reflective (less than my Mac, but more than its predecessor), and doesn't have an adjustable stand. If this annoys me sufficiently I may find another VESA-mount stand. Put it on the power monitor, depending on backlight brightness it takes a fairly constant 70-150W, dropping to 50W in 'where's my signal gone' and 450mW in standby. Poking about with other picture settings didn't change the power numbers.

So, in summary I'm about 80-90% happy. For the money it's a decent monitor, but be prepared to turn lots of stuff off to make it usable.

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Until there is a good selection of 4K content, why bother?

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TV manufacturers are shackled by a social phenomenon

For most consumers, its all about the size of the TV, not its quality. Indeed, it may be a truism to say 'the smaller the house, the bigger the television'. Where incomes are low, picture size is much more important than picture quality.

Manufacturers have improved colour and contrast. Resolution is improving slowly. To make the Ultra HD experience truly outstanding both the refresh and frame rates need increasing. We are not seeing much improvement in these areas, so far.

The 'blurring' of moving objects detracts from the viewing experience. Until this is addressed, the increase in take up of 4K (and 8K) television is unlikely to be rapid.

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Re: TV manufacturers are shackled by a social phenomenon

Frame rate is not a manufacture problem, it's a content/broadcaster problem.

As a PC user, I prefer higher FPS. It's purely a "what your eyes are use to" thing, no different than moving from monochrome sets to colour sets.

While it's true that it looks "strange", I'd put that down to filming techniques needing to catch up. As higher FPS need a different way to film (as a side note, HD needed them to stabilise the camera more, colour meant your needed to make sure nothing was washed out/over tinted).

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MJI
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Re: TV manufacturers are shackled by a social phenomenon

There is no such thing as a new good big cheap TV, You have to drop at least one.

Some people go new big cheap.

Careful buyers go new good cheap or good big cheap.

Enthusiasts go new good big.

I would not buy a TV which was not good in the picture department, hence my TV was not cheap, mine is not the biggest but big enough for that film effect, great for films and games, also decent stuff off TV.

Would I swap for a cheap 55" TV?

Never.

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The litmus test of any video technology is whether pornographers are all over it like a rash (err). They went for HD immediately, they even embraced 3D, but they don't seem too keen on Ultra HD or whatever it is being called.

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Re: The litmus test of any video technology

I've heard even they've actually backed off somewhat from the HD stuff. Too high def. But you're right, with the way they ate up VHS then DVD then HD you'd think their lack of uptake would be a signal to set manufacturers.

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During the meanwhile ...

The only TV in this house has had it's remote cob-webbed to the set-top-box probably 46 weeks out of the year for the last ten years.

There is nothing worth watching on "good old telly". Hasn't been for decades.

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Re: During the meanwhile ...

Only in America ...

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WTF?

Re: During the meanwhile ...

He talks about the "telly" and you respond "Only in America ..."?

Is that some of that hipster irony they tell me the kids are talking about these days?

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MJI
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Re: During the meanwhile ...

Jake is from there!

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Thumb Up

Re: During the meanwhile ...

Wow! That took longer than expected for the obligatory "I don't watch telly, it's all crap" post.

At least you didn't snobbishly claim to not even own a TV while commenting on the quality of the content :-)

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Re: Only in America ...

Yeah, but from what I read on El Reg the other day, we control what you see too. I'm not sure why you put up with it. You ought to be able to fund your own productions. But I guess things have gone downhill since The Bard was in his hay day. But hey, that's your choice not mine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only in America ...

I'm extra hip and cool. We don't have electricity or indoor plumbing or health care, so I win the "It's all crap!" award.

Better luck next time.

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At least the pr0n purveyors have caught up

and are offering 4K resolution downloads (got to love naughty america; they do keep up with the technology)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: At least the pr0n purveyors have caught up

Give a whole new meaning to seeing it "warts and all". Yuk.

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Holmes

It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

But neither is 4K on pay-TV, as we’ve yet to see a 4K channel appear on satellite or cable.

There is barely any Full HD 1080p broadcasts, at least in the UK. As far as I'm aware Freeview has none and Sky HD doesn't seem to do any Full HD channels, to my knowledge all the HD channels are 720p. I have a Full HD TV and the only time that gets used to its fullest is the occasional Blu Ray. Even in the World Cup, where TV tech gets pushed, there were only 3 games broadcast in 4K and none of those were available in the UK.

It's not just the price, it's pointless buying a TV that is 2 generations better than what is being broadcast, Netflix excepted. I think the TV manufacturers may have to realise that we just don't want to upgrade our TVs like we do our phones and they have overused "the next big thing in TV" to the point that the public just aren't interested in more TV technology. The marketing equivalent of crying wolf, we've had 'Widescreen', 'Digital', 'HD', 'Full HD', '3D' (people tried 3D but didn't care about that either) - most people have just got HDTV or Full HD TVs and have no intention of throwing them straight away.

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

most people have just got HDTV or Full HD TVs

Most people assume that because their TV says "HD", everything they watch is in HD. They have so little clue about picture quality that sales of UHD will be purely based on pub bragging rights, and they're still too expensive for that.

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

Sky in the UK delivers 1080i60 (at least that's what my telly and Wikipedia says). That's an interlaced 1920x1080 image at 60 frames a second, so two successive frames make up a full 1920x1080 image, effectively halving the frame rate (most televisions do some form of de-interlacing on such an image by combining the 'odd' and 'even' lines into a single frame, and actually displaying it at half the frame rate).

This means that in most cases, provided that the original was shot at 30 frames per second (and most made-for-TV programmes are), there should be no effective difference between 1080i and 1080p (1080p will transmit two identical frames, 1080i will construct a single frame from two adjacent frames). Of course, any material shot at the full 60 frames per second will suffer de-interlacing artefacts when transmitted at 1080i.

You can also get quantization errors if the original was shot at 24, 25 or some other number of frames a second. There will be some of this type of error whenever the original frame rate does not match the display rate.

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

25fps 50Hz interlace 1080 lines

or 50fps 50Hz 720 progressive

No-one in Europe or UK broadcasts 60Hz.

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

I'm going senile, obviously!

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Boffin

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

@Peter Gathercole - Sky in the UK delivers 1080i60 (at least that's what my telly and Wikipedia says)

Ah, but is that the Sky box output to TV connection delivering 1080i60? What is the broadcast resolution of the channel being carried within the Sky box output? See what the telly says when there is an SD channel being displayed, I'll bet that it still says it is giving 1080i60 and doesn't change regardless of the channel viewed, it's just a high quality signal carrying a picture of much lower quality.

So the question is - of the HD channels on Sky HD, how many carry a 1080 picture?

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

All UK broadcast HD is transmitted at 1080i50. 1080p25 content can be accommodated within the same broadcast stream.

99% of UK content is produced at 50 interlaced fields, or 25 frames per second (depending on artistic choice). Only things intended primarily for transmission abroad are produced at 60/30.

Most films (24fps) are sped up, reducing the running time and altering the audio pitch, rather than introducing quantization errors. American (60hz) programming can either be slowed down, have the frames interpolated, or a combination of both, which is one reason American stuff looks worse on broadcast TV to the Blu-Ray release when seen on the same television.

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

You couldn't slow 60fps down to 50fps without the result being unwatchable. It's always converted, and with modern standards convertors you'll not see any difference when only the frame rate is being adapted, the underlying MPEG stream isn't exactly a simple succession of 30/60 fps anyway. Interpolation really only shows up problems when you're trying to handle changes in the number of lines, like 525->625

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

The BBC some time ago (at least) transmitted BBC 1 HD with an output that swapped between interlaced and progressive at the GOP boundaries depending on which they were getting a better compression from.

If I'd had enough posts approved, I may have pointed you to this page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/researchanddevelopment/2011/04/software-upgrade-for-bbc-hd-on.shtml

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

The BBC some time ago (at least) transmitted BBC 1 HD with an output that swapped between interlaced and progressive at the GOP boundaries depending on which they were getting a better compression from.

This has now been rolled out to all services on the PSB3 Freeview HD multiplex (BBC One/Two/Three HD, ITV HD, 4hd) and I believe it is also used on COM7 (CBeebies/BBC Four, Channel 4+1, 4seven, Al Jazeera HD).

I don't think it is used on satellite - changing the interlacing mode on a GOP basis was not part of the Freesat or Sky specifications. Doing this caused a problem on early Freeview HD units, and in some cases TVs using external Freeview HD boxes (it depended whether the box passes through the 1080p25 GOPs or converts to 1080i50). There tended to be brief switches to black and audio glitches on mode switches - annoying but bearable on programme transitions, not acceptable when it could switch more than once per second (a GOP is usually shorter than 25 frames)

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Joke

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

"So the question is - of the HD channels on Sky HD, how many carry a 1080 picture?"

Yehbut, the menus looks soooo much crisper at 1080p

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Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

If you take a step back and look at it, the reason most people bought even 720p TVs has nothing to do with better picture. They changed their TVs because the Feds/Parliament changed the broadcast rules. If you didn't upgrade, your tv was pretty close to useless.

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Simply

Naff all on TV anyway

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4K is all well and good but will it make Yes Minister any funnier?

(Bootnote, hit the shift key a bit soon and that started as $K)

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