4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

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4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

Post by admin » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:08 pm

So this past few weeks everybody has been talking about CES and it seems like the biggest thing is "4K TV's." I am not only an audiophile but also a videophile so things like this interest me. However, I am not very impressed by the reports of this "new" technology. I was wondering how other CJO members felt.

My reservations come on two fronts. First, it's great to have more pixels on the screen, and the fact that 4K offers 4 times as many pixels as Blu-ray's 1080p sounds great. However, I don't know how much closer they expect people to sit to their TV's to actually appreciate this. Below is a nice little chart on viewing distance vs appreciable resolution. I have a 150" screen so I could potentially site quite a distance away. However, there is such a thing as too big of a viewing angle. Who wants to go to the movie theater and sit in the front row? Most homes have their larger sets between 50-60 inches. That means you would have to sit 4 feet or closer to the set to fully appreciate 4K. That sounds absolutely ridiculous.

My next big problem is content. Ok, none available now, but that actually is not so concerning as I'm sure there will be more available in the future. The reports I've read from CES is that they want to offer streaming of 4K, but at 15-20 mbps streams. That is about half of standard blu-ray! So, 4 times as many pixels, yet a data rate that is 1/2 of blu-ray? Yes, you get more pixels, but you are also going to get much more digital artifacts like macroblocking, crush, banding, etc. This sounds absolutely terrible. Frankly, I don't see how videophiles would get excited about such terrible video for the sake of more pixels. Even today I pretty much can't stand watching Netflix HD streaming content on the big screen, it pales in comparison to blu-ray. So I don't think this will be something I can get excited about.

There was a player on display that was designed for 4K content with what sounded like higher bitrate but it's based on selling movies on actual hard drives. If memory serves they commented that a standard movie would be about 330 gb. Frankly I don't think that's a very viable distribution media.

Well, these are just my thoughts. All opinions are welcome.

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Re: 4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

Post by Ray » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:36 am

My personal opinion on 4k/Quad HD is that it is coming. Primarily due to the need to sell "new" TV's.

One of the enabling technologies is H.265, which is being pushed on many fronts by different chip builders etc.

Tests seem to confirm that H.265 does provide 1/2 have the bandwidth requirement with identical or better pix quality than would be seen with H.264.
Presumably H.265 will be built into future TV's, Set-top appliances, game consoles etc.
This presumably would allow 3D over cable in same channel size with two full HD Streams (L-eye Right-eye)

I've seen a technology presentation on H.265 (From SMPTE by Sony) and it is a great step forward when compared to H.264.
I hear different things about the status of the Chipset/Codec, but it is coming.

I've also seen some tests that suggest the typical way of measuring the benefit of increased resolution vs distance to screen, is a bit flawed, and, improvements can be realized at greater distances.
http://www.schubincafe.com/2012/11/20/4 ... v-15-2012/


Ultimately, I think it'll have more of an impact than 3D has had thus far, early adopters will jump on it. (not me) If the CODEC does provide increased resolution, same or fewer artifacts than with current CODECS, it'll likely be successful and provide the TV builders with at least marketing fodder for selling new sets.

JMHO
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Re: 4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

Post by admin » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:11 pm

Reading a little more on H.265 it seems that the same quality can be achieved as H.264 with about 40% reduction in size (at the expense of significantly more processing power needed for decoding). I presume this will be a very viable option, especially now that they are starting to put powerful processors into even standard consumer video equipment.

The Youtube video was interesting as well.

As for how much impact it will have compared to 3D, I don't know. I don't think 3D really has had that much impact. Yes, everybody is buying 3D TV's, but I don't know anybody that spend most of their viewing time watching 3D content. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens with this latest technology.
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Re: 4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

Post by Ray » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:47 pm

Ah, here was a link I was looking for earlier...H.265 demo at CES. Can't really make much of the comparison over the internet, but, the concept is shown..and yes, H.265 and future even more complex compression schemes will be dependent on processing capability increases..whether in CPU or dedicated hardware.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/11/h265_mpeg5/
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Re: 4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

Post by admin » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:53 pm

Difficult to tell any difference in the youtube video but I presume they look about identical and that's impressive for a 50% reduction in bandwidth. It would have been interesting (and more informative) to put up some test patterns and see how it performs vs some guy sitting there and not moving. Oh well.
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Re: 4k TV's, excited or just hype? What's your opinion?

Post by Ray » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:11 pm

yea I'd have rather seen some tests with more motion, test signals etc.... and personally I'm really not all that interested in 500k vs 1mbit...but they probably don't have the hardware fully baked yet anyway. Time will tell.. I guess.
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