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4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

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4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:56 pm
by dbfs
Hi folks,

Today myself and the wife went around looking at 40 to 43 inch tv's to replace our 10+ year old 32 inch one.

However, we both agreed that compared to all the 4k ones, we both preferred the look of some cheaper HD models.

Yes the 4k sets sometimes looked great for a few minutes but then we got tired of them and felt more comfortable with the HD ones.

I know that there is a lot at play here such as motion processing, upscaling, HDR etc, but is there really any reason that watching freeview tv on a HD tv set might be better than an upscaled and processed version. Maybe we are just used to the old one and would get used of a 4k version after some time.

Any thoughts welcome.

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:16 pm
by MOF
At normal viewing distances you won’t be able to see the difference between HD and 4k on a 42” TV; that screen size was the minimum recommended to differentiate between standard definition and HD.
If that is the maximum screen size you can use and there are HD sets still available, and cheaper, then go for HD.
If you can go 50” or more get 4k and get the best quality pixels i.e. contrast ratio (HDR) and colour space you can afford e.g. OLED screens.
Then to truly appreciate it you will need a 4k blu-ray player, 4k disks and / or a streaming service such as Apple on their 4k TV box.
I can’t comment on upscaling as I’ve only seen, and lusted after, the 65” Panasonic OLED screens showing carefully shot and post produced show reels. I have a 50” Panasonic plasma HD TV that has a very good contrast ratio i.e. deep blacks. I bought it just as they were being discontinued and it still comes fairly close to the more recent technology.
Since this is a sound forum, don’t forget to hook up a better sound system than the often poor quality speakers that are in these very thin screens. My TV speakers aren’t too bad as it’s got more depth to house reasonable quality speakers but any music shows I turn those off and play the TV through my hi-fi.

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:32 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
The human eye has a finite resolution -- assuming perfect vision in the beholders in the first place!

So once you get beyond a certain distance from the screen, it's impossible to appreciate higher resolutions -- that distance being determined by the pixel count and screen size.

There's a fairly decent website with a calculator here:

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/by-size/size-to-distance-relationship

Moreover, the 4k screens spend most of their time upscaling from lower-resolution content, and upscalers can vary in quality a very great deal. Many of the ones in affordable sets I've seen introduce quite a lot of motion artefacts, for example.

So unless you have a particular desire (and affordable source) to access UHD 4k movies, I'd recommend sticking with the best quality standard HD set you can find/afford, with a screen size appropriate to your viewing distance.

LCDs tend to have a relatively narrow viewing angle, so don't work well in rooms where people have to view well off-axis. Plasma screens had much wider viewing angles and very obviously better dynamic range and colourimitry than LCDs ... but I don't think anyone makes them anymore. You could find some end-of-line stock around though. I've not tried OLED screens here yet, but the ones I've seen in passing have been very good and I'm told they are the best way to go with the current technologies.

Oh, and when you get the set, the very first thing to do is switch off the 'Overscan' mode in the menu settings. Most sets come with it switched on by default.

It's an outdated idea left over from CRT tube tellies, and it zooms the picture in slightly to hide the edges. It was used to prevent people seeing the odd boom mic dropping into shot, or the old Teletext data lines back in the day, but it's now not only completely obsolete, it actually degrades the picture quality -- and often quite noticeably!

When applied to a digital screen, it forces the telly to interpolate between the transmitted pixels and the physical screen pixels... generally resulting in reduced resolution and weird artefacts. If you turn the Overscan mode off then the 1080x1920 pixel HD image coming over the ether is mapped directly onto the 1080x1920 pixels in the screen, and the whole thing looks a great deal better!

Hope that helps.

H

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:05 pm
by MOF
It was used to prevent people seeing the odd boom mic' dropping into shot
I presume you are talking about Academy cut-off not being applied in the telecine gate?
I once saw a movie at the local Art House cinema and that hadn't been done, I couldn't understand why I saw booms just sit there well in shot, both on top and from below, something that wouldn't be allowed in TV.
Just joking, we were told over talkback that it was just in cut-off, but the film cut off was much more generous.

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:30 pm
by dbfs
Many thanks for the replies folks.

I think we will go with the HD for now but might go for the 49 inch after looking at the distance chart.

Heading back to town tomorrow for another look.

Thanks again.

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:43 pm
by blinddrew
since your question has been answered might I be permitted a brief digression on the subject?
thank you :)
My father in law has a 4K TV but I find it very frustrating to watch because for anything other than 4K material it makes everything look like a soap-opera. There's something about the way it renders the picture that makes something gloriously cinematographic into something that looks like an episode of eastenders.
Does anyone else find this or know what might cause it?
Just out of curiousity really.

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:54 pm
by MOF
My father in law has a 4K TV but I find it very frustrating to watch because for anything other than 4K material it makes everything look like a soap-opera. There's something about the way it renders the picture that makes something gloriously cinematographic into something that looks like an episode of eastenders.
Does anyone else find this or know what might cause it?
This might be an upscaling issue or it could be a “picture setting” issue. My HD set is set to Normal all the time, other settings are Cinematic, THX and Dynamic. The latter looks excessively contrasty to me, the first two look a little less contrasty than Normal.

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:19 pm
by dbfs
Hi blinddrew

I know the type of thing you mean. I noticed it on my father in laws panasonic recently when we were visiting. I looked it up at the time and found this.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/soap-opera- ... heres-how/

Re: 4k TV Screen Confusion - Could HD be better?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:40 am
by blinddrew
Ah, thank you dbfs, that's exactly what I was meaning. Nice to know.
Cheers