Originally Posted by bigdaikon
I have been looking for a new TV and am considering the XBR55X850A. I have read that many people were worried about connectivity and future 4k support as H.265 is emerging as the new standard for 4k media distribution (Netflix has adopted it for 4k) and that this TV lacks H.265 decoding capabilities. Could anyone please answer these questions:
1) If I am not concerned with using built in apps such as Netflix, does it matter if this TV can decode H.265?
2) If I connect a H.265 capable device such as a HTPC to this TV, would it solve the content problem?
It seems to me that If the answers are yes and yes, then this TV would be a great choice to be ready for 4K. If the answers are no and no, then I may purchase the sony-65w850a.
Having said that, I am stuck deciding between this, the sony-65w850a that keeps going on sale, and the upcoming Vizio P series. Please feel free to give me any advice on that decision as well (or other recommendations).
I get the intention of your questions, though I think you asked them the wrong way.
1) In short. No. If you're not concerned with using the built in apps, then hardware H.265 decoding in the TV hardware doesn't matter. The only reason the TV would need H.265 included in it's hardware is so that it could decode a HEVC H.265 codec without the help of another device.
2) The "content problem" is that there isn't a lot of it, it's not so much a hardware issue. It's an issue that is up to the movie and television content companies to solve, not the tv manufacturers, but i know what you're asking. In terms of actually playing 4k content on your tv, yes, hooking up an external H.265 capable device would allow you to play H.265 encoded material, as the x850a has HDMI 2.0 ports, and is a full 4K TV. But as of now, you can't use an HTPC to do it, because there are no graphics cards that support HDMI 2.0 out right now, which is what you need to output a 4K @ 60fps and full 4k performance. There are also very few graphics cards that even have the power to support a smooth 4k video -- they are all expensive, most of them are coming later this year.
The x850a has no connection issues; you can connect any 4K player to it and it will work perfectly, it just doesn't have h.265 support on board. The problem people were having is if they want to worry about hooking up an external box instead of having it built it.
That said, if you're looking for a 4K TV, the X850a is a great one. I own two, and in my opinon it has the best color, black levels, contrast, and dynamic range of any 4k tv out. It's the best bang for buck deal you'll get, if you're in the market for 4k. Also, the W850a is a 1080p tv, not 4K, so they really shouldn't be compared, they're completely different panels, even though they share technology with each other (Triluminous, local dimming).
The Vizio P series is highly anticpated, but is a huge x factor; the pricing will be killer, but it remains to be seen if they hit the same quality mark as the other manufacturers.