LG 49UB8500 4K/UHD@60Hz 4:4:4 Success, Awesome Computer Monitor, Good TV
I am posting this in hopes of helping others learn and avoid making an expensive mistake.
A little background for those that don't already know...
1) 4K is really 4096x2160. Most "4K" TV's are really UHD or 3840x2160 including the LG49UB8500. The LG can accept true 4K source material, but must scale it to it's native UHD resolution. All displays look best with source material at the displays native resolution.
2) Any good computer monitor refreshes at 60Hz, or faster. The cheaper 4K monitors that are on the market and most 4K TVs only refresh at 30Hz with 4K content, even if they claim to be 120Hz or 240Hz units. Refresh rates lower than 60Hz can result in a number of annoyances including cursor lag. If you search around you will find a lot more information on this topic. Unfortunately, some of the information out there can be misleading and may state that a particular brand or model 4K TV can do 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 when in fact they can't. My recommendation is to be very careful and look for multiple sources regarding a products capability before purchasing.
3) Also, any good computer monitor can display in 4:4:4 color format. This is important as a computer monitor to insure that colored text and fine details get displayed properly. Again, if you search around, you will find a lot more detail on this topic. Don't underestimate how important this is for computer monitors. Note that if you are not planning to use the 4K TV as a monitor, this color format is less important today. Most broadcast and even Blu-ray content use color compression and are therefore in 4:2:2, or 4:2:0 today. A big question is whether or not there will be a future medium that will deliver 4:4:4 quality source material.
4) So if you made it this far and you also are looking for a 4K@60Hz 4:4:4 computer monitor, know that you need a special video card to drive it. The LG49UB8500 is only capable of 3840x2160@60Hz 4:4:4 on the HDMI input 3, which is HDMI2.0 and HDCP2.2 capable. The only video cards on the market today with HDMI2.0 output are the new Nvidia GTX980 and GTX970 cards. I purchased a Gigabyte GTX970 card for about 1/3 the price of the TV, so this is a big investment for most people. I do a lot of photo and video editing and am really enjoying this monitor for my needs. Note that there are other video cards from AMD that I believe can drive 4K displays at 60Hz in 4:4:4, but only via a DisplayPort interface, which few if any 4K TV's have. Adapters exist to convert DisplayPort to HDMI, but I haven't found any that clearly support 4K@60Hz 4:4:4. Hopefully AMD will release an HDMI2.0 card soon.
I uploaded a photo from my iPhone of the corner of my display showing the screen resolution along with properly displayed test images demonstrating true 4:4:4 color information. These images can easily be found by searching on the web. I would request the same from anyone claiming their 4K TV can support 60Hz and 4:4:4 as there are many, many people out there that are really getting 30Hz 4:4:4 or 60Hz 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 when they thought otherwise.
Now for some specific How To comments because I have read a lot of incorrect information that has been posted on the web. There are 2 key settings on the TV and 2 key settings on the PC. I configured the HDMI port 3 as a PC input, and needed to turn on "HDMI UHD Deep Color" in the Picture Settings menu and was prompted to restart the TV. Then on the PC in the Nvidia Control Panel under Change Resolution, I scrolled down to the "PC" section and selected the "3840x2160(native)" setting and the 60Hz refresh rate, and then everything just works. Note that you must scroll down to the "PC" section as this is the only option that works fully! The "4k x2k, 3840 x 2160" option at the top under "Ultra HD, HD, SD" heading will not allow you to select 60Hz refresh.
And finally for a few other comments. In the 3 weeks since I purchased this TV, I needed to install at least 5 firmware updates to catch up to current. These where painless to download and install.
I also had to update the Netflix app a few times, but it works great including 3D and 4K content.
An unexpected problem I have seen is that sometimes when watching a video on Youtube (from Computer, not the TV's Youtube app) the audio gets out of sync, but then if I go into the Input settings and click on the window that has the computer desktop on it, the audio and video will resynchronize. This seams like a simple firmware bug that could be fixed so hopefully they will fix it soon. It doesn't always happen either, so I don't know what is causing it.
That's it for now!
Last edited by David Baldwin; 12-20-2014 at 12:15 AM.
Reason: Fix typos and make clarifications