What I think is all the hype about 4K TV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-28-2013, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys! I would like to share on this great forum my views about 4K TV and that I think that it is just hype.

The way I see it is this: with 4K you have something like 4 times the information in the picture and I don't know how many times more pixels showing the same ATSC picture. Also, I would put it this way: there could really be a technical way in which the television station could send you more information, even 4 times as much, to your current HDTV with the same 1080i picture, without it being 4K or 2000 lines of definition, and I don't think it would make any difference at all in the picture. Just because they would send more information, that that would make the difference, I don't think so. 4K is 2000 lines of definition, and big deal!

I would also say something about something that I have read about: the new DVB-T2 HD standard in Europe sends 40 or so Mbs of information to the picture instead of the 20 or so Mbs that the ATSC standard sends. That is more information. I don't believe that you would see any difference in the picture quality between that picture that they have in Europe and what we have here with ATSC.

Another thing is that 4K can really offer is more depth into the picture, actually what they call the bit depth (or color depth). It can even offer a 48 even bit depth in the picture, which is very impressive, compared with the 24 bit depth that ATSC can offer. But maybe the experts are right when they say that the human eye can't tell the difference in a picture that has more than 10 million colors and a current ATSC (non-4K) picture has 16 million colors. So this is not a reason to have 4K either.

I have seen 4K TVs showing a 4K picture and I was not impressed at all. In my view, there are cheap LCD TVs today that could even have a similar picture.

Also, if they put the most advanced and smartest auto color in some 4K TVs, I don't know what is the difference they put the same auto color in a current 1080i or 1080p TV.

If a 4K TV like that cost $500 I wouldn't bother to buy that, not for something like $5000 that they ask for now. A current HDTV with a calibrated picture can produce a great picture and it can even be 3D.

Perhaps they just want to change the current system of 1080 lines and 720 lines of definition to 2000 lines. Also perhaps in 10 years from now the prices of 4K TVs could come to serious levels, not the astronomical amounts that they ask for today, if they could cost even the same prices that the current non-4K HDTVs cost, it would make more sense. But to do all that just so the picture would be 2000 lines and it could produce more bit depth, whose difference is not even perceptible to the human eye, as the experts say, doesn't make sense. I don't know what is the big deal if the picture definition just stayed at 1080 lines.

If I knew someone who was considering buying a 4K TV I would try to discourage him from doing that. I would suggest to you guys to do the same.
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-29-2013, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by basil lambri View Post

I would also say something about something that I have read about: the new DVB-T2 HD standard in Europe sends 50 or so bits of information to the picture instead of the 20 or so bits that ATSC standard sends. That is more information. I don't believe that you would see any difference in the picture quality between that picture that they have in Europe and what we have here with ATSC.

DVB-T2 in the UK sends approx 40Mbs and uses H264 compression for the video. ATSC-8VSB in the US sends approx 19Mbs and uses MPEG2 compression.

This means that the UK HD multiplex carries approx twice the data payload (though in a larger RF channel) as an ATSC-8VSB mux AND because it uses H264 not MPEG2 video compression it can carry an equivalent picture quality at a significantly lower data rate. However in the UK this isn't used to send 4k or massively higher quality pictures (though H264 is arguably less annoying at lower bitrates as it's blockiness is less obvious than MPEG2's quite nasty macro-blocking) - instead it provides more services in the same space.

In a single RF channel in the UK we get all 5 of our OTA 1080/50i H264 HDTV services (BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD, Channel Four HD and BBC Red Button HD i.e. The four biggest UK Networks plus an interactive TV stream for additional BBC content like Wimbledon). In the US I believe you really only get one decent 1080/60i MPEG2 service in a single RF channel (along with a few SD services in some cases), or possibly two 720/60p MPEG2 services? AIUI 2 x 1080/60i services using MPEG2 in an 8VSB 19Mbs mux doesn't look that great?

However DVB-T2 does deliver a high enough bitrate to make a single 4k 1080/50p service, even using H264 compression, a possibility - and with HEVC (aka H265) compression, it's entirely posible that current DVB-T2 technology could carry 2x4k (aka 2160/50p) services.

And there are options for DVB-T2 which have yet to be implemented - such as MIMO and dual-polarisation - that could deliver higher bitrates than 40Mbs in a standard UK RF channel. (But they would require new aerials/antennae to be installed)

Of course there's a reason that the UK is using DVB-T2 and H264 and the US is using ATSC-8VSB and MPEG2. You launched HD OTA in 1998. We launched HD OTA (with DVB-T2) in 2009... A lot of improvements in modulation and compression technology happened in between those two years. (We originally launched digital OTA in the UK with an SD 16:9 service using DVB-T - which delivers approx 18-27Mbs in a mux, and also used MPEG2 compression)

Having seen both 8k (7680x4320p) and 4k (3840x2160p) broadcasts of a range of material - it definitely looks a lot nicer than even the best native 1080i and 1080p content I've seen. However 4k material downconverted to 1080p can look very nice. I think whether 4k and 8k take off will depend on whether content is available and screen sizes continue to increase. 4k on a 32" screen is probably not worth it. On a 65" screen - it probably is.
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