4K Build ..... Do it now or wait - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-13-2014, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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4K Build ..... Do it now or wait

So my wife and I have found need for a Second HTPC but we want it to be 4K capable and I have two questions on this.

1. Would we be better off on waiting for second or even third gen 4K components to come out before we do the build?
2. What is the 4K hardware requirements for a HTPC? I have had trouble finding much information on this?

We do not YET own a 4K TV but we figured IF we build another HTPC we may as well make it 4K capable as we already know we will be getting one. Were just waiting for the dust to settle between Sony and Samsung before we pull the trigger(We REALLY liked the Samsung except for the Propietary war going on between them and Sony.) PLEASE do not turn this into a you shouldn't get a 4K TV yet thread like so many other of the 4K threads. This is just to future proof our next HTPC so we don't need to upgrade the computer when we get the TV.
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-13-2014, 09:26 PM
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Wait for h265, HDMI2, next version of DRM, sufficient 4K media and 4K rather than UHD displays. You may decide to jump in before all of these things exist. But I would caution you to be very sure that you will be satisfied with whatever you get. This is the beginning of a transition period.

It is common for the industry to start building demand years before the products exist.

Personally, I plan to stay with my 2008, 1080 Panasonic plasma and current HTPC build and see how GPUs, OLED and 4K progress. I don't really expect things to be that far along before 2016.

There is no such thing a future proof.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-13-2014, 09:32 PM
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I would wait for HDMI 2.0 before jumping.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 12:01 AM
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I'll consider building a 4K HTPC when >50% of movies on Blu Ray (or whatever the format is at that point) are native 4K.

Until then...put that money in an Index fund and watch Ms Yellen steal it all.
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon1972 View Post
So my wife and I have found need for a Second HTPC but we want it to be 4K capable and I have two questions on this.

1. Would we be better off on waiting for second or even third gen 4K components to come out before we do the build?
2. What is the 4K hardware requirements for a HTPC? I have had trouble finding much information on this?
The basic requirements are:

1. H.265 hardware decoder
2. HDMI 2.0
3. HDCP 2.2?

All of them are related to GPU. CPU can be decent because of 1. Such graphics cards are non-existent yet and there is no information when they are available.

So, just build a decent HTPC (e.g Haswell desktop processor + H97/Z97 chipset mb + DDR3-1600 4GB x 2 + integrated GPU) now and add a graphics card supporting 1-3 later. An integrated GPU solution supporting 4K properly only comes in H2 2015 (Intel Skylake).

Last edited by renethx; 07-14-2014 at 12:34 AM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 01:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I've already got one good htpc so I think I'll just wait htpc number two then. Thanks guys
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post
I'll consider building a 4K HTPC when >50% of movies on Blu Ray (or whatever the format is at that point) are native 4K.
Is that 50% of new releases or until 10,000 movies have been released on 4K (since there are a bit over 10,000 BD releases and counting).

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 01:49 PM
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Unless you have an interest in 4K porn, there's really no reason to consider building a 4K HTPC right now because that's all that will be available until a 4K Blu-Ray format is finalized and hardware/software matures for that on the PC platform. That being said, you're looking at 2016 for the 4K explosion. The ball will start rolling next year with 4K displays from all the players flooding the monitor markets but it won't be until 2016 that things really go wide with 4K video decoding for both VP9 and H.265 on GPUs and more broadband infrastructure improvements get rolled out with IPV6 and new DOCSIS speed bumps.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 03:13 PM
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hmm i had hoped the 4k would come sooner, its why i got my htpc case with a low profile slot ... if its >1 year to go and then until they make low profile cards probably some more months after ... then i'll just get a nicer case :P
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post
The basic requirements are:

1. H.265 hardware decoder
2. HDMI 2.0
3. HDCP 2.2?

All of them are related to GPU. CPU can be decent because of 1. Such graphics cards are non-existent yet and there is no information when they are available.

So, just build a decent HTPC (e.g Haswell desktop processor + H97/Z97 chipset mb + DDR3-1600 4GB x 2 + integrated GPU) now and add a graphics card supporting 1-3 later. An integrated GPU solution supporting 4K properly only comes in H2 2015 (Intel Skylake).
I'd second this with one additional consideration; Do you play games? If so I'd add:

4. Serious GPU horsepower.

You need at least two of today's highest-end GPUs to play games at 4K with most of the bells and whistles turned up. And you'll probably still need two with next gen cards. I guess the only real purchasing consideration if starting the build today would be to not get an ITX motherboard, so you have enough slots to do SLI/crossfire. That is unless you want to pay extra for a single card with dual GPUs (and wait until who knows when for the next gen dual-gpu cards to come to market).
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
Unless you have an interest in 4K porn, there's really no reason to consider building a 4K HTPC right now because that's all that will be available until a 4K Blu-Ray format is finalized and hardware/software matures for that on the PC platform. That being said, you're looking at 2016 for the 4K explosion. The ball will start rolling next year with 4K displays from all the players flooding the monitor markets but it won't be until 2016 that things really go wide with 4K video decoding for both VP9 and H.265 on GPUs and more broadband infrastructure improvements get rolled out with IPV6 and new DOCSIS speed bumps.
I'm building an HTPC exclusively for 4k porn in my dungeon. Any suggestions?
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-14-2014, 04:06 PM
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I'm building an HTPC exclusively for 4k porn in my dungeon. Any suggestions?
Don't sit too close to the screen?
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-15-2014, 01:38 AM
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Box of Kleenex close by?
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-15-2014, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
I'm building an HTPC exclusively for 4k porn in my dungeon. Any suggestions?

Keep hydrated and lubricated to prevent exhaustion and chafeage.

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post #15 of 19 Old 07-15-2014, 10:49 AM
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Don't sit too close to the screen?

And invest heavily in screen cleaner.
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-16-2014, 10:12 AM
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I'll be interested to see what comes out in the future as to the upgrades to the future 4k standard as well as the integration of Dolby Atmos to the HTPC industry. The GPU power will have to pretty strong, especially with 4K 3D I'm sure. Dolby Atmos will need to add at least another pair of audio channels (but preferably 2 pair) that will probably be implemented in any packaged speaker system by adding the speakers to the top of the right and left main speakers to fire reflective sounds off the ceiling (instead of including ceiling speakers to the systems) in 5.1.2, 5.1.4, or even 7.1.2 surround systems. All this data transmitted out of one HDMI port too.
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-16-2014, 10:31 AM
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I think 4K decoding on the PC will take a few generations to be a solid mainstream feature.

Think about how long it took 1080p to become a standard capability. It was the "all 1080p is not created equal" idea. Your video card might have only been able to hardware accelerate certain codecs, or choked in a given bitrate, or couldnt do a certain implementation (like Flash or Silverlight). Audio bitstreaming only became standard on GPUs in 2010 or so.

Now with 4K we have various codecs and profiles that aren't ironed out yet. HEVC is the popular one in the home theater forums, but Google really wants to push VP9 in the PC/mobile space. I remember GPUs that could hardware accelerate H264 but not VC1. Thats the kind of stuff that will need to get ironed out before I jump in.

1080p went "mainstream" in 2006 when the optical disc formats hit. Even some of the first players couldn't spit out a 1080p signal. What year did bluray player sales really take off? 2010? 2011? It took that long for 1) enough people to have HD televisions and 2) players to fall below $100.

So I'm not planning on any major 4K investments for at least 3 years, probably 5 or more. I just don't think all the incremental steps to get to "full 4K support" (whatever that is) will be worth it.

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post #18 of 19 Old 07-16-2014, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree with you on the 1080p taking off point of things but not on it taking a decade.

1080P tvs were much more expensive for much longer than the 4k stuff. A few UHD are at least is already almost in the 2000 range. It took till the mid 2000's for that to happen with 1080p. I think they will become affordable must quicker this time around. The industry has seen the masses to say we want better picture and we're willing to wait for affordability.

Also there are MANY more HTPC's out there than there were even in 2010 so I think the computer industry will adopt faster than last time around too. Plus many COMPUTER momitors are already technically capable of 4k resolutions.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-16-2014, 02:57 PM
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I guess my point is that we don't know what the eventual 4K standard is going to be. ATSC has some broadcast standard ideas in place, but what specs will the next disc and internet based delivery mechanisms be?

I can imagine a world where highly compressed 4K H264 comes first OTA/OTT, then an early iteration of HEVC, then perhaps another profile of it that requires new decoders (rendering your hardware obsolete). Maybe Google's codec takes off. A color gamut could be instituted on the disc format that goes further than the current sets can produce. All those sorts of steps towards what the mature 4K video standards turn into are what I'm referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon1972 View Post
Also there are MANY more HTPC's out there than there were even in 2010 so I think the computer industry will adopt faster than last time around too. Plus many COMPUTER momitors are already technically capable of 4k resolutions.
This I really don't think is the case, as much as I wish it was. In 2005-2009 every big player was into the PC/living room mashup - Microsoft, HP, Dell, Linksys, DLink, Samsung, Sony, etc.

Now Roku, Google, Apple, and Microsoft (via the XB1) are the big players in the living room. Outside of the Xbox One those are all ARM chip deviecs.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma

Last edited by pittsoccer33; 07-16-2014 at 03:00 PM.
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