Proof That UK Demo of 55-inch TVs At 9 Feet Is Bogus
Our AVS members can quickly prove for themselves how ludicrous the claim is that 49 out of 50 people at a dealer demo in the UK could see resolution differences between a 1080p TV and a UHD TV at 9 feet.
If you're a fellow AVS member who has vision approximating 20/20, or your vision is corrected to 20/20, you can try a little experiment. Stand a few feet in front of a calibrated 55-inch 1080p TV. Observe the TV's pixel structure. Then, very slowly back away from the TV until the visibility of the pixels has just been lost. At that point you are just at the borderline where it's still possible for you to see the tiniest details that 1080p can produce. If you move any significant distance further away from the screen you lose your ability to see all of a 1080p's detail. And you sure wouldn't see the even more minute details that the same size UHD screen would offer.
There is a mathematical formula that defines the maximum distance a person with 20/20 vision (or corrected to 20/20) can be from a 1080p screen, and still be able to see all the detail that a 1080p display can provide.
That formula is the screen diagonal measurement multiplied by 1.56
So in the case of a 55-inch 1080p TV you have 55 X 1.56 = 85.8 inches. BTW this formula only applies to 16X9 aspect ratio screens. And rounding that figure up a mere 2 tenths of an inch gives us a more manageable total
of 86 inches or 7 feet 2 inches.
And I would bet $20 bills against donuts that a majority of our AVS members can no longer see the pixels on a 55" 1080p display when they are 7 ft 4 inches from it. And those folks would be unable to see any additional detail
at that distance, that would be provided by a 55" UHD. If you can't see all the detail with 1080p, 4k sure isn't going to help you.
Consumer Reports tests 160 to 200 different TV models each year, and their experience confirms the 1.56 formula. In the Sept 2014 issue of CR, (now available at your local library) a statement is made about the findings of their test specialists regarding 65-inch UHD TVs vs 65-inch HDTVs, which were viewed at an 8 foot distance.
So the comments regarding those sets applied to that distance. I'll quote their findings that are found on page 37:
" On a very large screen, say, 84 inches and up, you can really appreciate UHD. But with a 65-inch screen like the ones we tested, most viewers would probably think that the HDTV looked just as good."
Now here's a chance to use the 1.56 formula again, which BTW, Consumer Reports was not involved in developing. 1.56 X 65 inches gives us 101.4 inches or 8 feet 5.4 inches as the furthest distance that someone with
20/20 vision can be from a 65-inch 1080p screen and still see its full resolution. That's pretty close to the 8 ft that CR mentioned, but does mean that a 65-inch UHD TV might have an advantage in perceived resolution all the way up to the 8 ft 5.4 inch mark which is the distance that person with 20/20 could just still make out all of the detail of
All of the previous really exposes what a joke that demonstration in the UK was. We are expected to believe that 49 out of 50 people possessed the kind of uncommon "fighter pilot quality vision" that they would need to separate
1080p from UHD on relatively small 55" screens from 9 feet away. I might accept that 5, or to really stretch it, 10
people in a group like that, might possess that unusual ability, but 49 of 50, what person who just didn't get off the boat, falls for that kind of incredible BS. I've read a lot about Richard Nixon, but very few things that the man said
ever went that far in straining credulity. Yeah, either that 1080p set was functioning more like a standard definition
unit, or the head of this promotion laid one of the tallest tales on an unsuspecting public since it was said that Paul Bunyon fell a mighty oak tree with one swing of his ax.
Finally, if you just want to see for yourself that I haven't just been blowing smoke here, then do me a favor and perform your own 1080p pixel test. When you can't see them anymore, a 4k TV will give you no extra perceived
detail at the distance you find yourself at, with the same size screen that you use for the test.