Originally Posted by cybrsage
Here is a chart which should help people understand if they will get any benefit at all from 2160 - let alone 1080:
For example, my screen is about 108 or so inches. We will use the 100 inch line on the chart to make it easy. This means to even begin to notice any benefit from 2160, I need to sit closer than 14 feet from the screen. To get the full benefit means I have to sit closer than 7 feet from the screen.
Some new information:
Based on Blur Busters investigations, this chart dramatically changes if the bitrates are lower
.Compression artifacts are MUCH bigger than a pixel
I can see a problem with 1080p @ 5 Mbps about 10 feet from a 50" HDTV.
However, the quality of 4K @ 20 Mbps about 10 feet from a 50" HDTV looks much better!
When we're sending LESS than 2 to 3 bits of data per pixel per second for H.264 encodes (1080p @ 5Mbps = approx 2.5 bits per pixel per second) the chart above actually shifts more in favour of 4K
because of the compression artifacts. Macroblock sizes (compression artifact) are often 8x8 pixels and 16x16
(there are various sizes allowed by H.264 beyond). This is MUCH more visible than a single pixel; so the mathematics actually changes quite a bit.
This means, there's still a huge benefit to using a 50 inch 4K HDTV with a sofa 10 feet away, because we all know that the streaming providers are reluctant to throw 1080p at high bitrates, but will be forced to send 4K at higher bitrates. There is little disagreement with proportional bitrate scaling, that 4K @ 20 Mbps looks much better than 1080p @ 5 Mbps. (Or say, 4K @ 16 Mbps being compared to 1080p @ 4 Mbps).
Releasing 50 inch 4K sets for cheap (like the $1500 SEIKI 4K HDTV
) still benefits industry as a whole because this pressures content providers to provide higher bitrates for material, which drives innovation everywhere in the chain (including home theaters, which then drive more permanent media sales, etc).
Therefore, we should not scare people from buying small 4K HDTV's, especially if the cost premium becomes almost free in the future.
There are a lot of other fun applications too:
- 4K consoles in future. Motion controller video gaming. You'll be standing closer to the TV, where you can see the detail better.
- Photo viewing with kids sitting on floor in front of TV, playing "Where's Waldo" on the amazingly fine details.
- Low bitrate video where compression artifacts are now smaller.