Originally Posted by kdog750
I got to see the 84" 4K Sony in person and while it is nice, it is not nearly the jump that I anticipated it would be. You have to get close to see the difference or have a massive screen. Even 84" was somewhat marginal. I'd say the biggest advantage for 4K will be in projectors. And not even true 4K but upconversion. It will likely be a very long time (if ever) that readily available 4K content is here like it is for HD. But if the upconversion for 4K can get close to true 4K content, then there will be a legitimate market for those projectors. Look how long 3D TV's have been on the market. You cant even buy a high end tv anymore without 3D, yet there is only a very small handfull of movies available.
And the only reason everything is on TV is available in HD now is because of the government mandated switch for networks from analog to digital. If it weren't for that the standard would probably be low definition. HD tv's would still be a niche market. Market forces are the only thing pushing the standard to 4K and I just don't see it happening. Everyone would have to upgrade to 84"+ tvs to even see the difference and most dont even have the room for those size TVs. And a whole new codec would be needed to get a compressed signal for that much data for streaming 4K. They dont even do 1080P yet on cable/satellite.
I would have loved to see the next big push be OLED tv's but that's not happening now because of the massive problems with making large sized OLED panels. So the next gimmick now will be 4K, even though most wont be able to tell the difference and will not be able to take advantage of the potential of 4K content without having a ridiculously large screen.
I agree 100% with the above, especially the parts I've underlined. I think much of the reason for this push for 4K is the same as the 3D push -- it's a new "feature" for which manufacturers can charge a premium.
Look at what's happened to the price of BD players over just the past 3 years. My wife and I just bought a Toshiba BD/DVD player at Costco for around $70. At that price, I did not expect much out of it and thought that I might very well end up returning it, .......... but the little thing works great! It puts an image on the screen that, in most important respects, is equivalent to that of our 3-year-old HTPC for which we paid $1200. Of course the HTPC does far more than the el cheapo Toshiba will ever do, but, again, the image that the latter puts on the screen is simply amazing.
About 4 or 5 years years ago my wife and I went to Costco to buy a new lawnmower. As soon as we walked into the store we were confronted with a 65" Sharp Aquos 1080p fluorescent-lit LCD TV. The price was $15,999. Today we are considering purchasing a 70" 1080p 2D LED LCD display for well under $2400, whose PQ is 90% that of a display that cost three times as much. This march of technology upward and its price downward is nothing short of astonishing.
The question is can "the industry" continue to make money selling $70 BD players and $2K dollar 70" displays? If it can't, it's got to either raise prices or keep coming up with these 3D and 4K gimmicks and all of the associated players, disks, streaming, etc. for which it can charge a premium.
But, as others have already pointed out, on the whole, viewing distances and living room sizes aren't changing that much. To see the benefit of 4K, you're either going to have to sit much closer or get a very much larger display. For example, I am typing this message on a computer whose monitor is a 3-year-old, 32", 1080p, full-LED-array Sharp Aquos TV. As I type, my eyes are about 25" from the center of the screen. As I sit back to just view or surf, they're about 34" from the screen. My wife and I have watched BD movies and OTA HDTV on this display from the same distance and we are perfectly happy with the PQ. Would we notice the difference 4K would make, even from that short viewing distance? Maybe, but certainly not from say 64" -- two times screen diagonal.
We'll be sitting about 12 feet (144") from the upcoming 70" display -- over 2 times screen diagonal. Would/could we appreciate 4K over 2K at that viewing distance? Just like viewing our 32" display from 64", I doubt it. My wife will not have a TV bigger than that in that room, so there will be no 4K display in our TV room.
In our basement we watch BD movies on an RS1-illuminated 120" Dalite Highpower screen from a viewing distance of about 96". High-PQ movies like "Apocalypto" look fantastic from that distance. Others, not so much, and of course the issue with 4K content will be exactly as it was for VHS, DVD and is now for BD. Some content-providers will push the limit of what a particular format can do, but most will not. Some movies will still look like crap, even at 4K.