The one part of the interview that I disagree with was the segment regarding the relationship of screen size, viewing distance, and perception of detail. I am skeptical of the notion that a 55" screen is insufficiently large to exploit the increased quality that 2160p provides, regardless of what distance it is viewed at.
Viewed at a distance that is a one-to-one ratio versus the diagonal measurement, individual pixels on a 1080p screen are clearly visible, as is stair-stepping in diagonal lines—which is technically not an artifact but rather a resolution limitation. I happen to use my own 55 inch HDTV in precisely that manner, as a giant computer monitor, which is why cannot accept the claim that 2160p would not have any benefit.
During that segment Joe mentions a 1080p "iPhone"— Apple has yet to make create such a phone, but HTC's new "One" phone has a 1080p screen and it was recently tested—as if it was a typical HDTV. Here's the line that caught my eye:
"Impressively, the HTC One can actually resolve a 1 pixel on/off 1080p pattern, though you really have to stick your nose to the screen to be able to tell. It doesn't seem to have any overscan." Brent Butterworth, Sound+Vision
For what it's worth, I can see stair-stepping on my "retina" iPad at normal viewing distances, if I pay close-enough attention. Granted, I have practice scrutinizing graphics and video because of my career but the point is that if I can pick it up, it's the very definition of humanly possible.
In exactly 2 weeks I will qualify for a phone upgrade and I will grab a Galaxy S4. It will be my first 1080p OLED display and I can't wait to scrutinize it in every manner possible.
My position is that viewing distance and screen size are inextricably linked, and a fully immersive experience is possible when viewing a screen close-up. Furthermore I feel that two screens of the same resolution and contrast, both calibrated to the same standard, will look the same if viewed from a distance that is a multiple of the diagonal measurement of the screen. To a single person, seated in the center in an optimum viewing position, a 60 inch screen viewed from 5 feet away will look fundamentally the same as a 120 inch screen viewed from 10 feet away.
The only thing that could explain a different result in practical tests is the fact that the majority of the population is farsighted, at a ratio of 2 to 1 versus nearsighted.
Edited by imagic - 5/8/13 at 7:15am