UHD Blu ray is a scam at the moment!
I wanted to do a definitive test to show how much more resolution the new 4K/UHD Blu ray discs have than regular Blu ray discs. I compared both visually from a normal sitting position and I swore up and down the 4K/UHD Blu ray looked better. Not leaps and bounds better but I was convinced it was better for resolution and detail.
So I got out my trusty GH4 camera and shot still images of my Vizio M80 screen with the regular Martian Blu ray and also the UHD Blu ray. I used the exact same settings in the player and in the TV for both tests. The only difference was the media in the Samsung K8500 player.
Now the color differences are obvious in these photos. The grading is definitely different. The compression differences are also obvious. However, much to my dismay the detail and resolution is literally identical. Now going into this everyone had said the Martian was not rendered in 4K so I guess I should of known. But seriously I wasn't expecting them to be literally the exact same resolution with no detail improvement whatsoever.
Honestly, I think the color differences and differences in the encoding even with a non HDR TV are an improvement. However, the resolution with the discs that are not shot and rendered in 4K or greater is very disappointing. I really feel like we have all been duped here. Please share this post with as many people as possible. This isn't right. They shouldn't literally have the exact same resolution.
Just in case anyone is questioning whether my TV or Reciever was causing it down rez to 1080p and then up rez back up to UHD I tested it several different ways. First I tested the UHD Blu ray connected through my receiver and it did indeed say that my receiver was not HDCP 2.2 compliant. It said it would down rez to 1080p but it still played the movie at UHD/4K. Then I tested the same disc connected directly from the K8500 to my TV and I removed all other HDMI connections from the TV. I also powered off and then back on the K8500 Blu ray player just in case it was remembering the handshake from before. This time it didn't give me the HDCP 2.2 warning and it played the FOX logo in UHD/4K this time instead of 1080p like it did with the HDCP warning.
I am absolutely positive now that the UHD Blu rays that are not sourced from 4K or better have zero increase in detail over the regular Blu rays. Therefore, I can't in good conscious recommend buying the non 4K sourced Blu rays. The HDR aspects may be a huge benefit for some so maybe it is worth it for that. However, the whole detail and resolution aspect seems like a hoax at the moment. Take a look at the pictures below and tell me what you think. Please do this test yourself with a good interchangeable lens camera if you still are not convinced by these images.
1080p Blu ray Disc
UHD Blu ray Disc same settings connected through the receiver with up scaling turned off. Gives the HDCP warning but still plays in UHD.
UHD Blu ray Disc same settings connected directly to the TV with no other HDMI connections. Does not give the HDCP warning.