Ask the Editors: Is a 70" 4K Display a Waste of Money for Watching Cable TV? - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 01:43 PM
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This does get a bit messy as it appears multiple things may contribute to good presentation from a 1080p and a 4k TV.

I'll just ask here - though Comcast and others may present a mediocre but usable feed, are we placing too much emphasis on the targeted TV's ability to upscale and not considering that there are other ways to upscale such as an external device?

Some external devices do a better job than others and as well, the TVs themselves. I had to play around a great deal to find what combination provided the best looking results. Though I like "fidelity," often the best looking presentation is not accurate but merely looks better to a viewer's eyes.

As example - I could leave the old TiVo to play native and allow the Kuro Plasma to upscale. Results are better than TiVo doing the upscaling.
However, when the Kuro was no longer in service, I ended up running the TiVo though an Oppo 103 which handled the imaging and it was superior to either the TiVo or the TV that replaced the Kuro for upscaling. The list goes on as I have a few devices.

Does anyone here have a take on external processing that would make a feed from Cable TV (such as Comcast) look "better" on a 4k TV or at least match a 1080p TV? While I am at it, anyone play around with say an Oppos 103 or 203 for upscaling to 4k?
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post #62 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by stevencko View Post
For the $100 price difference I would go for the 4K set. Comcast will not look good on 4k or 1080p soon since they are in the process of switching all 1080 channels to 720p. So you will upscale 720 to 1080 or 4k depending on the set.
It will not be worth it if the 4K TV cannot upscale the crappy 480i, 720P, 1080i cable signals, which apparently is all the person who submitted the question watches. They don't even watch dvd's or bluray. They should stick to a good 1080P set.
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post #63 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by bombertodd View Post
No OTA. Sometimes I wish we did, I like have more options (especially free options). I haven't had a power outage in the 8 years I lived in this home. We have 8% of days on average that are not sunny. I guess our weather keeps the power lines up running.
Wow, that's surprising. Around here, power outages have been fairly frequent over the past few years.

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Why would you think most OTA users don;t have DVR. I've been OTA and streaming for a long time using a succession of TiVos and now using the TiVo Bolt.
Most users don't buy their own DVR. I don't know the numbers for Tablo or ChannelMaster DVR+, but TiVo has less than 1M retail subs total, and that includes CableCard-only DVRs, and DVRs that can work on either but are currently configured for CableCard. Most users of anything don't buy and set up their own DVRs. It may become more common with cord cutting, but in general, most people who have a DVR get it from their MSO, and if they don't have an MSO, they likely don't have a DVR.

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Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
I'll just ask here - though Comcast and others may present a mediocre but usable feed, are we placing too much emphasis on the targeted TV's ability to upscale and not considering that there are other ways to upscale such as an external device?

Some external devices do a better job than others and as well, the TVs themselves. I had to play around a great deal to find what combination provided the best looking results. Though I like "fidelity," often the best looking presentation is not accurate but merely looks better to a viewer's eyes.
I have a DVDO EDGE video processor, and it did make Comcast MPEG-2 look somewhat less crappy. However, if the feed is bit-starved to an extreme, like their new MPEG-4 feeds, the processor just goes nuts if you try to turn anything up on it, because there's so little data there to start with. It can wipe out artifacts on a decent quality MPEG-2 feed, but at some point, it just turns into garbage in, garbage out. Also, newer TVs have much more powerful scaling processors in them that are probably more powerful than my DVDO EDGE, and newer 4k video scalers/processors are big bucks, unless you're looking at something built into an Oppo player or an AVR, and I don't know how those compare to what is in a good 4k TV. The other issue I have is that I have to keep switching the output between 720p and 1080p so that I can let the TV do the scaling, and not go 720p>1080p>2160p or even worse, 1080i>720p>2160p. I'd much rather go 1080i>1080p>2160p or 720p>2160p, which requires manually switching back and forth, as it was made way before 4k was a thing.
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post #64 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post


I have a DVDO EDGE video processor, and it did make Comcast MPEG-2 look somewhat less crappy. However, if the feed is bit-starved to an extreme, like their new MPEG-4 feeds, the processor just goes nuts if you try to turn anything up on it, because there's so little data there to start with. It can wipe out artifacts on a decent quality MPEG-2 feed, but at some point, it just turns into garbage in, garbage out. Also, newer TVs have much more powerful scaling processors in them that are probably more powerful than my DVDO EDGE, and newer 4k video scalers/processors are big bucks, unless you're looking at something built into an Oppo player or an AVR, and I don't know how those compare to what is in a good 4k TV. The other issue I have is that I have to keep switching the output between 720p and 1080p so that I can let the TV do the scaling, and not go 720p>1080p>2160p or even worse, 1080i>720p>2160p. I'd much rather go 1080i>1080p>2160p or 720p>2160p, which requires manually switching back and forth, as it was made way before 4k was a thing.
Bigg AW thanks for the response.

So what I am understanding is that Comcast decided to go with 720p, that some of their content is of a poor grade so no matter what is used, it will most likely look bad and possibly unwatchable. Hmm, I wonder if Comcast is aware of this with respect to 4k (as it makes zero financial sense) to mismatch their "product" with TVs that are becoming more and more common. Do you think this is going to bite them in the ... down the line?

I admit that my Oppo does a very nice job on lesser quality material for up scale to 1080p for my 1080p TV. I guess I'll continue using my plasma until such time and hopefully, most challenges for 4k TVs will be worked out (whether it is the TV itself, external device to help render or whomever is providing the feed such as Comcast, Sat, Dish etc.).
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post #65 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DCT3416 View Post
I was in the area and had 30 minutes to kill so I went into the local Magnolia showroom hoping to see the Vizio 70" D series. They didn't have it. Here is what I was told :

A 70" 1080p will look terrible because :
"The pixels are huge. Don't plan on sitting any closer than 15 feet from the screen." He disagreed that 9 feet is the approximate recommended viewing distance for a 70" screen.
"Motion blur will be very noticeable." I didn't know motion blur is determined by a screen's resolution.
Changing from my current 50" screen to 70" will feel like I'm sitting in the front row of a movie theater. He recommended no bigger than 65".
I should seriously consider a UHD/4K TV because Comcast will likely be broadcasting UHD/4K by the end of 2017.
For $100 more, the 70″ UHD E Series is intriguing. But it doesn't have an ATSC TV tuner. Watching over-the-air broadcasts is something I'm now considering.
Well, there is 30 minutes of your life you can never get back

I went from a 47" to a 70" and it only seemed huge for about 2 days.

I went with a Vizio E-series when they were 1080p (and had a tuner) because at my viewing distance of about 11', I could not see any difference in the resolution of 4k and 1080p sets in the stores. I can not see the pixels on my set until I am less than 8' from the screen. I would not call that huge.

Of course, you can buy an external tuner for under $30 so that is not much of an issue. Personally, the built in tuner and extra inputs of the D-series would tilt me that way. The OTA tuner on mine is excellent, allowing me to pull in 26 stations that are MUCH sharper and with better colors than the locals I get from Dish. OTA channels are either 720p or 1080i so 4k is not a factor.

Let your eyes decide for you, not anyone's opinion-especially a BestBuy salesman.
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post #66 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
Most users don't buy their own DVR. I don't know the numbers for Tablo or ChannelMaster DVR+, but TiVo has less than 1M retail subs total, and that includes CableCard-only DVRs, and DVRs that can work on either but are currently configured for CableCard. Most users of anything don't buy and set up their own DVRs. It may become more common with cord cutting, but in general, most people who have a DVR get it from their MSO, and if they don't have an MSO, they likely don't have a DVR.
I think those numbers are for monthly and annual subscriptions and don't include the large number of TiVo DVRs with prepaid lifetime subscriptions.

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post #67 of 79 Old 02-06-2017, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
Bigg AW thanks for the response.

So what I am understanding is that Comcast decided to go with 720p, that some of their content is of a poor grade so no matter what is used, it will most likely look bad and possibly unwatchable. Hmm, I wonder if Comcast is aware of this with respect to 4k (as it makes zero financial sense) to mismatch their "product" with TVs that are becoming more and more common. Do you think this is going to bite them in the ... down the line?
To me, it is unwatchable for sports, which is the main driver of pay tv. If I only wanted news channels, it would be fine, as they're just a bunch of talking heads. But if I'm actually sitting there watching something and paying attention to it, it's unwatchable. I have a better than average setup with a Samsung 65" SUHDTV that is calibrated per settings from this forum, and I'm sitting about 8' away from it, and while I'm ahead of the curve, bigger and higher resolution screens is where the market is headed.

No, this will not realy hurt Comcast's bottom line outside of Eastern MA and North Jersey where they have fierce competition from Verizon. In most of their other markets, they are have large broadband monopoly areas, or areas with patchy VDSL availability, and because they have jacked the price of broadband up so high, and have such fat margins on it, even if they lose some video subs, they'll just get them on broadband anyway. The unfortunate part is that most people can't tell the difference, have TVs that are too small for the space the are in, or are too far away from them, don't calibrate anything, etc, etc.

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I admit that my Oppo does a very nice job on lesser quality material for up scale to 1080p for my 1080p TV. I guess I'll continue using my plasma until such time and hopefully, most challenges for 4k TVs will be worked out (whether it is the TV itself, external device to help render or whomever is providing the feed such as Comcast, Sat, Dish etc.).
Interesting. I've never owned an Oppo product, next time I buy another disc-based player I'll seriously consider one, as I've heard rave reviews about them. 4k TV is absolutely amazing, even for good quality 720p and 1080i broadcast and 720p and 1080p streaming, but it really shines with 2160p streaming content. Netflix's HEVC encoding is stunning, and while the real purists say it's only Blu-Ray quality, it looks sharper and has more of a "wow" factor to me. It depends a lot on the content. Honestly, Orange Is the New Black could just as well have been 720p, there's nothing particularly visually stunning in it. But House of Cards (I've only started Ep1), or Narcos is just incredible in the 2160p format. We're a long way off from widespread linear 4k, and the 4k streaming that is out there is stunning, so if you want 4k, get 4k, if not, don't hold your breath for linear 4k content that may never come.

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Originally Posted by poppagene View Post
I think those numbers are for monthly and annual subscriptions and don't include the large number of TiVo DVRs with prepaid lifetime subscriptions.
I believe they account for Lifetime over the course of 48 months, so it would include all Lifetime boxes sold within the last 48 months, if not all boxes still actively "phoning home" to the mothership.
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post #68 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by head_unit View Post
70"? Sure, get a 4k. Is there even a non-4k 70"? Our experience at home is DirecTV looks a lot better with 4k-but it's not about the pixels, it's about the panel quality and processing.
Yes. Here is Vizio's - https://www.vizio.com/tvs/dseries/d70d3.html
But Vizio also offers this - https://www.vizio.com/tvs/dseries/d65ud2.html
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post #69 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 07:41 AM
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I have a 75" J6300 in the man cave and a 65" KS8000 in the living room. Comcast looks softer on the KS8000, I'm thinking due to processing a compressed signal into a 4k approximation vs the 1080p TV basically doing what it was designed to do... That said there is alot about the KS picture that is superior. Its smoother, less artifacts. Close up static shots are superior.
When i was at BB the guy gave the same schtcik on not buying the J6300... I kind of laughed and ordered on Amazon. Its a fantastic TV and great for cable/PS4 and streaming Kodi...Which is what it was purchased to do.
1) So to your eyes, Comcast looks better on your 4K/UHD than on your 1080p?
2) On the J6300 web page it says, "Enjoy a viewing experience that is 2X the clarity of standard HD TVs." Standard HD? I thought 1080p was standard HD.
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post #70 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 08:11 AM
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.....Most of the main OTA feeds are less compressed and free with the right antenna. That being said, a TiVo Bolt allows you to both watch and record OTA without the need of an internal tuner. Why would you think most OTA users don;t have DVR. I've been OTA and streaming for a long time using a succession of TiVos and now using the TiVo Bolt.
Thanks for posting this. I've been going back and forth between a tuner or tuner-less display. How does one stay up to date with all available viewing options?
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post #71 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for posting this. I've been going back and forth between a tuner or tuner-less display. How does one stay up to date with all available viewing options?
One place to start is: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-loc...nfo-reception/

To get a sense in what channels are available OTA in your location.

As far as what's available through the internet, posters in various AVS threads that are specific to the device you will use to stream can provide the best advice. Streaming devices come in many flavors these days from the smart TV, blu-ray player, gaming console or even dedicated streaming devices such as RoKu, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast as well as others. Various TiVos are also useful especially ones with a tuner that can substitute for the lack of one in some sets as well as providing DVR functionality.

Once you have a setup in place, subscribing to the main threads that address your A/V system will keep you abreast of what's new and interesting.
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post #72 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 10:08 AM
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I have Comcast Xfinity cable, a 70" 4K HDR capable TV, two 50" plasma TV's and live in California. I sit 10' away from the screen. The picture quality on the 70 blows the plasmas away. Now when I watch the plasmas, I'm amazed how I ever thought that was a quality picture. Colors are still o.k., just poor resolution and brightness.

My comcast comes with netflix. It's still not 4k, but it's offered in my package. I have a bluray player that has 4K HDR Netflix built in to it. I use my comcast logon, so now I get full 4K / HDR Netflix as a comcast customer.
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post #73 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 10:11 AM
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If you want to know what over-the-air broadcasting you can receive at your home address, go to TVFool.com. You'll plug in your address and antenna elevation. They will provide you with a detailed map and chart showing all the antennas available and the signal strength you should expect to receive.
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post #74 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 10:57 AM
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I just went from a 60" 1080p TV to a 65" 4K and I can see a noticeable difference. I watch OTA and the picture is softer but also smoother. While I could not see the actual pixels on the old TV without getting close I can absolutely tell there are more pixels overall even from my normal sitting area. I think to be more "future proof" to get the best TV you can afford (going to have it for many years I imagine). Generally the 4K TVs have better processing overall and in the future you might use the 4K part and enjoy it even more!
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post #75 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by DCT3416 View Post
1) So to your eyes, Comcast looks better on your 4K/UHD than on your 1080p?
2) On the J6300 web page it says, "Enjoy a viewing experience that is 2X the clarity of standard HD TVs." Standard HD? I thought 1080p was standard HD.
"2X the clarity" might be a little enthusiastic, but good image processing can make useful guesses about the extra pixels needed in a 4k screen view that are not explicitly present in standard 1080 HD. So there is nothing odd about a UHD TV showing an HD source with greater "clarity".
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post #76 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pixel Dude View Post
Comcast picture quality is poor on a large screen TV since the insane 720p downgrade with super duper extra squishy compression. They are killing their product. No, I didn't care to put up with the problems with DirecTV, Sling, or Vue, either. The choices right now for receiving linear HD channels are truly abysmal on a big screen.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/34-hdt...onversion.html
I take it that NO TV is going to do a decent upconvert of the Comcast 720p downgrade?

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post #77 of 79 Old 02-07-2017, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DCT3416 View Post
1) So to your eyes, Comcast looks better on your 4K/UHD than on your 1080p?
2) On the J6300 web page it says, "Enjoy a viewing experience that is 2X the clarity of standard HD TVs." Standard HD? I thought 1080p was standard HD.
Big picture, yes. But there is some nuance to it.. Using sports for an example, when zoomed out in a football game, the KS8000 has a softer look than the 1080p, but static zoomed in scenes are much nicer looking. The 1080p has a bit more artifacting. Good 1080p feeds and better the KS is much better... HD cable its much closer.

That said, order of magnitude is more towards splitting hairs. The experience of the 75" 1080p is excellent. Very happy with it.

As I sold it to my wife, the KS8000 is a super sleek looking tv that looks great on the wall of the living room... You pay for thinness. Cheap TV's aren't thin.

As I sold it to myself, when i bought the mancave TV i was going back and forth on 65KS8000 vs 75J6300, and size won out, now i get both of them. lol. Pricing also came down about $300 from when i was debating... $1500 for the 65KS made it hard to justify buying a lesser TV to save 100-200

My wife is going to strangle me if i put on another 4k HDR youtube demo
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post #78 of 79 Old 02-08-2017, 02:16 PM
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After reading all this I am glad I have Google Fiber. They say if you want to take full advantage of the high-definition programming that Google Fiber TV makes available to you, use a TV that is native to 1080p. A resolution of 1080p is the best way to enjoy the full spectrum of high-definition media. All my TV's are 1080p, the only thing I have that is 1080i/720p is an Optoma HD65 projector that was given to me by my brother in law till I get better projector. I feel for those that are stuck with Comcast. I like Dish Network when I was with them. I have never used Direct TV. I would like a new 70" TV at least 1080p to replace my old 60 rear projection 1080p TV some day.
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post #79 of 79 Old 02-08-2017, 08:19 PM
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Depends on the display, it's calibration and how the signal gets there. The right setup makes all the difference in the world.

I have a calibrated Samsung 78JS8600 that is getting Comcast and OTA from an HTPC running JRiver MC with MadVR and it looks sensational. Currently, the PC is sending 1080P to the TV which is then upscaling to 4k. The TV playing OTA internally can't get close to the picture coming from the PC and MadVR. Together the TV and MadVR are Wow!
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