In a small room away from the main convention center at the CEDIA Expo, LG showed off its upcoming 84-inch 4K LCD, the LG 84LM9600. I got a close-up look at the new ultraresolution panel, got a lot of questions answered, and got a rough idea what we can expect when it starts shipping next month. Curious? I was too. 1st 4K TV impressionsWhy 4K TVs are stupid" and "Why 4K TVs are stupid (still)." For those of you who read the articles, I'm very specific in my complaint about 4K TVs: it's that in the sizes most people buy, and at the distances most people sit from a TV, 1080p is largely unnecessary, making 4K ridiculous overkill. But 84 inches is not a "normal" size. At that size, it's far more likely you'd be able to see the added resolution with 4K. However, at the demo, LG wasn't showing any 4K material. Instead it showed upconverted 1080p content, which, let's be honest, is going to be the vast majority of the content this TV will get throughout its life. Unfortunately, with this … [Read more...] about Hands-on(ish) with LG’s 4K TV
Distance 4k tv
The TV buying season, a.k.a. "holiday price cuts," is officially upon us. This year the big question facing TV shoppers is whether to spend the extra dough to step up to a 4K TV. The quick and dirty answer is "Not unless you're buying a high-end TV anyway." As usual in the TV market, complexity, obfuscation and marketing hype abounds. No TV maker or store clerk is going to tell you 4K isn't worth it, and they'll use slow-moving, high-quality demo material, unrealistically close viewing distances, rigged comparisons and other tricks to convince you to spend more. Meanwhile, issues of future-proofing, the arrival of actual 4K content, and use cases (for example, whether you'll hook it up to a PC) complicate the decision for even the savviest of buyers. I'll try to untangle some of those complications now.Why 4K usually isn't worth the extra money Here's a concrete if unrealistic hypothetical. Given two 50-inch TVs, one with 4K resolution for $999 and one with standard 1080p … [Read more...] about Is now the time to buy a 4K TV?
Editors' Note: An updated article entitled Why Ultra HD 4K TVs are still stupid was published on January 28, 2013. A few months ago, hot on the multitude of 4K TV announcements at CES, I wrote an article called "Why 4K TVs are stupid." I was shocked, shocked to find so many angry, contrary opinions on the subject. I mean, this is the Internet. Surely everyone is cordial and like-minded. The comment section was the usual bog of ad hominem, straw man, and plain nonsense arguments. But buried deep within the chaff were a few good questions worthy of rebuttal. So if you'll indulge... There were an amazing number of comments from people who clearly didn't read the article at all. Let me make this pithy and clear: The 4K resolution is awesome, but 4K televisions are stupid. Your eye has a finite resolution, and at the distance that most people sit from their TVs, it's unlikely you'd be able to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p, let alone 4K (roughly 4,096x2,304 pixels). Countless … [Read more...] about Why 4K TVs are stupid (still)
After a couple weeks of sleeves-rolled-up, dark-room, side-by-side testing -- peppered with wrangling 4K sources, juggling newfangled gear, and chatting up industry colleagues -- I've finally been able to publish a couple of reviews of name-brand 4K TVs. These two expensive 65-inch 4K TVs, the Samsung UN65F9000 and the Panasonic TC-L65WT600, join the 50-inch Seiki SE50UY04 I reviewed back in May. My full write-ups of all three total about 15,000 words, made up of 86,000 characters. That's 616 maxed-out tweets. Too long; didn't read? Here's the abbreviated version.With video on a TV, the difference between 4K/UHD and 1080p/HD resolution is really hard to see. Many of the words in those reviews were written on a laptop in my lab at a theatrically close seating distance, comparing a 65-inch 1080p and a 65-inch 4K TV. Despite all the extra pixels I knew made up the 4K TV's screen, most of the time I didn't see any difference at all, especially with HD TV shows and Blu-rays. The differences … [Read more...] about Four 4K TV facts you must know
Editors' Note: An updated article entitled Why Ultra HD 4K TVs are still stupid was published on January 28, 2013.The latest TV technology buzzword is "4K." This magical alphanumeric represents a quadrupling of the now-standard 1080p resolution found on Blu-ray and most HDTVs. Have no doubt, manufacturers are going to start pushing 4K (some already are). The thing is, though, you don't need 4K, because in the home, 4K is stupid. Check out Ty Pendlebury's 4K primer for more details about what 4K actually is, because I'm going to spend the bulk of this article describing why you don't need it.As this is going to be a pretty numbers-heavy piece, let me cover the basic terminology up front. Blu-ray discs, and nearly all modern televisions, are 1080p. This means they have a resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. Get up close to your TV when it's on, you'll see the pixels. They're tiny blocks of red, green, and blue (and yellow, if you have certain Sharp LCDs). The image at the top is a … [Read more...] about Why 4K TVs are stupid