4K

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1225

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins Leo to talk about the new Chromecast audio. He says that the key for him is if it'll have the Tidal service, and if the quality is there, it could sound just like a CD. And what's cool is that it'll be available in any room in the house. Leo says not only that, but it empowers any wireless speaker to be a stereo. The real question is latency, especially in party mode. Scott says that Google will be bringing that in a firmware update. Leo also says if they tie Google Now to it, the party is over for Sonos.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1219

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about the new Apple TV. Leo says it's odd that there's no 4K and it uses the old HDMI 1.4 standard, which Scott says can't carry the full resolution 4K bandwidth. It can't carry a limited, 8 bit color version, but it definitely won't handle high dynamic range for high frame rate. So from a 4K stand point, it's not all that great. Leo says that he recommends the Roku because it has 4K support and just about everything else but iTunes. The cool thing is search by Siri.

When will 4K content be coming?

Steve from California

Episode 1213

Steve just got a new ultra high definition 4K TV and wants to know how he can best enjoy it. Leo says there really isn't a lot of 4K content right now and what there is (Netfflix, DirecTV Video on Demand) is heavily compressed. It depends on how good his bandwidth is. 25-50 Mbps down is what he'll need to watch House of Cards on Netflix. It needs to be a consistent 25 Mbps, not "as fast as" like cable providers say. There's also emerging 4K Blu-ray players. When they come out later this year, there will be a flood of content coming out.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1209

Scott Wilkinson

Lance says that he doesn't think 4K streaming will ever take over 4K Blu-ray discs. Scott says that the median downstream bandwidth in the US is far less than what 4K requires, and even if it did, with data caps, your streaming would be terribly limited every month. Leo agrees and says that he's seen 4K streaming and it's nowhere near as good as a Blu-ray experience. Scott says it's because the streams are compressed and that is part of the problem.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1199

Scott Wilkinson

Scott keeps getting questions about when to buy a new Ultra High Definition TV, and he says it's all in the timing. Unless you're an early adopter that has money to burn on a new TV every year or two, the timing just isn't right to get a 4K TV. Sure, prices have dropped, but there isn't a standard that is wide spread just yet. Plus, with four times the resolution, you either have to get a screen that is over 70" or you have to sit up to half as close. Otherwise, you lose the benefit of the additional resolution and you may as well own an HDTV.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1197

Scott Wilkinson

Scott really wants to see Inside Out because it's being shown in high dynamic range laser projection. But he's busy getting ready for CE Week, the midterm CES conference in New York. While there, he's also going to attend the Value Electronics TV Panel shootout between the best TVs from each of the manufacturers. Joe Kane is also doing a presentation on High Dynamic Range TV, which Scott says looks stunning, and that Samsung will be first out of the gate to offer an HDR TV.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1193

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about streaming in 4K and how it isn't really 4K quality. You would need a 4K TV, but it barely reaches Blu-ray quality. So you end up spending extra money for the same quality you have from your Blu-ray player. Samsung, though, has a new line of 4K TVs that offer high dynamic range (HDR) quality. The problem is, there are five different standards for 4K HDR, including a standard by SMPTE and 4 proprietary standards like Dolby Vision. So Scott says it's still not time to buy 4K. But soon you won't have much of a choice.

What kind of Blu-ray player should I get for a 4K TV?

Episode 1189

Mike from Whitewater, CA
Samsung 65" Curved 4K TV

Mike just bought a 65" Samsung curved 4K TV. He wants to know if they're going to be coming out with Blu-ray players soon. Leo says that there will be a new 4K Blu-ray player later this year and some are already streaming in 4K, like Netflix. But the problem is, to get all that streamed, they have to significantly compress it. It's really early now and standards are going to change.