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.
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.
Dave has a 4K Video Camera from Panasonic and there's a slight lag when he's looking at the viewfinder. Is that normal? Leo says yes, there is a lot of data going through that camera as it's writing and it just takes time to process the signal. But that shouldn't be an issue when he's recording.
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 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 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.
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.
Tom has a 4K UHD TV a few months back. Leo says that's great. Sadly, there isn't much content to stream in 4K and he really has to have a high bandwidth to get it. But he's also getting ghosting prompting him to reset the TV to get rid of it. Leo says that all LCD TVs have this. He can try and fix it by turning on 60-120-240 hz TruMotion. That will use interpolation to get rid of ghosting and smooth things out. The downside is that it looks hyper realistic.
Scott returns from NAB this week, after spending a week walking the halls and seeing the latest in broadcast and film technology. Leo says that it's become more and more about that, rather than the inside technology of engineers. There's a lot more focus on streaming media. Scott agrees, and says that TWiT is ahead of that curve, blazing the trail. Scott says he likes to go to NAB because seeing what broadcasters are working on points the way to what consumers will go with. And 4K was everywhere.
Mike has a 4K TV streaming through Netflix. But when he connects his laptop to the network, the streams rarely will load at all. Leo says that sending data through the air via Wi-Fi is fast, but he's putting a ton of data through it. Leo says the more distance he has, the lesser the signal. Interference can cause issues, especially in congested areas. 2.4 Ghz is better for longer distances, but it's crowded. 5GHz likely uncrowded, but it may not travel as far through the walls.