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.
Scott continues his CES retrospective, but now he's got the 'CES Crud,' which you usually get when you travel to Las Vegas with 100,000 of your closest friends. Scott found it interesting that curved panels are all the rage, especially in Korea and China. Meanwhile, Japan still hangs on to flat screens.
Marty was going out to buy a Sony X900 UHD TV, but then he heard Leo's CES report and decided to wait. Leo says that the X900 is a gorgeous TV, however, waiting may be a good idea because the standards have been finalized and any older TV won't conform to them. Marty says that Sony and Samsung are "guaranteeing" that they will work under the standard. Leo says they'll work, but will it work as well as one that's up to the new standard? That's the real question. It's a matter of how well it works, not if it works.
The big story at CES 2015 was in drones, virtual reality headsets, and 4K TVs. The big news with the 4K TVs is that we may finally have a standard for the ultra high definition sets, as a UHD alliance has been formed and UHD Blu-ray players finally had a standard adopted. But they won't be available until the fall. The standard defines the dynamic range and color gamut, as well as the compression algorithm, which is HEVC/H.265.
Scott has spent the last week at CES and he put 28 miles on his feet in 5 days! What was the big news? Scott says that the biggest announcement was the formation of the UHD Alliance, an organization formed to create standards for 4K transmission and content. The new specs need to have dynamic range and color gamut kept in mind. Right now, content is graded and mastered from HD standards of the last 10 years. But now, the UHD Alliance, which consists of studios, TV makers, and content distributors, will get together to create a 4K standard, and you'd be stunned how great it looks.
Scott is going to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and he says that there are more theaters showing it in high frame rate this year than the two previous films. But only in 3D, and not all are in Dolby Atmos. If you go to the Hobbit Website, you can see a list of where the film is showing and in what format (there's about eight different versions). Leo wonders what would be best ... seeing The Hobbit in Atmos or in IMAX. Scott says while he loves Atmos, he'd prefer to see it in HFR because the technology shakes up the industry even more.