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.
Marco is thinking of buying either a Samsung 55" 4K LCD or an LG OLED 1080p TV. Which should he buy? Leo says that OLED is amazing and it will actually look better than the LCD 4K by Samsung.
Marco shouldn't worry about future proofing, because the 4K standard hasn't been defined yet and it's very likely a 4K TV bought today won't be as good as it can be down the road. He should wait to buy 4K until after the standards are set. Right now, there's no reason to get it. So he should go with the OLED. That's what Leo did, and he loves his.
Scott is getting questions about 4K and if it's a good idea to buy an A/V receiver to get ready for it. Scott says no, because no standards have been settled yet. And why are there so many 4K TVs out? Scott says that the TV manufacturers even caught Hollywood off guard, and even though there's some great deals out there for 4K TVs, the odds are they won't be supported in the adopted standards once they do come out. Not only that, but according to Joe Kane, the 4K TVs are just HDTVs with 4x more pixels.
Chris recently bought an LG 4K TV. He's been enjoying Netflix and he's noticed his data has shot through the roof. Leo says that's not surprising. And if the cost went up, it's likely because Chris used more data streaming. Leo says that Chris can change the settings in his Netflix account to avoid streaming at the maximum bandwidth, but it won't look as good on that 4K TV!