Tom wants to know if we'll ever be able to see 4K TV over the air, because the broadcast channels have a limited amount of bandwidth. Scott says it is a challenge. In Japan, they are experimenting with technology that would embed an 8K signal inside the broadcast spectrum and they've managed to send the signal up to 17 miles. Part of the solution is through compression. Doesn't that kill the quality? Scott says they're not adding or interpolating information, they're just removing repetitive data and squeezing it. Quality and resolution will be lost that way.
Jim's old JVC projection TV is going black, so he's in the market for a new TV. Should he buy an HDTV or go UHD? How can he future proof his purchase?
Scott says that viewing from 10' away, the optimum screen size is bigger than most would think - about 70". Scott says it isn't really necessary to buy a 4K TV right now. There's not that much content out for it and the standards like color gamut and standards aren't all that settled just yet. So a 4K TV he buys today may be obsolete tomorrow. Not only that, but some TVs upscale terribly. So it's a good idea to go with HD still.
Program note - Scott will be filling in for Leo during 4th of July weekend. Also, Home Theater Geeks is now live on Thursdays around noon. Guests lately include SMPTE engineers who are establishing the television standards for ultra high definition. We've had HD for over ten years now and the industry is moving into 4K in order to sell more TVs. They tried 3D and it didn't really go over too well. There is a new 3D technology called UltraD that's coming this year, but everything is in 3D. And it's not going to do much better. So now it's all about 4K. Leo wonders about high frame rate.
Russ is trying to take images and video to make a virtual parrot. Leo says that the highest definition and resolution he has, the more realistic it'll look. Leo says that 4K video on an ultra high def screen would look near real. And UHD displays are under $1000 now. In fact, they're under $600.
Scott is back to talk home theater and the World Cup! He's heard that in Brazil, they've banned the use of the vuvuzella since it was such a problem last time. Scott has also heard that the World Cup is being recorded in 4K and the final will be broadcast in UHD. But not many will be able to see it in 4K at all. They should at least stream it in 4K, but they're not. They are recording it for a movie down the road. Leo wonders if this is the next step and that in 4 years we'll see it in 4K. The train has left the station. In fact, NHK in Japan is testing 8K right now.
Leo just upgraded to Comcast's more professional internet package and it doesn't come with bandwidth shaping or caps and Netflix runs so much better. But it wasn't cheap. Scott says that moving forward, that's what you're going to need when we get into the 4K world, because ISPs are going to want to buffer the content that uses that much data.
Marcos needs Leo's opinion of a Sony 65" 4K TV for $3995, which comes with the media player. Leo says that Sony has to give away the media player because there's no other 4K content out there at the moment, and that's the biggest issue. But does it cost more than it should for this? Leo says that even though the price is incredible for what he's getting, he doesn't think it's time to buy a 4K TV yet.
Brad is moving to a Panasonic GH4 camera, which he will shoot in 4K and then downgrade to 1080p. He's planning on getting a Mac Pro. Leo says that's what the Mac Pro is designed for 4K. Leo says it's an amazing machine. But Brad is worried because Leo's Mac Pro wasn't all that great and he wasn't happy with it.
Scott is heading to NAB this week to see what the professionals are doing with 4K. Scott is interested because it will largely impact the standards of ultra high definition moving forward, and that will greatly drive the consumer market. But how will content be graded by pros to take advantage of the new standard? That hasn't been determined yet and Scott will see where it's going at NAB. There's also trends in high dynamic range and color gamut, which are going to provide a broader range of colors with ultra high definition.
Scott is back with questions about how 4K will affect 3D and what glasses would be best. Sony uses both, but Samsung and LG both use passive technology. Vizio went with the passive glasses in 2013, but this year they dumped 3D altogether. Scott says he likes passive glasses because they're lighter and the TVs are more affordable. Passive is brighter, but even then it only lets in 50% of the light. Active glasses lets in only 30% of the light, and you have to recharge them or change the batteries. Scott also says the one good thing is that 4K offers 1080p in each eye for 3D.