Should I get a 4K TV?

Dave from Northridge, CA

Episode 1026

Dave wants to know if he should get a 4K TV right now. Leo says no. There's no 4K content right now, nor any easy way to get it. UHD is just not ready for primetime yet. So he can go ahead and get another HDTV. TV manufactures are just trying to get people to buy it because HD sales have plateaued.

Will Ultra High Definition be worth getting?

Hamit from Denbury, CT

Episode 1015

Hamit is blind, but he's interested in getting a 4K UHD TV. Hamit got Blu-ray for the audio, and he wonders if he'll need to use UHD. Leo says that with 4 times the resolution, he'd get 4 times the data. With UHD, more dots equal more data and the content will come down via streaming or a new disc that will handle 4 times the data. Leo suspects that compression will get better and better and storage will get better as well. All those things will meet in the middle and once UHD is mainstream, the workflow will be there to support it.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1011

Scott says that this week at the IFA show, LG introduced a 77" OLED UHD TV and they're going to make them ever larger. Some people call them 4K TVs, but that's somewhat of a misnomer. It's got higher resolution, but it's not strictly 4k. Leo wonders if he'll regret spending so much on an HD TV with UHD coming out now, but Scott says that at those sizes, Leo really won't see the difference. There isn't really any native UHD content yet. Sony, however, is launching a UHD service but their UHD boxes will only work Sony UHD TVs.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1001

Home Theater Geeks

Scott says that for the very first time this month, an internet content provider called OdeMax downloaded an Ultra HD short film at 3GB. The short is called "The Ballad of Danko Jones," and is a 23-minute short starring Elijah Wood, Jena Malone, and Ralph Macchio and directed by the Diamond Brothers. It was compressed using REDs new compression codec and the RED Ray Player. You can read more from Scott's post at AVS Forum.

Is physical media really dying?

Louis from Hollywood, CA

Episode 1001

Louis wants to know why Leo is in favor of streaming media over physical media. Leo says he isn't. He just says that the trend shows that physical media is dying as people are adopting streaming options. Louis says that the downside of streaming media is the lack of special features. Leo says that special features were only to prevent users from pirating the movie by giving users added value. Now streaming is far more efficient. Leo does think we're in a transitional period, though, and he suspects that special features may return, or as much as the studios are willing to offer them.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 991

Scott is back from the HD Line Show in New York and the big news was nothing but Ultra HD (4K) displays. Scott says that he participated in roundtable discussions and the issue is about content. There's a serious lack of it at the moment. He also learned that the average screen size of TVs is increasing over time, which is good because to really appreciate the benefits of 4K, you need a large screen.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 989

Scott is going to a UHD conference this week called CE Week, and one of the questions emerging is that with 4K movies and 4K TVs being different, how will they deal with the extra pixels in the image? Scott says they'll do what they've always done, which is cut off 3% of the images on either side, or scale it in the TV. Leo says we've all accepted the concept of letter boxing, so why not do that? Scott prefers cropping which keeps the resolution as is. There's no standard, though. We don't even known what the compression spec will be.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 981

Scott will be heading to CineGear for a special 4K screening of "After Earth," starring Will and Jaden Smith. What Scott has learned is that this is a rare occurance because digital projection in movie theaters is only 2K and upscaled to 4K. This is because the 4K infrastructure isn't really there for movie theaters to handle. Leo says that going to digital projection then, actually had movies take a step back because a high quality film print has better resolution. As it continues to wear on, that quality gets worn.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 977

Scott Wilkinson joins Leo to talk about the Seiki UHD $1500 4K TV. Scott says that CNet reviewed the TV and the word is that there's plenty of pixels, but that doesn't equate to a good picture. In fact, they say the picture is pretty poor. Leo says that to be fair, there really isn't any content out there to push 4K, only gaming can show it off. The TV can only accept 30fps, so even for gaming, it's lacking.

Can I use an HDTV for PC gaming in a multi-monitor setup?

Carlos from Brooklyn, NY

Episode 977

Carlos wants to get a nice multi HD monitor setup with an HDTV to use as a gaming monitor. Leo says that HDTVs have lower resolution than computer monitors. Monitors are over 2K while TVs are currently just 1080p. 4K TVs are coming though. There is a Seiki UHD $1500 4K TV. PC Perspectives has reviewed it and got pretty good results. Most video cards now have HDMI, so he could connect his computer to an HDTV directly.