This week is the week to buy a new big screen TV, according to Scott Wilkinson. Everyone wants to watch the Super Bowl on a big screen 4K TV, and this week is a bigger week to buy than the week of Black Friday. Here's a list of great deals compiled by Scott from AVS Forum. Not only will the Super Bowl look great in 4K HDR, but also the Winter Olympics.
Scott was at CES this week, putting over 26 miles on his feet in four days. And while there really wasn't much technology for most categories, there were some exciting announcements for home theater including a new MicroLED TV. This contains microscopic LEDs that are less than 1mm in size emitting red, green and blue. The advantage is that microLED can get a lot brighter than OLED or plasma and it can be dimmed down to nothing. So you get incredible blacks and really bold colors.
This week was the Flat Panel Shoot Out for HDTVs, and Scott has the results. This year, the shootout took place in association with CE week and featured mostly flagship TVs in a head to head evaluation. All TVs were professionally calibrated and fed the same TV feed. Then professional colorists made the determination of what TVs were best. There was also a Sony 30" OLED Broadcast video monitor which was used as the standard to compare to.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how January is the big time to buy a new TV because the NFL playoffs are in full swing and people want their new TV before the Super Bowl. It's also the time that TVs get discounted because TVs we see announced at CES will begin selling in the Spring. Is there any upgrade we'll see in 2018 worth waiting for? Scott says maybe not, but CES always has something new coming and Scott has heard of something that is really exciting. But on the whole, Scott only expects incremental improvements, or what Leo calls "fins" this year.
Scott joins us to talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Leo saw it yesterday at the fan event and he saw it in 3D, which he says ruins movies for him. Also, the projector died twice. Scott says Leo isn't the only one to have that issue. There was a showing at the AMC Burbank where the dialogue track wouldn't play and AMC wouldn't start it over. It almost caused a riot.
Scott says that most of the door buster deals on Black Friday were for store brands or captive brands like Element and others. But LG put all of their LCD TVs on deep discount this time around, so there were great deals there to be had. The LG B7 and C7 are nearly identical with the higher end LGs because they have the same panels. So get the lower cost ones. The performance will be similar, the only difference is processing speed and power. Sony also put the X900E TV on sale as well.
Scott joins Leo to talk about the OLED burn-in problem that some LG phone users have been complaining about. Scott says that OLED TV makers have been using a technique called "pixel shifting" or "pixel orbiting" to combat burn-in since the pixels are subtly and constantly changing. Now phone makers are using the same technique. But it's odd because Leo says that both Samsung and Apple are using OLED screens and there haven't been many complaints. Scott says as long as you don't have the same TV image on for hours at a time, burn-in won't be an issue.
Leo got the Apple TV 4K yesterday and says it looks really good. Scott says there's some really great stuff in it and he thinks it could be a Roku killer. It's very polished and crisp. Scott says that the one problem the Apple TV 4K has is that the up conversion feature isn't the best and as such, anything you watch that isn't 4K at 60p doesn't look all that great. Apple is planning to address the problem with a TVOS firmware update 11.02 which will feature "auto switching" that will fix the up convert problem.
Scott says that there's a dreaded disease in home theater, and technology in general, called upgrade-itus. Sure, TV manufacturers come out with new models that address customer comments and wants, as well as new features, but for the basics, there's really nothing anything new this year over last. Just more whistles and bells.
What is the real difference between 4K streaming and ultra Blu-ray discs? Scott Wilkinson says that most of the Ultra Blu-ray discs on the market are now 4K HDR. Streaming content is making the move to HDR, and several of the TV shows streaming are in 4K. Netflix is the leader in this. Stranger Things is going to be streaming in 4K HDR as well, but it won't be as good because of bitrate. It'll top out at about 25 Mbps streaming, and it's data compressed, while 4K Blu-ray HDR is about 100 Mbps uncompressed. Renting Blu-rays is an option, but finding HDR Blu-rays can be a challenge.