ultra high definition

Do I need another video card for 4K?

Video card

Episode 1405

Roy from Pasadena, CA

Roy has a high resolution 4K monitor, but his friends say if he adds a second video card, it could give him better resolution. Is that true? Leo says no. A newer one with more RAM could help, but if he's driving the monitor at its full resolution, then it's not going to get any better than that. A second video card would give him the ability to add more monitors, though.

Which is the best UHDTV for high dynamic range?

Episode 1269

Gary from Los Ange

Gary wonders if the new LG G6 series can enjoy HDR through Samsung's new Blu-ray player. It has to have HDMI 2.0a. But with DOlby Vision it only needs HDMI 2.0. Scott says that is correct. But what about the Vizio Reference series? It doesn't have HDMI 2.0a. Leo says that's because it's last year's model. So it can only receive Dolby Vision HDR, not HDR 10, which is what the Samsung Blu-ray player does. So Scott says to get the LG G6 TV. It does both. Will Vizio upgrade it with firmware? Scott says not likely. It's a hardware difference.

How can I watch 4K on my new TV?

Episode 1252

Avis from California

Avis bought a 75" 4K TV for Christmas and she isn't sure that her cable will give her 4K. Leo says that the only way to get 4K is through Netflix or Vudu. And because it's over the internet, it's highly compressed. There really isn't any other 4K content until 4K Blu-ray players come out later this Spring. Then she'll start seeing movies being released in Ultra HD Blu-ray. What's a good brand? Leo says Sony is a top brand to look at.

When will 4K content be coming?

Episode 1213

Steve from California

Steve just got a new ultra high definition 4K TV and wants to know how he can best enjoy it. Leo says there really isn't a lot of 4K content right now and what there is (Netfflix, DirecTV Video on Demand) is heavily compressed. It depends on how good his bandwidth is. 25-50 Mbps down is what he'll need to watch House of Cards on Netflix. It needs to be a consistent 25 Mbps, not "as fast as" like cable providers say. There's also emerging 4K Blu-ray players. When they come out later this year, there will be a flood of content coming out.

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1209

Lance says that he doesn't think 4K streaming will ever take over 4K Blu-ray discs. Scott says that the median downstream bandwidth in the US is far less than what 4K requires, and even if it did, with data caps, your streaming would be terribly limited every month. Leo agrees and says that he's seen 4K streaming and it's nowhere near as good as a Blu-ray experience. Scott says it's because the streams are compressed and that is part of the problem.

Should I buy a 4K TV or a 1080p OLED TV?

HDTV

Episode 1144

Marco from Chatsworth, CA

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 Wilkinson and the UHD Color Gamut

Episode 1105

This week on Home Theater Geeks, Scott had Joe Kane as his guest to talk about hi definition color space in television. Leo says that it's a good show to watch because the next generation TVs will not only have higher resolution and frame rates, but also color space that goes beyond the limits of the human eye. Scott says that current TVs don't reproduce red very well. It tends to look more orange. But the new Ultra HD TVs will. Sadly, the content will have to catch up and expand their range of colors to take advantage of that color gamut.

Will 4K ever come to broadcast?

Episode 1098

Tom from Harrisburg, PA

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.

Should I buy a 4K TV?

Sony HDTV

Episode 1097

Jim from Freemont, CA

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.

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson

Episod 1093

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.