Mike is looking to upgrade his PC display with a 4K monitor. Is there a monitor out there as good as the 5K iMac? Leo says that you can get a 5K monitor that is comparable. Costco has a 43" Dell 4K monitor. Will it be pixely? Or will it look good? Leo says that Dell makes really nice monitors. But Dell has two lines: an inexpensive line that's less color accurate, and an expensive line that is color calibrated. So it depends on what you want and need. If you're into photography and video, you want a calibrated display that can give you the full-color gamut.
Short answer: no.
Long answer: most video content we view on televisions are captured at a lower resolution than 4k. However, televisions are starting to have this technology called "upscaling" that will take your videos and scale it up to a higher resolution. In this case, 4096 x 2160. That's great! ... Right?
Bruce upgraded to an LG C7 TV, and it's been the best TV he's ever owned. He has an older generation Apple TV, not the new 4K version that's out now. He's wondering if it would be better for him to get a Mac Mini instead. He wants to know what the difference would be between Apple's tvOS and macOS. Leo says the new Apple TVs support UHD and high dynamic range (HDR). One of nice things about using an Apple TV is that it's automatic, Bruce would just have to plug in the HDMI cable and everything would work. The other thing it does is Dolby Atmos sound.
Rich recently bought a 4K TV, now he's having issues watching Blu-ray DVDs that are non 4K, because it's a bit "jerky." Leo says it's called "decoding hesitation." Scott says that the very first Samsung Blu-ray players had problems with resolution and detail. It's also related to upscaling. What's odd is that it's inconsistent, happening every 5-10 seconds. Leo also says the Blu-ray player is losing sync when decoding the data stream. A better player will fix the problem, and if Rich is looking to get the next component in his new 4K system, the Blu-ray player is where to start.
Scott says that there are now 4K HDR projectors, and you can get them under $5,000. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't considering where the prices were last year. Sony makes one that uses a technique called E-Shift, or 4K enhancement. The pixels 'wiggle' back and forth and can create close to 4K using 1080p imagers. It's pretty impressive. Scott says that the black levels are key to making the image really pop, and JVC is better with black levels than Sony. TheDLA-X790R is the one with great native contrast ratio and deep blacks.
John bought a Samsung QLED 4K TV. Does he really need to get a Blu-ray player for it? All he really watches is Netflix and it's pretty good. Leo says that streaming gets compressed, so even though it looks pretty good, Blu-ray is uncompressed and will look far better. The way he can tell is by looking for "macro blocking." He'll see it in solid blacks, and it'll show bands, instead of a smooth gradient. He'll also see some jaggies in titles and text. But Leo says in spite of that, Netflix does a good job. It just depends on if he wants the perfect image or not.
Murray has a Sony XBR 930D 4K TV, and it has horizontal lines across the bottom of the screen. Then it looks like it has a double image after awhile. Leo says it sounds like a hardware failure. Scott says that it sounds like LCDs are stuck open, or that the edge backlighting on the 930 are running a muck. Bottom line, it's broken. He may be able to have it repaired under warranty since it's under 2 years old. But if not, it'll likely cost more to fix it than buying a new TV.
Scott joins Leo to help Doug from Albuquerque, NM figure out what TV to buy. Scott says that the "spousal acceptance factor" is high on big flat screens, but not on speakers all over the house. So for Doug, a soundbar is probably best. As for the TV, Doug's living room is in a bright area, with plenty of windows, so Scott says an LED LCD TV is going to be the best option.
Tom is buying a new TV today and wants to know what to get. Leo says it depends on his budget. If he's spending a few thousand, then OLED is the way to go. Better yet, he should get a larger size than he would think. If he's at less than a 10' viewing distance, 55" is OK, but Leo likes 70". HDR makes a significant difference if he likes to watch movies. 4K, for sure. But everything else in the chain has to be 4K HDR in order to get the benefit.
Richard got a Vizio 4K TV and suddenly it says his TV isn't capable of receiving 4K, when it has been for the last two years. Leo suspects there's a "handshake" problem between the DirecTV box and the TV itself, and it's usually the culprit of HDMI cables. He should try replacing the cable first. But he'll have to be sure to have a cable that is certified for high speeds of 18GB per second. Amazon sells them for about $10. He could also try another HDMI input to see if that fixes it.