News and Reviews....

    The Benefit of 4K   December 2016         UPDATED (August 2014)** (December 2016) ***

 By Robert Lieto

    You might have heard that the newer TVs are coming out in what is called 4K. The next question might be "What is the benefit of 4K ?" Well.... we hope to clear up some of the hoopla surrounding this extension of new technology. Why  we call it an Extension is because it is still classified as LCD LED or on the high end 4K OLED. 4K allows you to sit closer to your TV and not be able to discern the individual pixels which are closer together and greater in numbers. 4K sets are priced a bit higher then the best 1080P TVs available today, but the prices will come down as all TVs will become 4K in the future just like the 720P transition to 1080P sets. As stated, most are LCD LED or OLED with none are in the Plasma technology which will be going away (See below.... the Death of Plasma). You can watch all the programming available today on a 4K with upgrade of the sources made by the TV itself. Eventually all content of today will be upgraded to 4K in the future before it reaches your home. There are roughly 9 Blue-ray Players on the market today that will do an upgrade to a 4K TV, with many more to follow as the technology becomes more prevalent. Many of the Blue-ray players do a better job of upgrading content then the TV itself, especially those on the professional level. Netflix is one of the first streamers to have 4K programs available in Ultra HD as it is also called. A broadband connection of 15Mbps is required for broadband streaming and many of today's' broadband providers are there already. All the currently available 4K content comes from online services built directly into the TVs themselves and known as "Apps".

Curved TVs can be LCD LED or OLED and came with a problem of mounting initially, which has been taken care of by mount manufactures. The 2014 mix of curved TVs are an array of 4K and OLED of which some are both. The curve is subtle and may not detract much from the picture, but probably doesn't add much of anything either. The ultra-wide, 105-inch 21:9 aspect ratio TVs hitting the market are another thing. They are big, and wide making them perfect for CinemaScope movies, but maybe not so hot for plain HDTV viewing. Prices are around 120K at this time.

The projector market is following the 4K lead and have a few which are far beyond the pocket of average Home Theater enthusiasts. The only mainstream consumer projector maker is SONY, which has two models, one at 25K and one at 15K. JVC also has several moderately priced projectors that will accept and display 4K video, but they accomplish that with 1080P image chip sets. SONY has a true end to end solution in 4K. Call us we can provide more information.

Comment .....   IS NOW the time to buy..... well if you are in the market for a TV, I would say yes. If you are thinking of upgrading... I would say wait a bit.    If you like to watch 3D Blue-Rays on a large screen, I would say YES for the increase in pixels will get you 1080P resolution for both eyes.   Do you tend to sit close (closer then 10 feet) to your TV... Yes Ultra-HD will be a better choice.     If you sit 15 feet away from a 50 inch TV, then the increase in resolution really won't make any big change in picture resolution.     Above all.... consult with a local electronics integrator for they can size up the room and picture benefits for you and pick a set that fits your set-up with better efficiency. Call Custom Audio-Video Systems of Connecticut (203) 234-1303.

* (Original Date) December 2012

Update ..... August 2014    WE do not subscribe to Consumer Reports, but they have put up their picks for 4K machines and it goes like this: Sharp Aquos 60" (LC-60EQ10U) $1300, Samsung 60" (UN-60H6350) $1400, LG 60" (60PB6600) $850 (misprint? maybe $1850).  Also LG has released a 55" Curved OLED at $3499, LG 60" Flat OLED at 10K. I do not get the difference in the LG pricing. Expect more to come on this topic.

UPDATES:   * (Original Date) December 2012   ** August 2014 (Chart & Comment)

Update ..... December 2016   THE 1080p and Standard 4K sets have all come down in cost. Your $10K now buys upwards of 75" - 84" of LED 4K picture and as high as 102" by one niche manufacturer. As of this date, Sharp no longer makes TVs and their name has been bought by a Chinese company (TCL) as has Sylvania, Phillips, Sansui and a few others.  Samsung has come out with there SUHD models, which are top of the line (Quantum Dots) models and only the SONY Z Series line will match and go beyond them in picture quality. SONY Z-SERIES has a technical reason why this is true, and not subjective.

There are some products that support 4K resolution, a couple of true 4K disc players and a few 4K discs from major movies studios that are also available. Internet Streaming companies like Netflix are streaming 4K as well as a few others like Vudu and Roku, but cable companies like Comcast are not getting to 4K anytime soon. HDMI cables are now 4K rated and I would always recommend buying a generally higher quality cable for 4K HDMI.

The hoopla on CURVED screens has subsided and Custom AV does not recommend a "Curved" screen in normal seating areas.

    UPDATES:   * (Original Date) December 2012   ** August 2014 (Chart & Comment) *** December 2016 (Body & Comment)

Any comments or questions, just give us a call (203) 234-1303 or an email to "customaudio@sbcglobal.net".

Past Articles on Subject:

TV Stats #1    May  2016

Man Cave Pt1.   May  2015

The ROKU Pt. 1     May  2015

The Death of Plasma  July  2014

Ultra-Large UHD  July  2013

OLED $$ to Go Down  Dec.  2012

World's Largest OLED    Jan. 2012

Quantum Dots  Dec. 2011

Not all HDTV Created Equal   Nov  2009

Sony OLED  Sept 2007

FLAT PANEL BIZ    July 2007

1080P and Beyond  April 2007

Here Comes NED   Nov 2005

Here Comes SED  Sept 2004

Waiting For OLEDS  June 2004

FLEXIBLE TV    July 2002