4k visibility on smaller screens, are the charts wrong?

Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
422 13 5
#1
If you go by the chart posted by Carlton Bale, you'd need either a huge display or a very close seating distance to notice it. However, according to this https://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/4k-resolution-201312153517.htm 4k can be noticed at 9' on a regular 55" TV.

I own a Vizio 55" 2016 E series that doesn't support HDR, so the only difference I could notice between 4k and HD is resolution. I use a Samsung m8500 uhd bdp that has excellent scaling from sub 4k resolution. Using vudu, one can quickly switch between uhd and hdx streams, allowing an easy comparison. With native 4k content, I can easily tell a difference between HD and uhd, especially on scenes with greater contrast or sharp lines (such as blade of grass or sand/rock textures). This is seated at 9.5' away as well.

Does anybody have a 4k TV and notice this as well? It brings me back to the early days of HD vs FHD, with many claiming FHD was only needed on very large screens. I don't think anyone today would argue that 1080p is noticeably better than 720p, even on a sub 50" screen.


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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
517 1 1
#2
Most of the 4K TVs are simulating HDR on non HDR sources so you can get excellent picture on a regular Blu-ray and on UHD 4K HDR10 Blu-ray. I’m sitting 9ft from my 2016 Samsung KS8000 65in and the source is my 2017 Sony x800. However, load up Stephen Kings IT and the real HDR10 is so amazing vs the standard Blu-ray. The outdoor scenes are really detailed and the colors are striking. I definitely will go to a 75in screen in a couple years though when prices drop a bit. (Assuming Seattle gets an NHL team on the ice, that will be my excuse). :)
 
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Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
422 13 5
#3
Most of the 4K TVs are simulating HDR on non HDR sources so you can get excellent picture on a regular Blu-ray and on UHD 4K HDR10 Blu-ray. I’m sitting 9ft from my 2016 Samsung KS8000 and the source is my 2017 Sony x800. However, load up Stephen Kings IT and the real HDR10 is so amazing vs the standard Blu-ray. The outdoor scenes are really detailed and the colors are striking. I definitely will go to a 75in screen in a couple years though when prices drop a bit. (Assuming Seattle gets an NHL team on the ice, that will be my excuse). :)
Think you misread my post, I specifically noted I don't have an hdr display. In addition, the TV is barely able to cover the entire rec. 709 color space and the BDP converts bt 2020 and hdr to sdr bt 709 anyways.

What I'm not sure about is whether or not the hdr to sdr conversion is any better than straight sdr. I know that 4k downscaled to 1080p provides a better, sharper picture than native 1080p, but I don't know if the same thing applies to color. I'd assume it would with a proper dithering.

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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic General
Ratings
517 1 1
#4
Think you misread my post, I specifically noted I don't have an hdr display. In addition, the TV is barely able to cover the entire rec. 709 color space and the BDP converts bt 2020 and hdr to sdr bt 709 anyways.

What I'm not sure about is whether or not the hdr to sdr conversion is any better than straight sdr. I know that 4k downscaled to 1080p provides a better, sharper picture than native 1080p, but I don't know if the same thing applies to color. I'd assume it would with a proper dithering.

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Sorry about that. Not sure about the color conversion.
For 55in, 1080p is fine. I still own a 2009 Panasonic Viera 55in 1080p Plasma in another room that still has a great picture. :)
 
NorseMythology

NorseMythology

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
18
#5
Sorry about that. Not sure about the color conversion.
For 55in, 1080p is fine. I still own a 2009 Panasonic Viera 55in 1080p Plasma in another room that still has a great picture. :)
I have a low end model 50" Panasonic Plasma 2012, I still think it looks damn good. No doubt some of the newer TV's look better but I don't feel compelled to spend money to attain one.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
1,846 2
#6
People screw this up all the time. They think that a 1080p stream and a 4K stream are just a jump in resolution.

I have news for you - your 1080p stream is NOWHERE NEAR 1080p.

It's all about video compression that is in use and the bit rate that they are using. You see, a 4K Blu-ray Disc may look better on ANY display because of the newer codecs in use and the much higher bitrate which is used for the encoding. Whether that video had more detail or not to begin with, the encode itself is of higher quality than the 1080p version of the same movie, and almost any display can take advantage of that. As well, the expanded color pallet, which is not the same as HDR from my understanding, also can come into play. So, you can get greater bit depth in the colors without necessarily getting HDR content, and that can impact image quality with 4K encodes.

Now, you get into streaming, which is really a joke in comparison to Blu-ray Disc quality. You should be able to see artifacts at 1080p that should never be there. I certainly watch streams on my projector (1080p) and they look like garbage compared to Blu-ray Disc which is typically razor sharp. HDTV often looks like crap as well. So, I can certainly see that switching to a 4K stream, at a much higher bit-rate will eliminate a lot of the encoding issues that they don't care about with their 1080p versions.

This isn't about the encode, it's about the added feature set that is included across all 4K material, whether your TV accepts HDR or not, the added color depth is on the disc, and this comes across on the TV. The higher bit rate of the encoding is there, and it comes across on the TV. If you had a 1080p TV that had the ability to receive a 4K signal and the expanded color gamut, then it may very well look identical to the 4K TV from the same seating distance. But, that's not what you are testing. You are starting with two extremely different encodes, and you should always expect to see a difference.

You may even see a jump in quality if you went from a 4K movie that is being streamed to a 1080p Blu-ray Disc copy of the exact same movie. The disc may look better overall even though it should have a lower color gamut to begin with and lower resolution claim, it does it all with a much higher bit rate of encoding.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
1,085 5
#7
People screw this up all the time. They think that a 1080p stream and a 4K stream are just a jump in resolution.

I have news for you - your 1080p stream is NOWHERE NEAR 1080p.

It's all about video compression that is in use and the bit rate that they are using. You see, a 4K Blu-ray Disc may look better on ANY display because of the newer codecs in use and the much higher bitrate which is used for the encoding. Whether that video had more detail or not to begin with, the encode itself is of higher quality than the 1080p version of the same movie, and almost any display can take advantage of that. As well, the expanded color pallet, which is not the same as HDR from my understanding, also can come into play. So, you can get greater bit depth in the colors without necessarily getting HDR content, and that can impact image quality with 4K encodes.

Now, you get into streaming, which is really a joke in comparison to Blu-ray Disc quality. You should be able to see artifacts at 1080p that should never be there. I certainly watch streams on my projector (1080p) and they look like garbage compared to Blu-ray Disc which is typically razor sharp. HDTV often looks like crap as well. So, I can certainly see that switching to a 4K stream, at a much higher bit-rate will eliminate a lot of the encoding issues that they don't care about with their 1080p versions.

This isn't about the encode, it's about the added feature set that is included across all 4K material, whether your TV accepts HDR or not, the added color depth is on the disc, and this comes across on the TV. The higher bit rate of the encoding is there, and it comes across on the TV. If you had a 1080p TV that had the ability to receive a 4K signal and the expanded color gamut, then it may very well look identical to the 4K TV from the same seating distance. But, that's not what you are testing. You are starting with two extremely different encodes, and you should always expect to see a difference.

You may even see a jump in quality if you went from a 4K movie that is being streamed to a 1080p Blu-ray Disc copy of the exact same movie. The disc may look better overall even though it should have a lower color gamut to begin with and lower resolution claim, it does it all with a much higher bit rate of encoding.
Thanks for putting this out there. Too many people think the resolution is everything you need for a quality video experience. Compression is all too obvious when you are watching on a projector. Even the difference between OTA HDTV and DirecTV is HUGE. Some streaming sources look fine on my TV, but when I go to the theater to watch the same thing it becomes apparent that I didn't notice the compression when watching my TV.

Source quality for video is just as important as it is for audio.
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
422 13 5
#8
People screw this up all the time. They think that a 1080p stream and a 4K stream are just a jump in resolution.

I have news for you - your 1080p stream is NOWHERE NEAR 1080p.

It's all about video compression that is in use and the bit rate that they are using. You see, a 4K Blu-ray Disc may look better on ANY display because of the newer codecs in use and the much higher bitrate which is used for the encoding. Whether that video had more detail or not to begin with, the encode itself is of higher quality than the 1080p version of the same movie, and almost any display can take advantage of that. As well, the expanded color pallet, which is not the same as HDR from my understanding, also can come into play. So, you can get greater bit depth in the colors without necessarily getting HDR content, and that can impact image quality with 4K encodes.

Now, you get into streaming, which is really a joke in comparison to Blu-ray Disc quality. You should be able to see artifacts at 1080p that should never be there. I certainly watch streams on my projector (1080p) and they look like garbage compared to Blu-ray Disc which is typically razor sharp. HDTV often looks like crap as well. So, I can certainly see that switching to a 4K stream, at a much higher bit-rate will eliminate a lot of the encoding issues that they don't care about with their 1080p versions.

This isn't about the encode, it's about the added feature set that is included across all 4K material, whether your TV accepts HDR or not, the added color depth is on the disc, and this comes across on the TV. The higher bit rate of the encoding is there, and it comes across on the TV. If you had a 1080p TV that had the ability to receive a 4K signal and the expanded color gamut, then it may very well look identical to the 4K TV from the same seating distance. But, that's not what you are testing. You are starting with two extremely different encodes, and you should always expect to see a difference.

You may even see a jump in quality if you went from a 4K movie that is being streamed to a 1080p Blu-ray Disc copy of the exact same movie. The disc may look better overall even though it should have a lower color gamut to begin with and lower resolution claim, it does it all with a much higher bit rate of encoding.
The relative bitrate difference between bluray AVC and @30mbps and 4k HEVC @60mbps is pretty much the same though quality wise. HEVC is around 50% more efficient than AVC, and 4k about 4x as many pixels as 1080p, so it is roughly the same. Like I mentioned in my previous post, 4k downscaled to 1080p and a proper bt 2020 to bt 709 (with dither) should look sharper and more vibrant than a native 1080p disc, even without a 4k TV. Several videos on YouTube show a 4k video downscaled looks better than a 1080p source as well.

As far as streaming goes, VUDU is very good quality on both the audio and video front, of course, nothing beats Blu-ray, but there are lots of films I want see but not own, and IME, UHD Vudu still looks better than 1080p Blu-ray, and Vudu also offers Atmos, which is, unfortunately, limited to the 4k releases of some studios.

Amazon's 4k and 1080p encodes are the worst of all streaming providers, with visible and audible artifacts on both streams. Most of Netflix's stuff looks good at 7.5mbps and 15.6mbps for 1080p and 4k respectively, but some portions of audio reveal compression artifacts. Vudu uses 384kbps DD+, which is mostly transparent.

If you check out my blog, you'll see there may be some occasional minor artifacts on lossy DD+ Atmos, since the objects must be derived from the the 5.1 base layer via Metadata instructions. Lossless Atmos via truehd carries each object as a separate substream.

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Auditor55

Auditor55

Full Audioholic
Ratings
97 13 7
#9
If you go by the chart posted by Carlton Bale, you'd need either a huge display or a very close seating distance to notice it. However, according to this https://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/4k-resolution-201312153517.htm 4k can be noticed at 9' on a regular 55" TV.

I own a Vizio 55" 2016 E series that doesn't support HDR, so the only difference I could notice between 4k and HD is resolution. I use a Samsung m8500 uhd bdp that has excellent scaling from sub 4k resolution. Using vudu, one can quickly switch between uhd and hdx streams, allowing an easy comparison. With native 4k content, I can easily tell a difference between HD and uhd, especially on scenes with greater contrast or sharp lines (such as blade of grass or sand/rock textures). This is seated at 9.5' away as well.

Does anybody have a 4k TV and notice this as well? It brings me back to the early days of HD vs FHD, with many claiming FHD was only needed on very large screens. I don't think anyone today would argue that 1080p is noticeably better than 720p, even on a sub 50" screen.


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This chart is well researched and support by visual scientist and display technology experts. It is a fact, there are limits to human eyesight, that is where this chart comes in. That's why resolution is the least significant factor in UHD display. However "4K" is good marketing for the masses.
 
NorseMythology

NorseMythology

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
18
#10
This chart is well researched and support by visual scientist and display technology experts. It is a fact, there are limits to human eyesight, that is where this chart comes in. That's why resolution is the least significant factor in UHD display. However "4K" is good marketing for the masses.

For sure, I would much rather have a 1080p hdr, wide color gamut tv than a 4k without such perks.
 

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