How long will it be before 4K content is available in masses?

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Tex, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    I'm going to be buying a TV in the next few months and I'm also a little bit of an early adopter. CES starts tomorrow so I'm expecting to see a lot of the latest stuff come out which will drop the price of the current models.

    Here is my dilemma:
    1) I don't want my TV to be outdated in a few years
    2) I want a really big TV
    3) I don't want to pay more than $3,000

    As of right now that means I can get a 55" 4K TV or a 75" 1080p TV. With CES tomorrow I expect my options to improve over the next few months.

    I'm really into higher resolution with computer monitors and tablets but I'm not sure it makes that big of a difference with televisions because you sit so far away from them.

    The only thing that really is holding me back from just saying get the 75" tv is that I've been reading about Netflix beginning to 4K stream within the next year. Youtube has some 4K streaming right now as well.

    Oh ya, and I've got an ATT Uverse Fiber connection so speed isn't an issue. I can download and upload regularly at over 350mbps. They also say they'll have a full 1gbps upgrade available within a year but I don't think that is even necessary given how ridiculously fast my current connection feels.

    So give me your opinions. Is size all that matter? Or should I go for quality? I am pretty optimistic that within 90 days 65" 4K tv's will be available in my price range. @shootER @AlphaMan I'm particularly interested in your opinions.

    Final note: I'm not interested in Seiki TV's, I want something that functions right out of the box without a ridiculous set up and is capable of over 30fps at 4K.
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  2. Nautica

    Nautica Probably a Dual

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    How much content is actually "filmed" at 4K currently? How much that isn't will be ramping up to 4K in the near future? Those would be a questions that I'd want answered. For the record, I have no fucking clue! Early adopters always seem to pay the price for being on the leading/bleeding edge. Personally, unless the amount of 4K content is up to snuff with your personal standards, I'd suggest waiting on the 4K TV for now. JMHO.
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  3. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    I think practically everything is now being filmed in 4K but I could be wrong about that.

    And true early adopters had 4K last year. I would definitely be on the early end of things but not so much that I would have spent 10K+ on a TV to do it.
  4. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    I wouldn't call 4K "mainstream" just yet, but it's moving that way.

    I don't have a whole lot of specific advice, but I would suggest that you consider your viewing distance in order to get the full benefit of the extra resolution...

    [​IMG]
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  5. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    Living room TV is 10 feet from the couch. The chart indicates it's at the very edge of 1080p/4K optimal viewing for that 75" tv. That being the case I'd probably opt for 4K but as of this moment there is no reasonably priced 75" 4K tv. Hopefully CES will fix that problem. Of course there is still going to be the issue of content. Cable and OTA TV isn't going to be 4K for a very long time. So the only time the advantage is received is when streaming 4K content to the TV. @Paladin thanks for the chart, I meant to tag you in that first post too since this kind of thing is your specialty.
  6. AlphaMan

    AlphaMan The North Remembers...

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    I have to admit that I don't know much about 4k adoption at this popint, but one of the local retailers have one on display and it is gorgeous. It's a 60" UHDTV retailing for a little under $4500 at the moment. I'll post some CES 2014 links if anything pops up this week.
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  7. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    From what I've gathered on the professional message boards I've visited, there's not a whole lot of 4K content out there right now. Most content is 2K or less (even movies) even though cameras are capable of shooting much higher than that. DSLRs approach and even surpass 8K.

    If it were me, I'd wait until the price comes down because that'll probably be around the time there's more 4K content available. NHK is already testing 8K technology in Japan.
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  8. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love

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    Hell, I'm still on 720p. :lol:
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  9. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    One of the TVs in my house has a tube. :soma:
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  10. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    Same here. The small TV in my home office died back when small flat screens were still pretty expensive. I found a cheap digital CRT on sale and bought it to tide me over until flat screens came down in price. The problem is it still looks really good for an SD television. :lol:
  11. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love

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    Yeah, I had a 14" RCA digital SDTV, worked great, looked great, but when I got my 20" AOC HDTV (720p), I gave it away.
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  12. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    My tube is in a 32" HDTV. It's actually the largest screen I have, I really need to do something about that. I am the anti-Tex when it comes to TV.
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  13. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    We've got a 50" 1080p in the living room, a 32" 720p in the bedroom and the aforementioned 19" CRT in my office. I'm thinking that at some point soon it's going to be replaced with another 32" 720p like the one in the bedroom. There's just enough room for it to fit.

    We kept the CRTs in the other rooms of the house (32" and 27") until they wore out, though. That 27" Sony was a damn nice television when I bought it.

    In 1995.

    It wasn't replaced until 2009. :lol:

    The only time I've ever been an early adopter of technology was with DVD. It was exponentially better than VHS and not very expensive, even in the beginning.
  14. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    I predict 10 years from now we'll still be waiting for it to hit mass market.
  15. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh, just bite the bullet and get this 5K TV, you know you want it!

    [​IMG]

    Last I heard, 8K TVs were projected to show up by 2018 or so. The big issue with them is the amount of data they consume: terabytes per minute of film. People who've seen 8K TVs say that the difference in quality between 4K and 8K is greater than that between SD and HD. One tech reporter said that after seeing 8K TVs he wasn't going to bother buying a 4K, but just wait for the 8Ks to come out.
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    I saw an 8K demo last year (NHK booth at the NAB show). Very, very impressive. I'd probably disagree that the jump from HD/4K to 8K is more impressive than SD to HD, though. THAT was a pretty big leap and, the higher the resolution goes, the closer we get to the limits of our ability to perceive it. But what does emerge is incredible detail (fine hairs, skin textures, etc.).

    Where 4K/8K will REALLY shine is with really, really LARGE displays. The extra resolution will let us make huge displays that won't show scan lines, even when they occupy a whole wall in your house. However, the problem with 4K--to say nothing of 8K which is still in the laboratory--is the dearth of content for it. Netflix says it's going to have 4K programs, but with typical Internet connections, those are going to take a looooooong time to download.

    Of course, plain ol' 1080p HD (oh, how fast we grow jaded!) is still very capable. I saw the prototype of a SUPER HIGH-END home theater projection system (a masterpiece of optical engineering using individual red, green, and blue LASERS as the means of projection) showing Avatar in 1080p on a 200 inch screen and it was quite stunning.
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  17. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Netflix says that they've got it all worked out, and even with current speeds, they'll be able to send you 4K content without long download times. I don't know if I buy that, but that's what they're claiming.
  18. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Compress it down to SD? :diacanu:

    Seriously, though, a compressed 4K movie is going to be 4 times the size of a Blu-Ray, so around 120-200 GIGABYTES. Even with better compression, that seems like it's going to be a long wait...
  19. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    :shrug: I don't see how they can do it, either, and where I live, my internet connection is so crappy that I doubt it'd be able to do it, no matter what Netflix is able to come up with.
  20. Amaris

    Amaris Princess of Love

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    I'm happy with 1080p, and will be for a long time. Plus, I tried playing a 4K video on my computer, and it told me to fuck off.
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  21. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Supposedly, they'll be able to give it to you at 15Mbps. I don't know. How could you so massively compress something yet have it be easily uncompressed by the average PC, BluRay player, or settop box?
  22. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Ah. Reading that carefully, it says their new content will be SHOT in 4K, but that doesn't mean it will be DISTRIBUTED in 4K.
    Even assuming you could get an order of magnitude better compression over Blu-Ray, that would still be 12-20 gigabytes for a feature length film. For 12 GB, that's almost 2 hours at 15 Mbps. I'm skeptical.
  23. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Netflix is already streaming some content in 4K.
  24. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    :chris:

    If they can get real, good quality 4K images from 15.6 Mbps, I will be truly impressed.

    Edit: a little research says, yes, 4K can be done in 15.6 Mbps with H.265. I want to see the results before I'm convinced, though.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
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  25. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    I was just about to post about H.265. If you were to download movies from illicit sources they are already using those compression techniques. The most common one being used is H.264 and it does a fantastic job of taking 50-60GB Blu-Rays down to 2-4GB file sizes. Even on my 100" projector it looks very good. If the file is 4GB+ I can't actually tell that it's not a Blu-Ray playing a lot of the time. I'll post a chart at the bottom of this post relating to the compression efficiency.

    Four things are going to continue to happen over the next decade or 2 that will make 4K and eventually 8K possible to distribute.

    1) Compression techniques will continue to evolve and improve.

    2) High speed internet connections will continue to evolve and improve.

    3) Satellite based internet services will bring high speed internet to remote locations. And this one I believe will be an exponential improvement over what we see today.

    4) It is possible to carry data over electric lines. This could also be used to speed up getting rural areas on the data grid.

    There is a decent chance that 4K video will be readily available to the majority of people in urban areas within the next decade. Within 20 years I expect that 4K will be pretty much minimum standard through cable/satellite/internet TV providers everywhere and 8K might be starting to make an appearance at an entry level. Even at today's H.265 8K would require 62.4Mbps to stream. So if fiber internet rolls out to all the major markets (and it will) it is definitely within the realm of possibility we could see 8K... if someone starts producing the content.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.extremetech.com/computin...eneration-video-codec-live-up-to-expectations
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  26. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Only if Google continues to roll out fiber. The cable companies don't want fiber, because it just turns them into "dumb pipes" and they'll have trouble assraping their customers if people get fiber. I wish that we'd adopt the model that many European countries have, where the government runs fiber to everyone, and then you pick a service provider to buy internet/cable TV from. The countries that have done this, all have higher internet speeds than 99% of the US does.
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  27. Scott Hamilton Robert E Ron Paul Lee

    Scott Hamilton Robert E Ron Paul Lee Straight Awesome

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    AT&T Is pushing fiber like crazy in Memphis. It is the only thing they will install in new subdivisions, and the only new business infrastructure they will install.

    Plus they are working to retrofit existing business infrastructure (our office is getting a 10gb connection soon).
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  28. Aurora

    Aurora Vincerò!

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    They are available :shrug: and the picture looks glorious. There are two models, one Samsung and one Toshiba, in the 3000 euro range. 4000 euro will score you a mighty fine Sony (since prices are usually lower in the US, the euro amount should be roughly the same in $). Too bad there is no content is available in that resolution. Oh, and there's another reason why you shouldn't spend your money on one now: good old cable confusion. Welcome back to being robbed by 'HD Ready' :rolleyes:

  29. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    AT&T is actually starting to roll it out and so is Verizon. Google is forcing their hand in some cases and in other areas the municipalities themselves are working on it. @Ancalagon lives in a place like that I believe.

    AT&T is monetizing it by having you sell them your privacy for a $20 a month discount. I sold out. I really don't care if they monitor my usage as long as they pay me for it. That turns those "dumb pipes" into a marketing machine that can target individuals.
  30. Tex

    Tex Forge or die. Administrator Formerly Important

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    Then why the worries below?

    Not true of anything shown in the last few days nor of the stuff that came out in the last 6 months. Sony and Samsung both just rolled out a firmware upgrade which activates HDMI 2.0. Everything new ships with it already upgraded.

    Only pro-level monitors are capable of 10 bit depth right now. Only pro-level consumers will be able to actually see the difference. Nothing 10 bit or higher is even close to coming out. This would be a very poor reason not to upgrade a TV.