Some things to keep in mind when buying 4k

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by D007, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. D007

    D007 Junior Member

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    I was an early adopter and have suffered the growing pains.. Of which I assure you, there have been many..lol
    So allow me to assist you, so that my 3 years of painful experiences, can save you from the same..
    Things you should seriously consider before you buy.

    Technology and up coming tech.. For example you might just go jump on a 2016 model today and not even know that the 2017 models are hitting the floor this month and are already available for purchase at some stores.
    Some newer tech includes things like 10 bpc color (technicolor) certification, OLED, HDR, different pixel related software adjustments.

    OK, things to look out for on ANY 4k..
    Beware of these things..
    Any kind of subsampling.. 4:2:2:? Oh hell no...
    24- 30 hz? Yea, no dice.
    Honestly I wouldn't even buy a 60hz anymore as 120 and 240 are becoming standard, fast.

    Make sure it has enough ports to do what you want.. Some Tv's skimp on ports..

    Watch out for the base models and the lack of information in general on a lot of these TV's.
    You really have to dig for info sometimes..
    For example.
    If you went and bought the B7 OLED LG TV, you'd soon find out that the B7 is a base model.. Most people tell you "it's the same as the upperscale models, just not the same sound" Not true from what I'm starting to hear.. The B7 has worse picture quality and a higher response time..
    We're talking 60 ms vs 1 ms here.. Huge difference to a gamer.. But none of that info is on the box or on the specs sheet... Buyer beware..
    Get the C7 if you're making that choice.. Pay a little more.. Get the higher response time and better screen.

    Beware of the BS... I've seen TV's sold that are "UHD 4k".. But what they don't tell you is it's either one or the other, not both simultaneously. lmao.. I bought this 2 grand, 4k Tv and it has given me nothing but problems..Turns out, after 30 hours of tech support, 4 main board replacement, visits from techs and more headaches I care to remember, due to the constant loss of signal.. The TV can't run in 4k UHD.. it can only do one or the other.. lmfao. But it doesn't say that anywhere on the specs.. Again.. Beware..Research, a lot...
    Even the techs don't know what these Tv's can do, it's so new. Don't expect much support from them.

    Test it the second you get home in every way possible. Make sure it works how it's supposed to work.

    A lot of these TV's require you to enable something like "UHD colors" to use the 4k capability. Be on the lookout for that. Might drive you crazy, thinking you got a broken TV, when all it is, is a simple setting.

    Beware of various manufacturers software. Check the TV's settings for things like jutter reduction and motion smoothing.. A lot of these options actually create a worse experience.. I was having terrible flickering until I turned off some setting in my TV, which was on by default.

    In short..
    Check the refresh rates.
    Check the response times.
    Check the current tech, specs and upcoming specs.
    Check the TV's settings and make sure it works right in all ways. 4k, UHD, etc.
    Make sure no subsampling or BS marketing tactics are being used to sucker you.

    Do your research..lol. You have been warned. ;)
    Cheers.

    PS: I just bought the C7 from LG.
    Turns out that Sony actually uses LG's screens..
     
    #1 D007, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  3. KyleGates

    KyleGates Senior member

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    Some solid advice here to be sure BUT, with a little research, 4K can be had and enjoyed with ease. The MOST important factor, don't skimp. Make sure you have the budget for not just the 4K display, but all of the devices needed to max out its potential.

    As for color and chroma depth, some quick misinformation here as chroma even down at 4:2:0 can be SPECTACULAR (See Sony's 4K projector lineup for definitive proof). As for refresh rate and a bogus "24hz-30hz no dice", 24hz will remain THE standard for frame-rate for a LONG time to come (unless you happen to be Peter Jackson). The post-processing to 60 or 120hz will simply add to the artifacts. Of course if you are gaming that is another story altogether!

    Also not certain what "the TV can't run in 4K UHD, it can only do one or the other" means...perhaps the poster meant the TV can't do 4k and HDR at the same time? Maybe?

    In Short, I would agree with every "In Short" statement as doing the appropriate research is key in all aspects, but (as I can attest from 40" to 120") 4K can be done now, and done with stunning results just make sure everything from teh source, to the connective cabling to the display are up to the task of what you would like.
     
  4. D007

    D007 Junior Member

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    When I said it didn't do UHD and 4k, I was referring to the colors. I have a samsung 50", UHD tv.. They told me it ran uhd colors in 4k resolution. But when I enable UHD color settings on the TV and try to run in 4k, the TV starts to loose signal randomly, black screens. So I could do one or the other with no problems but not both.. Misleading.

    I disagree that "a little research" is enough though.. it's really not..lol.. There are so many mistakes and oversights you can make, that will completely piss you off, it's not even funny.
    You could research all you want but a lot of info isn't even on the manufacturers spec page. You need to be very thorough. Then when you're done being very thorough, be extremely thorough..
    Because even the technicians will tell you the wrong thing half the time.. I just went through that today with multiple techs from LG, best buy and other retailers, when I bought my C7.

    I got directly conflicting information, from the people who are supposed to know about the TV's..lol
    For example, like I said in the OP.. I was told "The B7 is exactly the same at the C7 in picture quality". it's not.
    That's 4 thousand dollars on a TV, when you could of spent a little more for a much better one.
    Idk about you but if I had spent 4 grand on the B7 then found out about the response time and picture difference vs the C7 after... "Which I was told wrong information about from the manufacturer" lol..
    I'd of been pissed..

    As for the 24-30 hz thing. Yea, if you only want to watch blurays that might be fine but a 24-30hz TV is not something most people want. lol
    There is a noticeable difference from 30-60 hz, we all know it.
    My two cents..
    Again, do the research, a lot...lol
     
  5. KyleGates

    KyleGates Senior member

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    If you haven't been there already, the AVSForums are a stellar resource for just such research!
     
    D007 likes this.
  6. guachi

    guachi Senior member

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    The B7 and C7 are the same tv, just sold in different places and with different stands. The B7 is only sold in Costco in the US. Also, they have one HDMI port in different locations.

    Both have identical 21ms response times in PC mode.

    The panels for all the 2017 OLEDs from LG are the same regardless of the model, even to the top of the line W7.

    UHD and 4k are the same thing. They both refer to the resolution. You may be mistaking UHD for HDR.
     
  7. Ancalagon44

    Ancalagon44 Diamond Member

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    You mean 4K and HDR, not UHD.

    UHD - Ultra High Definition. Refers to the resolution of the picture, not the colours. UHD by definition is the same thing as 4K I believe, so yes your TV can do 4K and UHD at the same time.

    HDR - High Dynamic Range. Refers to an expanded colour gamut.

    I've never heard of a TV not being able to do 4K and HDR at the same time. Perhaps it is your HDMI cable? Later versions of HDMI cables have higher bandwidth, it might be that your current cable does not have the bandwidth to do HDR and 4K at the same time.
     
  8. SMOGZINN

    SMOGZINN Diamond Member

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    There is only 4 specifications for HDMI cables (that are used in home theater). Standard, High speed, and then those With Ethernet. If the cable is capable of outputting a 1080p signal then it is high speed and is also capable of transferring 4k with HDR. Standard HDMI cables can only output 720p or 1080i signals.
     
  9. Ancalagon44

    Ancalagon44 Diamond Member

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    Only at 30Hz though. You need a Premium high speed cable to do 60Hz at 4K and/or HDR.
     
  10. SMOGZINN

    SMOGZINN Diamond Member

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    Somehow I completely missed the new Premium High Speed HDMI cable specs, and apparently now there is even a newer 48G spec as well. Shows you that I'm not yet on a 4K monitor.
     
  11. stockwiz

    stockwiz Senior member

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    Using a HTPC can save you money with your adoption to 4K by eliminating the need to buy another receiver if you have an older one. The Nvidia GTX 970 I'm using will pass the audio to the receiver using a cheap displayport to HDMI cable, while the video will get passed directly to the set, in my case a 65 inch OLED by LG OLED65C6P I got for $1750 after a $500 price rewind by citibank and $100 in ebay bucks.

    If you have an HDMI 1.3 receiver that suits your needs and you don't care about Dolby Atmos and just want to use the setup you're using now, a HTPC will save you $350+ right there in adoption cash.
     
  12. XavierMace

    XavierMace Diamond Member

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    That's of course assuming you already have an HTPC capable of 4K.
     
  13. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Super Moderator
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    I was having trouble with one of my 4K UHD (3840x2160 res) TVs being used as a PC monitor. Turned out to be the 10' HDMI high-speed (generic) cable I was using. I switched it out for a 6' generic, and all was well again.

    Looks like I need to look for higher-quality cables to run longer than 6'. (Not strictly necessary in my setup, but would make pulling the PC out to work on it a bit easier, with a slightly longer cable. Wonder if they make 8' HDMI high-speed cables?)
     
  14. dlerious

    dlerious Senior member

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    Check this out maybe - https://www.monoprice.com/pages/hdmi_cables
     
  15. Fallen Kell

    Fallen Kell Diamond Member

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    Well, lets first ignore the fact that UHD (3840x2160) isn't 4K (4096×2160) (it was called 4K because it was 4Kibi-pixels in width).... And yes, cheap cables won't be to spec when you are talking the bandwidth requirements that UHD requires with full chroma and HDR. You can get away with it on short cables (as you saw), but anything over a couple feet and you actually have to worry about the cable construction, bend relief, and cross-talk separation (in other words, things which cost more to do)...
     
  16. rbk123

    rbk123 Senior member

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    HDMI is a terrible standard and gets implemented poorly by many manufacturers. Old/inexpensive cables will accentuate the problems. Anything 4k needs a premium certified quality cable - Monoprice sells one that's inexpensive, Belden Blue Jeans are pricier but still affordable. If you have any TV/processor/receiver issues at all, the first thing you need to do is upgrade your cables. That will solve 90% of your problems.
     
  17. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    Although I agree with your sentiment and solutions, the HDMI 2.0b standard is fully supported on regular "high speed" hdmi cables, just the newest HDMI 2.1 stuff pushes you into "Premium Certified"

    from 2.0b info, high speed certified cables (carried over from 1.4) are up to 18GBps:

    From 2.1 info, Premium certified cables are up to 48GBps:
     
  18. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    Note that although specs/ certifications set the bar, you do see some manufacturers that may not be "playing by the rules", especially on the lowest price cables from "manufacturer not listed".
    (Fallen Kell's point)

    The guys like "Monster" and "AudioQuest" are still a ripoff, but once you hit the baseline (in quality of construction) everything is pretty much the same....
     
  19. rbk123

    rbk123 Senior member

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    I'm not referring to bandwidth, but rather the HDMI handshaking, timing, etc.. I don't run any 4k sources or displays, however I've had lots of sync, video and audio loss problems on various processors and receivers. I upgraded my cables to Premium certified, even though everything I have is 1080p, and almost all my problems went away. That plus the picture quality improved.
    Because HDMI is a terrible standard and needs a lot of tightening up, so that manufacturer implementations can become far more consistent than they are now. Bandwidth for 4k is needed, but that's far down the list of recurring problems. People can benefit non-4k setups now with 4k capable cables and it's not because of bandwidth.
     
  20. crashtech

    crashtech Diamond Member

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    I need to be in on this thread, since the cost of entry to 4K has plummeted, though monitors have stayed pretty high. Still debating whether to get a small TV as a display, though this is probably fraught with additional peril as far as knowing the specs and finding one that has them.
     
  21. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    I can tell you from my recent experiences that isn't the case. I bought a 4K HDR TV, and I ran my cables through the wall for my previous TV. Well, I've had to rip out my cabling, because while it would state that it's "High-Speed HDMI" and support basic 4K, it doesn't support 4K HDR. Actually, I think it would support 4K HDR at 24Hz with 4:2:0 or something like that. I mostly use my Xbox One S to help determine how much is supported. Essentially, I couldn't turn on Enhanced Image Mode on my Sony TV without the screen just going black.

    I ended up purchasing some Blue Jeans Cable cables. I have their Series-1 in 15 feet for the main run as I have to go down into the crawlspace and back up rather than straight through the studs. I think their Series-1 is certified for 25 feet for 4K HDR and up to 40-something for 1080p. However, it hasn't even been simple beyond that. Trying to use wall jacks has proven rather difficult so far. I've had to purchase a BJC Series-FE 3-foot cable to go from the wall to the AVR, and I've got a Series-FE 2-foot cable on the way to go from the wall to the TV. I can get the Enhanced Image Mode to work if I use the 3-foot cable to the AVR and take the 15-foot cable directly to the TV (with a 90-degree adapter), but as soon as I put any cable going to the TV -- even one rated for 18Gbps high speeds -- it doesn't work. To give you an idea, the BJC Series-FE cables that I have are about twice as wide as the Amazon Basics ones that I have. If this doesn't work, I'm going to have to research into running the cable through the studs to reduce the length to about 10 feet.

    All in all, I guess the point is that the certification appears to be different between 18Gbps and 10Gbps.
     
  22. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    A "High Speed" HDMI cable that is within specs --should-- have worked properly, 2160p, 10/12 bits, 24/25/30Hz, RGB/4:2:2/4:4:4 – 2160p, 10/12 bits, 50/60Hz, 4:2:0/4:2:2

    The fact that your experience was different speaks to the possibility that a manufacturer "cherry picked" their certification sample (aka: they cheated)
    The BJC Series-FE series has premium certification, which should be good to 48GBps (and 8k60, 4k120, and "Dynamic HDR") according to HDMI.org specs...
     
  23. SMOGZINN

    SMOGZINN Diamond Member

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    I already stated that I was wrong. I was out of date and missed the fact that there was a new standard.

    Amazon Basic cables are terrible. I did a project a couple of years ago where I helped a friend wire up and teaching center and for it we bought something like 30 Amazon basic cable HDMI cables. Out of those five would not work at all, others gave us problems of one sort or another. In the end we ended up buying a HDMI cable tester (you can buy one for about $20USD on Amazon, but that was a really basic one, we were only shooting for 720p) and nearly half of the cables failed on at least one trace.

    Before cutting into studs it might be worth it to buy a tester and test all your cables (and the 90 degree connecter) to make sure it is not just bad luck causing you problems. All it is doing is testing for continuity so if you are patient you could do it with a multimeter and a HDMI wiring diagram.
     
  24. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    Isn't that highly dependent upon cable length though? BJC states that their Series-1 cables have been certified to 18Gbps up to 25 feet, but they sell Series-1 cables at longer distances. They do also mention that cables have been shown to work beyond that length.

    I guess what I'm not sure about when it comes to continuity is whether a single pin being bad would cause reduced capability or complete failure? I installed my 2-foot BJC Series-FE, and I still can't access Enhanced mode. So, right now I've got a 3-foot BJC Series-FE going to a 15-foot BJC Series-1 going to a 2-foot BJC Series-FE, and the best I can do is 4K at 24Hz with 10-bit color depth (according to my Xbox One's TV settings screen). Although, one other thing that I'm not sure about... does the cable length going to the receiver matter? I'm using the cable that came with the Xbox One S, which is probably 3-4 feet. The bad thing is that while it lists "High Speed HDMI", I don't know how good of a cable that is. I would assume that the receiver "resets" the distance for transmission since it retransmits the data.

    Another weird thing... if I change my TV into Enhanced mode, my Denon X3300 does not like it. It does this thing where it pretty much halves the volume until the receiver is power cycled. I've been able to repeat this numerous times given how often I've been testing cables lately.
     
  25. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    Premium HDMI Cables must be certified at the particular length sold. I was not specific enough in my assertion on the BJC FE series, they are premium certified for the series UP TO 15 FEET.
    Note that the wall interconnections may be causing some of your pain- the wall jacks will incur connection losses (which should be minimal, but they are there).

    Re working the setup for a 10' in wall cable would likely make less of a difference than direct connection of the 15' cable you already have (IE vice an HDMI wall jack, using "single brush wall plates" to pass the long cable ends directly to your end devices)

    As far as the receiver "resetting" the distance, the receiver is an active device- it is re-transmitting your signal (as opposed to a passive HDMI switch, which just connects the lines)

    The volume thing is a new one to me, never heard that one before.. does that still happen with the most direct connections (skipping wall plates)?
     
  26. nathanddrews

    nathanddrews VC&G and CPU Moderator
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    Not all cables are created equal, likewise not all HDMI ports/controllers are created equal either. The cable isn't always the culprit. Likewise TV settings (PC Mode, Game Mode, etc.), AVR settings (passthrough, upscaling, etc.) can all interfere with HDMI handshake protocols, affect input lag, and restrict compatibility.

    I'd like to add some more helpful info and clarification:

    Rtings.com, if you're not familiar, is just about the most objective and transparent TV review website available. Indispensable, detailed reviews with robust QA. AVSForum is great, too, but requires a lot of searching and reading to get through all the typical forum-FUD.

    4K - this is not an absolute resolution like some would like to believe. Long before HDTVs existed, "4K" was used to describe textures 4096x4096 pixels. You are not being "cheated" by buying a UHD display. 4K is effectively a family of similar resolutions, each tailored to a specific use case or scenario. For movies and television, "4K" is mostly a buzzword. Most content is shot using a combination of cameras at resolutions ranging from upscaled 1080p to downscaled 5K, processed in an open matte, and finished at desired aspect ratio (1.85:1, 2.35:1, etc.) that fits within a DCP container of a specific size. The defined "UHD-1 4K" resolution is 3840x2160 and was chosen a compromise between multiple cinema aspect ratios, television formatting, and the perfect 4:1 scaling from 1080p. This relationship is analogous to the former relationship between "2K" and consumer 1080p. For what it's worth, you can purchase 100%-compatible 4K DCI displays if you want to spend the money, but there will be no content that perfectly fits it due to variable aspect ratios.

    HDR - High Dynamic Range is all about massively increasing the range of brightness from the darkest perceptible black to the brightest perceptible white. Measured in nits, HDR is capable of maximum brightness levels 100x that of SDR (Standard Dynamic Range - 100 nits). Currently, the brightest HDR displays are only capable of about 4,000 nits under specific conditions, so there is room for improvement here. The flipside of this coin is that HDR doesn't work without content mastered in HDR. Nearly all content (games, movies, etc.) up until now has been tailored specifically for SDR around 80-100 nits of maximum brightness. Effectively all content has to fit into a 0-100 scale of brightness levels where 0 is absolute black and 100 is absolute white. It doesn't seem like a large window, but consider that this is 0-100 for each channel (RGB) of a traditional 8-bit color target. Segue...

    WCG - Wide color gamut is the expansion of the traditional color space to a significantly larger selection of colors. Typically displayed as an area covered by a triangle, it is much better to visualize WCG as a 3-dimensional volume to appreciate just how much of an impact HDR has on the available colors. HDR doesn't necessarily require WCG, but WCG requires HDR to be effective. All the additional brightness levels combined with higher bit depths (10-14bpp) allow us to visualize hues not previously possible on displays.

    Currently all but a few budget model UHD 4K TVs top out at 4K 60Hz input, some will do 1080p 120Hz input, none do 4K 120Hz input. If you want to display 4K 120Hz input, you will have to wait for HDMI 2.1 compatible devices emerge in 2018. With the fact that the upcoming Xbox One X has HDMI 2.1 output, it is possible that we'll see a couple compatible TVs this fall/winter, but for sure we'll see them next year. Let Rtings.com be your guide in this area as they test these things extensively.