I wanted to write about 4k tv's and my experience with trying to upgrade to one. Now this actually happened back in December of last year, but it popped back unto my head recently and I decided to write it here for, well....reasons. ;p
So, 4k, a wonderful upgrade from an old tv right? Much clearer picture, better technology, worth paying for the upgrade and all that, right Welllll, not so much and I will explain that from what I experienced.
Back in December, actually near where I got horribly sick for most of the month, I seriously contemplated with finally getting a new tv after almost 8 years of owning our current one. I had recently upgraded my computer, with new fancy video card, and wanted to see how 4k REALLY looked.
Now this was kind of a folly of an idea because there was NOTHING wrong with our current 55 in tv. It was working with no issues whatsoever. So why bother? Like I said, curiosity, combined with high credit and the ability to be able to pay it off in 2 years with no interest made for silly ideas in ones mind, so a TV was bought.
And what tv did I get? It was the LG C9 OLED in a 55 inch size, the current top of the line model from them. I had done much research on various models and finally decided that for the price and features, this one would be the best for both watching TV and gaming.
So, get the tv, it is delivered and I try it out.....and the results were rather surprising and unexpected.....
Now let me just say that with ACTUAL 4k stuff, the tv is great. movies look really nice on it with the true blacks, high definition and so forth. BUT there is a big caveat to this. As you may or may not know, very high definitions require a large screen size to really be able to see them. This means for tv's one has to get a fairly large size to be worth it. 55 inches is actually TOO small for 4k and you really don't get the full experience from it. One needs at least a 65 in and more preferably a 70 or 75 inch to really get the experience that 4k offers. Bigger IS better people in this case.
Of course one can sit closer to the screen, making it bigger and all. This is why 4k works well with computer monitors, people naturally sit close to the screen with them. But TV's are a different beast. The general sitting range for them is 8 to 15 feet if not more. Too far out on a smaller TV and the 4k is NOT able to be seen well. It just looks like a lower res picture. So with a 55 in tv, this meant that to really SEE the 4k image, I needed to sit closer than I was comfortable with. Strike one.
Now second thing, content.
If one looks at the streaming services, you see 4k content being advertised as available for your nice new 4k tv, YAY!
But NOT so fast! You may not know this, but a lot of that supposed 4k stuff available is FAKE 4k, really!
What this means is that the show in question is only showing a 4k image PARTIALLY. In short, the company or service is cheapening out and trying so save money instead of making the video true 4k, which is more expensive to do. If one searches the internet, you can find MANY examples of this told by people who are experts in this video stuff who test and reveal the lies being put out by some services.
I actually tested this out myself using the new tv and my old tv which was still on the wall. I played the same show, which was the Mandalorian. The 4k version was on the oled and the hd version was on the old tv. So, both running the same episode at the same time. Annnnd......
There was actually very little difference between the two pictures. Oh, it WAS there, but it was so minor as not to make much difference. Note, the Mandalorian was picked because it was one of the shows reported to be 'cheating' with the 4k, and yep, I saw it for myself. This meant that much of the supposed 4k stuff really was NOT going to give me what I expected. Strike 2.
Ok, before I go any further I want to clarify something. My old TV was bought back in 2012. At the time it was the very BEST model of Samsung you could buy and cost over $2100; so this ain't no cheapy Walmart spacial tv. It has quite a bit of advanced features not to mention is ungodly thin for a big tv even now with the newer models out.
Saying that, this third test was the clincher to show me what a real folly this was. One of the 'features' of 4k Tv's is the ability to upscale hd video to make it look somewhat better than the original. At least that's what they say. In reality though...not so much.
I tried this using a normal hd show, streamed to both tv's at the same time to see what the difference was. I fully expected the new OLED picture to be noticeably better. But except for the black levels, it WASN'T! It was almost EXACTLY the same as my super fancy older TV with VERY little differences in picture quality.
I was VERY disheartened seeing this. With tax, this new TV came to almost $2000 and it was NOT giving the performance I expected for most of my tests. Oh, it WAS a little better picture in all the cases, but NOT enough to put up with dealing with a 2 year debt. Strike 3
Note: now with true 4k content, which I DID test, the picture was beautiful and there truly WAS a difference there. But, and here is the dirty little secret of 4k, there is actually very little TRUE 4k content to WATCH currently. Many of the 4k shows are fake 4k, and a lot of the true stuff, like on Netflix, require paying a premium 'tax' to be able to watch the stuff. Sure there are 4k movies, but THAT requires you to buy all NEW stuff if you want to upgrade your old movies.
But Annabel you annoying ditz with WAAYYYY too much money, what about the GAMES? You know, ALL those 4k games with the super nice graphics?
Wellll, I actually never tested those to see what they were like. I was soooooo disheartened by the video tests that I decided that the cost of the TV could NOT be justified right now since there was nothing wrong with the old tv and the picture was nearly as good as the new one. So I ended up returning it and going back to the old setup. Yes, I am sure the games would probably have looked amazing with that OLED screen, but for almost $2000, I want EVERYTHING to look amazing, and it just was NOT there. I wanted the same upgrade experience that I got when I went from my 32 inch to the super fancy 55 inch and I did not get it.
I think part of the reason for this was the size of the tv. If it had been a larger TV, I might have seen more of a difference, but since they were both 55 in TV's, I just did not. But high end 65 inch TV's are NOT cheap and the cost was too much for me to consider a bigger size.
Oh by the way, I ALSO returned the fancy new video card and went back to the RX 580 one. Since I was not doing 4k gaming, there was not reason for the new one, the 580 is perfectly fine for 1080 gaming. So there was another $400 saved.
So there you go, my experience with 4k and why I am NOT doing it. As for now 1080p HD video is good enough for me. There is simply nothing right now to justify the cost of upgrading. Maybe in the future when there is more TRUE 4k content and the cost comes down I will try again.
Man this got long, and if you read it, you must be REALLY bored! ;p
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I’ve honestly been curious about all of this myself. I tend not to keep up with trendy things like 4K because within a month, the next is announced for some reason.
Actually Esper, we are on the cusp of that right now. TV's with HDMI 2,1 are coming this year and that is a MAJOR upgrade in television technology. HDMI 2.1 is VASTLY superior to HDMI 2.0 and will allow a LOT more data through its pipeline resulting in extremely high video definitions and super high quality sound if you got the devices to show and hear it