Should I buy a 4K TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by brinary001, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. brinary001 macrumors 6502a

    brinary001

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    Columbia, MO, USA
    #1
    So I'm in the market for a new tv. I'm a twenty year-old college student with an apartment, and we do typical college student things with a tv: casual to more hardcore gaming depending on what time of year it is, some Netflix and movie watching, and that's really about it. Obviously I'm not going for a home theatre or anything here, just a good tv that's fun to watch and play things on.

    My question is, what is a better option: a bigger 1080p tv for the cost of a smaller (but better picture) 4K tv? Because I've been looking at some 1080p's that are 60 and 65 inches that fit within my budget of $600-800, but a 4K in the same range is only 50 tops.

    Is there enough UHD content out there or at least due out in the near future to justify the jump to UHD? Is the SD and normal HD upscaler really that good? Regardless of which tv you have or what you do with it, I'm interested in hearing from you guys.
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #2
    Neither the ps4 nor xbox1 can play games at 4k if that is a concern. I think that it is also diminishing returns as at a certain distance you can't tell the difference in resolution. However, if buying new I would get a 4k vs a 1080p set
     
  3. punchwalk macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #3
    Get whatever set delivers the best balance of size, features and picture quality for your budget. Don't worry about 4K vs 1080p just yet; 4K content is still quite scarce, and I predict that it will be for the next couple of years. Heck, it's still hard to find 1080p content in some outlets (most network and cable TV channels still broadcast in 720p or 1080i).
     
  4. ProjectManager101 Suspended

    ProjectManager101

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    #4
    From where are you getting the money if you still in school?
     
  5. punchwalk macrumors regular

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    #5
    Is it really appropriate, relevant, or constructive to ask about OP's financial situation?

    OP - I'd like to recommend that you check out AVS Forum if you haven't already. I've found that community to be an indispensable resource the last few times I bought a TV.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #6
    It was about a hundred years ago when I went to college and we didn't have 65 inch TVs back then. :D However, I moved to a different place pretty much every year and didn't want to own too much big stuff to haul around. So you might consider size/weight in the decision. Student apartments can be pretty small, do you really need a 65" TV? You can just sit closer to smaller one and get the same effect. :)
     
  7. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

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    Peoria, IL
    #7
    I personally still recommend holding off on UHD (4K) TVs. The vast majority of them on the market right now will only be able to display true 4K content from their built in apps. They will not accept a 4K signal from an external source such as a computer, game system, UHD Blu-Ray player, etc. There are also issues with what colorspaces will be used, frame rates, etc, but they are not as big of a deal.

    If you decide to get a 4K TV now, make sure that it has HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 on the same HDMI input. This is what will be required in order to get 4K source material from an external device to display on the TV. Many maufacturers right now are not including this, or are including one or the other, or part of that on different inputs etc. Most sales people are clueless about this, or don't mention it because they are trying to get people to buy what is available.
     
  8. oneMadRssn macrumors 68040

    oneMadRssn

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    #8
    First, since 70% of college graduates come out of school with debt, odds are you will too. If you're not, then ignore this first paragraph. Every $1 you spend in college, you're going to pay back $2 later, give or take; due to the length of most loans and compounding interest. Think about that before dropping any $s on a new TV - there are plenty of good 1080p sets out there on craigslist that someone else has already paid for. Do you really want to pay $1000 when you're 35 for a $500 TV today?

    Second, I would not buy 4k today. The standard isn't quite set yet. Digital Cinema standard is 4096x2160, but consumer 4k "UltraHD" is 3840x2160. This difference seems strange to me and gives me pause. Will we see 4096x2160 TVs right around the corner, after a few black friday sales of 3840x2160 TVs. Who knows, there might be an HDMI 2.1 spec release right around the corner that supports this higher resolution.

    I think if you buy a 4k TV today, in a few years you will feel like those guys who bought an HD TV in ~2003, and ended up with a 720i TV with only composite inputs that render it as useless as an old SD set from 1993 today.
     
  9. ProjectManager101 Suspended

    ProjectManager101

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    #9
    I can ask what ever I want. It is relevant and appropriate to me. And I am not addressing you, I do not care about your stuff.
     
  10. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

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    #10
    I got a 4K TV Vizio because the cost difference was not much and I keep TV's a long time. But really no content available to speak of. But some day there will be.
     
  11. Boyd01, Aug 11, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #11
    I got a Panasonic plasma TV back in 2005, I think it was 39" but was "enhanced definition" and not HD - 480x852 pixels. It had one HDMI input and a couple component inputs. I think it cost aroud $1000. Replaced it a few years later and gave it to my daughter where it was their family TV until last Christmas when I gave them a new HDTV.

    So you never know, I'd say I got my money's worth over 9 years of heavy use. While the pixel count was a little low, I have to say it was a really beautiful image on that plasma screen. Whenever I visited I was surprised how good it looked. So pixels aren't everything. :)

    Actually my first HDTV was a Samsung 22" 720p digital TV that I got around 2003. Again, a very nice LCD panel, still looks good to my eyes today. I still use it everyday as a monitor for my iTunes server (a Mac mini) with a DVI cable. I think it cost me over $1200 originally! :eek:

    Personally, I have no interest in 4k. I worked with professional video for many years and have a pro camcorder. 1080p is good enough for me.
     
  12. foobarbazqux macrumors regular

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    Apr 17, 2014
    #12
    Save your money and just get something cheap.

    As to the bigger question of whether or not to dive into 4K, that's not necessarily going to be determined based on the number of pixels the TV has. Number of pixels aside, all the best features that result in the best picture quality will eventually only wind up in 4K TVs. So, if you really care about picture quality, you'll eventually wind up with a 4K TV even if you don't care about the resolution itself.
     
  13. kohlson macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #13
    4K seems as though that's where engineering resources are being invested. That is, I don't think there are many set manufacturers trying to make HD better. And formerly high-end features like local dimming are now showing up in affordable 4K units (Vizio M-series, recently well reviewed on cnet). Still a large HD set will provide a nice picture, and is a built-in excuse to get something else after you graduate!
     
  14. brinary001 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    brinary001

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    Columbia, MO, USA
    #14
    Thank you everyone for your responses. Since a couple people brought it up I guess I'll explain how I'm affording this. I had a well-paying internship this summer and I have almost no tuition to my school thanks to grants and scholarships.

    I'm kind of leaning towards the 1080p route right now. @Boyd01 makes a good point about the move back that I didn't think about. Moving a 55 or 60" tv won't be fun by any stretch of the imagination. Although that wouldn't be for two or three years down the road.

    Another thing I thought of, can anyone attest to the upscaler technology used by manufacturers to bring normal content up to near-4K quality? I could honestly see the technology being there, but I could also see it just being like when 3D was a fad for a hot minute with that upscaler giving disappointing results when converting 2D to 3D.
     
  15. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #15
    How is it relevant to you?
     
  16. punchwalk macrumors regular

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    Maryland, USA
    #16
    You're right: You can ask whatever you want. That particular question just seems like the kind that could only be relevant to someone looking to pass judgment on another person's decision, which is an awfully shallow pursuit. I'm not trying to troll you -- to that end, this will be my last response on the matter -- but I was hoping for some enlightenment as to how your question could be relevant; unfortunately all I got was a snide response.

    Consumer Reports claimed earlier this year that the upscaling varies from set to set. Some TVs do a great job, some not so much. This is where you'll probably have to do some research, but I think the rule of thumb is probably that higher end TVs will have better upscaling engines than lower end TVs (although there are likely one or two exceptions to the rule).
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    [MOD NOTE]
    Lets stop the arguing, posts were removed because they were not on topic or violated our rules.
     
  18. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

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    #18
    Getting back to the 4K vs. 1080p question... I see 4K TV somewhat in the same light as 3-D. Big hype, lots of ads, and huge displays in electronics stores that are trying to sell the latest and greatest. The 3-D fad seems to have faded away so now it's 4K. Is the picture sharper? Absolutely. Is there content? Not so much. Can you see the difference from a few feet away? Perhaps.

    I have several 1080p TVs of various sizes and one 720p (42") in a bedroom. From 10 feet away, I can't tell the difference in the picture that I'm watching. Maybe some people can see a huge difference and for those folks I'd say buy the 1080p or the 4K. However, unless you're sitting extremely close to the TV or using it as a monitor, I don't know if the 4K technology is worth the money at this time.

    If money is no object, get the latest and greatest. If money is a scarce resource and you have other bills or obligations, consider whether you'll find (or literally see) the value of 4K to be worth sacrificing other purchases. I purchase technology that I NEED very quickly. For technology gains that are incremental and don't bring immediate value, I'll wait until the prices drop.

    Good luck at school and with your TV purchase decision.
     
  19. HobeSoundDarryl, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #19
    OP, only you can answer this question. What do you want?

    This is a pretty biased crowd. You can't get objective input from much of this crowd. Apple has not yet endorsed 4K, so the crowd bias is going to be against it. You might as well post "should I get a Windows or Mac computer" or "iPhone or Android phone", etc. The majority is always going to argue with whatever Apple has, appears to endorse or appears to be embracing soon. NFC was "stupid, gimmick, etc" before Apple implemented it and then we wanted to boycott stores that wouldn't let us pay that way. Bigger screen phones were abominations, stupid, fragmentation, "99% don't want", "man purses" & "pants with bigger pockets" until Apple rolled out bigger-screen iPhones (BTW, I still don't see much in the way of man pursues and pants with bigger pockets- did nobody in America buy those "abominations"???).

    At one point Apple rolled out 2 new iPad models: one with retina and one without. The crowd passionately argued why retina was must-have on one but not needed on the other. Then, a year later, the latter got a retina screen and the crowd argued why retina was must-have. It is the nature of the crowd to default to whatever Apple has, endorses or appears to be embracing very soon (I'm looking at you split screen multitasking and 2GB RAM, the former being gimmicky and stupid on tablet-sized (competitor) screens and the latter being "completely unnecessary" because "Apple optimizes iOS so well that it doesn't need more than 1GB RAM", "who wants double the RAM at the expense of battery life?" and other so commonly-spun rationale(?); etc.)

    Buy a 1080p TV and if Apple endorses 4K the next day with a 4K-capable :apple:TV 4, a new iPhone camera that can shoot 4K video, etc, a lot of these same arguments against 4K will flip... just like they did back when Apple clung to "720p is good enough" (for HD) and the majority sided against 1080p (gimmick, don't need, can't see a difference from an average sitting distance, "the chart", storage requirements, until broadband bandwidth is expanded everywhere, until everything in the store is available at 1080p, etc). Then Apple endorsed 1080p with Apple products shooting and playing 1080p and the whole "720p is good enough" argument evaporated. 720p was so right before Apple embraced 1080p and then 1080p became the new "so right" (again see bigger-screen iPhones, no iSight camera in iPad 1 vs. FaceTime in iPad 2, 24-hour battery life in Samsung smart watches being ridiculous but 24-hour Apple watch is perfectly doable, and on and on). Now 1080p is playing the role of 720p and 4K is 1080p. Apply the same arguments until Apple goes 4K, then evaporate the "1080p is good enough" sentiment. Repeat with 4K vs. 8K.

    Consider what you want from this TV now and in the next few years (upwards of even 5-10 years). Note where technology is going rather than where it is or has been, as TVs tend to be a longer-term-use product than- say- individual iPhone models. Then choose the one that YOU want. If the difference between them comes down to only a few hundred dollars, even $500 difference for otherwise same-size screens would be like spending an additional $50/yr over 10 years or $100/yr over 5 years (of use). Save up the extra dollars if you want the added resolution or use store same-as-cash financing to get it now and spread the extra out in a slightly higher payment during the same-as-cash term.

    All that said, take that "stupid", "gimmicky", "abomination-sized" iPhone 6 down to your favorite TV retailer and buy the one you want with that "nobody needs", "stupid", "gimmicky" Apple Pay. If you want to please this crowd, by using the "best iPhone ever" and the "best payment option" ever, you'll have already run with two of our recent, collective flip flops and- depending on your choice of TV- may simply beat us to our third. ;)
     
  20. DavidLynch macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 9, 2015
    #20
    4K is nice for future-proofing, but there isn't a lot of content right now. My recommendation is to get the biggest 1080p set you can buy rather than getting a smaller 4K set. The difference from 1080p to 4K is likely not going to be apparent to you on a 50" or smaller screen unless you're sitting fairly close.
     
  21. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #21
    I typically recommend 4K for those on the market for a TV larger than 50 inches. However, if your budget is $600-850, I would frankly get 1080p with intention of selling it later.

    While 4K is better than 1080p for future proofing, it isn't as future proof as you may think. For one thing, we now have HDR, which makes even more substantial improvements over 4K (although contents is even more scarce and limited to high-end 4K sets).

    And since you are into gaming and games are not yet written for 4K, there's not much point to spending that extra dough just yet.
     
  22. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #22
    4K is great. There are now TVs with HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2, HEVC, and VP9 to choose from.
    What is missing in the new TVs is DisplayPort. Even 1.2 .

    I was going to buy a 40" to use it as a monitor, but ended up with a 48".

    If you want to watch from a couch, get a really big one.

    I bought a curved one because it is just to use by myself close at the sweet spot as a monitor. For group viewing, I think flat is better because they are not wall-sized screens.
     
  23. oldmacs macrumors 68040

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    #23
    My family have a sony 4K tv, and the upscaling is amazing. Things look great and I've done side by side comparisons with our old 1080P tv.
     
  24. cube macrumors G5

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  25. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #25
    Since you game a lot on the screen and watch content move across it (Movies and games), I would go for a 1080p TV that is recommended for that.
     

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