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Thread: 4K TV on the way - what's best way to play back broadcast 1080 and 720 content?

  1. #1
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    4K TV on the way - what's best way to play back broadcast 1080 and 720 content?

    I currently use a Win10 PC client to playback to a 1080 set, but have a 4K set on the way. I have a 4K desktop monitor, and have used it to play back via NPVR general live tv and recordings, all from HDHomeRun Dual and cablecard units for tuning.

    Any idea which might be better?
    1) setting PC output resolution to 1080 and letting the TV upscale that to 4K display, or
    2) setting PC resolution to 2160 (4k) and playing back full screen, output to set via hdmi 2.0 card?

    Maybe there will be little difference at all, or depends on the scaling quality of the TV?

    When I play back 1080 content full screen on my 4K desktop monitor, in that case via displayport at full res, it looks "OK". Leaving the HTPC at full 4K output will, of course, allow me to watch other true 4K PC content like Netflix and Youtube, Amazon stuff native to the set. I do shoot some 4K video with my Sony camera and am loking forward to reviewing it at native res and the big screen.

  2. #2
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    I thin kit will be a matter of seeing who's the best at upscaling, the TV or your computer.
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  3. #3
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    People generally sit far closer to a monitor than they do to a TV so the eye can resolve imperfactions more easily on a monitor as the eyes ability to resolve detail is a function of distance.

    As psycik said, essentially your question is whether the TV is better at upscaling than a graphics card.

    Basically you need to test it out and see for yourself as there there are too many variables for anyone to offer a definative answer to this.
    I am still on 1080p so not qualified to offer any experience of 4K but if you have a fairly recent g/card, I would have expected the card to be better at upscaling than the TV but that depends very much on the specific card and the TV. I would always run my g/card at the TV's native resolution and as you say, you can then run apps such as Netflix in native 4K.

    One potential concern is if upscaling via the graphics card puts a high load on the card, this could drive up it's temps and fan speeds, making it noisy.

    The MadVR renderer is supposed to be the daddy when it comes to upscaling but sadly NextPVR doesn't support (ie work) with it due to problems with the on screen display (if I recall correctly).
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  4. #4
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think Netflix supported 4k on PCs, even with the app version?

    Iain
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by imilne View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think Netflix supported 4k on PCs, even with the app version?
    I think I read Netflix now does 4k in the Edge browser on Win10.

  6. #6
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    On Win10 you will need Edge + Kaby Lake. I assume they want H/W HEVC decoding which makes sense. for those of us who have live through woes with software MPEG2 and h264 video decoding. I think there is also higher levels of DRM on the newest video cards. There probably will be a time not too far off that we are going to need HEVC or broadcast so that probably will be the biggest limit.

    I bought a 4K TV last year and even Netflilx is limited to a few series and so didn't change over after a two day test, never bothered paying for the upgraded content. Cable 4K content is woeful here too, I talked to my provider who now offere a 4K PVR and there are basically just a few sports broadcasts. To top it off my TV is already obsolete by the standards because it doesn't support HDR and I have no idea if it does 10bit decoding, but the problem is moot for me because of the lack of content.

    Martin

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the input. I did see that Netflix only recently offered PC-based 4K, and only with the Edge browser and Kaby lake. I have a GTX950, which is hdmi 2 and HDCP 2.2 - compliant, but I think the secure decoder requirement will prevent it unless something changes. Regardless, I like the idea of gaming and other PC tasks at 4K, and can watch Youtube, plus my own 4K home video content. One disappointment is that my AV receiver currently will only pass 4K at 30Hz and is not HDCP 2.2, so I am upgrading to a Denon unit that is, though it seems that few if any receivers will allow the OSD to function at 4K. Maybe that's a good thing as they will leave the signal unmolested. I considered just bypassing video pass-through and sending optical from PC to old receiver, but I think I will go all-in. I will report back on whether standard HD content from NPVR plays best as 1080 upscaled by the TV (LG OLED) or scaled on PC.

  8. #8
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    Leaving the PC at 1080p and letting the TV upscale to 4k gives me the best playback (LG UH6100 series).
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