Consumer Television (Broadcasters really dragging their feet) on 4K

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Litejazz53, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying Sparkling Crystal Clear Digital Thread Starter

    Many people on this forum have been following Oppo's new 4K UDP-205 and for the foreseeable future, that is one of the only ways we are going to see true native 4K movies, and at this time there are few 4K movies on disc, so everyone is dragging their feet except the television manufacturers selling 4K televisions. We will probably see native 4K content on standard cable stations by 2050! I looked on Amazon and found several Blu-ray players touting 4K, but you have to look close, they are not suitable for playing native 4K but rather upscaling current Blu-ray discs to 4K, for whatever that is worth.

    Currently, less than 0.5% of Americans and Europeans have access to any TV channels broadcasting in 1080p, much less 4K, yet it seems the majority of new televisions are 4K. If we have any way to get after AT&T UVerse, Time Warner Cable, Dish or Direct, we need to get them off of dead center and at least offering 1080P and hope for 4K at some point years from now. I checked Netflix and if you pay an extra fee, they will feed you some ultra HD. They now offer just under 30 4K streamed movies, but hey, that is at least a start. The other cable companies and satellite providers are really dragging their feet from what I can tell. For the majority of the channels we watch from day to day, we are seeing 720P or 1080i, but certainly not 1080P! These broadcasters choose between 720P to handle motion better or 1080i if they don't have to deal with much motion, but 1080P is NOT on the table. I wonder how many people really know what a sad position we are in, in regard to consumer broadcasting? These cable companies are happy to charge big monthly fees, but they operate at a snail's pace on keeping up with television manufacturers. What in the heck can we as consumers do about this? I have no HBO or Cinemax and AT&T hits me for about $130.00 per month, and I'm paying for 720P or 1080i, no deal there! There is no 4K or even 1080P anywhere in site.:shrug:

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  2. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    You're not looking at the right players. You need a UHD certified player to get a 4k picture without scaling (assuming the source is 4k). There are several such players from different manufacturers on the market now.

    The market is in a transitional phase right now. Your best bet for 4k is streaming from say Netflix or Amazon. Comcast via Xfinity UHD app on Samsung 4k TVs will allow you to watch full seasons of certain NBC and USA Network shows in 4K, on demand, for free.

    Similarly with DirectTV and a Genie 4k set top box will enable you to watch a limited number of 4K TV shows and movies.

    Also, recently a new broadcast standard was approved for 4k broadcast.

    It's early days, but there is movement in this direction. It will only intensify over time.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
    Rhapsody In Red and Litejazz53 like this.
  3. brimuchmuze

    brimuchmuze Forum Resident

    How did 3D broadcasting work out?
  4. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    3D is in no way comparable to UHD.
  5. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    ASTC 3.0 is going to provide for High Frame Rate, High Dynamic Range, and greater color gamut. The problem is, every monitor in the world and every transmitter in the world is obsolete with the new system. It's going to have to slowly transition over time.

    A lot of this is going to be discussed next week at the National Association of Broadcasters convention. What is true is that streaming content (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc.) can already do 4K and HDR right now, so that's one advantage of bypassing broadcast media and just going from a closed-circuit cable connection.
  6. It's going to be more than a decade when the broadcast networks go 4K. 4K's future lies in digital streaming and home video.
    IronWaffle and audiomixer like this.
  7. ElevatorSkyMovie

    ElevatorSkyMovie Forum Resident

    As someone who only gets TV over the air, I sure hope not.
    Grand_Ennui likes this.
  8. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    Look how long it took them to go HD.
    chilinvilin and forthlin like this.
  9. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    Will 4K broadcast mean less artifacts in 1080 broadcast? Does this question make sense? Let me clarify: watching something on TV in HD is never as good as a blu-ray. Will broadcasters gaining the ability to broadcast 4K allow that increase in technology to allow "standard HD" to look better, maybe closer to BD quality?
  10. spanky1

    spanky1 Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    Are you referring to OTA tv or OTA channels through cable/satellite? I see a HUGE difference between the OTA from my antenna vs. the same channels on my Directv service.
  11. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    Either cable or sattelite. It's just general stuff I've seen, mostly live sports like basketball. It also seems to depend on the TV I'm watching it on.
  12. spanky1

    spanky1 Forum Resident

    East Tennessee
    I remember watching the old CSI show when the opening generally showed an aerial night view of Las Vegas. This was one of the first images I saw on my HDTV, and I knew I'd made the right decision.

    OTA signals through satellite and cable are generally pretty poor in relation to a strong OTA signal. Even my wife and kids can tell a difference.
  13. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    When the wife and kids can tell a difference, you know it's major. ;)

    I'd like you to please clarify: OTA sans satellite or cable is a digital antenna, right?
  14. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    4K for OTA seems fairly pointless. I don't need to see my local news broadcast in HDR wide color gamut. I don't even see the point of it for sporting events. Don't need to see sitcoms in 4K, either.
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  15. MYKE

    MYKE Offended By The Easily Offended

    My thought when I saw the subject line.
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  16. darkmass

    darkmass Forum Resident

    Perhaps there is some confusion oncerning your term "digital antenna". I am strictly Over The Air (OTA) for viewing of my HD and SD digital channels (some 95 or so of them in total in my reception area). My antenna is a rooftop antenna mounted to my chimney and connected to a rotator--that predates the digital switchover by well over a decade. OTA digital broadcasting is within the VHF/UHF "analog" transmission frequency range.

    I agree with you completely. I see no need to turn our entire OTA broadcast infrastructure into hazardous waste just so a few people with "first world issues" can convince themselves they are at the forefront of the bleeding edge. Even though, no doubt, High Dynamic Range broadcasts of "reality shows" involving arc-welders would be something special to behold. :D
    junk likes this.
  17. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    I'm talking about a $25 Radio Shack thing that plugs into the coaxial port on TVs. It gives me HD quality video and even 5.1 audio, which surprised me. I used it during the Olympics.

    Edit: It's this: RadioShack Amplified HDTV Antenna
  18. darkmass

    darkmass Forum Resident

    The bullet points on the linked page point out that it a UHF and VHF antenna. It also contains a signal amplifier, but that's just to increase the power (and signal noise) of the broadcast signals it receives. It's "HDTV compatible" because, as I pointed out in post #16 above, the digital TV signal range (at least in the U.S.) is contained within the VHF/UHF signal range. The antenna would have worked on any television in the United States pretty much since Day 1 of broadcast television. The specific Radio Shack antenna may even go back that far. :) Well, maybe it doesn't go back quite that far. Generally original TV antenna connections were "twin lead", the RF "F" type connector and coax the Radio Shack antenna uses is a somewhat newer conduit for getting the signal from an antenna to a television.

    You are getting 5.1 audio because that capability has been built into the digital television broadcast standard, it has nothing to do with the antenna itself.
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  19. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    Thanks! So, with that in mind, are you saying this method gets clearer picture quality than satellite or cable? I'm not sure I understood what you were saying about that.
  20. darkmass

    darkmass Forum Resident

    I wasn't making any comparison with satellite or cable picture qualities; however, I can say that my OTA reception gives me terrifically good picture quality. With the right source and attention to the original video photographic quality it's like looking out a window where the glass has been carefully removed...and in such cases it would be difficult to differentiate the OTA picture quality from that of an exceptionally well prepared Blu-ray disc, even given that the OTA picture is 1080i with Blu-ray being 1080p. (In my case, PBS nature programming often meets the right level of original transmission care.)
    chilinvilin and supermd like this.
  21. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    The question makes sense but the answer is - it depends (on many things).

    The artifacts you speak of are a result to poor or low bitrates which leads to blocking effects. This is not down to the current standard at all, because the standard specifies sufficiently high bitrates that you shouldn't see blocking artifacts.

    However, what the standard specifies (as a maximum) and what your local station decides to provide are two very different things. Stations tend to want more channels and so they sacrifice bandwidth (bitrates) to accommodate more channels. The result is more channels with lower bitrates and therefore lower visual quality.

    Other factors affecting bitrates may be your particular geographic location. Long distance from the transmitter leads to a weaker, more noisy signal which affects picture quality.

    The new ATSC-3.0 standard does improve bandwidth and therefore picture quality, with both higher maximum bitrates AND through the adoption of the new H.265 compression standard. Basically, H.265 is roughly twice as efficient as the current HD (H.264) compression. This means that with the same bitrates, the picture quality is very much improved and with higher bitrates, it's better still.

    How the local stations will choose to deploy ATSC-3.0 is down to them, so the final end-result will still be a bit of lottery for any one individual. But, in theory, it should improve the situation (provided your TV can decode H.265 streams - all new TVs can).
  22. supermd

    supermd Forum Resident

    Campbell, CA
    Thank you! That's exactly what I was asking about. :)
  23. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA USA
    Obsolete? Or totally incompatible? There is no ATSC 2.0 backwards compatibility built in?
    - On another note, the current ATSC can do 1080P? Or not even?

    Anyway I have a big problem with "1080P" or "4k" in the same way as MP3-just because the pixels get filled out does NOT at all mean the data are really very good or robust. You could compress the heck out of "4k" and have it look worse than VHS if your cable company stuffs ever-more junk into their constrained bandwidth.

    Error establishing a database connection"
    --> Can you copy/paste if you have a copy?
  24. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    The problem is obious. Aunt Minnie and Uncle Fred.

    We only just now got them to understand why their Philco doesn't get 60 Minutes with the rabbit ears anymore. We sold them the $50 box. We hooked them up with FioFinityCoxWarnerCharter, and taught them to opt in to On Demand.

    Now we expect them to pork out another $700 so they can have a curved, UHD-twice-the-refresh-rate ATSC/ISDB/device-broadcast-capable boat anchor, because once they finally finish paying it off, the new standard will be 8K by then?

    Enough with pushing the standards...howabout getting somebody besides the consumer to pay for these advancements that most of us don't care about?

    Oh yeah, I do want the best broadcast quality I can swing for the buck, but not if it just means my DVR can give the head office more accurate feedback as to which commercials I skip, or give the government a clearer picture of me on the couch in my underwear bingewatching Doctor Who, and my cable service being "able to offer me" new and exciting ways to get my personal information hacked and shared by the KGB.

    This isn't really a rant. Seriously, we need a standard for TV, radio, broadband, WiFi, bluetooth, and Domino's Pizza that can be supported financially by the least wealthy of us, and not a system that makes early-adopters so stressed-out that they can't afford the newest remixed digital standard for watching Game of Thrones unless they sign up for something that also makes them pay for the NFL. This is a plea for information equality, to give the have-nots some reasonable expectation they're not being abandoned by whatever the FCC becomes after steroidal lobbying.

    THEN you can talk to me about foisting more new technology onto people who will have to buy 3 new televisions (and 4 adapters) between "early retirement" and death, just to keep up.
    jsayers, showtaper and junk like this.
  25. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I think it was part of the standard, but none of the broadcasters are supporting it. You can't receive 4K transmissions on an HD set.

    There's no need to lecture me about the evils of data compression and the problems with meaningless specs as numbers. I've said for more than 10 years, "if you step on 4K hard enough without enough bits, is it really 4K anymore?"

    The ASTC 3.0 link works for me. Here's a shorter link:

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