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Netflix UK Confirm GBP6.99 Price Rise and Broadband ISP Speeds for 4K

Friday, May 9th, 2014 (1:13 pm) - Score 4,632

Netflix UK, the Internet-based unlimited movie and TV video streaming service, has confirmed that the monthly price of their service will soon rise from £5.99 to £6.99 as already widely expected. But the good news is that this will only impact new customers, at least for now.

In an email update the service clarified that existing subscribers will continue to pay the current price (£5.99) for another two years. “As a thank you for being a member of Netflix already, we guarantee that your plan and price will not change for two years … [the current price] is guaranteed so long as you remain a member on your current plan,” said Netflix UK’s newsletter. NOTE: Netflix’s site still shows their old price so now is probably a good time to hop on.

Elsewhere the service has moved to clarify earlier remarks concerning the kind of broadband speed that subscribers will need in order to watch their latest Ultra HD 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels – resolution) streams. In April 2014 Netflix suggested subscribers would require a stable download speed of 15.6Mbps (here) and the firms CEO, Reed Hastings, has previously also noted that those with a 50Mbps connection should be “fine“. But the latest official update refines this.

Netflix on 4K Video Streams

To get the highest quality Netflix experience in Ultra HD 4K, we recommend available bandwidth of at least 20Mbps. This provides enough throughput for the stream, which is about 16Mbps, plus headroom for service variability. And speaking of variability, there are many things that can affect the data throughput to a specific device on your home network.

Market researchers predict that consumers will buy a million Ultra HD 4K TVs this year and even more in subsequent years. We expect it will likely take up to 5 years before Ultra HD 4K becomes mainstream; when most of the TVs on store shelves are Ultra HD 4K.

At present the only 4K show on Netflix is House of Cards season 2 and similarly most people won’t be able to take full advantage of this without a 4K capable display. In addition, Netflix said that 4K wasn’t just a matter of screen resolution and their plans also included broader support via 10-bit colour precision and framerates of up to 60fps. The latter can also increase bandwidth requirements significantly, which might start to explain the prior 50Mbps remark.

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97 Responses
  1. JNeuhoff says:

    So here we are already reaching the upper limits of many poor copper-VDSL connections. VDSL truly is not a future-proof technology!

    1. Phil says:

      I agree and BT knew this as well.

    2. Ignitionnet says:

      I don’t think anyone ever claimed VDSL was future proof. Quite the opposite if anything.

    3. No Clue says:

      Oh but it is future proof according to some. We just have to give BT millions more in a few years to add some bells and whistles to the FTTC network to make it faster AGAIN!

    4. Unknown101 says:

      No clue – not really they’ll be able to order FTTPoD (don’t bring up the cost of it just yet because you don’t know if it will still be expensive when few years down the line). FTTPoD at 330mb/s will be plenty (obviously it has more in the tank pushing 1gb/s if Openreach wanted).

    5. No Clue says:

      “……they’ll be able to order FTTPoD (don’t bring up the cost of it just yet because you don’t know if it will still be expensive when few years down the line).”

      And a few years down the line 8k content will be here, you still do not seem to comprehend a technology right now that needs x amount of speed needs it now not in a few years.

      As for price yeah thats right we do not know what it will cost several years down the line but we know what it costs right now and right now it is not a affordable solution.

      I frankly doubt it will be in a few years either, seeing as every other broadband tech and its price has never been cut in half or better over just a few years. Though i look forward to your next spiel that will attempt to explain in nonsensical fashion why an already pointless over priced tech will be different.

      Hell in a few years if we are talking in that fashion i may as well say Virgin may have 400Mb and of expanded further and the bit in brackets like you…… (Don’t say it wont because you dont know what they will do in a few years).

    6. Unknown101 says:

      No clue – And when 8K arrives if they are on FTToD they will be able to stream with 330mb/s, which by then could have increased to say 500mb/s (as it is available on FTToD just restricted by Openreach currently).

      Right now it is not required as stated above 4K only requires 16bm/s (20mb/s so it can provide a constant quality stream) which for most people FTTC provides (for other pausing the stream for a short while will be sufficient).

      This is completely new terriroty – FTTC prices have dropped considerably and I’m sure OFCOM will start to intervene again like they always do when the FTTC roll out is complete (in regard to FTToD prices).

      Virgin most probably will push their speeds up again their network is capable of it (apart from the backhaul issues they have with some regions struggling), but again they are only in <50% of the UK, If BT only had to upgrade half the UK they'd be laughing.

    7. No Clue says:

      But you already said you do not know what FTToD will cost several years down the line………. What is your solution if it is still not affordable?

    8. Raindrops says:

      He has no answer like any PR machine it just repeats and hopes

  2. Ignitionnet says:

    So with the average FTTC connection sub-40Mb going by current stats Netflix already have a roadmap that’ll make it inadequate.

    Be interesting to see what response there is from BT, though I am not convinced there will be one. They have absolutely no interest, at all, in competing with Virgin Media on speed in their areas, and have no-one else really to compete with in most other places, so why bother spending?

    1. FibreFred says:

      Agreed

      I doubt the BT roadmap is driven by Netflix 4k requirements 🙂

    2. Ignitionnet says:

      Oh the BT roadmap is driven by how little they can spend without losing too much business, and appealing to the lowest common denominator.

      Fortunately for them much of their audience is a captive one so they can spend very little and thanks to other factors the lowest common denominator is pretty low.

    3. X66yh says:

      Quote BT roadmap is driven by how little they can spend….”

      Well that’s a bit like the average UK person then – concentrating on how they can bodge up a repair to their house and hope the next buyer will not notice rather than doing it properly while moaning loudly when companies do exactly the same thing.

    4. No Clue says:

      The only difference being the home owner does not get half of the house work paid for.

  3. FTTH says:

    For years the excuse has been that there is no need for more than 20Mb.

    Now there is. Today.
    BT’s response will surely be that there should not be a need for more than 20Mb, and that Content providers should work around BT.

    In reality, BT’s roadmap may need to divert from that cul-de-sac of VDSL. ‘Turnaround when possible’.

    BBC, Netflix, Amazon, SKY.. the list for IPTV grows.

    1. BT Investor says:

      There is still no need for more than 20Mb. Would it be nice to have? Sure. But it is not a requirement. It’s a luxury at this point with very few people owning the equipment to even make use an Ultra HD 4K stream.

      If it’s very important to you, you will need to move to an area where super-fast BT Infinity is already available. It may sound harsh but it is the reality of the situation. Infinity is already widely available btw and is perfect for streaming Ultra HD 4K content from Netflix.

    2. Ignitionnet says:

      Enjoy your higher dividend and promises of increased dividends to come, investor!

    3. No Clue says:

      “There is still no need for more than 20Mb. Would it be nice to have? Sure. But it is not a requirement. It’s a luxury at this point with very few people owning the equipment to even make use an Ultra HD 4K stream.”

      Complete and utter poppy cock from someone that does not understand the technology. 4K streamed content even on a lower res 1080p screen will look better than 1080p streamed content from the same provider. When your TV internally downscales the 4k resolution to 1080p it has more pixels to choose from to discard than what is included in a 1080p version of the stream to begin with (think of this similar to upscaling but the reverse). A decent TV will first discard duplicate or very near duplicate pixels and from there use motion interpolation to decide what is best to keep. Ultimately resulting in an image with less macro blocking than you would get from the encoded 1080p stream and edges being sharper.

      4k streams also have higher bitrate audio which you can enjoy in any half modern setup right now. Someone with a basic 5.1 setup which can be had for a couple of hundred or even as a bundle with a bluray player, so not a luxury. Will hear the difference unless they are a technophobe know nothing such as yourself between a 96k stereo and a 380+k dolby stream.

      20Mb is also not enough. H.265 is capable of 10Bit and higher colour gamut along with frame rates in excess of 60fps. That combined with just the current bitrates Netflix are using for 4k content will require nearer the 40-60Mb mark.

      The first episode of House of cards in 4k on netflix scales from around 15 Mbps up to around 23 Mbps. 20Mb is NOT enough to view the opening scene 100% smoothly. Oh and that still has audio in lower bitrates which their 1080p stuff uses. So 20Mb enough even for current 4K content errrr NO

      When content arrives with 10bit colour 20Mb will not be enough to even play 5 seconds of content without repeatedly buffering.

      You are clueless, though defending BT and claiming FTTC is good enough as you always do is also clueless so i am not shocked.

    4. BT Investor says:

      That’s all very nice information “No Clue” but it’s still irrelevant to the mass market of consumers who just don’t care and aren’t invested in it. The tiny proportion of people who do care about that stuff probably wouldn’t even begin to cover about a billionth of the cost of doing what some expect BT to be doing on here. And even then, the true HD aficionados and audiophiles prefer to consume their content on physical discs because digital streams are always lossy. So that reduces the potential market for this stuff further still.

    5. No Clue says:

      As stated you have no idea what you are talking about…
      “That’s all very nice information “No Clue” but it’s still irrelevant to the mass market of consumers who just don’t care and aren’t invested in it.”

      Netflix has over 1.5 Million Subscribers in the UK, thats almost as many as what currently have taken FTTC. If they are not interested in streaming, i guess the public as a whole are not interested in FTTC as the number of subs are similar.

      “The tiny proportion of people who do care about that stuff probably wouldn’t even begin to cover about a billionth of the cost of doing what some expect BT to be doing on here.”

      What BT are doing or not doing is irrelevant they like most will have to move with the times. Youtube has 4k content, Netflix has 4k content, Amazon Instant Video is going 4k http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/126292-amazon-instant-video-to-offer-4k-ultra-hd-content-from-warner-bros-lionsgate-20th-century-fox-and-others
      Sky and Virgin have tested 4k, sky are rumoured to have a sports channel this year in 4k
      So what BT are doing does not really matter they like your thinking is old news.

      “And even then, the true HD aficionados and audiophiles prefer to consume their content on physical discs because digital streams are always lossy.”

      THIS IS YOUR FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF NO IDEA…
      H.265 4k streams are in the exact same codec and format as what new bluray 4k standard will be, it is the new standard for 4k content. H.265 compressed or not can look better than current bluray 1080p stuff. H.265 has 10bit colour reproduction capability in fact it can go as high as 12bit and 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 subsampling. Bluray 1080p (current format) is 8-bits with 4:2:0 chroma subsampling. There is no comparison bluray as it stands is an inferior format. a H.265 stream with 10bit subsampling can be encoded at less than half the bitrate of bluray and still make it look like crap.

      I suggest you go learn about formats if you want to discuss them.

    6. Raindrops says:

      ‘Netflix has over 1.5 Million Subscribers in the UK, thats almost as many as what currently have taken FTTC. If they are not interested in streaming, i guess the public as a whole are not interested in FTTC as the number of subs are similar.’

      Netflix also only started in the UK in 2012, Literally only just over 2 years ago. When did the FTTC rollout start? 2010 wasn’t it?

      Nah this streaming malarkey nobody is interested in, its just grabbed close to the same amount of customers as FTTC in HALF the time. Clearly nobody is interested in all this HD and beyond content its all just a fad.
      @sarcasm off.

  4. FibreFred says:

    How much of a problem is this is reality? Probably unmeasurable, just more fuss and bluster.

    How many on FTTC get less than 20Mbps down? How many of those have or want 4K streaming

    Put a number of it if you can, if you can’t… well… what’s there to complain about other than the usual BT bashing.

    1. MikeW says:

      Ofcom’s 2013 infrastructure report puts 90% of those on FTTC at 24Mbps+, and 86% at 30Mbps+ syncs speeds.

    2. No Clue says:

      30Mb will not be enough either.

    3. BT Investor says:

      Luckily the 76Mb down on my BT Infinity connection would be more than enough. And BT is already working on testing technologies that will increase the speed for many more of its super-fast infinity customers.

    4. No Clue says:

      “Luckily the 76Mb down on my BT Infinity connection would be more than enough. And BT is already working on testing technologies that will increase the speed for many more of its super-fast infinity customers.”

      Too bad many do not get the full 76Mb like the ASA victim that was only estimated as the low 20Mbs. As to increasing speeds there you go again with your wild theories rather than what matters right now.

    5. Raindrops says:

      Like HDTV, 4K and so on content there is no need for FTTC, nobody wants that either.

    6. FibreFred says:

      No-one wants fttc yet the sign ups increase in numbers substantially each quarter 🙂

    7. Raindrops says:

      The FTTC numbers you speak of are poor. 2.1 Million Users from a near 4 year rollout so far. Netflix have over 1.5 Million users and have only been around since 2012 in the UK (IE 2 years). So how come this streaming lark which you think only applies to the select few is growing quicker than FTTC?

    8. FibreFred says:

      Hahaha you are a joker

      Was FTTC available to all 4yrs ago? Of course not

      Was Netflix available to all 2yrs ago, of course it was. And I never said streaming applied to a select few, its a great service used by many. I’ve been talking about 4k and who wants it/can use it.

      FTTC figures are good and they keep growing, I know that must hurt but its true, they’ll continue to rise as well 😀

    9. FibreFred says:

      …even more hurtful that back in the day you said FTTC would only ever be able to achieve 20-25Mbps down. 😉

    10. No Clue says:

      Errr if FTTC was not available to all 4 years ago or even 2 years ago it follows neither was Netflix as those stuck on ADSL with superslow speeds would not have the 5+Mb needed to watch it, unless of course you are now going to claim those that didnt have enough internet speed still bought netflix?

      So erm yeah that was a typical nonsensical un-thought out troll

    11. FibreFred says:

      So 4yrs ago FTTC was available in terms of footprint to the same amount of people it is today?

      hahahahahahahaha…. oh please.. stop now 🙂

    12. Raindrops says:

      Where did anyone say that? If you re-read he said the opposite.
      Maybe you should leave your basement on a Sunday, the single braincell obviously needs the air.

    13. No Clue says:

      Yes i actually basically said netflix subscription has grown rapidly as FTTC became available to more people that did not have the speed needed before hand. God only knows how he read the opposite of that. Hopefully he has woken up a bit by now.

    14. George says:

      Maybe when he smashes his keyboard in a mad fit what comes back in response will make more sense.

  5. MikeW says:

    Is 4k a technology to be concerned about in the next decade? I don’t think so.

    I guess it is important to distinguish between the technology becoming available, the content being available, and the consumer demand.

    Last year, 2% of films in the home were delivered digitally – so the big consumer demand remains in the form of physical discs.

    But in the physical market, where BluRay HD content has been available for over a decade, it still only has a market share of around 15%, while the players themselves have reached only around 20% of homes. Plain SD DVD’s are the vast bulk of the market (all UK figures).

    Sky’s subscriber levels show around 50% willing to pay extra for HD channels, a service that has been around for 8 years.

    It is fair to say that the UK is still getting to grips with paying extra for even HD content, even though a lot of people have sprung for HD-capable TV’s. It’ll be a long while yet before many are convinced that they want to stump up for 4k content.

    And that’s without considering the point about whether 4k can be perceived in the average home.

    1. No Clue says:

      Source for all that nonsense please as streaming has been beating DVD since 2012.

    2. Bob2002 says:

      >Is 4k a technology to be concerned about in the next decade?

      You can currently buy 39″ 4K TVs in the US for $500, not very much considering 4K is fairly new. Now add in the fact that Netflix and YouTube account for half of North American peak Internet traffic today and I’d say we can clearly see 4K having substantial potential to gain in popularity – if the required bandwidth for the customer is available

    3. FibreFred says:

      People said 3d TV was the next big thing. 🙂

      And BTW we don’t live in NA.

      4K will be popular no doubt… but it won’t be THE choice for ages regardless of bandwidth available, christ half the population of the UK probably still watch in SD!

    4. No Clue says:

      “People said 3d TV was the next big thing.”

      Er no they did not home theatre enthusiasts said it was a fad before it even hit shelfs. Rubbish tech that degrades a 1080p image to 720p per eyeball.

      4K TVs are already popular you only have to look at http://www.hotukdeals.com/ to see all the deals being put up on there, the people buying them and the heat ranking the deals are getting.

      You can now buy a 4K TV for less than some 3D TVs.

      Just because you are still watching a 14″ inch portable CRT with tinny sound and have no idea what the joys of a higher definition picture and sound can bring does not mean the rest of the country is.

      As to what half the population watch with regards to TV content, i spose that would be relevant if we were talking about TV content. Using your idiot logic if most people are just watching SD TV then nobody would even be buying 1080p TV sets…. Again no doubt this is likely another indicator you are happy with an old crap CRT set.

    5. BT Investor says:

      No Clue

      “Just because you are still watching a 14″ inch portable CRT with tinny sound and have no idea what the joys of a higher definition picture and sound can bring does not mean the rest of the country is.”

      If you truly people there’s a mass market of people who care about the stuff you do then I’m afraid you’re living in your own bubble. For example: there are significant chunk of people who pay for Sky HD and still watch their content on the SD channels a lot of the time. Normal people don’t care. They just want to watch their favourite shows and movies with the minimum of fuss. If they land on the SD channel first when their show is on, they are not going to hunt around for the HD channel. They just want to kick back and enjoy their content. That’s the normal human behaviour.

      The number of people who care about the speed of their broadband, that their netflix stream is setup to deliver content in Ultra HD 4K resolution and that their TV and connectivity supports it – this is such a tiny market I wouldn’t even think of trying to start a business to take advantage of it.

      The fact that more and more people are happy to watch their favourite shows and movies on small screen mobiles and tablet devices just shows what really matters to people: convenience.

      The market opportunity for delivering content to consumers on mobile devices is infinitely bigger than the technology you’re so passionate about.

    6. FibreFred says:

      ^ exactly that

    7. No Clue says:

      “For example: there are significant chunk of people who pay for Sky HD and still watch their content on the SD channels a lot of the time.”

      Nonsense why would anyone pay extra for a Sky HD pack if they can not enjoy the content at a higher resolution. Sky Sports for example if you want the channels in HD costs an extra £5.25 per month…
      http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/high-definition/

      “If they land on the SD channel first when their show is on, they are not going to hunt around for the HD channel.”

      If they have their box set to AUTO it will switch resolution automatically. You also clearly do not have sky or have any idea as all the HD channels in the channels list and guide are first. The SD ones are further down to get to those you have to scroll through not the other way around. So the chances of anyone being stuck on a SD channel and hunting for the HD one is pretty unlikely. Can you please stick to what you know about rather than making wild guesses.

      “content in Ultra HD 4K resolution and that their TV and connectivity supports it – this is such a tiny market I wouldn’t even think of trying to start a business to take advantage of it.”

      Good job you have no business cos all the big businesses disagree with you.

      “The fact that more and more people are happy to watch their favourite shows and movies on small screen mobiles”

      Oh you are one of them that explains alot LOL, do you still cramp round a computer monitor with friends to watch videos also, how very early 2000s of you.

      “The market opportunity for delivering content to consumers on mobile devices is infinitely bigger than the technology you’re so passionate about.”

      I agree maybe you could use your ties at BT and tell them to sort out their android BT Sport app see it works properly and is not a blocky mess.

    8. Raindrops says:

      Everytime a news item about the future of any media comes along its the same wood lice that crawl out to pronounce it all worthless. I can imagine them in front of their 800×600 CRT monitor, listening to a gramophone, still crying about analogue TV being switched off and having to spend on a box to still watch their 1970s TV. I spose it makes sense though glaring at a fish bowl screen and living in one.

      Amazingly though they have no such issue pushing any BT related future fibre tech down peoples throats, i guess that is because like everything so old in their life they still have paper share certs in the company.

    9. FibreFred says:

      We get that you and your alias like to watch the highest definition possible, but just because you do it doesn’t represent the country and its needs as a whole.

      Keep trolling on though it won’t make any difference to.. well anything

    10. FibreFred says:

      With you superior knowledge of this market do you fancy sharing the breakdown of the UK?

      How many SD TV’s in use
      How many HD TV’s watching SD only
      How many HD TV’s watching HD & SD
      How many 4K TV’s in use

      And your source

    11. Bob2002 says:

      @FibreFred

      >And BTW we don’t live in NA

      Where the US leads the rest of the world often follows, and a decade is a long, long, time for the Internet and consumer electronics.

    12. No Clue says:

      “How many SD TV’s in use”
      Not many and if you think otherwise you are silly. The average SD CRT display has a lifespan of around 15 years (you can go google CRT lifespan for yourself and read a few links if you do not believe that, obviously some will last longer some less), so unless millions bought one back between about the year 2000 and right now not many of them are left as the daily watch it several hours per day primary TV. By the year 2002-2004 LCD 720p was the mainstream sets. By 2005 you could not buy a CRT SD TV even if you wanted.

      “How many HD TV’s watching SD only”
      Id say hardly any, if you had said only watching SD TV broadcasts, i may have agreed there may be quite a few without freeview HD or better. Never watched anything above 576i/p “CONTENT” on their 720+p TV though, hardly any.
      Especially factoring in game consoles (owned by millions), settop boxes like nowtv, roku, bluray players and dvdplayers that upscale content (owned by millions more). Netflix has 15+Million users in the UK so unless you still think people are watching that around a computer and never watched it on their TV when you can get devices under £20 to do it then i can only assume you are stupid.

      “How many HD TV’s watching HD & SD”
      All of them obviously seeing as SD TV programming is still broadcasted. HD consumption will be either via freeview HD or other services as mentioned above.

      “How many 4K TV’s in use”
      For the UK??? Impossible to say i doubt any manufacturer has released official figures thus far. Though it is more than you think thats for sure…..
      hdtvtest.co.uk/news/sony-lead-4k-201308283273.htm though some of that will be worldwide.

      Oh and to squash another nonsense, 4K TV is affordable right now, this set being a very good example. http://www.stuff.tv/kogan/kogans-new-55-inch-4k-tv-costs-550/news what more in a TV could you want for so little money?

      The other thing you seem to be forgetting is there is more than 1 television in most households……….. SO UNLESS THEY ARE ALL SD TVs i have no idea what your point is.

      You can always look at TV licensing figures about screens, flat panel displays and more at
      content.zone-secure.net/tvlicensing/telescope2014/
      Read the state of the nation section for starters there.

      Still think its all only SD people watch???

    13. FibreFred says:

      So you can’t answer the question then?

      Thought not 😉

    14. Raindrops says:

      Blimey 60M flat panel TVs in under ten years bought in the UK.
      More than 1 TV per household and he thinks they are all SD
      4k Not affordable clearly it is
      Sony have made £317 Million from 4K TVs this year

      Oh no question definitely not answered there No Clue…… We shall all just believe people like him are stuck round their 20 year old portable TVs
      LOL

    15. FibreFred says:

      The question was simple

      How many SD TV’s in use
      How many HD TV’s watching SD only
      How many HD TV’s watching HD & SD
      How many 4K TV’s in use

      And your source

    16. Raindrops says:

      Maybe you should read his links.

      Also care to comment on them being more than 1 TV per house….. Are they all SD?

      Are the 200+ Million people worldwide that own PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox one and PS4 all gaming in SD on a CRT also?

      Feel free to give a source anytime you wish for the percentage of Homes with 2 SD CRT television sets and how many of those console gamers are doing it on a SD TV also.

      After all if we are to believe your nobody is adopting HD and better stance how about you prove it. We seem to be able to show figures of equipment in use quite easily.

      Actually i now wonder after No Clues post how long you thought the life of CRT was and when sales of them stopped.

      Its always entertaining watching you have no idea of what is going on in the world

    17. George says:

      Have been reading this with a lot of chuckles.

      Of course everyone is still stuck in the SD era, thats why any device you buy today that plugs into a TV has HDMI sockets on it. Its extra expense the manufacturers added for the minority that do not own HDTVs well according to loony freddie anyway ;-).

      Bluray players do not even have SD connections anymore…… No doubt though nobody has bought them either. To even watch NOWTV on an SDTV you have to go and buy an extra cable. Thats HDMI by default also.

      I guess there must just be millions of people buying devices and somehow shoehorning HDMI cables into SVHS sockets. A bit like fred the square peg round hold principle 😉

    18. FibreFred says:

      Add another alias to bolster the same view 😉

      Still no answer to the questions then?

      Just because you buy a hd tv it does not mean you subscribe to a hd service.

      Anyway back to your answers which are not on anyone’s link btw, my question for you to answer none of your (and virtual personas) quasi bs please 😉

      Simple questions for the expert

    19. George says:

      ‘Add another alias to bolster the same view’

      Sorry but no 4 individuals all think you are thick.

      ‘Just because you buy a hd tv it does not mean you subscribe to a hd service.’

      I thought your original `point` was “half the population of the UK probably still watch in SD!” and nothing to do with what services they subscribe to. No shock you can not remember what you stated.

      Regardless as was pointed out to you over 15 Million subscribe to Netflix alone, so that latest statement is wrong also. 4 Million subscribe to Virgin, around the same to Sky, but nope nobody subscribes to HD services either. It really is a pity you can not count.

    20. FibreFred says:

      I know exactly what I said. More ranting and anger yet you still (the expert) cannot give me the breakdown I have asked for , put numbers next to my question instead if the usual slippery avoidance replies.

      Please try harder !

    21. BT Investor says:

      I have never seen someone living up to a username on a website quite like “No Clue” has done here. His dismissive comments about mobile says all you need to know about the value of his take on reality. I don’t think there’s any need for further debate. But good luck if you want to persist FibreFred. 🙂

    22. No Clue says:

      He is obviously an idiot if he thinks we are the same person george. Ill point out you mistake before he does, you have misquoted my netflix figure it is 1.5 Million plus subs in the UK not 15 Million. 15 Million is more likely closer to the American figure 😉 No doubt we are the same person though.

      You are right his original argument was more people still use SD rather than HD and nothing to do with subscription services. He now seems to have some fascination with wanting numbers. Not that enough have not been provided to him already. His argument is all over the place from people watch SD rather than HD to people dont subscribe to streaming services. You know you are dealing with an idiot when it can not even remember what its points were and wants to change them.

      I do not even know why he still thinks people have SD TVs for SD content ive already pointed out the life span of a CRT and couple that with the time frame they have not been available for and you have to wonder what he thinks people are buying.

      Obviously nobody owns bluray players either, as you point out how do they hook them up to their SD TVs.

      Obviously he is lost again, and is now just going to repeat itself as he has again been made to look stupid. The best bit is him waiting for replies on here though.

    23. George says:

      “The best bit is him waiting for replies on here though.”

      He does seem to have a habbit of getting easily wound up and then hanging around to comment in the middle of others conversations at all times of the day. Oh well at least he has mastered the use of the refresh button in his browser probably has an SD display for that also LOL. We are the angry ones though LOL

    24. FibreFred says:

      How we love our little frustrated troll 🙂

      I said ” christ half the population of the UK probably still watch in SD!”

      That doesn’t equate to me saying that half the country have SD TV’s, but as usual you like to rewrite what was written for your own bipolar purposes.

      I know you are getting annoyed especially as you are an expert in this field and still cannot provide me with answers to the basic questions asked, maybe you should have thought about it more before posting but… history tells us that’s never likely to happen as we’ve witnessed so many similar incidents in the past.

    25. No Clue says:

      “That doesn’t equate to me saying that half the country have SD TV’s, but as usual you like to rewrite what was written for your own bipolar purposes.”

      No it means you think people have HDTVs and never watch HD content on them despite Virgin and Sky having close to 10 Million Subs, Netflix having 1.5 Million, Amazon another million and god only knows how many with smart TVs using features on them, or people with bluray players connected to them watching HD disks.

      IThere is nothing for me to be annoyed about, i have no reason to be annoyed that you can not comprehend take up and ownership of such products and services.

      There is one positive to all this you thinking nobody watches HD content though. The BT TV platform must be really dead. So thats one less thing you can plug.

    26. Salt in the wounds says:

      ‘There is one positive to all this you thinking nobody watches HD content though. The BT TV platform must be really dead.’

      Oh no please do not go there, bashing a BT product is what sent the mental midget off in the first place in this story.

    27. Raindrops says:

      For the love of sanity leave the clown alone.

      Nobody has a HDTV
      Nobody watches HD content
      Nobody owns a games console
      Nobody Subscribes to HD capable Movie/TV streaming services
      Nobody has Sky or Virgin
      Nobody has Freeview HD
      Nobody has Freesat
      Nobody has a Blu-ray player
      Nobody has a set-top streaming device
      Nobody has EVER SEEN ANYTHING OTHER THAN BLACK AND WHITE TV

      There hopefully that makes the idiot happy.

    28. George says:

      ^^^ Coffee spat all over the screen you ^*%£$*” LOL

    29. MikeW says:

      @bob2002
      “Where the US leads the rest of the world often follows, and a decade is a long, long, time for the Internet and consumer electronics.”

      That was my point… BluRay is a decade old, and doesn’t even achieve sales of 20% of the market yet. And that is a better source of HD content than the compressed tripe we get over Freeview, Satellite or streamed. How many more decades should we give it for people to decide it is worth the extra few £ per disk?

      On TV in general, the US has a very different market – where people pay an awful lot each month for their content. It isn’t a surprise that they have taken up the relatively cheap Netflix so openly. We have much more tradition for free-to-air content, making it harder for US companies to follow so easily.

  6. MikeW says:

    @no clue
    You asked for a source for my UK figures.

    They came from an article on the entertainment business in the UK, written by Microsoft, targeted at advertisers. Dated December 2013.

    http://advertising.microsoft.com/en-uk/blogpost/128933/microsoft-advertising-blog/the-uk-home-entertainment-market-what-marketers-need-to-know

    You can find a variety of anecdotal evidence that the UK public just haven’t taken Blu-Ray to heart (eg a Huffington Post article on the relegation of BluRay discs into the back corner of an HMV store). Even the prediction that BluRay players will end up in more homes is based on the fact that they will be integrated in Xbox consoles.

    It really does seem that, outside the core Videophile market, HD hasn’t taken on a “must-have” mantle to joe public. Simple access to Corrie, Eastenders and Emmerdale overrides how the picture actually has to look.

    1. No Clue says:

      On the other hand ther is this…
      http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/mar/12/netflix-spotify-uk-home-entertainment-sector
      Kinda of irrelevant in a way which ever way you look at what media format is the dominant as the figures for DVD/Bluray are sales figures and considering just one disk costs the same as a months subscription to most streaming services it should in financial terms still do well.

      One thing that does make sense in your link is the claim about Xbox One specifically “Blu-Ray player household penetration is now more than 20% and is forecast to double in the next 5 years with the launch of new devices with in-built Blu-Ray players, such as Microsoft’s recently launched Xbox One.”

      That is an utter stretch, if people want bluray movies i highly doubt they are going out buying £400 consoles of any type just to watch bluray movies. The again it is a MS link.

      If you want to look at things in those kind of MS rose tinted glasses you may as well claim every Smart TV, tablet, phone and even the Xbox One slae is for people to watch cat videos on youtube, rather than why people are actually buying those devices, same principle and same stupid claim.

    2. MikeW says:

      You’re right about the Xbox being bought in order to watch Blu-ray… not. My point was exactly the same as yours – that the penetration figures will end up inflated, with plenty of people owning BluRay players who will never have any intention of putting an HD video in it.

      The Guardian report makes good reading for the progress of digital media. I have no problems with how big the market is overall. However, it doesn’t give any breakdown of the market split – where older figures have suggested that the vast majority of online digital sales come from video gaming & music, less from video in general, and specifically less from movies. I’m sure that streaming of video is coming on leaps & bounds, but there is no word on the format, nor even on the destination device.

      Given that both satellite & freeview represent the biggest source of HD viewing, yet are subject to terrible compression effects, and internet streaming suffering the same fate, we are left with BluRay representing the best picture quality available to the public right now – and a public that has screens capable of viewing it. Sales of BluRay material must surely be an indicator of the British public’s appetite for the highest quality of picture available – and it seems the public have voted with their wallet so far… Sparingly.

      Things are bound to improve, but it would be unwise to predict that the masses want to be on the cutting edge in the future, when they’ve shown nothing of the sort for the last couple of decades.

      Unless you have something that breaks down the figures in the Guardian report to show video & HD?

    3. No Clue says:

      “..older figures have suggested that the vast majority of online digital sales come from video gaming & music, less from video in general, and specifically less from movies.”

      The problem with some figures is that they are just looking at sales and cash generated from the sales rather than what people are doing and getting for their cash. The trouble with looking at things like that is services like Amazon, Netflix etc often only have a monthly fee around the £6 mark. For that £6 a person may watch 10 or 20 movies in a month, where as if they are buying DVDs or Bluray they may only buy 1 film in a month and it already generates more cash. That is fine if you are looking at things in a financial sense but half the argument from certain individual here was streaming services are not that popular when clearly in the example here it would be more popular than buying films as the person with the streaming service is watching more than the person buying individual films.

  7. X66yh says:

    I don’t have a TV – and have not for over a decade
    So I don’t watch anything…….

  8. MikeW says:

    In all the arguments above, I’m surprised that no-one picked up on my final point – that 4k isn’t actually perceivable to most people in the context of a TV in their living room.

    For most people, buying a 4k TV for the living room isn’t worthwhile, unless it is at least an 80″ screen.

    Cnet has a great story on why 4k TVs are still a stupid idea, along with a great graph showing viewing distance vs resolution vs human perception:
    http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/why-ultra-hd-4k-tvs-are-still-stupid/

    At a 10 feet viewing distance, with 20/20 vision, you need a screen bigger than 80″ to start to perceive a better quality than 1080p. It is hard work to persuade the other half of a screen size suitable for 720p, never mind 1080p, so there’s little point starting on the 2160p!

    As the author of that article says, 4k is inevitable- the TVs will be marketed (because it is easy & cheap for manufacturers to make) and will sell (because it is easy to make buyers think it is better), even if it isn’t sensible for most people to buy them.

    But that still doesn’t mean they will pay for 4k content.

    I reckon it’ll be 5 years+ before there are enough 4k TVs in the UK to be worthwhile, and at least another 5 years before any significant numbers want to pipe 4k content into them.

    But there’s a bit of me that thinks the market for 4k content will stay at niche level for decades longer than that.

    I, for one, would rather have better quality 720p and 1080p content first – better panels such as OLED and better compression (ie less blocking, and better motion capability). I’m going to continue to sit 10 feet from the TV screen, and I don’t see it ever being larger than 50″.

    Unfortunately, it is harder for the manufacturers to actually improve the picture quality than it is for them to roll out the double resolution for 4k using existing quality technology. Increased resolution is the last aspect that you’d choose to improve quality, but is easiest for manufacturers – and that’s why the manufacturers are pushing it, and why it is relatively cheap to buy.

    Save your money.

    1. No Clue says:

      The only problem with that link and what has since been acknowledged is that writers main point is about viewing distace VS human eye being able to differentiate pixels at distance.

      That is only half the story, as i have mentioned H.265 allows higher colour sampling, bluray is 4:2:0 H.265 4k content is 4:2:2 or better. Colour will look better, this explains things nicely with the second set of images and the reason why explained in the third set of images….
      http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/147000-h-265-standard-finalized-could-finally-replace-mpeg-2-and-usher-in-uhdtv

      It also contradicts to a degree your other post about people buying an Xbox One and that driving Bluray, as i think you will find people in general do sit closer to a display when gaming.

      He also does not seem to realise people like it or not do indeed buy bigger screens today than they used to. You can use my earlier 14″ CRT sarcasm for that. How many people used to have them as de-facto TV size in bedrooms or even kitchens (if they even had screens in kitchens back then) do they still buy 14″ screens though? Id hazard a guess more bedrooms have 32″ inch or thereabouts TVs now. 32″ years ago in your living room was considered OTT now its perfectly normal in fact its probably considered a small screen.

      If you look through Cnet a great deal of his articles are spent trying to bash anything HD. In one article he does not even appear to understand the difference between what a pixel is and what sub-pixels are. So ill take his rants (read his other articles) with a pinch of salt.

    2. MikeW says:

      Agree that the author’s main point was indeed visual acuity, while his secondary points were that there are better things you can do: contrast ratio being best, and improved colour a second.

      And the point you make about HEVC compression offering better colour definition is true too. However, that improved benefit can come about for HD resolutions as much as for UHD. You don’t need 4k resolutions to see this benefit.

      Unfortunately, as far as I can make out, the current panel technology isn’t capable of displaying the improved colours (nor improved contrast ratio), and the HDMI sockets on current 4k panels don’t have enough bandwidth to pass any extra colour information anyway. You certainly don’t want to be buying the current 4k TVs; they certainly are dead-ends.

      The gaming/Xbox argument doesn’t stand up in the context of this article either. Gamers might sit closer, and might benefit from 4k panels when doing so, but their 4k content is coming from the console – which means 4k content isn’t passing over the broadband connection (ie the point of the article).

      The author recognises perfectly that people are buying larger screens (IIRC his screen is >100″, so I’m sure he’s aware), but the link earlier to the TV-Licencing Telescope report (was that you? Thanks, either way) puts that into context: right now, the average screen size in the UK is 34″, with 3% having 50″+ (the same report suggests that while you joked about 14″ screens, kids today are increasingly watching on tablets – and that the percentage of kids with TVs in their bedrooms has dropped as their tablet usage has increased).

      The problem is that a 50″ screen, at regular viewing distances, still only matches visual acuity for 1080p (which continues up to 80″). Yet this seems to be the top-end of the size acceptability here.

      Combining a 50″ screen, with 1080p, the contrast ratio from OLED, and the colour from HEVC (if we can get a panel to display it) would appear to be the sweet spot for UK living rooms demanding the best (but not specious) quality. The only real reason to augment that with 4k would be for the extra resolution for 3D – but you already pointed out that this was pointless (and I agree).

      I disagree that he bashes HD. He certainly bashes UHD for living rooms, but his entire campaign seems to be for better quality HD in place of UHD. He’s not the only one…

      Here’s one home-theatre enthusiast who argues in one article for 1080p, but later against 4k:
      http://carltonbale.com/tag/resolution/

    3. MikeW says:

      And, interestingly, there seems to be no expectation of any production facilities for 4k for at least a decade.

      http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/uhf-strategy/zetacast.pdf

      I’ve not had a chance to read all that report, but it mentions the same problems on visual acuity, and sets a UK average viewing distance to 2.7m (9 ft).

      It also points out, on the colour front, that the human eye’s acuity is lower for colour than it is for luminance. They didn’t see things changing from 4:2:0, but acknowledged that it could.

    4. FibreFred says:

      Thanks MikeW for the credible links re 4k its a change from the non-credible ramblings of others.

      So in summary it looks like 4k will become the standard but not for many years, wide spread production of 4k films and staple tv is also many years away, so its taken a few days but I think we have the answer to this now:-

      “How much of a problem is this is reality? Probably unmeasurable, just more fuss and bluster.

      How many on FTTC get less than 20Mbps down? How many of those have or want 4K streaming

      Put a number of it if you can, if you can’t… well… what’s there to complain about other than the usual BT bashing.”

      It is indeed so small it is unmeasurable and looks like it will stay that way for many years.

    5. MikeW says:

      @FibreFred
      Thanks Fred. Always feels good when you contribute something that adds to the collective knowledge. Much better than making a post that adds nothing whatsoever.

      The discussion has certainly added a lot to my knowledge of HDTV, and the likely stages for the next steps in the UK.

      “It is indeed so small it is unmeasurable and looks like it will stay that way for many years.”

      I think there will be measurable demand from the videophile part of the population, and rightly so – as it means a lot to them.

      But it would be a good guess that this part of the population is highly likely to already have a screen larger than 50″, and (thanks to the TV licencing document) we know this likely puts them as a sub-group within 3% of the general population.

  9. No Clue says:

    “Agree that the author’s main point was indeed visual acuity, while his secondary points were that there are better things you can do: contrast ratio being best, and improved colour a second.”

    In Video Brightness and Contrast Ratio is all linked to colour replication.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrast_ratio
    You can not improve one without improvement to another. If a certain video signal is 8 bit and another is 10 bit you will never make the colour gamut of the 8 bit video look as good as the 10 bit video. From there the topic would totally derail into the difference between the available chromaticity in H.264, H.265 and differing resolutions. Basically to keep it simple H.265 has a wide range of colour and so will always look better with regards to colour reproduction, NO MATTER what the resolution of the signal is, the colour range available does not change.

    “And the point you make about HEVC compression offering better colour definition is true too. However, that improved benefit can come about for HD resolutions as much as for UHD. You don’t need 4k resolutions to see this benefit.”

    Err in one regard you do. Technically you can do 4:4:4 and a 4k signal in H.264 but you would require stupid amounts of bandwidth roughly 4-5 times that which H.265 would need. H.265 no matter what the resolution is 10 bit colour. Its encoding performance overall is roughly 2 times better than anything currently used in HD.

    “Unfortunately, as far as I can make out, the current panel technology isn’t capable of displaying the improved colours (nor improved contrast ratio), and the HDMI sockets on current 4k panels don’t have enough bandwidth to pass any extra colour information anyway. You certainly don’t want to be buying the current 4k TVs; they certainly are dead-ends.”

    No current 4K TVs do have those benefits, current HDTVs do not though. The only 4K panels now which do not have those benefits were earlier monitors and smaller screen sizes that could only do 60hz refresh rates (The Seiki or however it is spelt monitors which you can get cheap off ebay are an example).
    Current mass market HDMI v1.3/4 does have a bandwidth limitation you are right about that, but if the TV is H.265 capable it will not need to reach that upper limits. Feeding something at say 40Mb in H.265 to a capable TV over HDMI V1.3 will have near double the information than what a current AVC or H.264 (IE bluray) 40Mb stream has.

    Not sure what you mean regarding gamers, i though the point was about resolutions and who is using what, rather than how they are.

    “but the link earlier to the TV-Licencing Telescope report”

    You need to go and look back at what the stats were over the past few years. Screen size on average used to be a lot smaller than that 34″. Im not shocked at that figure either a 40″ screen (don’t they typically go 32″ then 40/42″?) is right about where the benefits of higher resolutions start.

    As to what that author thinks about viewing distance his average of 9ft people sit from the screen if you click through things seems to be based on 1) American homes and 2) Gives no figures on home many homes were looked at. So that is anecdotal at best.

    “The problem is that a 50″ screen, at regular viewing distances, still only matches visual acuity for 1080p”

    Again as said that is based on pixel differentiation and density to a human eye. He thinks regular viewing distance is 9 feet. It does not take into account clarity of a picture be it colour or a whole host of other things, at this point i could go on about things like anti-alias and why a digital Vs Analog signal and everything else being equal except the anti-alias would result in one picture still looking superior over another. You simply can not get the same colour reproduction at lower resolutions when using Mpeg2 and Mpeg4 which is what everything except 4K uses.

    Hell going a step further using his logic (its approaching idiot logic) but is what he is basically stating at a fixed distance of only a few feet (9 feet) a SD picture on a 50″ screen should look the same as a 1080p image….. Err i do not think so, that is like saying VHS and DVD looks the same as Bluray just as long as you sit 9 feet from it. You would have to sit a whole lot further away than 9ft for a VHS to look the same as a Bluray movie. Well unless you are half blind.

    “I disagree that he bashes HD. He certainly bashes UHD for living rooms, but his entire campaign seems to be for better quality HD in place of UHD. He’s not the only one…”

    No it is not, dig further, he has been on a tangent for years. When 720p screens arrived he basically said they were pointless and SD was good enough, forward a bit to 1080p and he has basically claimed that is pointless and 720p is good enough….. So using his logic and prior writings SD and CRT is just as good as any digital image we have today. I expect the same if he is still around will be repeated when 8k arrives. If you also look back at some of his articles its clear in the past some of his views were done just to get response, more recent articles people have just given up commenting and trying to educate him.

    “Combining a 50″ screen, with 1080p, the contrast ratio from OLED”
    Now we are getting close to agreeing. OLED is the future, OLED is capable of far deeper and richer blacks (or rather greys if we want to be technically correct ;)) than anything currently around, though plasma comes close. OLED can perform a variety of tricks when combined with other processing tech including turning off individual pixels to get the closest thing you can to true black with no light bleed from adjacent pixels.

    It makes LCD look a washed out mess, this is also another thing which disproves that authors theories, you display the same 4k image on a 50″ LCD and a 50″ OLED and the OLED even at that authors precious 9 feet will look better. Colour will be stronger, black will be black, brightness will be more accurate…….. And thats what i have been saying it is not only about individual pixels and what resolution at x distance can or can not be seen.

    The ofcom thing i am not even going to get started on. We all know ofcom dilly dally around over so many things it is not funny, what actual “broadcasting” tech they decide to use if they ever decide is anyones guess.

    This is they do say that though (im not even gonna read the whole ofcom thing i think so little of them) is funny……. “acuity is lower for colour than it is for luminance” lol they are both linked so god only knows how they reckon we can see one without the other. Maybe we can all see the same amount of colour shades in pitch black at 9 feet as we can in daylight. Cos that is basically luminance in the real world. How well you can differentiate Luminance in colour is down to how well its lit, be it light off a screen, day/night…. Or to be even more stupid if the glow stick is glowing or not (substance inside is technically the same colour just brighter). They are another that need to go read about colour gamuts obviously.

    Sheeesh Just realised apologies to all for covering each point this is a long post.

    1. Gadget says:

      Technically I’m sure 4K is better, but isn’t there a similar danger to that we experienced in the VHS/Betamax a generation ago? Technically Betamax was better, but lost out because of the non-availability of content to VHS ie it wasn’t the specs it was the consumer experience and cost. Until the TVs are available at a comparable price and the content is made available in the right format having a better technical spec does not sell the kit on its own.

    2. No Clue says:

      Betamax and sony lost because it was more expensive and could only record something like 1 hour compared to 2 hours of VHS from JVC at the time and a lot more apart from content. Betamax actually had some good content. The real runt of the litter was the very first release VCR format. On the plus side Philips (or it may had been panasonic i forget) had a home VCR system that came in a nice wooden enclosure. 😀
      (Showing my age)

    3. MikeW says:

      After such a long post, I found that I wanted to keep my response simple and short, but I can’t: There’s just too much to respond to.

      “Technically you can do 4:4:4 and a 4k signal in H.264 but you would require stupid amounts of bandwidth roughly 4-5 times that which H.265 would need. H.265 no matter what the resolution is 10 bit colour. Its encoding performance overall is roughly 2 times better than anything currently used in HD.”

      Precisely. H.265 gives better colour… and that is a welcome improvement.

      Unfortunately, you still miss my point. That improvement in colour is available to all resolutions, not just 4k.

      It is correct to say that H.265 enables better colour. 4k is not the enabler.

      “Current mass market HDMI v1.3/4 does have a bandwidth limitation you are right about that, but if the TV is H.265 capable it will not need to reach that upper limits. Feeding something at say 40Mb in H.265 to a capable TV over HDMI V1.3 will have near double the information than what a current AVC or H.264 (IE bluray) 40Mb stream has.”

      Are you saying that, in future TV’s, a STB will feed a raw H.265 stream into the TV over the HDMI cable? That the STB will leave all decompression work to the TV?

      I’m rather confident that is not the case.

      De-compression happens in the STB (or the BR player, or the PC graphics card), the HDMI cable/connectors have to have the bandwidth to transfer the full picture, with full colour depth.

      “(don’t they typically go 32″ then 40/42″?)”

      That’s true now, but wasn’t 2-3 years ago: there was a market for many sizes inbetween.

      Techradar said this in 2012:
      “Making the decision to upgrade from a bulky old 28-inch CRT TV is almost too easy, but heading straight for a 42-inch plasma can seem a little daunting.

      And thus the 37-inch size became one of the UK’s most popular shapes; a lot more impressive than a 32-incher, yet not big enough to entirely dominate a living room. It’s also often the maximum size for those of us who are forced, simply by the shape of our living room, to shove a TV in the corner.

      The 37-inch TV has taken a bit of a back seat in the last year or so, with the 32-incher making a comeback as the nation’s favourite. You can blame the recession for that.”

      I think one reason that we’re now more accepting of 42″ TV’s is that, with considerably smaller bezels, they’re of a similar physical size to 32″ TVs of only 6-7 year vintage.

      “American homes”

      Shame the BBC’s own study agrees that the same distance applies to the UK.

      The fact still stands that most people don’t re-arrange their living room when they install a new TV. For most, it will sit in the same corner/alcove where the TV aerial lead comes in. The sofa and armchairs will stay in the same place, and the viewing distance will stay the same.

      “at this point i could go on about things like anti-alias and why a digital Vs Analog signal and everything else being equal except the anti-alias would result in one picture still looking superior over another”

      You could go on, but it would be lost; both the Cnet guy and the other link I posted have taken it in the neck from others on exactly the same points. And have answered them (answered especially by Carlton Bale); there’s no need for me to regurgitate the same answers here: lets leave it to others to go read, and make their own minds up.

      The real point is that we’re dealing with the far end of human perception here; some people will be able to see, but the majority will not.

      “You simply can not get the same colour reproduction at lower resolutions when using Mpeg2 and Mpeg4 which is what everything except 4K uses.”

      You are mistaking resolution with a compression system.

      Mpeg 2 and Mpeg 4 are limited in the colour information they can carry, in a way that H.265 is not. Absolutely true.

      However, H.265 is not exclusive to 4k resolution. It can be used to carry the lower resolutions too – and will be, once enough hardware is out there – probably in mobile devices first, where bandwidth is big money and there’s a rapid-ish turnover in the hardware.

      The fact is that both the improved bitrate and the improved colour capacity is available to all these lower resolutions too.

      Take a look back at that extremetech.com link you posted…
      Notice that they highlight one use-case for H.265: for terrestrial-cable operators to upgrade from MPEG2 for a 70-80% reduction in bandwidth for current content quality, or to allow them to go to 1080p broadcasting.

      H.265 will be huge, and will be useful. It will improve streaming – and allow the likes of Netflix to get even more subscribers. But none of that requires 4k displays or 4k content; it just requires an H.265 decoder in an STB. While it enables 4k, it will work perfectly well on 1080p, and would probably allow people to get the best HD picture they’ve seen out of their existing panel.

      This guy makes the same point within the comments of his own page:
      http://referencehometheater.com/2013/commentary/4k-calculator/

      (and, incidentally, has the same perspective on 4k in the home)

      ” this is also another thing which disproves that authors theories, you display the same 4k image on a 50″ LCD and a 50″ OLED and the OLED even at that authors precious 9 feet will look better.”

      Well, duh!

      But it is the OLED giving the improvement, and nothing to do with the 4k aspect. Disproves nothing.

      “And thats what i have been saying it is not only about individual pixels and what resolution at x distance can or can not be seen.”

      The problem is that the eye cannot see any better than the in-built resolution of the rods and cones. It differs between humans, and differs with age.

      But the eye and the brain can be tricked. With contrast. Or with colour. Or with aliasing. Or with motion. And the visual equivalent of the placebo effect.

      To properly analyse the effect of the 4k resolution alone, the comparison really does have to come down to “the individual pixels and what resolution at x distance can be seen”: you have to remove all the other variances, then compare. Once you have determined the resolution that can actually be seen, then you can add back all the other components.

      “The ofcom thing i am not even going to get started on.”

      Shame. It has some interesting ideas on the gradual support of different generations of DVB, so you can see how things are predicted over the longer term (20+ years).

      One graph shows that the penetration of HDTV will only have become equal to the penetration of SDTV in 2014, counting the primary DTT screen in a household. I think this is comparing the capability of the TV in reception of HD content on terrestrial DVB-T2 broadcasts, rather than the underlying capability of the panel.

      In the same graph, it is expected to take to 2020 before HDTV (or better) sets will have reached 90% penetration.

      It predicts the same pattern for what it calls “3rd generation TV” (predicting it to be HEVC-influenced 1080p). It looks like that generation will kick off in 2015, reach 50% penetration in 2022 and 90% penetration in 2027.

      Conclusion

      We’ll agree to disagree here.

      The best that can be said is this:

      “If you can see a difference with 2160p, and have the money, then go for it.

      But be aware that expectation-bias will convince you that you have seen a difference (and the sneaky sales assistants will help you reach this conclusion), when you may not. Use one of the 4k calculators to forewarn yourself.”

    4. MikeW says:

      Grrr…

      I was going to add this to the conclusion:

      But don’t buy any 4k TV until it has HDMI 2.0 connectors. And, if you care about terrestrial TV, then wait until the use of HEVC within DVB-T2 is specified, and the TV comes with this capability.

    5. No Clue says:

      Sorry main reply is below i forgot to hit the reply button grrr.

      You are kind of right about HDMI 2.0 that will be capable of taking 12 bit colour signals. Which makes things even more gorgeous 🙂 Not sure i agree about waiting for it by default in a model though. The likes of sony and Samsung in their current flagship models will likely offer it via a software update.
      http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/surprise-sony-says-hdmi-2-0-is-just-a-firmware-update-away/#!MMCvR

      In fact i would not be shocked if my Samsung set is already done as that has had 2 firmware updates since i have owned it. Not sure of any current way to tell unless i fiddle in the engineers menus, though even with 20 years experience i think ill avoid messing with that on my 2 grand TV….. Well at least until the warranty is up hopefully by then though ill have something to plug into the HDMI to tell me though. I know it can do 4:4:4 sampling already thanks to my other 2 grands worth of calman 5 and its puck. 🙂 Got me curious now to see if they have any 12 bit test patterns available.

  10. No Clue says:

    “Precisely. H.265 gives better colour… and that is a welcome improvement.

    Unfortunately, you still miss my point. That improvement in colour is available to all resolutions, not just 4k.

    It is correct to say that H.265 enables better colour. 4k is not the enabler.”

    Again though it will go hand in hand. Your will unlikely see any 1080p screen which is H.265 capable (maybe codec/container wise for multimedia .HEVC or .MP5 playback if lucky). You will not see current spec bluray switch to H.265 either (you would not be able to play them on current players and it would require all new licensing). So you will not be seeing H.265 devices without support of 4K being in them anyway. That is the point of H.265 to support high resolution, better colour etc at lower bitrate.

    “Are you saying that, in future TV’s, a STB will feed a raw H.265 stream into the TV over the HDMI cable? That the STB will leave all decompression work to the TV?

    I’m rather confident that is not the case.

    De-compression happens in the STB (or the BR player, or the PC graphics card), the HDMI cable/connectors have to have the bandwidth to transfer the full picture, with full colour depth.”

    Depends on the device. Sonys FMPX STREAMER does not really do anything for itself…
    http://store.sony.com/4k-ultra-hd-media-player-zid27-FMPX1/cat-27-catid-All-Internet-Players
    That device will only work with Sony 4K TVs, i think you will find because its the TV which does the decoding of the streams, not the box.

    “(don’t they typically go 32″ then 40/42″?)”

    That’s true now, but wasn’t 2-3 years ago: there was a market for many sizes inbetween.”

    The TV Licensing report you refered back to was for 2014 not 2-3 years ago. 3 Years ago The average set size was smaller. 2012/13 it was 33″ 2011 it was 32″. The fade out of 37″ has made little difference even if techradar think it was a popular size. If it were the best of size/performance people would still buy them. Id argue if you are look at 2 models in a shop both in the same range from the same manufacturer only one being 37″ and one being 40″ for close to the same price you would take the 40″. There never was a big price difference between 27″ and 40″ from what i recall. 32″ is probably the most bought size as typically that will be for a second TV in a home, irrelevant of if your main tv is 32″ or a 65″ display. 32″ fits better in more places, spare room, bedroom, kids room, even kitchen and the real loon bathrooms. Remember the average amount of TVs per home is more than 2.

    “The real point is that we’re dealing with the far end of human perception here; some people will be able to see, but the majority will not.”

    I doubt that can be proven, i urge you to go look at a TV in a specialist store which has actual 4K content running on it and then come back and even dare say you can not see a difference in colour saturation.

    “You are mistaking resolution with a compression system.”

    No i am not they are and will be intertwined.

    “Take a look back at that extremetech.com link you posted…
    Notice that they highlight one use-case for H.265: for terrestrial-cable operators to upgrade from MPEG2 for a 70-80% reduction in bandwidth for current content quality, or to allow them to go to 1080p broadcasting.”

    No you have mis-understood that. that is going into the realms of what else the tech can be used for. In that case to get more channels into the same amount of bandwidth, The benefits in H.265 the customer would NOT end up seeing. In that case the cable operator would send a H.265 stream to a customer with a cable box, that cable box would then have to convert that 1080P stream of H.265 back into a codec and container the TV connected to it could understand unless the TV is H.265 capable (which as it stands is 4K TVs only). If you take the H.265 stream with the better colour and then the users cable box converts it say to H.264 for a “REGULAR” HDTV to playback all improvement which was there in the H.265 stream is lost as the box in the middle is “RE-ENCODING/TRANSCODING” it to a format the screen can handle. Using it in broadcasting and what you get the other end and what your screen is capable of are 2 separate things.

    “H.265 will be huge, and will be useful. It will improve streaming – and allow the likes of Netflix to get even more subscribers. But none of that requires 4k displays or 4k content; it just requires an H.265 decoder in an STB.”

    Errr how are you going to observe the improved colour gamut if the screen you are watching on is not capable of displaying the chromium spectrum of 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 but is a current gen TV which can only do 4:2:0????????? Unless 1080P screens end up with H.265 support the benfits will not be seen.

    “” this is also another thing which disproves that authors theories, you display the same 4k image on a 50″ LCD and a 50″ OLED and the OLED even at that authors precious 9 feet will look better.”

    Well, duh!

    But it is the OLED giving the improvement, and nothing to do with the 4k aspect. Disproves nothing.”

    So his and anyones theories about what looks best at what distance are totally busted. Its not just about resolution, which is what that author claims, and he claims at 9 feet there is no difference.

    “To properly analyse the effect of the 4k resolution alone, the comparison really does have to come down to “the individual pixels and what resolution at x distance can be seen”: you have to remove all the other variances, then compare.”

    You can not do that though as human eyes do not just see pixels they see what make up an image and part of what makes up an image is colour and contrast.

    The only way you can remove those variances is assume humans see in black and white only and even them contrast plays a roll. SO no you are talking about something that can not be done.

    SIMPLE TEST…
    If you take a person (they will be our pixel) and dress them in green and brown shove them in a forest and ask someone at to spot them at 100 metres chances are there will be people that can not pick them out. Dress the same person (or pixel, remember he is the same size he always was) in Bright NEON pink, and repeat that test and i highly doubt as many people will fail. In fact shove a different person half the originals size in the wood in pink and i bet still less people fail.

    EYES do not see in pixels they see colour, shape, contrast and so much more so all this rubbish about x feet for x sized screen that author goes on about is nonsense.

    I am not going to read the ofcom thing, as said they are useless, they played a part (even if it were small) in why TV is in MPEG2 it should all had been MPEG4 from the begining (again due to cost of the tech at the time is the real reason it was not). I suspect thats where the history of DVB you say they talk about goes and the whole DVB-T and then T2 etc. Poor choices, which ofcom seem good at.
    They went the half measure and then worried about broadcast space later, like they always do.

    1. MikeW says:

      On one specific issue – whether H.265 is carried over HDMI.

      You said, “Feeding something at say 40Mb in H.265 to a capable TV over HDMI V1.3”

      I said, “Are you saying that, in future TV’s, a STB will feed a raw H.265 stream into the TV over the HDMI cable? That the STB will leave all decompression work to the TV?”

      You said “Depends on the device […] its the TV which does the decoding of the streams, not the box.”

      I looked into the inner workings of HDMI, and can safely say that HDMI sends completely uncompressed pixel data. It contains no component whatsoever of a compression mechanism, either new (H.265) or old (eg H.264 or MPEG-2).

      This is true of all versions of HDMI.

      The cable turns out to just carry plain pixel data (like a VGA cable) but in digital form. In hindsight, it shouldn’t be a surprise, given that you can put a simple adapter inline to get a DVI connector.

      In fact, to get better characteristics over the copper cable, HDMI deliberately does the opposite of compression – and converts every 8 bits of video data into 10 bits to guarantee a balance of 0’s and 1’s, before being converted back to the original 8 bits by the receiver.

      (On-topic for a telecom’s forum: the balance of 0’s and 1’s help the receiver latch onto clock pulses, and stay synchronised, as well as preventing a DC bias appearing on a transmission line)

      There are plenty of control bits being carried during the frame blanking periods and the line blanking periods (when audio data is also sent), including a DDC channel that allows the display & STB to communicate (a principle which originated in VGA, it seems), and for the display to be identified.

      Perhaps Sony is achieving its brand lock-in using the control data in some way, but it certainly isn’t doing it by passing H.265.

    2. MikeW says:

      Building on top of the knowledge that HDMI transfers uncompressed pixel data, we can deal with the next issue…

      Your view of how a video stream gets to a TV panel from a cable box; it is plain misguided.

      I’ll paraphrase what you say slightly here. You say this:
      1) “the cable operator would send a H.265 stream to a customer with a cable box”
      2) “that cable box would then have to convert that 1080P stream of H.265 back into a codec and container the TV connected to it could understand”
      3) “If you take the H.265 stream with the better colour and then the users cable box converts it say to H.264 for a “REGULAR” HDTV to playback all improvement which was there in the H.265 stream is lost”
      4) “the box in the middle is “RE-ENCODING/TRANSCODING” it to a format the screen can handle.”

      You are right with step 1. A 1080p signal arrives at the cable box.

      In step 2, the cable box does indeed convert to something that the TV understands.

      Step 3 is where things go wrong. The cable box doesn’t convert to H.264 for regular HDTV. After decompressing H.265, it puts the picture out on the uncompressed HDMI connection.

      Step 4 is then just a simple idea of transcoding, which is what the HDMI chipsets do for you. There is no re-encoding; the TV does not have to be capable of understanding H.265 in order to see the pictures; it just has to have an HDMI connector.

      The overall capability is then determined by the capability of the HDMI connection and of the receiving panel. A plain HDMI connection is capable of carrying 24-bit 4:4:4 colour data, while the extensions for 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit colour depths are already available in HDMI 1.3.

      That means that any existing 1080p HDTV panel that accepts HDMI will gain from the subsampling improvement of H.265; even 720p panels will gain from this.

      The other improvement to H.265, of deeper colour depths, depends much more on the capability of panels. However, the panel can be 1080p just as easily as being a 4k panel.

      Which of these improvements is significant?

      In the link you provided to extremetech, you pointed at some pictures to show the improvement. The entire improvement visible to me, and pretty much everyone, was down to the 4:4:4 improvement, and not the colour depth improvement (because our computer monitors can’t display the higher depths either).

      In conclusion, that cable box will end up putting out 1080p 4:4:4 data, that plain 1080p panels can handle – and an improved picture will be available to the viewer.

      This is possible with today’s panels. No new panel needed. No 4k panel needed. All it needs is a new STB.

    3. MikeW says:

      Now we’ve shown that HEVC improvements are available to any panel, of any resolution, we can move on to the next issue.

      You say, “Your will unlikely see any 1080p screen which is H.265 capable”

      Unfortunately, every 1080p screen is already capable of viewing, and being improved by, H.265 – all it takes is an STB alongside the 1080p screen that people already have, or even the 720p screen that people already have.

      That STB could be a cable box, a satellite box, an internet streaming box, or (eventually) a terrestrial freeview box. For those who timeshift heavily (we do this), a PVR will gain heavily from H.265 compression (recordings using less disk space).

      For most of the next decade, people will be taking advantage of H.265 with an existing screen, not a new screen, therefore not a 4k screen.

      So when they’ve had enough of the STB arrangement, and want the decoder built-in, what will they buy? What choice will they be given?

      One key driver, for the UK in particular (with our love of the regular terrestrial channels), will be the resolution that satellite, cable & terrestrial broadcasting will be done at, to be received in those STBs. It seems likely that they’ll choose to broadcast at 1080p/HEVC for the next generation.

      With broadcasting done at 1080p, what will manufacturers sell to people? We simply don’t know, so the rest is speculation – and you will undoubtedly speculate differently.

      Will manufacturers only sell 4k screens, or will they offer “budget” screens at 1080p? What will people choose, if the 1080p screen in available at a cheaper price (even if only slightly cheaper)?

      Perhaps we get a hint from today’s supermarkets. While we’re here arguing about 4k, the supermarkets have spent the last 6 months doing a roaring trade with special deals on 42″+ plasma TV’s that are only 720p.

      With that, just like we see with TalkTalk in broadband, we know that Joe Public responds well to cheapness, whether it results in poor service or not. If the manufacturers choose to play on this by selling low-cost 1080p screens, we will see them by the bucket-load.

      I predict that, for the UK, we will see the bottom-end manufacturers doing precisely this (and Tesco etc taking advantage). The mid-level manufacturers will have to do the same – even if their 1080p screens are only £50 less.

    4. MikeW says:

      After discussing the possibility of 4:4:4 colour, next lets approach this question: If we can do that with today’s 1080p screens, what can’t we do?

      You said: “Errr how are you going to observe the improved colour gamut if the screen you are watching on is not capable of displaying the chromium spectrum of 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 but is a current gen TV which can only do 4:2:0????????? Unless 1080P screens end up with H.265 support the benfits will not be seen.”

      Here you certainly hit one problem. While most of today’s panels can certainly handle 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 sub-sampling over HDMI, they don’t obviously support the improved colour gamut and bit-depth.

      The Rec.2020 spec for colours is the thing that widens the gamut, and increases the colour depth. Rec.709 (as followed by existing TV’s) uses the smaller gamut with 8-bit depth.

      This aspect will be missing from current panels. There seems to be little we can do about that.

      However, CNet has this to say:

      “Most TVs today are capable of a wider color gamut than Rec. 709, but not [as] wide [as Rec.2020]. According to sources I spoke to, no current TVs can produce [Rec.2020] color points. So this is likely a more difficult technological hurdle than upping the resolution to 4K.”

      So even the current 4k panels don’t support the better colour depth, and it will take some work (ie £££) to make it happen.

      Another reason to be careful of current 4k panels, then, until we get confirmation that they truly support 10-bit+ colour depths. It will happen, but at a price.

      It would seem, right now, that the extra colour depth is just becoming available. A Toshiba 65″ screen is making 12-bit available (but not at both 4:4:4 and 60fps) for $6,000. Vizio announced their reference series at CES to include 10-bit colour, but I can find no prices. The Vizio P-series (without 10-bit colour) sees a 65″ screen going for $2,200.

  11. No Clue says:

    In response to first post……
    What data is sent over HDMI is down to the equipment sending the single. Nothing to do with the cable. Sonys new set-top box i mentioned sends a raw H.265 single over HDMI. The TV itself does the reconstruction of things such as refresh rate, frame rate etc. SOnys box does NO processing to the video or audio signal which is why it only works on Sony TVs. The reason it is as you call it Brand locked is down to nothing more than licensing. Sony and any other company can use something called Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). On the steaming side of things (think of it kinda like a version of HTTPS tied to the device). Expect samsung to use similar tech in their content they gain rights to. All future streaming services will have some kind of licensing rights, Netflix is soon to abandon silverlight all together and go for HTML5 which will also have a similar licensing scheme.

    The cable is nothing to do with it, its either the display that processes a signal or the box (device) sending the signal. An example of a box that processes a signal before sending it to a TV is DVD Player with upscaling, in that case the DVD player takes the 576i signal of the data on the DVD movie and upscales it to 720/1080 (depending on player) before sending it to the TV, it can do that for analog over component or HDMI.

    Some equipment post processes a signal some does not the Sony player i mentioned does not and relies on the TV to decode the signal and its Encrypted Media Extensions (EME).

    In response to second post…..
    You are totally and utterly wrong especially with what you think for step 4. If you think that is the case, here is a simple test. Connect you computer to a TV and try to playback a filetype which the computer does not have support for (lets say you have a divx file and make sure the computer does not have divx install) According to your theory it should still play if the TV supports divx…. It wont.

    Also using your theory a 720P only TV should be able to display a 1080p signal as the HDMI would take care of that… Again it wont the TV or the box would have to turn that 1080p signal into something it understands. HDMI chipsets do NOT transcode video. The video chipset in a TV or the box sending the signal does that. HDMI is a display mechanism nothing more. Its no different to any video connector in that regard.
    As for……
    “A plain HDMI connection is capable of carrying 24-bit 4:4:4 colour data, while the extensions for 30-bit, 36-bit and 48-bit colour depths are already available in HDMI 1.3.”
    Indeed but the HDMI will accept and is capable of that if the screen itself though is not it wont diplay a damn thing. NO I REPEAT NO current HDMI 1080P TV is capable of 4:4:4 colour data NONE of them. The panels in HDTVs are all 8 bit. If you connect a device and send it ANY data H.265 or not in 4:4:4 colour the TV or the box sending it will convert that data back to 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. The only TV panels that can do FULL 12 bit 4:4:4 are 4k panels.
    If you still want to argue that explain why bluray is 8 bit 4:2:0 colour? Ill tell you why because thats all what most 1080p screens can do (with a few exceptions)

    This is what a 1080p screen is……
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._709
    Which is 8 bit colour…… Doesnt matter a damn what the HDMI is capable of the screen isnt.

    This is what a 4k or UHD screen is…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._2020
    Thats 10 and 12 bit capable….. 1080P screens aint.

    Last post……
    That is just utterly wrong for the reasons explained above. HD TVs are 8 bit colour not 12 bit, anything you feed it is scaled back to 8 bit colour either by the box or the TV. You send it a 12bit colour signal all benefit of that 12 bit colour is lost its that simple.

    Not to be rude but i have been involved in Video calibration for over 20 years. 😉

    1. No Clue says:

      PS if as you claim Cnet said no 4K TV has a Rec.2020 colour space they are utterly clueless that has been the defined spec for 4K for neigh on 2 years. All 4k screens are capable of that colour.

    2. No Clue says:

      PPS… The vizio P-series has HDMI 2.0 by default so unless they fitted a 8bit panel and then wasted money giving a budget TV HDMI 2.0 for no reason i think you will find that screen will be Rec.2020 capable.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI_2.0#Version_2.0
      “Other features of HDMI 2.0 include support for the Rec. 2020 color space”

    3. MikeW says:

      Lets not worry about most of the stuff here. We can return to that later, once we’ve agreed on the very first problem: does HDMI carry the compressed H.265 stuff or not?

      Sort that out, and we’re getting somewhere.

      In the response to my first post, you say that the compressed file *is* transferred over HDMI. Sony does it, and Samsung are bound to. Am I correct in interpreting your response this way?

      However, when you comment on my second post, you state this:

      Connect you computer to a TV and try to playback a filetype which the computer does not have support for (lets say you have a divx file and make sure the computer does not have divx install) According to your theory it should still play if the TV supports divx…. It wont.

      But what you are proving here is that a compressed file (such as DivX) is *not* transferred over HDMI to the TV.

      Which one do you believe?

    4. MikeW says:

      As a side-issue, while you are pondering that one…

      The vizio P-series has HDMI 2.0 by default so unless they fitted a 8bit panel and then wasted money giving a budget TV HDMI 2.0 for no reason i think you will find that screen will be Rec.2020 capable.

      I wonder why Vizio would bother to highlight 10-bit colour on their top-of-the-range Reference Series if it wasn’t such a big deal? If every panel had that? Yet didn’t want to highlight it on the cheaper panel?

      Still, it seems that Scott Wilkinson, editor of the AVS Forums, seems to agree that the P-series is indeed an 8-bit panel.

      http://www.avsforum.com/t/1511153/vizio-p-series-uhdtvs-at-ces-2014#post_24197965

    5. No Clue says:

      Divx can be a container as well as a format. The content in a .divx file does not have to be compressed it can just like an .MKV file contain various types of video data, all the way from Mpeg2 to Mpeg4 based. The content of a divx file does not necessarily mean it is compressed. I suspect (which i admit was the aim here) you are just used to seeing it used as a codec in avi file.
      You can transfer any file format you wish over HDMI, whether the other end plays it is another matter.

      What HDMI is technically capable of carrying and what a device can process are 2 different things entirely.

      HDMI is a transport mechanism nothing more. Just because it can carry multichannel sound does not mean you are going to get multichannel sound the other end. If your TV like most has 2 speakers and the content you feed it over HDMI is say 5.1, you aint gonna get 5.1 the other end you will get stereo and thats nothing to do with HDMI either but the DAC in the TV and amount of speakers. Video and the ability of the TV Video encoder/decoder and the screen is no different. Component analog can do 1080 doe not mean every video signal you feed over component will be 1080 the other end. HDMI is no different, its just a transfer mechanism.

      “I wonder why Vizio would bother to highlight 10-bit colour on their top-of-the-range Reference Series if it wasn’t such a big deal?”

      Could be to make you feel you are getting more when you spend more, no different now to how on top end stuff now they mention a bunch of features you may get on something lower in their range.

      If it is an 8 bit panel then it seems strange it would have HDMI 2.0 ports as there would be no real benefit to have them. Sending a higher bitrate and/or a 10 or 12 bit signal which HDMI 2.0 ccan do would just mean it is displayed in 8 bit colour anyway, if the screen is only 8 bit it can not display more than that.

      Seems a bit of an odd thing to do, only the early 4k TVs were a mish mash of features like that. Spose it is possible to keep the cost down but then the HDMI 2.0 thing if its to cut costs makes no sense.

      I can only assume the specs are not finalised their is confusion over them, the same author you mention confirms HDMI 2.0 in that model here…
      http://www.avsforum.com/t/1511153/vizio-p-series-uhdtvs-at-ces-2014

      So who knows? Luckily unless things have changed i think Vizio is an American only brand, so we here will unlikely have to worry about what could be a rather odd ball TV. As i mentioned waaaaay back somewhere in all this the only TVs i know of which were odd ball featured like that were early things like the Seiki (or however it is spelt i should go check) which you can pick up on ebay and similar dirt cheap.

      Would be a bit shocked if Vizio have gone that way i think they have close links to Sony and normally use Sony or Sharp panels in their TVs. Maybe Sharp has some odd ball thing coming also, they after all had a weird R,G,B,Y (red, green, blue, yellow) pixel TVs which were also a puzzle to many in the industry.

      Ill admit i may be wrong with the Vizio as the exception to the rules of real UHD. I would not buy it if it is an 8 bit screen, as i have said all along its not just resolution that counts but so much more, improved colour at higher res being one thing which i think as obvious by now is important.

    6. MikeW says:

      You said:

      You can transfer any file format you wish over HDMI, whether the other end plays it is another matter.

      No, No, No. Honestly, only pixels are sent over HDMI.

      When a TV panel is used to display content via HDMI, the panel is a glorified display, doing no high-level content manipulation. In video terms, it sees only pixels (in audio terms, it sees packets of audio data, and has much more processing to do with them). Of course, it may do a hell of a lot of processing to the pixels (adjusting colour tint, or some motion work), but it still only sees pixels.

      The source device (STB, PC, BluRay player, DVD player etc), meanwhile, does all the heavy lifting. In video terms, it is responsible for all de-coding, de-compression, de-containerisation work, whether it is mpeg-2, mpeg-4, HEVC, DivX, Xvid, AVC etc. The job of the source is to create a stream of pixels.

      For audio, the source STB may do a lot less, and just pass data through. Or it might process it into a different format, before sending the audio data packets. Or it might reduce it to multi-channel PCM; there is a lot more variety to the audio level.

      (Note: Forget Sony’s and Samsung’s, and brand lock-in, and Encrypted Media Extensions, and all that fiddly baloney. I’m talking about the plain old HDMI connection. Nothing special. The base case. Understand the base case, and we can deal with special cases afterwards)

      What transfers over HDMI is made up of 3 things:
      – uncompressed pixel data, one pixel at a time (24 bits per pixel, usually)
      – packets of audio data
      – control data, such as hsync and vsync.

      The source controls the frame rate, and the exact timing of the Hsync and Vsync control.

      The pixel data can be in RGB, YCbCr 4:2:2 or YCbCr 4:4:4, though YCbCr 4:2:2 is not allowed in the deep-colour options (not sure why, but perhaps because it is already carried at 12-bit level in the most basic encoding). The data for the pixels is carried by HDMI’s 3 different channels (3 wires per channel), according to a set of rules that varies by format.

      I’m not sure what will help persuade you of this, so I can try a few things…

      First, here’s the HDMI spec, ver 1.3a: http://www.microprocessor.org/HDMISpecification13a.pdf

      Things to look at, to help explain:
      – Figure 5-1 on page 54 shows how the source breaks down various components, and sends them across the 3 channels. Note the reference to pixel components, and how they are 8-bit values (ie “D[7:0]”)

      – Figure 5-2 on page 55 shows an example of how data is sent for 1 frame of a 720x480p frame. First there are 45 “lines” containing just control data and audio data; this is the digital equivalent to the vertical blanking period of an analogue monitor.

      Then comes 480 “lines” of data, each line starting with a mix of control & audio data (equivalent to the horizontal blanking period of an analogue monitor). After that comes the video data, one pixel at a time, left to right. After the pixel data for the first line is finished, transmission continues with the control/audio data for the second line’s blanking period, then the 2nd line of pixels.

      – Those overviews don’t tell you what happens with each individual pixel.
      For the breakdown of video, check the overview section 6-1, which defines the 3 pixel encodings.

      – Section 6.5 defines all the encoding rules for transfer of pixel data. These are the only ways that pixel data can be transferred – one of 3 encodings and 4 colour depths. There is no mention of encoding by MPEG-2, H.264, H.265 or even G9.

      – Section 6-5-1 shows how pixels are transferred in the three modes, starting with the plain 24-bit colour depths.

      – Figure 6-1 shows the 8-bits of the Blue component of pixel 0 being transferred on HDMI channel 0 (ie the 3 wires on the HDMI cable), the Green component on channel 1, and the Red component on channel 2. Once pixel 0 has been transferred, the process continues with with pixel 1, then pixel 2 etc.

      – Figure 6-2 shows the 12-bits of the 4:2:2 components being shared across the 3 8-bit portions of channels 0, 1 and 2, in a slightly more complex scheme. The Y component has 12-bits sent in every clock step, but the 12-bits for Cb and Cr are sent in alternate clocks.

      – Figure 6-3 shows the 8-bits of the 4:4:4 components being shared across the channels, and this falls back to a simple allocation scheme again.

      Honestly, truthfully: HDMI only transfers raw, uncompressed, pixel data.

      I’ve spent close to 30 years developing products based on digital communication specifications like these. I may have never read the HDMI spec until this week, but I understand everything it is telling me.

      If that doesn’t help persuade you, what else will?

      The HDCP specification, that adds copy protection to HDMI reinforces the state of affairs.

      http://www.digital-cp.com/files/static_page_files/DAD40C4C-1A4B-B294-D0E92C72CFE974A0/HDCP%20Specification%20Rev1_4_Secure.pdf

      For protection of the data stream, HDCP creates a 24-bit cipher for every pixel. Section 3 of the specification describes this, and details how those 24 bits are used on the 3 HDMI channels. Table 3-1 shows an example mapping of the cipher for 24-bit RGB.

      You said

      I suspect (which i admit was the aim here) you are just used to seeing it used as a codec in avi file.

      Shiver.

      Nope, I don’t use windows for much of my video processing, so AVI gets little use; some, but not much. Nowadays the container of choice is Matroska, carrying H.264

      You said:

      HDMI is no different, its just a transfer mechanism

      Exactly… it is just a matter of what is being transferred.

      HDMI is no different to those component connectors, at least from a video perspective. It carries pixel data, in a digitally-encoded, but uncompressed format.

      My old TV (must get around to selling it) is a basic HD panel, which can decode freeview SD channels – Mpeg-2 – and nothing else (though presumably it could decode 625-line PAL too, if I found some old VHS box somewhere)

      Yet I have an STB/computer (running Linux) that feeds it video sourced in all manner of formats, taken from a NAS; MKV, AVI, H.264, MPEG-2, DivX, AVC, Xvid. The STB decodes all of these formats that the TV just doesn’t have a clue about, and sends plain simple pixel data over HDMI. If the software H.265 decoder was more advanced in development, I could play those files too.

      The fact that the TV can present all of these images shows that it makes no attempt to do any decoding. It can only be being given pixels, and then displays those pixels..

      The kicker is that I can plug my computer monitor into the same STB, same cable, and watch the same videos; it can’t even natively decode the mpeg-2 streams. But I can watch everything.

    7. MikeW says:

      On the Vizio, you said:

      Ill admit i may be wrong with the Vizio as the exception to the rules of real UHD. I would not buy it if it is an 8 bit screen, as i have said all along its not just resolution that counts but so much more, improved colour at higher res being one thing which i think as obvious by now is important.

      I agree, and the fact that Rec.2020 implies a wider colour gamut doesn’t mean that manufacturers are making TV’s that are capable of displaying that gamut – whether the input is 8-bit, 10-bit or 12-bit.

      I found an interesting thing related to this year’s Samsung panels, where only the top-of-the-range model included a thing they labelled “Purcolor”, but with little explanation.

      Searching for “Purcolor” online reveals a few places where they think that Samsung’s development engineers may have reached about 70-80% of the Rec.2020 gamut.

      http://televisions.reviewed.com/content/samsung-un65hu9000-first-impressions-review

      http://www.avsforum.com/t/1522081/official-samsung-4k-hu8550-and-hu9000-thread/390

      As I said a long time ago, it was easy for manufacturers to make a panel with 4k pixels – they could just cut a piece of glass bigger, using today’s pixel sizes.

      But actually getting the proper colour for Rec.2020 is a far harder task – and looks to be one they still haven’t reached, even on the top-of-the-range.

  12. No Clue says:

    “When a TV panel is used to display content via HDMI, the panel is a glorified display, doing no high-level content manipulation.”

    Quite simply wrong. If you have a 720P only screen and feed it a 1080P signal from a device that is 1080P only what do you think is scaling the picture down to 720P? It will not be the device sending the data.

    The rest of the first post you are once again confusing what HDMI is capable of carrying rather than what a device can process.

    “Yet I have an STB/computer (running Linux) that feeds it video sourced in all manner of formats, taken from a NAS; MKV, AVI, H.264, MPEG-2, DivX, AVC, Xvid. The STB decodes all of these formats that the TV just doesn’t have a clue about, and sends plain simple pixel data over HDMI.”

    How are you sending data from a NAS direct to a TV over HDMI???
    Are you sure you are not network sharing (SMB or DLNA) over wireless or LAN to the TV or set-top box connected to the TV? Try doing that for a format the TV or set top box does not support and in any software on the NAS and/or system sending the video turning off transcoding cos thats whats making your TV display the video. Then see if this “pixel data” you talk of still plays, it wont. That is nothing to do with HDMI capability but the box/es in the middle transcoding.

    You can not send a raw stream of video data to a device over HDMI which is supported by HDMI spec and display it on a screen that is not capable.

    “The kicker is that I can plug my computer monitor into the same STB, same cable, and watch the same videos; it can’t even natively decode the mpeg-2 streams. But I can watch everything.”

    Feed the STB a video file in H.265 4k format and see how far it gets. If HDMI can carry it then according to the rest of your first post it should display it if its only pixel data. I suspect the box will either not be capable or will transcode it down to a resolution and formating your monitor requests. Or in other words down to the display again not the cable.

    The Samsung thing you refer to is just marketing blurb, Purcolor is nothing more than a setting like Movie mode, Sports mode or similar you may have on your TV or other TVs you have seen where colour, brightness etc settings are set differently.

    It basically turns off noise reduction, contrast enhancement and similar and enables a further multipoint colour setting you can fiddle with. Or as Samsung describe it… Color Management processing, display highly saturated image with better gradation and less digitally introduced posterization. Nothing to do with the panel, just another video processing (or as a trained calibrator like me calls it crap that isnt needed and screws up proper calibration) feature. Enabling it on my sammy makes colour particularly red over saturated. People who are used to old CRT will love the feature, people such as myself that know how an image should look and have proper calibration gear to set it, just laugh at functions like that.

    The first thing you should do with any HD or higher TV is make sure it is set to home rather than store mode, then flick to the theatre, movie or whatever the manufacturer calls it preset check those settings as a baseline and calibrate from there. Half the crap in modern TVs like colour correction, contrast enhancement etc are for people with wonky eyes that like looking at people with bright red faces and white on the screen to look like it is almost glowing. Sony TVs often have too much green, LG too much brightness and Samsung too much contrast. The movie mode though on any TV is normally the closest thing you will get to a decent picture without calibrating with basic tools, beyond that you need proper calibration. If you do not have one of them at least set the colour to Warm or Warm2, cool/nutral will give you the glary white effect.

    Having calibrated TVs for years ive got to the stage now where if i visit currys i can not now even look at all the TVs in store complete with their “store mode” or “vivid” settings it actually hurts my eyes if i look at it too long due to how bright it is all jacked up to grasp the typical punters attention.

    For people that like a TV with white contrast glaring like the sun and brightness cranked see blank looks grey chances are 4k to them will look the same as they are used to watching a degraded pile of poop.

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