Do Androids Dream of 4K?

It may not have been particularly good for maintaining this blog, but the crazy hours I’ve been doing at work since my (soon at an end, hopefully) relocation down the M6 has resulted in a lot of overtime. Which has had me looking at perhaps changing my television sooner than originally intended. It was with some shock that I discovered that my current LCD Sony Bravia is now eight years old- its still got the best picture quality I’ve known in a television and yes, its still refuses to go on the blink (other than occasionally needing a unplug/plug-in to reboot it when it gets confused, but hey, I know how that feels, so that’s nothing to be embarrassed about). I mean, it works, it even looks great, so whats to change?

Okay, here I’ll admit it. I went into Currys the other day, and looked at the televisions. They were playing some of Blade Runner 2049 on a few of them, the fiendish bastards must have known I was coming. Good God almighty, that film looks like something else on a 65″ 4K OLED. I may have been drooling at some point. It looks great on my television in HD, but on that OLED set, it looked like some other movie.

Now of course. I will never own a 65″ television. I’d have to win a lottery and move into a bigger house for that to ever be an option. But the picture quality. Good grief. Maybe these people jumping on the 4K bandwagon are onto something. Some of those televisions sure are something; why ever go to the cinema with something like that sitting  at home? Hell, I can imagine watching the 1982 Blade Runner and its sequel in 4K endlessly, how beautiful 2049 looked, I mean, who’d need any other film to watch? Well, my wife would have a few words on that subject, to be fair…

It is curious though- back when I had my Sony Bravia, 40″ looked like a big screen (anybody remember when 28″ LCD seemed a big deal?), and so did the 49″ set my brother bought a few months ago (the size of television that my common-sense part of my brain knows is the right size for my lounge). But those 55″ sets look awfully tempting. 65″ is a pipe-dream for another life and another home but 55″ might just squeeze in… and its funny how little of a jump it seems from 49″ to 55″ when you’re walking around the Currys Fantasy Land where televisions are lined up like Christmas trees in November.

So anyway, anybody got any tips? It is pretty confusing- LED, QLED, OLED, so many sizes… all the latest models/gimmicks, all last years models going for a song. There’s a few televisions I’ve got my eye on, but as far as pulling the trigger on one, well, its still a lot of money, and while my heart races with visions of 4K Los Angeles my brain still has enough sense to remind me that there’s an old Bravia in my lounge working pretty fine. Or maybe that’s my wife talking- women are always much more grounded in reality than we men, I find, particularly when it comes to gadgets etc.

So yeah, any experiences good/bad and advice, feel free. Meanwhile, I’ll keep on daydreaming of 4K Electric Sheep…


5 thoughts on “Do Androids Dream of 4K?

  1. EditMSM

    I’ve had my Viera plasma for ten years this year, and apart from needing a very inexpensive repair a couple of months ago, it’s still flawless.

    From what I’ve heard, OLED has the best and most realistic picture (LCD and LED can tend towards the artificial). The new Sony Bravia KD is quite expensive but apparently amazing. And as they developed the technology, LG sets are supposed to be great.

    Do you watch yours in a darkened room generally? If you watch in daylight, you might want to make sure you get one with good levels of brightness (measured in ‘nits’, apparently).

    Feeling the same urge myself, though I need to get a new receiver/amp first and they’re not cheap.

  2. Yeah, definitely leaning towards an OLED. Never owned a plasma, so I was quite overwhelmed by the blacks on the OLED sets compared to the LED models- my old Bravia is an LCD, and seems much better than many of the new LED sets for blacks etc which surprised me. Of course OLED aren’t available in anything smaller than 55″ which means I’m leaning towards having a bigger screen than I might otherwise have bought (that said, everyone is telling me always go as big as you can to get the best out of the 4K and HDR).

    Whats really winding me up are some great deals at the minute for the 2017 models, stores obviously getting rid of stock.I fear if I wait it out I’ll be waiting into the back end of the year/early next year for similar deals. I do love my movies but some of the prices of televisions can be mouth-watering/terror-inducing.Do I get a good 4K LED set to tide me over a few years or do I spend big for the luxury of OLED now? Decisions, decisions. I keep on sleeping on it!

  3. Having rather convinced myself 4K was nice but not essential, I noticed the other day that the Rakuten app now has 4K content on my TV (it used to be exclusive to Samsungs; I guess that deal ended). So I popped on a couple of trailers, mainly for stuff I’ve seen on Blu-ray (Dunkirk, BR2049), and it did feel like everything had extra oomph. Maybe they amp stuff up for the trailers (they do begin with a “you’re watching a UHD trailer!” card, so they know they’re selling that aspect), but it did get me intrigued again. Of course, rather than making me want to buy stuff from them, it made me want a 4K Blu-ray player. Also, there’s the fact that some older films are getting new transfers for their 4K release — so even if 4K version isn’t inherently a lot better than 1080p, the new transfer is a worthwhile refresh. A good example of that, apparently? Blade Runner

    I hesitate to give any kind of advice on buying TVs, because it’s the kind of thing I learn all about just before I make a purchase then promptly forget. I mean, I’ve paid a lot of money for a thing, I don’t want to keep learning about, say, how OLEDs are so much better than what I’ve got… Besides, what I was really looking for was a 3D one, I’d just read that 4K 3D was better than 1080p 3D. It significantly limited my options — indeed, the set I ended up buying was literally the only option for a 4K 3D TV in my size range. One thing I did read recently: apparently QLEDs are almost as good as OLEDs in some respects now, especially if you often watch in a bright room where getting the deepest blacks isn’t quite as vital.

    Anyway, obviously the #1 life goal is to win the lottery, buy a mansion, and have a proper home cinema.

    1. You know I have some 3D Blu-rays that I bought that I thought would be useful when I bought a 3D tv, only 3D never really took hold so they are on the shelf never played (at least they came with 2D discs). Although I was never a fan of 3D I’m still surprised it didn’t have more success. No doubt James Cameron will make his next few Avatar pictures in 3D and possibly give the format another push, stranger things have happened. As usual I think Hollywood’s rush to 3D to make money as opposed to better movies (the only 3D movie I saw that really answered the call of Avatar was Gravity, another mostly CGI flick) likely killed the format.

      I saw that you bought BR2049 in 3D- did you get a 4K copy too (just wondering, my 4K disc is sitting still in its shrinkwrap waiting for me to buy a new telly/player). Alas I’ll never see the film in 3D, your review was interesting and the 3D conversion evidently no hack job (the main thing that killed the format, I guess). Interesting to consider that those 3D discs of yours will increasingly become rarer/more niche as time goes on. There’s a geek/gadget romance to stuff like that, when you can watch stuff that the masses won’t.

      Had a bad day in hospital today (minor op, but had complications). I may pull the trigger on a 4K telly tomorrow to cheer me up. Or I may chicken out a bit longer….

      1. The first Avatar was obviously a massive deal in making 3D a thing at all, and Cameron is still committed to the format in the long run I believe, so it’ll be interesting to see if the sequels have any effect in that regard.

        The state of 3D Blu-ray is a funny one. They’re still released consistently in the UK (and I think most of Europe, and possibly some other regions), but it’s all but dried up in the US — only one or two studios do it at all now, and then not always, and often as retailer exclusives or hard-to-come-by limited print runs. You’d think it’d be the other way round, if anything. I guess there’s an economic/market-based reason for it. Some of the smaller labels still release classic 3D movies on disc in the States — so US fans are left having to import big-name 3D releases, and if we want them we have to import the niche releases. I know why stuff like that happens, but it feels so daft.

        Anyway, I didn’t get BR2049 in 4K because I bought the Limited Edition for the bonus disc (which I’ve not watched, of course) as well as the 3D one — two copies seemed plenty to be going on with! I probably should’ve held off and got the 3D cheaper later, but hey-ho. If I ever get a 4K player, it’ll be high on the list to buy again (I’ve certainly been tempted to rent it in 4K).

        Hope you feel better soon. I always find splurging improves my mood, but I’m not sure that’s actually good advice!

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