4K -dissapointment?


Active Member
Let's start with my home gear...

Panasonic 65" GZ950, a Denon X6400H and a Panasonic DP-820

Renoun in the AV circles as a very well rounded setup and above budget.

I'll cover sound first. I upgraded to Atmos about a year ago using RSL C34E in ceiling speakers and extended the rest of the stage to 7.1 for a 7.1.4 setup. It's not quite the day and night difference I first got when I first went from stereo to 5.1. It's more subtle than that. One of the greatest differences is the Pacific Rim soundtrack, switching from 5.1 to Atmos goes from a feeling of speakers filling a room with sound, to sound surrounding the main seating area. I've listened to plenty of Atmos discs and upscaled movies before that, but that disc was the first one that had the penny drop. Atnos isn't an in your face, masterclass in audio Dolby would have you believe, but is a very clever upgrade that when done well, blends in completely with the background and is seamless. It's not noticeable, except when you turn it off. Bizare, but I'd still recommend it.

I was promised a greater contrast range and while true, the old Panasonic plasma the Oled has replaced already had an extremely good 1080p picture, if not one of the best. The up tick in resolution is let down by masters. And after some research, even a 4K master won't mean a great picture. Passengers was mastered at 6K and apart from the credits looks little different to 1080p, albeit HDR helping colour. Ghostbusters 4K is supposed to be just bad, and 4K Inception/Prestige are not sold to me based on reviews. All this is reminicent of those same blu-ray re-releases when BD launched. God only knows how many variants of Terminator 2 there are out there with only 1 or 2 worth owning or without issue. I can't help but summise that 4K right at this moment is going the same way.

I've popped a bluray in the PS4 and a 4K in the Panasonic for side by side comparison and HDR does live up to its high praise. I can see the difference. But as for the actual picture, it's often difficult to see a difference. Its far less clear cut.

Which brings me to if there were to be a happy middle, some kind of hybrid 1080p Rec.709 HDR or even Rec.2020 HDR at 1080p, would there be a difference when compared to 4K? Perhaps even less pronounced.

Right now, 4K still seems like it needs a movie to be mastered well. A full 4K master in HDR10+/ DV with no picture problems. A clear upgrade from 1080p. Right now, I dont think any movie delivers this? Thor Ragnorok is close. Blue planet 2 looks great as demo material, but the content just isn't my cuppa tea.

Overall I'm disappointed by 4K so far. HDR and Atmos are worth it, but 4K has some to go yet in my opinion.

My final gripe is more settings. Why cant the TV just read the signal from the player and match the settings? No, instead, it switches to a cinema mode, engages "intelligent frame creation" and thinks you'll be happy. Blasphemy. I've set it now how I like it, but the settings aren't quite automatic and the player upscales everything to 4K. What if I want to watch Fawlty Towers in glorious, grainy 576i 4:3 and Rec.602? Better off using the PS2 or an old DVD player, lest you again be delving knee deep in settings...

Gone are the days of insert disc and press play. SMART TV and devices seem to be anything but. Don't even get me started on trying to get 4K Atmos out of an HTPC...

The other elements of disappointment is the lack of information given to a user. Is the soundtrack Atmos? What signal does the TV recieve? Has HDR10+ engaged? The DP820 does give most of this, but sometimes the TV will opt for "**** you, I'm not doing that today" mode.

It's not exactly a cheap ride to get on either, but that will change as cheaper manufacturing methods and licensing costs come down...

I'm not an old man, but I am getting older. I still have a head to understand a signal path, but why all the options to override the convoluted mess? I sometimes miss the days of PAL in, PAL out...


Distinguished Member
I would maybe change your title, i got a warning a while back for circumventing filters with similar wordage to yours lol ;)

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