Are 4K TV's inferior at showing 1080P content?

dougan

Active Member
I have just got a Samsung UE49MU7000, this replaced a 40" Samsung series 6 HD TV.

I am having trouble with Freeview HD, picture looks soft at times and SD content looks awful.

Am I correct in thinking it is because the TV is upscaling the 1080P image to 4K?
So it will never look as good as a native 1080P TV? Which is why my old TV looked far better in HD and SD.

The 4K image does look very good though, hence my thoughts!

Thanks
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Partly it's the larger physical size.

Beyond that, I've not seen any analysis of whether it's some eyesight effect from using one pixel to represent four or just a lack of refinement in the scaling algorithms. I'd lean towards the latter though.
 

babator

Active Member
Also the problem alluded to with the BBC 4k HLG tests - the 4k stream may not look massively better initially, but going back to HD looks bad after you are acclimatised to HDR...
 

roundhed

Active Member
In my experience yes. 1080p on my Kuro looks sharper than on my ZD9. There is a size difference - 50'' versus 65'' - but it's very noticeable regardless.
 

SunnyIntervals

Well-known Member
I have an LG 55" and I'm very happy with HD content, even SD is watchable (local BBC news, etc).

I did notice the difference when watching the World Cup; in UHD there was so much detail across the wide angle views, the stadium and crowd were all sharp. In HD it was much softer, but I don't really know if it would have looked any better on a full HD tv?

Generally with film and drama, the upscaling is great, no obvious loss of detail at all. I don't really know where the upscaling is being done though!! My Sky box pushes out a 4k image, my amp will upscale when connected to a 4k tv and my tv will upscale too! However it's being done, I've no complaints.

I guess different manufacturers use different techniques to do it?
 

mattius1989

Active Member
SD content looks awful full stop these days. You will be quicker to notice the shortcomings of highly compressed 1080p content on larger screens.

I don't watch TV very much at all but when I watch something like Question Time or Andrew Marr through the iPlayer, the picture usually perfectly acceptable on my C7.

Does your Freeview box output in 4K?
 

mattius1989

Active Member
No, only 1080p
I don't know if this is the case for all or just my interpretation but I've always found PQ worse when my output resolution (regardless of source resolution) is lower than my display's native resolution.
 

Nativebon

Well-known Member
Most content looks better on my XE93. Very good upscaling. Give it a 1080P high bitrate and it look excellent.
 
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Gingerbeard2002

Novice Member
We have just got a 49” MU7000, we all find SD pretty good considering, we watch SD channels through Sky though not freeview. Again HD is good through Sky and Amazon/Netflix.

Initially setup Sky to output 1080p but found 2160 better for HD on Sky for some reason.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
We have just got a 49” MU7000, we all find SD pretty good considering, we watch SD channels through Sky though not freeview. Again HD is good through Sky and Amazon/Netflix.

Initially setup Sky to output 1080p but found 2160 better for HD on Sky for some reason.
Reason is the Sky box has a superior scaler to the TV.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Certainly is what we have seen, previously thought I had read that’s TV’s normally have better upscalers
Depends on the TV, I wouldn't expect a cheap 4K TV (likely made in Turkey) to have a very good scaler. In my case my Full-HD and two Humax boxes do a equally good job of scaling SD to 1920 x 1080 as my Panasonic TV. Best advice as always is try all the options.

Surprised though that a Samsung had the issue unless it's down to unwanted Video processing options set up on the TV.
 

Gingerbeard2002

Novice Member
Depends on the TV, I wouldn't expect a cheap 4K TV (likely made in Turkey) to have a very good scaler. In my case my Full-HD and two Humax boxes do a equally good job of scaling SD to 1920 x 1080 as my Panasonic TV. Best advice as always is try all the options.

Surprised though that a Samsung had the issue unless it's down to unwanted Video processing options set up on the TV.
It wasn’t a big difference to be honest, Sky just looked a ‘little’ sharper, it also allowed Sky to output 10 bit. I used ratings settings with some minor adjustments. Overall I’m happy with what we watch
 

Nativebon

Well-known Member
It will always vary from TV set to TV set. Some have better upscaling than others. No right or wrong. Most sets these days have really good upscaler.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
As others say 'up-conversion' will vary across Display and Source devices - deinterlacing is often the most obvious issue in terms of processing a 1080i 'broadcast' signal and often way more objectionable than up converting HD to an UHD format looking a little soft.

Many studio shots from the likes of CNN end up looking like the Presenters are out of focus and the virtual 'studio' backdrop is sharp.

Joe
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Viewing distance vs size plays a big part but it definitely isn't as sharp as a native display. I notice it on my 65" and if you notice it on your 49" then I'd say it's pretty conclusive.

Especially true when there is both an element of seeing UHD and going back to FHD, plus its possible Sky are reducing bandwidth on their FHD channels to fit more UHD bandwidth too.

Compare good quality FHD like a blu-ray though and nominal viewing distances and you likely won't see much, if any difference.
 

MacVee

Well-known Member
My VT65 was better for 1080p content than my ZD9 but I find that down to the very sharp yet organic picture that plasma was noted for.

I think source has a lot to answer for as does compression. Freeview, especially SD is heavily compressed. On the 75ZD9, 1080p blu rays and streamed content looked great and even SD content such as Humans on All4 looked decent. But all the Freeview channels even the HD ones, look mediocre.
 
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Hixs

Distinguished Member
I went from a 4k LG to a 1080p oled.

SD content - OLED miles better when it comes to poorer quality channels. It's still better when it comes to better channels like BBC/ITV, but the gap isn't as large.

HD content - Didn't notice any difference going back to 1080p from upscaled 1080p. OLED looks better in fact, but thats down to it having better colours/black levels then an old 4k set from 2014.
 

deans6571

Member
....so just to play devil's advocate - is it better to set the set top box (VM's V6 in this case) to output at 1080i and let the TV upscale to 2160 or set the box's output to 2160 and let the box upscale?
 

SunnyIntervals

Well-known Member
If you have a 4K tv, I'd set the box to output at that resolution. I don't know how much 4K content there is on Virgin, but if you have the box set at 1080i then surely it will downscale any 4K content?

I have Sky Q and it's set to output at 4K
 

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