new 4K TV shows players faces blurred on watching sports (distance shots)

labrat43

Novice Member
My old TV purchased back in 2010 (Sony BRAVIA® 60" 1080p 240Hz LED Edgelit LCD HDTV) recently stopped working, so I purchased a 4K UHD OLED TV (LG 65 inch OLED65C1AUB.AUS model at Costco). Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc work nicely. But when I watch soccer on ESPN or Paramount streamed through Roku Ultra (model 4660X), the players faces are blurred on distance shots when running. Closeups shots are ok. Even Dish network's BEIN Sports channel has the same issue (on a different HDMI input to the TV). The same setup produced crisp images of players faces on the old 1080p SONY TV that I replaced. Before the 4K LG, I also tried a Samsung 65" Class - Q8 Series - 4K UHD QLED LCD TV, no luck.

Is there any way to get back the crisp pictures of the old 1080 TV (it was 3D-ready)?

 

mikej

Well-known Member
What resolution are the channels you're having issues with ? Anything less than 4K will obviously have to be upscaled on the new TV and that will lead to a softer picture compared with a 1080p screen. Couple that with an increase in screen size (at the same viewing distance) and the change in screen technology (LCD to OLED, both of which will handle motion in different ways) and you have a number of factors that might go at least part-way to explaining what you're seeing.
 

labrat43

Novice Member
Thanks Mike, LG authorized tech will come and take a look, try any adjustments if they like. But from the upscaling information you gave, looks like 4K TVs will be problematic for sports. I shall also try replacing the HDMI cable to HDCP 2.2, which I doubt will solve anything. 1024p LCD TVs are not being produced beyond a certain size anymore, looks like. I think they want us to upgrade our TVs first, and be ready for 4K streaming whenever they can deliver it. The manufacturers and broadcasters respectively.
 

fluxedman

Well-known Member
Thanks Mike, LG authorized tech will come and take a look, try any adjustments if they like. But from the upscaling information you gave, looks like 4K TVs will be problematic for sports. I shall also try replacing the HDMI cable to HDCP 2.2, which I doubt will solve anything. 1024p LCD TVs are not being produced beyond a certain size anymore, looks like. I think they want us to upgrade our TVs first, and be ready for 4K streaming whenever they can deliver it. The manufacturers and broadcasters respectively.
Its tricky to gauge the issue, but the bigger TVs 55"+ tend to highlight lower quality recordings ie HD content from Satellite and Cable TV. 4K channels naturally fix this issue.

Football is a big one, there are lots of articles on google regarding this issue ie Sky sports using low quality Cameras during football recording, the bigger popular matches some use much higher quality 1080P or switch to 4K cameras when panning close up shots. So sometimes panning outwards to cover the full view of the field and pitch its using a lower quality faster camera, 4K when close up for the players faces and body so can look miles better.

Then there is the whole streaming bandwidth issue, lots of TV channels such as BT sports or Sky sports (UK sports channels) reduced the quality on purpose during football matches, this way more viewers could watch the matches at higher speeds etc

So its a royal headache involving Cameras used (HD or 4K) and then bandwidth restrictions.

When I first got my 48" LG CX OLED, watching UFC was unwatchable on day 1, faces blurry and everything looked robotic I thought something was faulty it did not look smooth, sharp, clean at all, even a 20 year LCD looked better..... but I didn't give up, keeping filmmaker mode (which switches off the rest of the processing junk) I gave it 2-3 weeks and my LG became smooth, clean and sharp, Calibrators do often say you need 50hrs if not 250hours run time to allow the TV to mellow out its possible it was this.

Obviously its up to you to try that and make sure you are within the time zone to return or exchange via your store, but what you mention about overall sports quality broadcast is an issue, which I believe got worse during Covid.
 

labrat43

Novice Member
I got the latest Roku Ultra (mine was 4 years old), the color somehow looks a tiny bit better, but no improvement on the blurriness of faces on long distance shots. I got latest HDMI cables (HDCP 2.2) - no improvement. LG authorized technician came and explained that the upscaling to 4K is causing the issue, both ESPN (La Liga) /Paramount (Champion's League) streaming had the blurriness. Even Dish network (satellite) had the issue with Ligue 1. I read Sony is the king of upscaling, so I'm going to try that. And switch back from OLED to LED/LCD. I can get 60Hz or 120 Hz refresh and the tech suggested stick to 60Hz as the extra repeat frames wont be needed to be inserted by TV, since the broadcast is definitely not 120Hz. The real issue seems to be with upscaling, which will be there with any 4K TV. At the stores, they show clips of Dubai city lights, or close up games, etc which look cool on OLED or anything else too. But the reality is 4K today creates an upscaling need which can be problematic, as in this situation. If you are watching Netflix or other movies or games that show more close up shots most of the time, then today's 4K OLED is undoubtedly nice.
 

fluxedman

Well-known Member
I got the latest Roku Ultra (mine was 4 years old), the color somehow looks a tiny bit better, but no improvement on the blurriness of faces on long distance shots. I got latest HDMI cables (HDCP 2.2) - no improvement. LG authorized technician came and explained that the upscaling to 4K is causing the issue, both ESPN (La Liga) /Paramount (Champion's League) streaming had the blurriness. Even Dish network (satellite) had the issue with Ligue 1. I read Sony is the king of upscaling, so I'm going to try that. And switch back from OLED to LED/LCD. I can get 60Hz or 120 Hz refresh and the tech suggested stick to 60Hz as the extra repeat frames wont be needed to be inserted by TV, since the broadcast is definitely not 120Hz. The real issue seems to be with upscaling, which will be there with any 4K TV. At the stores, they show clips of Dubai city lights, or close up games, etc which look cool on OLED or anything else too. But the reality is 4K today creates an upscaling need which can be problematic, as in this situation. If you are watching Netflix or other movies or games that show more close up shots most of the time, then today's 4K OLED is undoubtedly nice.

The way you describe that LG tech guy it sounds like he just wanted to do a runner frankly, If that was the case then everyone would be stuck with 1080p LED TV sets from 10 years ago if upscaling was that bad.

I think you need to dig into the issue a bit more, even if it is an scaling issue or another technical issue, I understand it won't magically be fixed due to scaling issue overall, but everyone else seems to get by. My cable box is ok, but its not got the latest upscaling tech (there is a better model above mine) and I output 1080p sports more then well enough on my 4K oled, in fact I would never wish to go back to LED TVs.

You may wish to ask other ESPN/Paramount subscribers on Roku forums if they notice its that bad on OLED tvs for example?

Only other things I can think of is to switch upscaling to off on the Roku (if possible) and let the LG try the upscaling instead or vice versa if you can. You may also try setting the Roku to 720p, then 1080p, then 4K see if that improves anything. Does ESPN or Paramount not have an free app you can download on the LG TV? You never know maybe its the roku box at fault here or even the OLED could be at fault.

If worst comes to worst, guess OLED is not for everyone as you say, but its a great shame if you can't get OLED to work for you.
 

labrat43

Novice Member
Just a follow up - SONY A80J OLED did no better than LG C1. The LED/LCD too no good. Switched the Roku to Nvidia Shield Pro that does upscaling - no improvement. The only option is to buy smaller size 1080p TV. SONY's ESPN app is marginally better than ESPN through Roku. I give up on this. 4K TV might as well be renamed out-of-sync-with-broadcasters'-speed TV. Wish manufacturers kept the 1080p option alive in big size.
 

KBD

Well-known Member
I have a LG-CX & I had the same issue when I first got mine, but only when watching 720p broadcasts from ABC-TV.
Is your Roku-Ultra hardwired to the internet with the Ethernet port?

I had been using a Roku-Ultra without issues & the Paramount application actually works better than on the WebOS. In fact, Paramount will not do HDR or Dolby Vision on the WebOS application.

Have you tried turning ON the AI services under General settings?
I'm not sure the C1 will have that, but it's an option on the CX.
 

fluxedman

Well-known Member
Just a follow up - SONY A80J OLED did no better than LG C1. The LED/LCD too no good. Switched the Roku to Nvidia Shield Pro that does upscaling - no improvement. The only option is to buy smaller size 1080p TV. SONY's ESPN app is marginally better than ESPN through Roku. I give up on this. 4K TV might as well be renamed out-of-sync-with-broadcasters'-speed TV. Wish manufacturers kept the 1080p option alive in big size.

Well at least you know regardless of Sony or LG OLED its the same now, did you say LED/LCD is also no good?

Smaller sized TVs tend to handle motion and picture quality well especially if the channel or stream is poor quality or weak signal, just less processing or work for the TV to do.

As I was suggesting you might have better joy doing it directly via the ESPN app, inbuilt TV apps tend to offer better frame rate control and performance sometimes over 3rd party devices like Roku or shield etc. Where possible its better to get direct feeds ie cable or satellite box to TV.

Routing things through a Roku might get more latency or lag or other issues. Its always worth double checking your Source has a good signal (95%+) if its from satellite or cable, also your internet is as strong as possible ie hardwired ethernet port or its a fast internet connection. Some of the smallest things can cause issues sadly.
 

MartinTweak

Standard Member
Various TV brands say their upscaling is good. But wonder if there's a way to measure it and show results on a chart or something. There may be such a chart, I haven't really researched it much yet.
 

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