Prime Video HD better than 4K?

Darryl89

Novice Member
I was watching Chaos Walking on prime video last night in 4K UHD HDR and afterwards I watched some select scenes on both versions, 4K UHD and HD and to my surprise, the picture was exactly the same (in certain shots the HD was actually clearer). The colours were darker in 4K (tv picture settings the same for both, e.g colour, temperature,backlight contrast, etc) but in terms of detail they were identical.

I have read that the film was shot in 4K, so I thought the 4K would be amazing compared to the HD. Or is it because it was shot in 4K, an upscaled HD version would look the same anyway?

Other films do show a much clearer difference so I don’t believe it’s my tv settings and my internet speed was running at 150mbps so it wasn’t that either.

Any thoughts?
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
What TV do you have?

The reason I ask is that all LCD 4K TVs bought recently are HDR compatible, but only the higher-end, more expensive TVs are HDR capable.
Most TVs don't have the brightness in the backlight or have a Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) system and without them, HDR content can look dark, murky, grey rather than black, colour tones can be off etc.
If you have a cheaper TV, you're probably better off sticking with HD over UHD for that reason. 4K isn't that great a jump in picture quality over 1080p, purely from a resolution standpoint, unless you have a monster screen or sit very, very close to the TV. The big difference is HDR, but if your TV isn't capable then it's best avoided.

Of course if you have a high end LCD or an OLED then it's possible you're needing to do some work on your settings.
 
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Darryl89

Novice Member
So I have a Philips 58PUS7505/12 which was £500. It has HDR10+ and Dolby Vision/Atmos but I know it is towards the budget end and is a VA panel.

However, Dolby Vision shows such as One Planet and that Meridian demo on Netflix both look great.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately, your TV doesn't really meet the specs required to get good HDR, it neither has the backlight brightness nor does it have a FALD system.
So my advice would be as above really. Avoid HDR when you can.
 

Darryl89

Novice Member
I’ve also been told that it’s also possible that my TV is upscaling the HD stream to be as good as the 4K stream (although not as good as a 4K Blu Ray). Is that also possible? I don’t have a 4K blu ray player so I’m only going on streaming quality.
Also how come Dolby Vision looks great but not HDR since Dolby Vision requires even higher specs?
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
A 4K TV upscales everything that isn't 4K. If it didn't then you'd have black bars on all sides of the picture.

Dolby Vision, you're still not seeing it properly due to your TV but I have heard a few people say what you are, that standard HDR is poor but DV looks fine. DV is a higher spec of HDR, just with dynamic metadata to refine the effect further on a per-frame basis.
 

Darryl89

Novice Member
A 4K TV upscales everything that isn't 4K. If it didn't then you'd have black bars on all sides of the picture.

Dolby Vision, you're still not seeing it properly due to your TV but I have heard a few people say what you are, that standard HDR is poor but DV looks fine. DV is a higher spec of HDR, just with dynamic metadata to refine the effect further on a per-frame basis.
Thanks for all your help. I think I’ll stick to Dolby Vision if available (usually Netflix and iTunes it seems).
 

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