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Question about viewing 1080p material on a 4K tv (1 Viewer)

Jeff Cooper

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Hi guys, I have a concern about upgrading to a 4k tv, that I'm not quite sure the answer to.

I remember when DVDs came out and we all had 480 tvs, everything looked fantastic. Then HDTVs came out and now 1080 was amazing looking on them. But viewing that old 480 matierial on a 1080 tv looked like absolute crap.

From my point of view viewing 480 material on a 1080 tv looked waaaaay worse that watching that same material on a 480 tv. Be it the increased resoulution bringing out all the imperfections, or just bad uprezzing algorithms I don't know, but taking source material that was native 480, viewing on an HDTV was actually a step backwards.

I'm concerned now that the same thing will happen going from 1080 material to 4K. I replaced my DVD collection with 100% blu-rays when the move to HD happened, but there's no way I can do it again for the move to 4K. I know my next TV purchase will probably have to be a 4K tv, and I'm wondering if my now vast library of Blu Rays will no longer look as good on that new TV as they do on my current one.

Is this an unfounded fear? Does it depend completely on the TV itself and what uprezzing algorithm it uses? I'm sorry this is such a general question with probably a ton of specific variables in the answer, but I'm just looking to get a sense of what to expect when upgrading, and what people's experiences have been.
 

John Dirk

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Is this an unfounded fear? Does it depend completely on the TV itself and what uprezzing algorithm it uses? I'm sorry this is such a general question with probably a ton of specific variables in the answer, but I'm just looking to get a sense of what to expect when upgrading, and what people's experiences have been.

I think it is, especially with a quality display. 480i to 1080P was a bigger leap [optically] than 1080P to 4K. 1080P still looks awesome today even on my 135" screen, assuming good source material. True 4K gets into more pixels [resolution] than the human eye can decipher so an up converted image should still look at least as good as the source.
 

Matt Hough

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I never found DVDs particularly wanting on a 1080p TV. I thought a good player would do well with them (provided they were properly encoded to begin with). I can look at some MGM musicals from the 1940s encoded in 480i on my OLED, and they look just fine to me. Sure, I can see aliasing on occasion, and edge enhancement where present is more noticeable, but I guess I just get sucked into the movies and usually don't notice the problems (or I've become used to them over the years).

But I don't think you'll have any problems with Blu-rays on a 4K set provided the discs were well manufactured to begin with.
 

John Dirk

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How about the 480 material? I have a lot of family videos and some VHS that I copied to DVD-R.

Not sure I'm following you as that wasn't the OP's original question. The way I learned it [basic electronics but I think it applies here too] is that the output can never be better than the input. A 480 [interlaced or progressive] input [by todays standards] is crap in and so it will be crap out, especially on modern displays. On the other hand, a 1080P signal is pretty good by even todays standards and so it will continue to be so when up-converted by modern displays.
 

Jeff Cooper

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Thanks for the replies so far everyone, they are certainly helping alleviate some fears.

I would like to clarify a little bit, I'm not specifically asking if my blu rays will look bad on 4K, I'm sure they will look fine. What I'm looking for is if they will look worse than they do on a 1080p display. (Understanding that something can look worse while at the same time still looking very good.) As Matt mentioned a really good authored DVD can look fine on a 1080p display, but that is not the same thing as the same DVD looking better on a 480 display vs. a 1080p display.

But from what I'm hearing so far, it sounds like any difference would probably be negligible at best.
 

Mark-P

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Yeah I’m also not of the opinion that SD looks like “crap” on a 1080p display. I watch lots of old SD TV shows on a 4K flat panel and they look just fine though of course HD material looks much better. Perhaps your equipment does a really poor job of upscaling. The upscaling abilities of modern TVs are pretty impressive and I really don’t think you should have an issue watching Blu-rays on a 4K display. Honestly most people say the difference between 4K and HD is minimal as far as perceptible resolution goes, but the real difference is HDR.
 

Angelo Colombus

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I have a Sony 4K tv and my dvd's and blu-rays look very good after a some minor adjustments in the settings. I have a lot of DVD-R's that I recorded on my Panasonic dvd recorder in the 4 hour speed and they look ok but now I record in the 2 or 3 hour speed to make them look better. Did buy a UHD player recently and will soon hook it up and will see how well my discs play on that player.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I never found DVDs particularly wanting on a 1080p TV. I thought a good player would do well with them (provided they were properly encoded to begin with). I can look at some MGM musicals from the 1940s encoded in 480i on my OLED, and they look just fine to me. Sure, I can see aliasing on occasion, and edge enhancement where present is more noticeable, but I guess I just get sucked into the movies and usually don't notice the problems (or I've become used to them over the years).

But I don't think you'll have any problems with Blu-rays on a 4K set provided the discs were well manufactured to begin with.

I agree. I still have close to 500 titles on DVD, and have no qualms about viewing them on my 70-inch 4K display, nor did I have issues with the material on my old 67-inch 1080p display. Having equipment that does a good job upconverting helps a great deal. I used an Oppo DVD player to upconvert DVDs to my 1080p display, and my Sony UHD player does a fine job upconverting DVDs to 4K.

Blu-ray titles look superb upconverted to 4K, IMO. My home viewing experience has never been better than it is now with our Vizio 4K display.

Someone mentioned VHS. I have one old VHS title which I recorded to DVD-R -- the documentary The Compleat Beatles, which has never been made available on DVD or BD. This title looks like absolute crap on a larger display -- there just isn't enough resolution there for today's larger displays. If I want to watch this documentary, I view the mp4 file I also created on a smaller device, such as a tablet or smart phone.
 

TJPC

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This is my problem with a DVD-R set I made of the documentary series on the history of silent movies called “Hollywood”. This was never put on DVD. I have to put up with Beta to VHS to DVD-R. It is painful to watch, but the only game in town.
 

Robert Crawford

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I agree. I still have close to 500 titles on DVD, and have no qualms about viewing them on my 70-inch 4K display, nor did I have issues with the material on my old 67-inch 1080p display. Having equipment that does a good job upconverting helps a great deal. I used an Oppo DVD player to upconvert DVDs to my 1080p display, and my Sony UHD player does a fine job upconverting DVDs to 4K.

Blu-ray titles look superb upconverted to 4K, IMO. My home viewing experience has never been better than it is now with our Vizio 4K display.

Someone mentioned VHS. I have one old VHS title which I recorded to DVD-R -- the documentary The Compleat Beatles, which has never been made available on DVD or BD. This title looks like absolute crap on a larger display -- there just isn't enough resolution there for today's larger displays. If I want to watch this documentary, I view the mp4 file I also created on a smaller device, such as a tablet or smart phone.
Same here, I watch DVDs all the time on my LG OLED and have zero problems enjoying them. As to Blu-rays they look fantastic upconverted too.
 

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