Upgrading the DaveF household to 4K UHD

John Dirk

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When you start shopping around, take a look at the TCL Series 6 line - their 55" is $600 and I think the 65" is $900 - it's a much better TV than its price would suggest.
I can second that. My TCL 43 inch has built-in Roku and excellent picture quality. If my larger living room set died [Samsung 65 inch] I wouldn't hesitate to replace it with a TCL model.
 

JQuintana

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I think I got a lemon when I got my 55" TCL (one of the boards or panel failed in a year. But I hear the 6 series is top notch.

I'd just consider getting an extended warranty to be on safe side from Square Trade.
 
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DaveF

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Starting to think through specifics of hardware for my wishlist (and relaxing on a Saturday morning after a tiring week :) )

Room: Living Room
Component: Receiver

The Denon AVR-X3500H at $999 is the cheapest model with Audyssey MultEQ XT32 and Audyssey LFC.
The Denon AVR-X1500H at $599 is the cheapest model with Audyssey MultEQ XT (no LFC).
The Denon AVR-S740H at $479 is the cheapest model with Audyssey MultEQ while still having Dolby Surround.

I'd really like XT32 for the best subwoofer equalization. But my living room doesn't merit a $1000 AVR. I do want at least Dolby Surround on the low end, so the 740H is the lowest I'd go. That's my bracketing.

I'm pretty sure all of these support HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG. I think overall, getting some benefit from the bass equalization in MultEQ XT is better than none from MultEQ. And that $599 price should be closer to the $479 of the 740H if I get a sale.

So, I'll plan for the X1500H. If there are 2019 models, I'll update accordingly.
 

DaveF

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Room: Living Room
Component: 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player

I considered just keeping old blu-ray player for the living room, since I basically never watch discs there. But, a UHD player is under $200 now, so I'll probably one just to see what UHD looks like a good direct view set. With that, The Wirecutter recommends the Sony UBPX-X700 as of Jan 2019.


Room: Theater
Component: 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player

Panasonic DP-UB820.
Everyone recommends the UB820, especially with projectors. $500.

Room: Theater
Component: Display

JVC DLA-NX7
MSRP: $7999
I'm speculatively planning for the NX7 / RS2000 projector. These 2018 models are running three months and counting late in pre-order deliveries. Initial reviews are mixed: "pixel peeping" of absolute contrast and resolution target results is not up to spec and problematics. But early owner comments on watching movies are superb. I'm waiting to learn more and see what 2019 brings for model refreshes.
 

John Dirk

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Room: Living Room
Component: 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player

I considered just keeping old blu-ray player for the living room, since I basically never watch discs there. But, a UHD player is under $200 now, so I'll probably one just to see what UHD looks like a good direct view set. With that, The Wirecutter recommends the Sony UBPX-X700 as of Jan 2019.
I have no need to upgrade my living room since [like you] I don't spend a lot of [viewing] time there. Personally, I would re-purpose that cash but I don't know the specifics of your situation.

Room: Theater

Component: 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray Player
Panasonic DP-UB820.
Everyone recommends the UB820, especially with projectors. $500.
I'm with you on this one. I already have the Oppo 203 but I may keep it and still add this Panny at some point. It will depend on the 4K projector I eventually settle on and the state of things at that time.

Room: Theater
Component: Display

JVC DLA-NX7
MSRP: $7999
I'm speculatively planning for the NX7 / RS2000 projector. These 2018 models are running three months and counting late in pre-order deliveries. Initial reviews are mixed: "pixel peeping" of absolute contrast and resolution target results is not up to spec and problematics. But early owner comments on watching movies are superb. I'm waiting to learn more and see what 2019 brings for model refreshes.
Perhaps this is where we diverge. 4K hooked me for awhile but then lost me with all of the different HDR standards, faux K vs true 4K, etc. While all of this was going on I kicked back and thought hard about what I actually like to do in my dedicated room these days. For me, it's mostly listening to music while I write posts like this one. It's not movies as much as it used to be, although I still enjoy them immensely.
 
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DaveF

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I’m creating as exhaustive list as I can. When I really get to it, I may pare down on upgrades, like the living room player. But I like having an idea for what to get in the price class suitable to the room.

It’s a shame HDR is a mess. And disappointing the industry hasn’t done a good job of delivering solidly defined and executed standards for people to enjoy.

That said, I watch content in the projector room. My wife I are in there watching TV several nights a week. I get to movies when a weekend allows. I’ve also done a bunch of video gaming there, and might again later.

And Netflix has more and more shows in 4K HDR. And has at least one original movie in Atmos.

Which is to say: I can wait for late 2019 or 2020 to upgrade to 4K. But when I do, I’ll use it and enjoy it. :)
 
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KeithAP

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The Denon AVR-S740H at $479 is the cheapest model with Audyssey MultEQ while still having Dolby Surround.
I was looking at this unit as well. I just need something to go to 3.1 (center, L/R front and sub) over the built-in TV speakers. I saw Accessories4less has a Denon refurb S740H for $249.00, comes with a 1 year Denon warranty. Looks like they have the other Denon units on your list as well.

Don't know how you feel about refurbs but I think it is worth a look.

-Keith
 
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DaveF

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I was looking at this unit as well. I just need something to go to 3.1 (center, L/R front and sub) over the built-in TV speakers. I saw Accessories4less has a Denon refurb S740H for $249.00, comes with a 1 year Denon warranty. Looks like they have the other Denon units on your list as well.

Don't know how you feel about refurbs but I think it is worth a look.

-Keith
I admit to not being a rigorously rational electronics shopper and haven’t shopped refurbished since my student days. :) But I might consider it in this case since the living room is less important.

Here’s the Denon X1500H refurb for 37% off.
 

Osato

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Great discussion.

My budget is smaller but I really would like to go UHd in the next year.

My home theater is in my living room. Just my reliable 54” Panasonic plasma, Panasonic Blu-ray and I have a demon receiver with nht speakers.
My sub and rear speakers are wharfadale.

I’d like to go 60” Oled UHd lg, but it’s pricey...
I heard the Sony UHd players are good too.
I’m hoping to use my denon for audio still. It’s 5-6 years old but was in storage for 2 years during moving season.

I’d say my budget is $1700 or less. I may have to go down to a 55” screen but would like to go up to 60-65.

I plan on saving so I need to get cracking on that too!!
 
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DaveF

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Great discussion.

My budget is smaller but I really would like to go UHd in the next year.

My home theater is in my living room. Just my reliable 54” Panasonic plasma, Panasonic Blu-ray and I have a demon receiver with nht speakers.
My sub and rear speakers are wharfadale.

I’d like to go 60” Oled UHd lg, but it’s pricey...
I heard the Sony UHd players are good too.
I’m hoping to use my denon for audio still. It’s 5-6 years old but was in storage for 2 years during moving season.

I’d say my budget is $1700 or less. I may have to go down to a 55” screen but would like to go up to 60-65.

I plan on saving so I need to get cracking on that too!!
You should give the Vizio PQ a look. $1500 on sale at Costco for 65”. Reviews says it’s a great LCD. Unfortunately, the LG C8 OLED is $1700 for 55”, and jumps a thousand to $2700 for 65”. Need to find some good demos to decide whether size or absolute quality make a bigger difference to you.
 
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Osato

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You should give the Vizio PQ a look. $1500 on sale at Costco for 65”. Reviews says it’s a great LCD. Unfortunately, the LG C8 OLED is $1700 for 55”, and jumps a thousand to $2700 for 65”. Need to find some good demos to decide whether size or absolute quality make a bigger difference to you.
Agreed.

I may have to go with a 55” as well.

I’m a year away from buying.
I will be saving this year and price watching for sure.
It’s too bad more manufacturers aren’t making Oled!
 

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A year later, and I'm examining the 4K UHD upgrade. I've dipped my toes into the HDR waters with a new LG 49” 49SM8600PUA for the bedroom. I've also been watching reviews for TVs for the living room the past few months. I'm watching for 2020 models to be released...which might be upset / delayed by the Corona virus. My key upgrade kit looks like:
  • Bedroom
    • LG 49” 49SM8600PUA
    • TiVo Mini (current gear)
    • No additional streaming box. The LG integrated apps are good.
  • Living Room
    • Sony 65” X950H (2020)
    • Denon AVR-X1600H (2019) (is there a 2020 upgrade coming?)
    • TiVo Mini (current gear)
    • No streaming box. Hoping Sony apps cover that adequately for living room.
    • No 4K disc player. Haven't watched a disc in living room in 2+ years.
  • Theater
    • JVC DLA-NX7 (??? What's the right 4K projector for late 2020?)
    • Marantz AV7705? (Is there a 2020 upgrade).
    • Nvidia ShieldTV (2019)
    • AppleTV 4K (32GB) (Is there a 2020 upgrade coming?)
    • Panasonic DP-UB820 (2018)? (What's the best mid-range UHD player for 2020?)
    • TiVo Mini (current gear)
 

DaveF

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Big questions to figure out in the coming months:
  • What 4k Projector in 2020? Do a pre-order of new 2020 model after CEDIA?
  • What mid-range UHD player?
  • Are there 2020 upgrades for Marantz and Denon receivers?
I feel comfortable enough with the choice of streaming boxes, living room TV, and receivers. And not worried if pricing and reviews in 2020 push me to change those choices.

What I'm most unsure about is unchanged: 4K Projector.

The 4K projector options really surged in quality and dropped in price circa 2017 and 2018. But ... it seems to have stagnated in the upper / mid range. It appears the rapid changes were too fast and now both JVC and Sony are playing catchup in production and quality tweaks to their 2018-ish models. So, do I wait for 2020 CEDIA to see the new projectors? Do I buy a ~$8000 4k JVC N7? Should I look at the ~$3000 Epson models? Mounting and HDMI cable and whether I need to replace my current screen are also worry points...but I can sort those out once I've got the projector bought and in hand.

While I expect to use streaming and HTPC for the majority of 4K playback on the projector, I'm getting a disc player to know there's always a rock-solid playback option and/or for the Wife. I'm not up on current recommended mid-range ($500 and under) players.

I don't think I *need* to replace my Marantz 7702mkII. But if I'm doing open-heart surgery on my systems and buying a Denon, I might as well upgrade the Marantz. Plus I want access to the newer iOS app to tweak settings. And if I can sell the 7702mkII, all the better.

Remote control systems should be stable. Living room now has a Harmony Elite, so can update it easily for new gear. The Theater's URC MX750 will be a challenge to program, but I think I can do it. Later after the upgrades, I can explore if there's a worthwhile upgrade.

I have some other misc equipment questions, but they can wait. They're low priority and need help from other more specialized threads.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I’d say at least look at the Epson - a lot of the Best Buy showrooms have them so you can probably see one in action before making a choice. I’m not saying definitely get one, but for how cost effective they are (replacement lamps for Epson are also often cheaper than replacements for other brands) and how often they’re displayed in showrooms, it’s at least worth ruling out before committing to something that’ll cost at least twice as much.
 
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andySu

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Looked at the lamp running time eco 5.000hrs wow nice round number. Mid level use 3.500hrs use and lamp cost new about $132.70c not all bad 2,400 lumens. I'd expect it be outdated before you, run the lamp out if used normal though a year.

Viewsonic PK727 4K DLP pixel shifting cheap at under £900.00. 15.000hrs in eco mode. I expect to buy a new one next decade :D. Its hardly used maybe a little once every few months. Lamp 2220 lumens a fraction less than the Epson 5050 and retail price. Lamps new £89.97.
 

John Dirk

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Big questions to figure out in the coming months:
  • What 4k Projector in 2020? Do a pre-order of new 2020 model after CEDIA?
  • What mid-range UHD player?
  • Are there 2020 upgrades for Marantz and Denon receivers?
You seem like you have some money to spend. :)

I will address your points below.

1) CEDIA? I don't know. I suspect you have better insight and access than I do.

2) Mid range? Why even bother? I'm VERY happy with my Oppo 203. I know I I could sell it at a healthy profit these days but I haven't chosen to do so yet.

3) Perhaps but I'm happy with my 7702MKII.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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No additional streaming box. The LG integrated apps are good.
Strangely enough, I had lip sync issues with the integrated apps in my LG OLED 55" display. When I used the same apps on my Roku Ultra, the lip sync issue was nonexistent. The other thing you have to watch out for is that LG doesn't do a great job of supporting its integrated apps long term. It's been my experience that more and more will get discontinued over time, as they focus on the integrated apps for the newest models.

Panasonic DP-UB820 (2018)? (What's the best mid-range UHD player for 2020?)
If you're going 4K via a projector, the UB820 or (for twice the money) the UB9000 is definitely the way to go. They both have HDR processing for various display types. Projectors' range from black to white is inherently more limited than a Plasma or an OLED. The UB820 knows how to compensate for that, and make sure you don't have to deal with crushed blacks or blown out whites.
 
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DaveF

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