1080p vs 4k Tv's and Blue Ray Technology
December 2, 2013 4:47 PM   Subscribe

What's the maximum tv size that a blue ray would look crisp on for a 1080p tv and for 4k tv respectively?
posted by MechEng to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
similar question what's the cuttoff size for a dvd to still look crisp (optimum tv size)
posted by MechEng at 4:52 PM on December 2, 2013

The perception of crispness of course will also vary with content and from person to person. However, more importantly, this depends on how far you sit from the screen. A 40" TV at 6' will look just as sharp as a 80" TV at 12', at any given resolution (assuming you're not near-sighted). Here's a chart that shows it, along with some ranges for where various resolutions are appropriate.
posted by aubilenon at 4:54 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

That Chart I believe answers my question, but there still should be a cuttoff for crispness based on content as well. DVD vs. Blu Ray
posted by MechEng at 4:59 PM on December 2, 2013

My mistake, that answers question perfectly (the chart) DVD is 480 i or sometime p, and blu ray 1080p
posted by MechEng at 5:06 PM on December 2, 2013

The problem is "crispness" is subjective so it's impossible to give you an answer other than the chart.

Also, there are hardly any movies available to watch at home in 4K. If you're watching a Blu Ray on a 4K TV it's going to be upscaled to four times its original size. You would still need to reference the 1080 portion of the chart.
posted by hamsterdam at 5:07 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

DVDs are 480p.

Blu-Ray originally only supported 1080p (though one could store lower resolution media on a Blu-Ray disc of course). Apparently there's talk about extending Blu-Ray to support 4k, but I don't think that technology is currently widely available.
posted by aubilenon at 5:07 PM on December 2, 2013

Sorry, yes 480p or 480i. I forgot about interlaced video. Yuck.
posted by aubilenon at 5:08 PM on December 2, 2013

It's nowhere near that cut and dried.

How far away is the viewer? One viewer or many? How light is the room and are there windows? LED or LCD or Plasma? Are you watching true HD content or has it been up/down converted? Are you watching widescreen DVD?

Crisp is a subjective term. I don't have a scale for "crispness".

It's not about the size of the display, it's about the motion of the ocean. My phone has more of a display than my dad's old ass tube, and that old 37"(?) Sony is like 85 or 90 pounds. My phone has almost ten times that resolution at less than 1% of the weight.

4K is gonna crush that. I've seen 4k footage from a RED camera a couple of times, and was stunned by the resolution. 8k? 8k has almost 40 million pixels. The phone I'm so proud about? A shade above 2M.

Man, I'm glad I don't have grandkids, I'd hate to explain how we watched everything in 480.
posted by Sphinx at 6:23 PM on December 2, 2013

The answer for both is "Bigger than movie theater screens." They shoot actual movies on 2k resolution, marginally better than 1080p, and lots of movies use 2k digital intermediates. So just slightly better than 1080p is good for screens *googles* 50 feet wide.

Specifically about blu-rays, I'm not sure the maximum size they'd look decent. The biggest difference between a 2k-resolution movie in a movie theater and a bluray isn't the resolution of the projector or tv -- it's that movies will use better and lighter compression (and so take up waaaay more storage space), so there's more inherent detail in their images.

[comicbookguy] And of course you fail to realize that a bluray will look almost exactly the same on 1080p or 4k, because the movie itself will still be 1080p.[/comicbookguy]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:39 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

(I mean, they did for a while; they've moved on to 4k. But you've probably gone to the theater and seen movies in 2k.)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:44 PM on December 2, 2013

IMAX digital movies are projected on to a screen with two 1080p projectors put *very* close together. Some IMAX screens are 100' across. Obviously, you're not sitting right up closse to the screen, and I would argue that the IMAX digital I've seen is not 100% crisp, but most people don't tend to know or care.
posted by cnc at 7:04 PM on December 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure on the motivation for your question but the current 1.4 HDMI spec only permits a 30hz refresh rate at 4k, which is suboptimal. HDMI 2.0 supports 60hz. I'd wait for that before considering buying a 4k TV for home use.
posted by TheAdamist at 4:18 AM on December 3, 2013

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