Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

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Stanshall
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Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Stanshall » November 1st, 2018, 9:32 am

I'm wondering if anyone could share their impressions of 4K HDR sets, please. To cut to the pure TV bit, please skip this next paragraph about diminishing returns.
Spoiler: show
For context, I've devoured all the review sites and come up with a top three but at the same time, I know that AV enthusiasts have a different appreciation for the finest and lower tolerance for the 'flaws'. When I was really into audio and building headphone amps and stuff, I reached a point where my listening experience was largely just identifying flaws and looking for areas to improve. When I was bidding at 3am on 1950s Russian military capacitors the size of Coke cans to solder into a shoebox sized amp to try to eke out an extra 0.1% of instrument separation, I realised I'd gone too far.

I sold all the stuff off, kept my 'good enough' headphones and learned to just enjoy music again rather than the gear. It took a little while. The reality is that the highs of those first few days and weeks and months were absolutely spectacular and I've never heard music sound so good, it was an amazing time, but equally, my wife was a bit miffed that I would come in from work, quick hug and off to the den to warm up the amp tubes and that was me til dinner, and then the same til bedtime. It was fantastic and rewarding but to the detriment of other areas of my life! And inevitably, once it became the norm, and the high wore off, there was a pull to chase that high by tweaking and modding and upgrading components and so on, and it killed the joy of it all.

It's a common tale, the law of diminishing returns, and in my experience it's been the same with everything whether it's wine, musical instruments, photography, tea, kitchen knives, whatever you can name, there's a point where you go beyond the initial mind-blowing impact and you end up spending more and investing more time for increasingly small incremental improvements. I now know that if I want some fantastic tea or fantastic bourbon or headphones or whatever, there is a cost - inevitably - but there's absolutely no reason to go for the TOTL because the pleasure I get from that is either so slight to not be worth the money or, worse, it's actually tainted by the guilt of spending that much more for so little benefit.

This has led me to conclude in advance that it'll be the same with tellies and instead of tormenting myself, I'll just go with something 'good enough' from the start and write off the TOTL experience because I'm not made of money. If this is just a complicated, subconscious, self-deluding justification for not having or spending two grand on a telly, so be it.
For context, I will only be using it for gaming probably 75% Switch and 25% One X/PS4 Pro (I'm probably flogging the latter). I will likely never watch a film or television show on it. I have set a budget of £999.99 because that's the most I can likely justify to my wife who's given me the go-ahead to splurge before we (hopefully) start a family next year.

That said, if money were no object I'd probably be buying LG OLED. Currently, the B8 is about £1500, which is realistically £500 more than I want to spend. If there were a deep sale, this would probably be the one.

My next choice down is the Sony XF90 which sounds superb but it's not OLED. This is the one I'm most watching and waiting for a sale because it just might dip below a grand with Black Friday.

And then there's my most likely purchase, the Samsung NU8000. Now, obviously it's not going to be as good as the above but as a pure gaming telly, rtings puts it only marginally behind the above two but with very very similar scores. It loses out in every other area but for gaming, it's well recognised and highly rated on the review sites. It's the most common 'best gaming TV under a grand' almost everywhere.

This brings me back to my initial point. Where reviews pick it up for some problematic local dimming and slightly timid HDR, will that stuff even register for me as someone with very little experience of even mid-tier tellies? Has anyone got one or tried it? Or any of the above or any others?

Any impressions or chat would be great, ladies and gents. Thanks very much.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by ThirdMan » November 1st, 2018, 9:50 am

I don't want to derail the thread, but could I perhaps add to it by requesting the opinions of people that have made the switch to 4K and was it worth it?

As a starting point, what is the best looking console game at 1080p, and how much better is the 4K version? Unless the difference was absolutely jaw-dropping I don't think I could ever justify the purchase.

My reluctance is exactly as Stanshall has described. Spending the best part of €1500 for a marginal gain in performance.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Stanshall » November 1st, 2018, 10:15 am

A very good question, too. I suspect by the time the next gen comes around 4K will be as standard as FHD is now so there won't be a choice but I don't see OLED becoming as normalised until the Chinese start producing cheaper panels comparable to LG.

Likewise, HDR still means a lot of different things to different manufacturers (or their marketing depts) and it's nowhere near being consistently implemented by developers. Hell, even Rockstar basically bungled/bluffed it for RDR2 and I've heard of other top devs getting it plenty wrong, thinking of The Witcher 3, Monster Hunter World and BF1 for more notorious examples. The likes of Forza, Tomb Raider, HZD, God of War and Spiderman are supposedly the best examples but aside from Forza, I have absolutely no interest there.

That's another reason why I am so inclined towards OLED because that will supposedly make even a 1080p Switch game in SDR look considerably better, by virtue of its perfect contrast and dark room details and amazing colours. Hmm.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by DomsBeard » November 1st, 2018, 10:17 am

I was playing Horizon Zero Dawn pre and post purchasing a 4K tv and could notice the difference. Same applies when going from PSVR back to PS4 as it is 1080p to 4k. I do not have HDR. This is the equivalent TV I have currently:

https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/tele ... rices=true

It was £999 for a 49'' at the time (last year). HDR was new when I purchased.

Non gaming it is great having Netflix/Amazon/Youtube etc ready to go

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Chopper » November 1st, 2018, 11:24 am

ThirdMan wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 9:50 am
I don't want to derail the thread, but could I perhaps add to it by requesting the opinions of people that have made the switch to 4K and was it worth it?
Just to address this question, when you look at the Digital Foundry side-by-sides, do you go, "Woah, that's amazing!" or, "Which side is supposed to be better here?". If the latter, I would suggest that the upgrade isn't worth it.

There are a couple of minor niggles; if you plug in PSVR, you automatically downscale again because it is not capable, and unless you have a splitter, all video is routed through it. Also, you have to turn off HDCP in the PS Settings menu in order to watch App-based programming, and turn it back on for games. This might be different on the Bone.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by hazeredmist » November 1st, 2018, 11:41 am

I've had a 50" 4K telly for ages (Samsung, cost me about £600?) and I barely use the 4K functionality despite having various sources, and when I do, honestly I don't really see a huge difference. I haven't upgraded my PS4 to a Pro, and feel no need to get a 4K console. I also don't care about the Digital Foundry stuff, getting microscopically better performance from one console than another isn't really something I care about. The Switch is 1080p and won't see any benefits from fancy features.

Was it worth it?

I went 4K with that purchase for future proofing really, but I'm less and less bothered now. TV's seem like a bit of a rat race for me, and you can convince yourself you need this and you need that with a TV, a few months later it's obsolete in people's minds.

I just remember getting by with a shit 14" TV with manual buttons back in the day and being fine with it. Easy to forget how lucky we are with tech in this age!

Some people are really into it though and fair play to them, all about what's important to you really :)

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by ratsoalbion » November 1st, 2018, 11:50 am

Needless to say I also grew up playing happily on tiny, rented CRT sets, but the difference between 1080p and 4K for me is now really quite stark, and my eyesight isn’t getting any better. Also HDR in certain games is absolutely transformative in terms of realism and immersion.

But it’s true that these things are often only shown up by a direct comparison. Of course I thought PS2 and GC games looked impossibly high res back in 2002, yet now a lot of PS3 and 360 games look extremely murky and fuzzy.

I’d hardly say I felt like I was being pressured into a rat race though - I bought my 37” 1080 screen for £670 or something 10 years and thousands of gaming hours ago.
Upgraded to a 49” 4K set this year for another £540 and expect it to last me another 5-10 years.

And I get a little twinge of excitement every time I switch it on.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by KSubzero1000 » November 1st, 2018, 1:40 pm

This thread is making me awfully self-conscious about my inferior decade-old 31" 1080p TV! :lol:

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by ratsoalbion » November 1st, 2018, 1:57 pm

Don’t worry Camille, you’ll naturally gravitate towards bigger screens as you get older!

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by KSubzero1000 » November 1st, 2018, 2:03 pm

Leon telling raunchy stealth jokes? The world truly is ending, isn't it? :P

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Stanshall » November 1st, 2018, 5:04 pm

The responses here (and elsewhere) largely support my suspicion that to the non-AV enthusiast/reviewer, a mid-tier upgrade is probably going to be excellent and an eye-opener. It also reassures me that you don't need to spend thousands to get something great. In the same way that with AB comparison you can tell the difference when rolling amp tubes with a perfectly silent noise floor, once the music is playing it makes not a blind bit of difference!

I accept that there are differences, of course, and OLED is a noticeable step up beyond LCD, but for my singular use, and without studying shadow details, I'll be well capable of getting something excellent within my budget. Let's see what BF brings!

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Suits » November 1st, 2018, 7:36 pm

I have nothing more to add to this Stan other than my own experience of this sort of nightmare - being someone that will and freely gets obsessive over displays and optimum experiences.

I took the jump early this year and plumped for a Xbox X and suitable panel to make the most of it.

The best screens at the moment, as you point out, are the LG OLED ones, so that's where to cast the line.

I had the unfortunate criteria however of needing a panel, originally, no bigger than 30" to fit into my office - which ruled out the majority, if not all of the best panels.

In the end I had to compromise that to 40", as that game a selection of panels that offered HDR10 and UHD4K.

Like you mention I used TVratings as a guide to see the wood from the trees and measure up what TV's were out there on offer that rated highly. Worth noting that as its an American site it can be a pain trying to work out the model codes as they differ from ours but with a bit of reach you can work it out.

Again, like you, this panel was going to be used solely as a display for my Xbox X and PS4 Pro - initially my Switch also. Not a single TV show has splashed its screen.

Long story short, in the end I went for a Samsung MU6120 from Argos, which was on sale for £399.

Which is a UHD4K HDR10, 40" panel.

Now, TVratings, has this as 7.6 out of 10 panel, with its strengths being HDR and ideal for console gaming. Which does me fine and for the price - very good.

**Also, worth pointing out that a lot of people initially first notice the HDR over the resolution, so a TV that plays to that is going to give you noticeable results - me, I'm just sort of used to both now, HDR and 4K and both have their noticeable improves I think.

Downside to the panel I choose is that it has narrow viewing angels, so in effect as you sit to less straight on and more to the side the display can seem to get washed out, this is also applicable to up and down.

Now, seeing as though I was using it in a window-less office, (which used to be an old tally kitchen for scale) at the end of the room, it offered little option other than to it almost directly on front of it, which mitigated the panels weak points.

Another important feature about most Samsung screens is that they have an option to switch on or off HDR for certain inputs. This is important, as having the feature on, for an input that doesn't support HDR can cause issues with the medium is displaying. This is important for the Switch.

I have my Xbox One X and PS4 Pro passing through a Onkyo amp with HDCP 2.2 support, which will pass through the HDR and 4K to the TV, however, I have to plug my Switch into an separate input on my TV, then switch off the HDR on that input to display a clearer image for the Switch.

All these things considered, it was a winner for me and the panel I eventually went for.

Do your research mate, it will pay off in the long run. A good tack is to see what panels you can get on offer or cheap and see how that stack up in the reviews, you'll probably be able to get a 8/10 panel for cheap !

Quick snap of my set up.

Image

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Stanshall » November 2nd, 2018, 7:30 am

Just wrote a long reply and then refreshed the page by accident!

In short, thanks very much for the experience and advice, mate. I'll keep doing my homework and will hang on til BF if I can!

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by ThirdMan » November 2nd, 2018, 9:02 am

Chopper wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 11:24 am
ThirdMan wrote:
November 1st, 2018, 9:50 am
I don't want to derail the thread, but could I perhaps add to it by requesting the opinions of people that have made the switch to 4K and was it worth it?
Just to address this question, when you look at the Digital Foundry side-by-sides, do you go, "Woah, that's amazing!" or, "Which side is supposed to be better here?". If the latter, I would suggest that the upgrade isn't worth it.
I'm just gonna go ahead and risk sounding stupid, but what's the point in looking at 4K images on my non-4K laptop screen? Isn't that like those trailers that appeared on VHS cassettes highlighting examples of DVD sound and picture?

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Suits » November 2nd, 2018, 9:49 am

You can still see remanants of higher resolution, even on 1080 displays - in my opinion.

It’s just not actually putting out that image.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by KSubzero1000 » November 2nd, 2018, 9:53 am

Suits wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 9:49 am
You can still see remanants of higher resolution, even on 1080 displays - in my opinion.

It’s just not actually putting out that image.
I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, but this post hurts my brain, mate. :lol:

...HOW?!

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Suits » November 2nd, 2018, 10:20 am

KSubzero1000 wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 9:53 am
I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, but this post hurts my brain, mate. :lol:

...HOW?!
I know, I know :lol: .

The only way I can explain it, is that items sort of have outline to the resolution increase - they’re just not filled in.

A lot of people who upgrade to either a PS4 or Xbox X without a 4K panel claim that they see a clearer picture or notice the difference.

The method I use is distance, things set into the discatnce appear to have better detail on the more powerful consoles, they seem less murky while still retaining the 1080 resolution.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Stanshall » November 2nd, 2018, 10:39 am

When I previously had a One X, the 'supersampling' equivalent was definitely better even on my 1080p telly. Like, visibly better at normal viewing distance. The Insects test software was specifically designed to show the differences and you could flick between different image processing and output resolution instantly. That said, it'll obviously be even better with a 4K telly.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by ThirdMan » November 2nd, 2018, 11:30 am

Suits wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 10:20 am
The method I use is distance, things set into the discatnce appear to have better detail on the more powerful consoles, they seem less murky while still retaining the 1080 resolution.
Isn't that just a more powerful console outputting a more detailed image at 1080p? That's a different issue. I've read many times that the One X and the Pro produce better images even at 1080p, but it's still just that - 1080p.

Edit: I should have prefaced my remarks by saying that I'm absolutely clueless when it comes to technology and am open to correction.

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Re: Gaming Telly Discussion (and Diminishing Returns)

Post by Suits » November 2nd, 2018, 11:48 am

ThirdMan wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 11:30 am
Suits wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 10:20 am
The method I use is distance, things set into the discatnce appear to have better detail on the more powerful consoles, they seem less murky while still retaining the 1080 resolution.
Isn't that just a more powerful console outputting a more detailed image at 1080p? That's a different issue. I've read many times that the One X and the Pro produce better images even at 1080p, but it's still just that - 1080p.

Edit: I should have prefaced my remarks by saying that I'm absolutely clueless when it comes to technology and am open to correction.
Sorry man, I don’t quite understand what you are querying here - but if I do understand you correctly, your sort of backing up the argument that you will see a difference upgrading your console without the display, as the extra horsepower will have a positive effect on a number of visual attributes, not solely resolution (1080p).

:)

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