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4K Ultra HD Set-Up Recommendations?

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  • 4K Ultra HD Set-Up Recommendations?

    Widgets Magazine
    I've had Gundam Thunderbolt since it was released at the end of last year, Kimi no Na wa. will be coming in this month, and I'm about ready to stop waiting for Planet Earth II to get a limited edition like the first one and just get the standard edition. So I better get the equipment to be able to watch those! Specifically, I'd like to be able to watch that Kimi no Na wa. when it arrives, so that gives me a few weeks. Since I don't know if everyone looks at every sub-forum, I'll tag Sensuifu, ultimatemegax, and jeargumedo as they seem particularly knowledgeable on the subject, but anyone with any recommendations is very welcome and appreciated. Thanks!
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  • #2
    Where to start....

    Guess I'll get the bad stuff out of the way first....not sure if you've seen my other posts regarding Gundam Thunderbolt, and although I have no hard evidence to prove otherwise, to my eyes this title isn't a true 4K production despite the claims saying it is. Secondly, Kimi no Na wa isn't either and is highly suspected to be upscaled to UHD, as I doubt they resized all the assets. The studio would have to essentially recapture and re-composite everything to 4K. No way that happened.

    Now for the good- Anime on UHD will definitely benefit from a wider range of contrast/colors, especially if HDR metadata is encoded. Resolution is only a small factor, but still better if the production was 4K to begin with, that way, the issues I pointed out regarding Thunderbolt, wouldn't be there. Anime on UHD should also benefit with better compression, so despite only being upscaled, any artifacting will be less noticeable (i.e. banding), though again, mostly dependent on the competency of the authorer/encoder.

    PEII looks beautiful as you'd expect. I'll probably consider getting the LE of it, but I couldn't hold off at experiencing the beautiful production. Seeing it in 4K is jawdropping to say the least.

    As for set-up recommendations, I don't have any particular display I can recommend off hand (that's ultimately left to your own eyes and opinion if in-person evaluation is possible), but for the player, I'd stick with a more robust piece of equipment; in this case the Oppo UDP-203. It's pricey, but I'm looking for durability and dependability in the long run. Forget the Philips player you might see on sale. I've had too many issues with it. I'm unsure of the Samsung and Sony stuff, but apparently they have issues of their own too. Best to check out reviews for these if the Oppo isn't an option. Honestly, the UDP hasn't been too well received due to the many bugs that plagued its earlier firmware; but Oppo has been good at ironing them out and providing timely updates. So if you were to get one right now, I'd say it's a safe bet. They're also the first to implement Dolby Vision, so that's a bonus.

    Going back to the TV- you'll want to make sure it supports HDR. Not all 4K TVs have HDR support, notably the cheaper or older models.
    4K TVs can be had for cheap compared to only a year or so ago, but make sure you have one HDR capable (not just 'Ready'). You'll know your TV isn't HDR when your player detects it during setup and/or you play a UHD and it prompts you that HDR is disabled.

    As for cables, ensure they're all "High Speed" HDMI 2.0 Depending on your setup (notably if you have a receiver in between connections) you may need to connect a separate 'Audio Only' HDMI cable from your player to the receiver, and the other directly to your TV.

    So a quick summary:
    Verify that the 4K TV can support and output HDR. Research/purchase the UHD player that meets your needs. Get High Speed HDMI cable(s)- HDMI2.0.
    Get ready to be amazed with true, native 4K productions like PEII.


    Last edited by Sensuifu; 07-03-2017, 04:01 AM.

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    • #3
      Thanks; that's a great start! I followed the discussion on the "4K" anime, so I know it won't be the full experience, but still better than a standard Blu-ray, which is a good enough upgrade for now. This definitely gets me a good part of the way there, but anyone else with input is welcome!
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      • #4
        I've been talking with another writer for the site, Cain, and have gotten some ideas, so I figured I'd post them in here and see what the thoughts are:

        This TV with this mount
        This player
        Two of these cables
        This system for audio

        The distance from where people will be sitting to the screen should be about 9 feet, maybe slightly less if the TV comes out enough. If you have any other questions that would help to know what would be the best options, I'd be happy to answer them. Thanks again for any further input!
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        • #5
          If you can do OLED, do it. It's literally going to be the best picture quality around. I have that little Phillips player because I got for about $100. Works fine, have never had a problem with it, and it tucks away neatly. I know there's higher quality players out there, but maybe if I get a bigger place, I'll upgrade it. For now, it works fine, no issues. Not the greatest DVD player, sadly, but I still have my PS3 around for deinterlacing older titles.

          Also, besides HDR10 support, you might want to make sure all your stuff is Dolby Vision compatible. None of my stuff is, and I'm kinda kicking myself since those titles are coming out now. It's not a huge deal, but yeah, I do find Dolby Vision to provide better picture quality than HDR10, and a lot of films are mastered in Dolby Vision now for Dolby Cinema (which is amazing, if you've never been to one)

          Currently using my TV speakers and sometimes headphones because I can't set-up a Dolby Atmos system, or really any sound system in my apartment, so I'm no help there.

          Also, don't focus on the resolution gains. They're there and noticeable but the HDR is the reason to upgrade. To give you the experience I had with it:

          I saw Batman V Superman in Dolby Cinema which uses it's own form of HDR and has a huge amount of shadow detail and really bright lights. Later that year, I bought a 4K HDR TV, not really intending to watch 4K content on it. I bought it because I needed a bigger television, but I decided to get one that was a bit futureproof with HDR10, 4K, and 3D (which I'm glad I got it, there's no 3D sets this year from anyone). Totally happy watching my Blu-rays, my Apple TV.

          Saw a sale on Amazon for that little Phillips player, picked it up with Batman V Superman on a whim. When I popped it in and started watching it, it was the first time I ever felt like the studio gave me DCP of the film. It looked nearly identical to what I was saw in the Dolby Cinema, it was mind-blowing. From there I kinda got carried away and picked up a ton of UHD Blu-rays and have so far been happy.

          My favorites:
          Sully (still the undisputed champ in my book, Arri IMAX 6.5K, 4K VFX, 4K DI Finish)
          Gundam Thunderbolt (HDR really makes it pop, didn't see more detail in what is just line-art)
          The Revenant (Arri Alexa 3.4K with Arri 65 6.5K, 4K DI Finish)
          Batman V Superman (35mm film scanned in at 2K, 70mm IMAX film scanned at 8K, VFX finished at a mix of 2K & 4K, 4K DI Finish)
          Pacific Rim (RED Epic 5K, VFX 2K, 2K DI Finish, upscaled to 4K but don't let that dissuade you)
          Unforgiven (35mm scanned in at 4K)
          Logan & Logan Noir (Arri Alexa 2K, 2K VFX, 2K DI Finish)
          Lego Batman (2K Animated Film, Full Rec. 2020 finish)

          Also, it's not the greatest film, but I fully anticipate the Ghost In The Shell 2017 film to look really good. It was shot on the Arri 65mm, which is my current favorite camera system.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jeargumedo View Post
            If you can do OLED, do it. It's literally going to be the best picture quality around.
            Pretty much agree. Definitely can't go wrong with that OLED set, so nice choice there.


            As for the audio, I'd personally go with a Dolby Atmos setup to match that reference quality picture. They're a bit pricey for a full, dedicated speaker array; but you can find sound bars that simulate the soundfields of a discrete Atmos system. The only real problem is placing multiple subs and the height channels if doing the individual-speaker route.


            The Oppo is another great decision. You can use your smartphone/tablet as a remote, which is nice since you can control your media playback anywhere you have a local WiFi signal.

            The rest of the setup looks fine, although I'd spring for an articulating-arm for the wallmount. That way, cable management and screen positioning is easier and doesn't lock your TV into a fixed position/angle, which depending on your seating arrangement and viewing conditions, might not be optimal.

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            • #7
              I'm glad everyone agrees on the TV. Does that seem like a good size for the distance?

              Atmos sounds great (no pun intended), but I should probably bring up that this will be going in a pretty open space without much in the way of walls to enclose it, so I'm wondering if it will make sense to try to go down that route. I see the soundbars, but at around $1000, I'm not sure if they'd be wasted in the environment. If you think it's still the way to go, though, I certainly can.

              As for seating arrangements, it will mainly be the couch that faces the wall for the TV, which can seat up to four people. There's also a La-Z-Boy next to it. I can take more measurements if that would be helpful. So I would think it wouldn't be necessary for the TV to be able to move around? I just feel like I would prefer to not risk it being moved around unintentionally.

              Also, it's Prime Day, so if any recommendations are on there, that would be great, but it probably only has lesser options. Thanks again!
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              • #8
                That size barely exceeds the maximum recommended viewing distance for 4K viewing, which is about 6-8 ft, but that's still close enough since your eyes will actually be closer and your visual acuity will probably be good enough to cover the difference.

                The soundbars were designed for similar considerations, so they're more practical compared to having freestanding drivers in places where they probably wouldn't work or are in the way. You can still get decent surround from 5.1, though hearing Atmos will certainly 'open up' your viewing experience especially with an already open space area.

                I'd still go with an articulating arm even if it's going to be mostly against the wall. I installed a 75" on a articulating arm and it's practically fixed due to the weight. I literally needed four-five people to get that monstrosity on the wall and it takes two people to even move it around, so I doubt a 65" will be any more movable.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
                  That size barely exceeds the maximum recommended viewing distance for 4K viewing, which is about 6-8 ft, but that's still close enough since your eyes will actually be closer and your visual acuity will probably be good enough to cover the difference.
                  So are you saying that size for that distance is my best bet, or should I look for a different one?

                  Originally posted by Sensuifu View Post
                  I'd still go with an articulating arm even if it's going to be mostly against the wall. I installed a 75" on a articulating arm and it's practically fixed due to the weight. I literally needed four-five people to get that monstrosity on the wall and it takes two people to even move it around, so I doubt a 65" will be any more movable.
                  That sounds like it will probably be fine then. I'm just not sure why I'd need it to have that capability if I don't plan on moving it.

                  Also, do you have a specific recommendation for an Atmos soundbar? The ones I've seen, along with all being very expensive, either don't have DTS surround decoding, don't have a subwoofer, or don't have satellite speakers, relying on walls to emulate surround sound.
                  Last edited by GingaDaiuchuu; 07-11-2017, 04:20 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GingaDaiuchuu View Post

                    So are you saying that size for that distance is my best bet, or should I look for a different one?
                    That size is good for your viewing distance. Seating any further would require a larger screen to really see the benefit of 4K.

                    That sounds like it will probably be fine then. I'm just not sure why I'd need it to have that capability if I don't plan on moving it.
                    I'd recommend it just for convenience sake in the case you need to rearrange seating arrangements or viewing angles. It also helps with cable management in case you need to hookup or change things. But if you don't plan to do anything once it's installed, then the fixed mount should be adequate.

                    Also, do you have a specific recommendation for an Atmos soundbar? The ones I've seen, along with all being very expensive, either don't have DTS surround decoding, don't have a subwoofer, or don't have satellite speakers, relying on walls to emulate surround sound.
                    Those soundbars will be expensive because they're new on the market. But if recommending one right now, I'd go with the Pioneer. You can do well without an Atmos setup, but it'll likely be less immersive. You can hold-off until units become cheaper, though that might be a year or two down the road. I'd still prefer separate speakers to drive each channel, but if your budget and room can accommodate such a setup, then look into getting a decent receiver and slowly build from there.

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                    • #11
                      Any recommendations for one of those mounts?

                      And... I guess any TVs that might be comparable to the B6 without being $800 more like the C7. Looks like the former is only used from third sellers on Amazon now...
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GingaDaiuchuu View Post
                        Any recommendations for one of those mounts?
                        I have a similar model to this. Haven't had any problems, even with the smaller 17-20" wall mounts. You can find others for cheaper that function just the same.
                        And... I guess any TVs that might be comparable to the B6 without being $800 more like the C7. Looks like the former is only used from third sellers on Amazon now...
                        Kind of tough without recommending the same/newer line, considering the LGs are highly rated and are usually at the top as far as OLED goes. The next closest would be the Sony A1E line, which is a bit more expensive. See if you can find the B6 at other sites and whether that model is still available in your local b&m. Pricematching doesn't hurt either, as long as it's new and currently in-stock at the place you're comparing from. I've done this plenty of times at my local BB, and they knocked off a lot after verifying the online listing.

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                        • #13
                          Got the TV and sound bar mounted today. What would you recommend for audio connections? I didn't quite get that the player had an Audio Only HDMI port as well as a regular one. I have two of those HDMI cables, so I can use both to go to the TV and sound bar from the player, but the sound bar only has one HDMI port, so I'd need to have anything else I hook up go through optical from the TV, which is how the TV and sound bar are connected right now, since the installers recommended optical. I could also do the reverse, with the player connected directly via optical and the rest via HDMI from the TV; I'd just have to get a longer optical cable. Or I can just do the standard HDMI or optical connection from my TV to the sound bar for everything, including the player. What would be the best of those four options? Although the installers insisted that optical was much better, Cain is insisting the opposite just as strongly, and that I should just connect everything to the TV and then from the TV to the sound bar via HDMI.
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                          • #14
                            I'd personally use a switcher when limited by inputs/outputs, but those can get pretty pricey for 4K. In your case, I'd just connect everything via HDMI/optical to the TV and from the TV's HDMI to the soundbar. That way you shouldn't be limited to the legacy formats by connecting via optical.

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                            • #15
                              In looking though my sound bar more, I noticed that there are actually two HDMI ports, one that says HDMI Out but is ARC, so I'm using it to receive audio from the TV, and the other that says HDMI In. Would it work to keep the ARC connection between the two for any other devices but also have one going from the player's Audio Only port directly to the sound bar's actual HDMI In port, and would it be beneficial to do so?

                              And now that I have everything all set up, any specific settings I should be configuring? In particular, I don't know anyone else with this player, so if you (or anyone else here) has suggestions on changes from the defaults for that, let me know.

                              This is all looking very nice. Thanks for all the help!
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