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Ultra HD 4K HDR

Posted on Friday, August 4th, 2017

Dave!As going to movie theaters gets more and more annoying with assholes texting on their phones and smacking their popcorn and talking non-stop, I've spent a goodly chunk of money building a decent home theater. My setup is not extravagant by any means, but it is nice enough that I don't necessary miss the theater as much as I thought I would.

The cornerstone of my set-up is an Ultra HD 4K HDR television and Blu-Ray player plus a decent stereo A/V receiver capable of processing it all.

But that's only half the battle.

The other half being Ultra HD 4K HDR movies to play on it all. It's the only way you're going to get the fantastic picture clarity and high dynamic range color that the format offers.

And so I've been buying 4K movies from time to time... especially when they go on sale.

The verdict?

Almost too good. The picture is more like what you'd get from a hi-def cam-corder than what you'd see in a movie theater. It looks... fake?... kinda. Not necessarily in a bad way, it just takes some getting used to. It also takes a lot of futzing with your television picture settings to get the best possible visuals. For me that meant upping the brightness, lowering the contrast, and finding a saturation level that works.

What you see, thanks to the 4K Ultra High Definition picture, is even the tiniest details of everything happening on-screen. Every stray hair... every spec of dirt... every line and crease... there is nothing that can hide from such a ridiculously high resolution.

What you also see, thanks to the High Dynamic Range, is a color pallet that's jaw dropping. You only thought that Leeloo's brilliant orange hair was bright... until you see it in HDR. It's so vivid and bright that it almost takes on a life of its own.

So... is Ultra HD 4K HDR worth it?

Yes.

And no.

Yes, because it's the absolute best way to watch movies at home... assuming you have a system that can take advantage of it and a television big enough to do it justice. Newer movies (like Kingsman: The Secret Service) are mind-blowingly beautiful with their stunning color fidelity and clarity. Even older movies (like The Fifth Element tend to be gorgeous, though be forewarned that film grain will be perfectly preserved and on vivid display if you get too close.

No, because I am not entirely convinced that the cost is worth it. My 65-inch television is great, but in order to get any benefit from a 4K picture, I have to be sitting a maximum of 8-1/2 feet away, with the ideal distance being 4-feet, 9-inches. This means I have to push my coffee table out of the way and slide my couch forward every time I watch a 4K movie.

In this respect, the resolution isn't as big a selling point as the high dynamic range color, which is great at any distance.

And so...

If you can afford a massive screen on your television... or just want color that's next level... it might be worth a look. Otherwise? Probably not. For most people 1080p is plenty.

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Categories: Movies 2017Click To It: Permalink
   

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