Reality Check - Do we need 4K?
This week cam takes on the resolution revolution and investigates if we really need those extra pixels offered by 4K displays.
by Cameron Robinson on
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Flex those mental muscles and join Cam Robinson on a journey of discovery in Reality Check, the show that investigates the science behind your favourite games, and spawns a few wild theories of its own.
Schedule: Thursdays at 12pm PT
Host: Cameron Robinson
Considering the cost of Samsung's 28" LU28D590DS/XY (16:9) 4K-UDH 3840x2160 1ms-GTG DP HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor $585 here in Australia i would seriously consider this for my next monitor as i really love graphically beautiful games, Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3 and man i would really love to play The Last of Us on my pc with a 4k monitor, but sadly, sigh, this will not be a reality
So in real life doesn't that mean the pixel density is technically how many atoms there are in a given square inch or meter of a given surface? It is those atoms which interact with light and ultimately lead to us being able to see in the first place. Just like light shining through pixels or using liquid crystal luminescence to show the pixels instead. No pixels no image, no atoms no object.
I mean I look at a surface or object in real life and there is nothing jagged about it. Unless there are macroscopic deformities it can be as smooth as the person designing it has the skill to make it or the process has to make it naturally.
I wonder if we will ever have the computing power to basically plug in the fundamental laws of the universe and derive a simulation from the molecular or subatomic levels?
The Matrix basically.
Something tells me a leaf on a plant will always look a little "alien" if it isn't as finely tuned as that. I guess a bit like Neo sensing he was inside The Matrix for no real reason. I bet the Oculus Rift starts to make something like this apparent.
The distance issue and overall image quality, is why I do all my gaming, and much of my movie watching, on PC monitors - they just look better.
@H0RSE Although I agree with you for most cases, I got a 42" 1080p gaming TV several years back (that I now sit about four feet from) and it still kicks most monitors' asses. Given, this is probably more due to its ultra-fast response time (3ms IIRC), but I will definitely be investing in a 4K monitor when I can afford one (providing Occulus Rift doesn't take over my gaming...).
Then I assume your comparisons are vs low quality monitors. For instance, TN vs IPS monitors. For accuracy, you would also need to be comparing them against 42" monitors, which likely you haven't.
Also, when talking about ms, the low ms monitors tend to be TN panels, which deliver a less accurate color scale. My next monitor will be an IPS panel, which is what people in industries such as graphics and photography, tend to use.
Other then the elimination of anti-aliasing, I personally would not benefit from 4k. My natural eyesight is not 20/20, and I use weaker glasses for my computer monitor, so it looks sharp, and I cannot see the pixels.
Still use my 720p HD television for gaming. It works for me. As for 4K? Sure it's new tech and new tech always upgrades itself every few years, so I have no problem with that. When the prices come down then and maybe then I'll consider an upgrade to my living room TV. Also, I think 4K is a more logical evolution to how we view televisions than 3D. In my opinion, 3D was just plain stupid!
@XCyberForceX Totally agree with you about 3D - it's just a gimmick. Even though, if you have a large 720p TV and sit not too far from it, you're gonna notice some difference anyway. Modern mobile phones have an incredibly high dpi and that's for a good reason.
@philippnovikov @XCyberForceX 3D is more of a "untapped" beauty other than gimmick. If people used 3D like it should be ( in gaming or movies ) %100 all would used it but its not yet Standart ( as producing ) yet almost standart with TV's now. So using 3D Tv / Monitor is gimmick right now yes. But still its not "Produced" good yet.
I see no reason to complain because, it either means you get 1080p tech at bargain prices or newer tech at regular prices! :)
the problem with this is the fact remains technology grows, we'll look back in 10years to this video and laugh because 4k will just be your standard and we'll be onto something new. the fact is how many of us have big living rooms and sit that far away from a tv, I don't my front room has a 60 inch led tv at full 1080p, and it's amazing and i don't sit that far away as the room is small. the fact is without actually seeing 4k in reality than you showing us pictures of which we can't tell the difference from them to anything else as our screens don't show 4k images, i've seen 4k tv's and i have to say they are out of this world, from what ever distance there amazingly real. 4k is the future and 1080p will be nothing more than a stepping stone in technolgy. Do we need 4k?? the question is do we need anything, do we need mobiles or smart phones, no of course not we functioned very well before, same concept with everything, it's a step forward not one to say yes or no to, it's like saying do we truly need these amazing screens on the new ipads and iphone because the last ones were good enough
@bezza2011 My man, its all about the culture we live in, capitalism homie.
id rather see the effert go into better things such as frame rates and pure graphics looks such as textures not this because like you said cam at certain distances it ends up not making a difrance and also most ppl ware glasses or contancts now-a-days so we are always changing the detail depth at witch we see things.
huh?? you know a monitor and graphic card are two completely different things ye? Textures and frame rates are dependent on your graphic card not the monitor. If you talking about the refresh rate than you open up a whole other kettle of fish where people will say we don't need anything faster than 60hz .
A monitor offers ,Resolution, brightness, contrast (deep black and pure whites at same time is what every company strives for), color bits(how many colors the monitor can show, ie 8 bit or 10 bit or even 12 bit), viewing angle . Of these it is resolution that can make the biggest difference to a PC gamer. Refresh rates matter more to competitive gamers, i have never need anything faster than 60hz, more important is the response times, if i was a competitive gamer i would be more interested ian monitor with fast response times than anything else.
If you never seen a 4k or 2k monitor in real life you have no idea how amazing games can look, trust me. They really increase the immersion factor. Im just waiting for a 4k monitor to have smart 3d ( 3d without glasses on everything), that would be great.
Having all those expensive electronics for video games is extreme but everyone has their video game preferences.
I think my nvidia 670 has superb AntiAliasing, I don't need a higher rez or much better AA, nor do I care much for anything above 30 fps. what can make a huge difference though is poly count [games still are.. and look.. low poly], shading, lighting, and especially deformations [meaning how good things look when they deform. for example how a knee looks when it bends or the quality of the facial animation, all these are deformations]. also, getting rid of these ridiculous intersection issues that you see in all 3d games, like weapons on the character's back going through his thighs, etc. tough to do when you have 33 different characters with 99 different types of bows and 333 types of swords.. playing the same animation. but it must be solved, eventually. so the overall detail and quality of the artwork can make a huge difference, the resolution.. not really.
poly count? you realize its the graphic card that does the polys not the monitor....Our current graphic cards are already able to produce any games at these resolutions so it ain't like the graphic companies are worried. Poly count are textures is exactly what the graphic card companies are working on, case in point the shader processes have increased by over 15,625% in recent years which is what decides the poly count and fill rate etc, but the memory has only increased by 900%, which is what decides max resolution .Need i say more?
Every time I read about it there is something I miss, all these analysis asume that those 3 variables move together, I mean, they asume that you can change the viewing distance, but people's homes are the same size, with an increase in resolution and an increase in the display size that is directly proportional to the resolution increase, the definition will stay the same, but more of your field of vision would be ocupied by the display resulting in a more inmersive experience. This means that the benefits of 4k would be reached easier, because the viewing distance will not increase and although people that get the same screen size and already watch tv far enough would not get a benefit in terms of definition, the ones that goes for a bigger screen size would get a benefit in terms of inmersion. The people that does not goes by the book and watch closer to the tv than average will get the benefit directly in terms of definition, because those persons would not need a screen of a much bigger size.
For computer displays the benefits are much more obvious, acording with the chart 4k resolution makes sense for computer displays even with the same screen sizes.
When 4k 60Hz tvs cost less than $1000/£800 and a GPU to play at 4k on high/ultra can be had for under $250/£200 then yes we are ready for the age of 4k. Will we see 1440p tvs emerge as a budget alternative?
So then, now that nearly everyone has finally got Full HD televisions, they are already considered old tech?
I'd rather do without the "4K," nonsense for ages yet.
Sure it might be cool but not needed as of yet.
@punksterdaddy HD tv's went on sale in 1998. it is old tech.
@punksterdaddy They are considered old tech because there is newer tech. Either way, you won't have to buy a 4K TV if (they already are?) they are available. If you're happy with 1080p then stick with it until you think it's time for a new TV.
Myself, I still have a 720p 32 inch screen and I'm less and less excited to use it as time passes on. Mostly because I also have a 1080p 27 inch monitor (relatively new) and it's just looking a lot better.
It's time for a new TV for me pretty soon and because I already decided to get a new one, I might as well take a look at 4K right (no, because they're fucking expensive still. But I can wait a while I guess)?
I would love to see higher resolutions without increasing the size of the screen like getting a 1920x1080 monitor that is only 21 inches. it seems all screens have gone backwards lately.
3 years ago i got a 21 inch 1680x1050 monito, now, a 21 inch monito for the same price (even a bit more expensive) only come with 1600x900 resolution :(
So basically is best to have good density and great frame rate/refresh rate than just huge screens (for PC)
for Consoles it's going to be another 5 to 8 years until the PS5, Xbox randomNumber, and Nintendo support 4k for playing the current (i mean PS4 Xbox ONE) generation cannot support 4K, or at least not while gaming.
you can get small monitors that are 1080p now, but they kinda pointless, but since they so cheap it dont matter. It really dont. something like 4k has to be at least 32 inches ( it should have been 40 inches imo, but 40 inches is just too much for seated pc gamers). 4k is is currently only for pc gaming and cad. There is no movie ,blu ray tv or console that currently supports 4k and they wont for a very long time to come. 4k is is supported by the cinema though, those movies look great in cinemas as they are 4k, but none of us can afford a commercial film reel lol.
He isn't English you numpty!
I think games should be based on the frame rate. Cause I think the image quality has come to it's max, because of how far away we are from the screen.
I sell tv led and i have 4k en my job and i put the ps3 and there is nothing big diffrent except i have tobsee the ps4
@Rami Ali Soub
wtf did you just say, i didnt understand? you sell tvs? lol. If you said you attached a ps3 tio a 4k monitor, all i can say is /facepalm, and then say im not surprised as everyone who works at dixons is a clueless moron. They should just hire someone like me, who actually knows about tv's lol ( its sad im still unemployed, when i know more about electrical stuff than all the simpleton that work in those stores).
I have studied this concept for a while now and my conclusion is "The resolution we need would depend on the screen size".
4K may be beneficial for gaming, but gaming is already expensive enough. The first thing you need to take advantage of it is a display that can actually ... well display it. My HDTV is a 46 inch LG purchased 4 years ago and it can still be considered expensive today. It is only capable of a max resolution of 1080p. Bring down the price and a lot of people will buy it just to say they have it.
Well as a gamer this would then get me to ask the following questions - is it easier for a GPU to pump out higher resolutions or do AA etc at lower resolutions, for me this would tell me if it is worth it or not, as if i potentially can get my GPU to run better at higher resolutions this would be a massive plus.
Great video as always, Cam. (Only just created this account but long time follower of this, skyrim mods and gamespot in general)
I've heard that the rule of thumb is to sit at a distance of about 2.5 times the screen size away from the screen. It would be interesting to see this line plotted on that graph, to see where the 4K zone fits (although I haven't read the full article - not sure if it's discussed there).
I'd also be interested in seeing an investigation into the effects of framerate on gaming, and whether super high framerates actually do make a difference to viewing quality.
Also nice to see Kevin VanNord making a guest appearance ;)
why would you want a 4k tv, no tv show supports it, and 1080p normal tv will look ugly on it as will consoles?? there are no 4k tvs yet anyway. only monitors. And maybe some ultra expensive projectors that cost m,ore than your house and my house combined. Th reason the 4k monitor is only 32 inches as they dont want to make the screen even more niche than it already is, (its for pc gamers and cad people only at the moment and most pc user have monitors on desk, where anything bigger than 32 is too much)
4K sounds sweet. I used to have effectively a 2K CRT monitor and it was great. Maybe it isn't as relevant for TVs though.
@inspectercoley: Extrapolating from the definition of "4K", a standard 1080p screen is almost 2K.
Unlike TV standards where the number of scan lines is important, the "4K resolution" term comes from cinema where the width of the image is the important part (since with analog projection, the width of the film needs to match the projector).
So 4K is really only doubling the number of lines on your current TV rather than quadrupling them.
ye ofc. 1080p is no where near as dead as they want us to think. its still all thats gonna be available in the normal realm anyway for a long time to come. 4k will remain a nice product for high end pc gamers only , only when the blu ray starts supporting it will we start seeing real 4k tv and then finally sky and console support ( which is at least 7 years away). The rpic of 4k video recorders also will have to come down.