4k televisions and monitors. 

Wow what a difference two years make. We are now in free fall for tvs and HDR is coming as well. There is also a convergence happening as tvs get full operating systems and arm chips

So here is a quick review of what to get depending on needs. Hat tip to the wirecutter

Computer monitor from 27 to 40 to 50?!!!

We’ve been bumping up monitor size and it really does help productivity to have more pixels. A 2.5k 27 inch is the minimum now and they are quite cheap. The main thing is getting enough picture quality. So you want ils and not tn. There  are even nice gaming monitors now that use gsync so u have variable frame rates.

40 inch monitor. Philips But the most interesting thing is to look at the 40 inch monitors. With these things the usage of your display changes. Instead of moving the monitor and using tiling utilities like shiftit or compiz grid. You dedicate areas of the screen. More like a real desktop. We use the Phillips 40 inch ($780 or so plus a $100 moving arm) and this still seems like an excellent choice.

50 inch monitor. Samsung UN50JU7100. OK, if the 40 inch is huge, how about an amazing 50″ PC monitor at 4K. That is getting a little bit on a dot pitch basis, but what a screen! The best one seems to be the Samsung UN50JU7100 as shown by rtings.com. It is a true 4Kp60 4:4:4 monitor and costs a cool $1.1k.

But with the arrival of hdmi 2.0, these displays can show 60 hertz 4K images with full what is called UD color (4:4:4 is the technical term).. Anything less is unusable. So the new recommendation is wirecutter is to use their cheap tv recommendation. But monitors are different in two important ways. Refresh rates and chroma. Swiftworld explains it well. You want true 60 hertz via hdmi 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2. And u want full color aka chroma 4:4:4.

One that seems good, but doesn’t have 4:4:4 at 60 is the VISIO m43-c1 for just $500. Cnet also likes it. The  one small give up is that panels smaller than 69 use 60 hertz and not 120. Unfortunately the newegg.com and rting.com review says it doesn’t support chroma 4:4:4 in 4kp60. Translation is most consumer tvs cheat. They don’t display all colors as your eye can’t pick that up in movies. They use 4:2:0. However monitors need it all. So ur limited to 30 hertz. So keep looking. Rtings has a good technical review and confirms it does not do 4:4:4 at 60 fps

The big thing u give up is an adjustable stand but what u get is a true desktop display u can leave thing up in a corner for instance. And if u really need one get a $99 Amazon basics moving mount.

See techradar for a list but an experiment will be use a 48 inch display for a computer as yet another step. Will let you know how it goes.

75 inch flat screen

With televisions the key is an immersive experience. There are three things people don’t think about in order of ease of fixing:

  1. lighting. Tvs just do not look good without the right low level of light witho glare. You often need a bias light which is a cheap light that throws a diffuse color but get some curtains or put it in a darker room
  2. get a good tv. There is usual no price difference for a higher quality panel and it pays to shop. A good panel will last for years. They definitely are not created equal
  3. Sound is actually just as important and buying online a speaker set lasts for years if not decades and makes the experience immersive.

With that being said here are some recommendations

The wirecutter really likes the Samsung ju7100 and the VISIO M line. While cnet likes the m over the 7100. And so does rting.com

This is their midrange line. The other option is the lower ju6300. The main difference is lack of 120 hertz so not quite as good for sports. And no local dimming so blacks won’t be as precise. The un75ju7100 is remarkable reasonable $3700 right now.

The ju6300 is $3.3k on Amazon and the equivalent Costco model is just $3k. Sales have made it as low as $2.7k, but according to rting.com the 7100 is much better

in times of rapid change I’d recommend waiting a bit. The next turn of the crank will feature HDR and wcg these are fancy terms that mean really brilliant color.

Standard screens at 60

Most people want a 60 inch monitor. My biggest piece of advice is get as large a screen as possible with 4K the old rules are out the window. U can sit really really close now.

That being said the ju7100 looks like a good model in the midrange. The one small caveat is that the avoid the 49 inch m series. It has an ips and not a va panel.

Gaming monitors

The main news here is the move to 2.5k monitors with Hugh refresh rates at 27 inches. The acer we got is terrific and smooth. U need lots of power to drive it though. We have a pair of gtx 970.

The frontier is 4K gaming. Even the best graphics cards can’t really drive a 4k60 display though.

So if u can stand it is say wait for Nvidia pascal. It will double graphics performance which we really need. And I’m sure some one is working on high  refresh rate 4K monitors.