Tempted by Technology

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Tom Bombadil, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    I am tempted to purchase a nice, new 4K Blu-ray player, like an Oppo UDP-203. I am attracted by all of the advanced technology in it. The great picture it throws up. And even the very solid audio performance. Or perhaps even a UDP-205 with its great audio. Although I don't think it is much better, if at all, on standard Redbook CDs as compared to my present gear, and most of my CD collection is standard Redbook.

    However I own no 4K Blu-ray discs and have no plans to purchase any. I'd love to see some of my favorite movies in that format, and I have a nice 4K TV, but no so much that I would spend $20-$30 to buy any of them. I have most on DVD and while that is decided inferior, it is still good enough to enjoy a movie. If 4K BR movies were $7-$8 each, I'd dive in. I do watch a fair amount of streaming 4K content.

    Anyone else tempted by technology even though they wouldn't take much advantage of it?
     
  2. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    Not really.

    I did buy an LCD TV before anybody I knew had one. It died (technology was not mature enough at that time). The replacement has been w/ me for 7 years now.

    Bought a Sony Blue Ray player some years ago ... used mostly for rentals. I did buy 2 or 3 Blue Rays but never replaced the Sony player when it died. Been using a CA Universal DVD player
    since then.

    2.1 channel stereo is my preference. Never been much into home theater. My current stereo sounds better than any audio rig I have ever owned in my life ... so I'm good :music:
    I should be tempted by the new tech ... just not.
     
    rxonmymind likes this.
  3. HTWillie

    HTWillie Well-Known Member

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    Another "not really" here. Since DVD, video for me has been good enough. As long as the screen is big enough and the picture is clear, I'm happy. I've just never been on the quest to find video so-good-it's-practically-real. Whatever I'm watching, the realness or the vividness of the picture isn't a factor into how much or little I enjoy the content.

    Visually, there's always enough cues on screen to understand what's going on, but if the sound, especially the dialogue suffers, there's little point in watching.
     
  4. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    For me DVD quality is not good enough. I see vast differences between DVDs and 4K streaming & Ultra HD Blu-ray. After all, that's 345K resolution vs 8.3M. That's over 24:1. As standard Blu-ray players (2M) are very inexpensive, taking that step is painless. Heck, I've seen BR players at consignment stores for $10. I pay Netflix an extra $4/mo to get 4K streaming. To me the higher video quality does add enjoyment to viewing. This is why I did pop for a 4K Roku and the higher quality Netflix feed.

    I watched the movie 2010 the other day, off of a DVD. The image quality was quite poor. Too bad for a movie for which the special effects are a major feature.

    But this was not the intent of my post, to debate DVD vs 4K, but rather to discuss the temptation of advanced technology. One area where I am not tempted is 7.2 or 9.2 HT audio. I once had a 7.1 setup, but after a move, I reduced this all the way to 2.1. I have a 7.2 pre/processor, 7 channels of amplification, powered subwoofers and a sufficient number of speakers. But the multi-channel listening experience just didn't do much for me. I have a fantastic pair of stereo speakers and they are enough to make me happy.
     
  5. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    It all depends on the parameters of the display. If a player has a great black level, good signal to noise, accurate color reproduction, then it all depends on the size of the screen and the viewing distance. I sit far enough away from the screen my eyes can't resolve the 1080P resolution of the unit. According to available charts I'm limited to about 720. right between 480 and 1080. I kept my DVD player and my Blu ray player . The HT processor up scales the 480 signal. So whether I play a DVD on the 480 player or the same movie in the blu ray format with the Bly ray player at my viewing distance the picture looks almost the same. If I sit closer I can see the edge detail on movie credits is better in the Bly ray for mat and the contrast and edge detail better.

    Now I will admit there should be improvements in other qualities between Bluray and dvd. And in most cases there are, but not enough to be seen on smaller screens. So unless you have a large high quality screen, seeing the difference between Blu ray and 4k might be marginal. As Displays get more sophisticated differences between 1080 and 4K become smaller. The reason I bought my Ellite plasma versus Panasonic and other brands was the units processing power. Grass on a football field when portrayed on the screen with a panning camera was much more accurate with the Ellite display. I was watching some screens at Best Buy the other day displaying a NFL football game. Most of them were inferior to my 1080P even though they were 4K units. So as always, buyer beware. My black levels may not match the new sets, but the processing is better and the colors more natural and the grey scale is better.

    Its like early CD disc. Some of the performances were better on CD some were better on LP. It took time for the technology of digital recording could match the artistry of an analog recording. Don't worry to much. 8K is coming making all 4 k obsolete. Then all your source of programming will be by streaming. You don't see TV stations upgrading to 4K, they know 8K is around the corner, and they are still recovering from converting to HD.

    I can remember most Laser discs back in the 80's cost more than $24.00. That's over $36.00 today. I recently replaced all 400 of my Laser discs with DVD and Blu-ray where available at an average price less than $9.24. good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  6. ev13wt

    ev13wt Super Member

    ^^ What he said.

    4K IS cool stuff. Up close. But, as in audio, you need the content and there is only so much of it out there. If you have a screen < 55" and you sit further than 4 feet away - its not much of a difference. In a DBT... :) Certainly not worth the money they are asking.

    OLED. True blacks, because the LEDs are OFF. Check out the totl OLED LG lineup. I own the 55" 1080 - the difference to my old non LED TFT is... Like auratones compared to Genelecs - no joke.

    I will buy a 4K when the 8K come out and everyone has actual native 4K content - streamable.

    A movie on BR compared to the movie from, lets say Netfilx ... A joke. Its a Flac/CD vs. 128 MP3 As always: source matters. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  7. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Genelecs are forensic studio monitors, the Auratones are there for real world to sound like average lower end consumer systems. Big difference here.
     
  8. mmickk

    mmickk Active Member

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    I was also looking at the Oppo though I don't have any 4K display equipment, and no plans to upgrade soon. I was mostly looking at it for the ability to play lossless music on my main system. I had decided for now that it wasn't worth the cost. Still watching Blu-Ray through a Sony PS3.
     
  9. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    "I can remember most Laser discs back in the 80's cost more than $24.00. That's over $36.00 today. I recently replaced all 400 of my Laser discs with DVD and Blu-ray where available at an average price less than $9.24. good luck."

    Actually $24 in 1985 is $55.69 in today's dollars. I still have about 50 LDs. That looked like such high quality in the 80s, now terrible.

    I enjoy watching good movies, with great image quality. However there aren't that many movies which I watch twice. Paying $25 for a movie to watch it once on a small screen doesn't make much sense.

    Netflix 4K isn't bad. I pay extra for their 4K service and have both my Roku and TV hardwired into my router. I cast some material directly to my TV, again via hardwired connections. No wireless anywhere in my setup. Certainly Netflix 4K is much, much better than DVD quality. The bit rate for Netflix UHD is over twice that for their standard service set to High quality.

    I suppose once 4K B-R players are dirt cheap at $100 each, I'll pick one up on a whim. Just like I purchased a 4K Roku.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  10. WobblySam

    WobblySam Active Member

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    Agreed, the 4k streaming looks better than DVD, at least now it does with HVEC. The 4k streaming I saw a couple of years ago was like cheap coke - it had been stepped on so many times there was just enough left to turn on the 4k indicator. I guess you have a pretty fat pipe for your internet. I can't do 4k streaming at home - just not enough bandwidth to make it worthwhile. Then again my 4k TV is a MOR model I bought late last year. With ATSC 3.0 coming (and I do watch OTA TV), it didn't make sense to spend that much on a high-end display.

    I do still watch some of my LDs, especially my Criterion discs. They look a whole better if you use a quality scaler to connect to HDMI rather than to the composite inputs on newer TVs. Like you, I won't be buying a bunch of UHD BluRay titles, if any. But to your original question about the lure of all the tech goodies in some of the new players, I took a small plunge - not a UHD plunge, but a recent model Sony with upscaling. The audio is quite good and the ability to hang a USB SSD off it has been a lot of fun. Some of these newer players are so crammed with stuff, it's hard not to be tempted.

    I'm jealous you have the pipe for streaming, I bet that's a nice convenience. Enjoy.
     
  11. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    Those resolution charts are valuable and interesting, but they are for people with 20/20 vision. My corrected vision is 20/10, so I can discern differences at up to twice the distance as someone with normal vision. This has been both a blessing and a curse.
     
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  12. Old Guy8

    Old Guy8 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've had a Panisonic Blueray player but never bought any BR discs, until.
    Aquired a Marantz BD8002 for CD's from an AK member. Tried a Lawrance of Arabia Blueray in it. Stunning, without color being overdone.
    Blueray with a good source disc looks great. Is 4k noticably better?
     
  13. ev13wt

    ev13wt Super Member

    Not with a blue ray. :)

    Of course, in the end, a good OLED panel in 4K is best in class. I appreciate it for what it is.

    How much 4K content do you have?
    Can you tell the difference in resolution from the seating position?

    I saved almost a grand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  14. Superampman

    Superampman AK Member Subscriber

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    I have a new UDP 205 which I use exclusively for 2ch. I just installed oppomod.com's new LPM upgrade kit. This replaces my BDP95, 5 years old. I didn't bother with the 105 because there was not much difference according to user feed back. The 95 replaced a totl Rotel dedicated HDCD cdp. Very little difference. Then the 205 came along and I thought it's about time. The difference was remarkable but the oppomod upgrade puts it on a different level. This thing is awesome imo. Just beautiful music. Extremely transparent. Could I get a dedicated cdp this good for what I payed? I'm skeptical. It has the latest of what's available. And I have the rest of the features when I want them. But rest assured you will be impressed by sq, especially with the upgrade which takes a philips screw driver and about an hour.
     
  15. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    Thanks for the review Superampman. Hadn't heard of that particular mod.
     
  16. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

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    Depends upon a lot of factors. Size of your TV, distance you sit from it, quality of your TV, your eyesight, and quality of the source material. In some cases the difference is pretty minimal.
     
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