Viewing 4k files on 4k displays

Started May 29, 2014 | Discussions thread
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jkoch2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,198
Viewing 4k files on 4k displays

To date, it appears that most people who test 4k video files view them at either:

  1. 1920x1080 resolution on a 1920x1080 display.
  2. On a (relatively small) "retina" display, without being sure whether the OS really supports 4k or whether the video undergoes a downscaling and partial upscaling.

On the other hand, there is a larger body of people, without any interest in cameras or shooting video, who have purchased 4k UHDTVs, who apply their devices as follows:

  1. Stream existing commercial video sources, sometimes at only 640x480 resolution @ 8mbps or lower, or maybe upscaled to crypto 4k, but never native 4k seen at real 4k, except for a few buyers of expensive add-on devices with limited offerings.
  2. Stream video exported from computers whose graphics cards and operating systems may not support real 4k. The adjustments or upgrades necessary to overcome this barrier aren't worth the owners' time or money so long as actual 4k content is scarce.
  3. Return to the retailer or resale on eBay.

Last week, I tried playing mpeg4 and MOV files from a GH4 on a 65" Toshiba L9300U and learned the following:

  1. The UHDTV's won't play 4k files in either format via the on-board SDXC slot. The outcome is no different if I edit the files in PowerDirector 12 and test files rendered at lower bitrates.
  2. A Toshiba Qosmio 17.3" X875-Q7390 notebook, with Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor, and NVIDIA GXT 670M video card will play and edit the 4k files, but to convey them to the UHDTV display at 4k resolultion by the HDMI port is no easy matter.  Manually, via the NVIDIA control panel, one can designate the UHDTV as the monitor and designate a customized resolution at 3840x2160 resolution, and 30fps, but the UHDTV crops the image and it's unclear whether one is seeing 4k or a (Windows constrained) 1920x1080 image upscaled to 4k.  The onboard options display of settings or actual stream resolution for  of the TV are almost non-existent, or perhaps require software available only to servicing representatives.
  3. Addition of HDMI 2.0 firmware is irrelevant to the issue.
  4. Technical support from the display or computer manufacturers on the topic is non-existent.  The "knowledge base" is a vacuum, the how-to videos are mute, the phone support clue-less, and the support email address issues no acknowledgment of queries sent.
  5. User / owner feedback us no help since the overlap between 4k camera and UHDTV owners is very wee at this juncture, and the tiny fringe's opinions may be more euphoric than sober.

It would be nice to think that Sony or Panasonic are more motivated to supply plug-ins or add-ons to owners of Panasonic Viera or Sony Bravia 4k TVs enjoy better support of output from the firm's respective 4k cameras.  But can anyone attest to this?  Vice versa, will one brand's 4k XAVC-S or MP4/MOV files play on the other brand's UHDTV?  Are hardward add-ons required in any event?

I vaguely suspect that small third party makers of hard drive players will devise <$300 solutions to this issue, plus HEVC encoding and decoding, long before the big firms that make the cameras, computers, or displays.

Olympus FE-360 (C-570 / X-875) Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Samsung i7
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