4K HDR. Is it worth the investment?

I recently purchased a 4K 10bit HDR Monitor, the Acer ET430K, and without a doubt it’s lovely in 4K. But this week saw a much needed update to VideoLan (VLC), it now finally supports 4K and 8K hardware playback, something severely lacking, and it also supports HDR too.

When I bought the monitor I also dropped ┬ú50 on a new BDXL drive (Asus BW-16D1HT), this will let me rip UHD movies to my WD EX4100 and play them back anywhere. I was initially surprised by the file size, they’re big, but only twice the size of a bluray at 1080p, yet they contain  four times the resolution, 10 bit colour (instead of 8 bit) and for the most part improved audio with more channels and higher resolution.

So I went to my local CEX and bought some UHD movies, The Hateful Eight, The Martian, Logan, and Alien Covenant, and after watching them initially in 4K SDR or 8bit colour I was a little unimpressed, but I was using MPC-HC to play them back, MPC-HC has hardware playback but no support for HDR, and at the time VLC didn’t. My initial misgivings were found-less, once VLC 3.0 launched I immediately saw the difference that HDR gives. I will say that 4K is very nice, but to be honest, it’s the difference with HDR that you’ll immediately notice. And all I can say is WOW. It’s HDR that will sell more TV’s and monitors than 4K alone.

Here are some screenshots from these films, sadly you really won’t be able to enjoy them as they are… you’ll need a 4K HDR screen.

What is HDR? Basically HDR (High Dynamic Range) means richer colours, more contrast and brightness this gives a scene better definition without losing details like increasing brightness and contrast will. It’s one thing that’s hard to quantify, but once you’ve seen it you’ll know it.

So does 4K 10bit HDR make a real difference… OH HELL YES it does. Be warned though, there are many 4K 8bit HDR screens out there, and they use software to push this to 10bit, they are severely lacking, they cannot and never will render 10bit properly. So be warned… don’t be duped into buying an 8bit screen, insist on HDMI 2.0 (this meets the bandwidth requirements of 4K HDR @ 50hz) and you should be ok, though always check with the internet before buying.

So is it worth the investment? For gaming on the PS4 and PC, yes it’s worth the entry fee alone. As for movies? HELL YES.

Another thing to consider, if you don’t use the TV’s built-in tuner or smart services then why bother with a TV, get a monitor instead. Monitors don’t have this stuff and as a result you should get a better image from it than a similar priced TV.

2018 The best year ever for gaming?

There’s a shed load of new style survival games coming this year, not the usual find, craft, survive type games. More like The Last of Us but massively improved and updated.

First one: Death Stranding

Based on this video, I’m putting this on the top of my list right now.

 

 

And of course: The Last of Us 2

This needs no introduction at all, after all I’ve put in hundreds of hours in the single player and even more in the multiplayer. How much have you played it?

Lastly Days Gone

2018 is shaping up to be an awesome year for survival games.

Gran Turismo Sport Beta Test

If you have a Playstation 4 and some time to play a beta test, then give GT6 Sport a try ­čÖé

If you’d like to take part in the Closed BETA Test and work with the development team as they create Gran Turismo Sport, please click on the link at the bottom of this page and fill in the application form. (You will need to agree to certain terms of use in order to take part.)

http://www.gran-turismo.com/gb/news/00_4079128.html

The latest information regarding the PlayStation®4-exclusive title Gran Turismo Sport, scheduled for release in 2017, has been released during the PlayStation Experience show held in Anaheim, California.

The video trailer gives you a glimpse of the next generation visuals with features such as HDR, VR and wide colour space. You can also find screenshots showing the new ‘Willow Springs International Raceway: Horse Thief Mile’ track together with new cars, appearing for the first time in the series.

Admittedly Gran Turismo isn’t my favourite racer, that’s is saved for the brilliant DriveClub, but I do think GT games are definitely the most beautiful racers.