Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Almost a quiet day

Whilst Jan attended to the housework boatwork I walked into Market Drayton to buy her weekly magazines and a couple of punnets of blueberries that she likes on her breakfast cereal.  I know… I’m all heart…. just like a cabbage!

I heard Jan squeal in the bathroom this morning when washing her face with the cold water.  My guess is it was a two finger wash (one for each eye).  I’m very sympathetic calling out “Toughen up princess!”   Of course I always ensure there is at least one door and 20 feet between us when offering this type of advice.

It was a relatively short cruise from Market Drayton to the visitor moorings above Lock 3 on the Audlem Flight.  It was dry but a little chilly and autumn is obviously here.

We passed nb Piston Broke and immediately thought of previous owners Paul & Lynne. Paul always had the boat looking immaculate but that’s obviously not possible when you don’t live on or near it.

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You couldn’t describe them as gongoozlers because the girls crossing the bridge over the canal would only briefly lift their heads and give us a glance before dawdling on.  Jan was actually attempting to photograph one of them staring at us but she wouldn’t oblige.

P1030413There have been far more boats on the move today with almost half of them hire boats.  It’s halfway through their hire period which probably explains why we’re seeing so many of them.

We have decided to go down the flight tomorrow and may have lunch in Audlem.  Rather than waste the afternoon I gave all the gloss varnished timber a second coat so that’s another job completed.  Although it was dry, I decided not to do any exterior painting as the wind would likely result in leaves, etc ending up on the wet paint.  We need a still day.

More TV Thoughts

If you have been following the blog for the last year you might remember I wrote about 4K TV’s last December <here>.  At that time I mentioned it was rather pointless buying a 4K TV unless you had a large room and were intending on purchasing a big (65+ inch) TV.  I’ve been doing further research into TV’s and discovered there have been further advances in TV technology.  The problem is sorting out manufacturer hype from technical fact. The resolution standard has increased from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) to ultra high definition (UHD).  The latter is also known as 4K. 

Just to cloud the issue there is now HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Dolby Vision.  These technologies enable a TV to display a wider and richer range of colours that can make the picture look almost real.  There is no direct link between 4K and HDR.  Almost all manufacturers are now making 4K TV’s so it’s virtually impossible to find a high definition TV with HDR.  The problem is  until recently there was no agreed HDR standard for TV’s.  This has now changed and the majority of manufacturers have agreed to a HDR standard.  TV’s that meet this standard are labelled Premium UHD

It’s important  that you try and separate the manufacturers jargon (marketing spin) from the ‘standards’.

A couple of examples:  Samsung have S-UHD TV’s.   It’s actually meaningless.  They are just UHD (4K) capable TV’s that don’t comply with the HDR standard. Hisense have labelled some of their models uLED or Ultra LED.  Again it’s meaningless marketing jargon.

Just because a TV is UHD (4K) HDR capable doesn’t mean it meets the Premium UHD standard.  Television light output is measured in nits which is a measure of luminance.  The nit standard for non OLED TV’s (ie, LED/LCD screens) is a brightness more than 1,000 nits with a black level of less than 0.05 nits.  OLED screen technology is different so that standard is for peak brightness to be 540 nits with a black level of less than 0.0005 nits.  Hisense produce 4K HDR LED TV’s that have a maximum nit rating of 400.  So whilst they are 4K (UHD) HDR they are NOT Premium UHD.

Selecting a TV that complies with the Premium UHD standard doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better picture.  Some manufacturers have opted not to follow the standard and still produce good TV’s.  Moreover, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so selecting a TV is an individual choice.

One final consideration. Upscaling.  It’s no good having this really great Premium UHD TV if it makes a really bad job of displaying all your old DVD’s.  Do you really want to replace your library with new 4K disks.  Of course the manufacturers would love you to do this.  However when considering a replacement TV you need to look at how well it “upscales” your existing recordings.  Some TV’s do this better than others. 

TV manufacturers usually supply retailers with demonstration videos that highlight the advantages of the TV’s characteristics whilst minimizing the disadvantages.  For example:  OLED TV screens show excellent blacks and the demo video will be mostly black.  Some screens are excellent with fast motion and the demo will show sport, etc.  What I will do is copy shorts segments of VHS, SD, DVD, and BluRay video from our library onto a USB stick and take it to the shop where I will ask them to play it on TV’s I think are worth purchasing.  That way I’ll be able to see what our upscaled videos will look like. 

Oh, the manufacturers are now starting to produce 8K televisions!

4 comments :

Halfie said...

What do "4k" and "8k" stand for? 4000 and 8000 what? Is it the number of pixels in one horizontal line?

Tom and Jan said...

Almost there Halfie
TV screen resolution is measured in pixels (dots) with a horizontal and vertical dimension. So you get

HD (1280 × 720 progressive scan)
Full HDi (1920 × 1080 split into two interlaced fields of 540 lines)
Full HD (1920 × 1080 progressive scan)
Ultra-high-definition television (UHDTV):
4K UHD (3840 × 2160 progressive scan)
8K UHD (7680 × 4320 progressive scan)
16K UHD (15360 × 8640 progressive scan)

4K is not 4000 pixels. It is four times HD.

Halfie said...

But 3840 is three times 1280, not four. By your reckoning shouldn't it be "3K"?

Tom and Jan said...

Halfie

According to George Osborne 4 x 1080p = 3840 :-)