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Finally bought a 4K TV and confirmed it is indeed a waste of rendering resources

Dec 4, 2018
1,251
#1
After years of fence sitting I bought a great 65'' Samsung LED 4K HDR panel. My 1080p was too small for my tastes and it was time to go big or go home. And so I did.

After 4 hours of professional calibration it was time to enter the new ave. Movies look drop dead gorgeous, with lots of clarity. Mind you, the effect was nowhere near as revelatory as sdtv->1080p, but it was good enough.

But when time came to plug in my beloved PS4 Pro, I couldn't be more dissapointed, and worse, worried at the implications of the industry sudden affair with 4K.

Simply put it. Games look certainly /clearer/ but they don't look /better/.

And so it dawned on me. I know even the almighty X can't manage to reach native 4K most of the time, and that's with games being targeted at a really weak console (The S). The X meanwhile was a $500 console. And while the added resolution is nice, there is no room to add more graphical effects that put the games closer to real life at all.

What dawned on me is that next gen, with consoles probably targeting native 4K, we're not getting the generational leap we could have had if devs had stayed on 1080p or the much more healthy middle of 1440p. The jump in power previously used to advance lighting, polygons and calculations are now being used to stretch the image with negligible difference in "realism".

And you know what's that? Because real life doesn't need resolution. You can watch a football match on a 240p portable bLack and white TV and it will certainly look more realistic to you than Star Citizen at 16K ever will.

So it is of my opinion that devs should focus more on creating new rendering techniques to advance the content of the images instead of the images instead. But given that is gonna most certainly not gonna be the case, we'll be advancing at turtle speed now with consoles being judged on their ability to reach such a high resolution so that the badly lit rock texture can be a bit noisier.

Before you ask me, I tried every high profile game you can name (GoW, Horizon, Spiderman, SOTC, AC Origins, RDR2, RE7) and it was always the same. HDR /is/ pretty great but it being tied to 4K is a commercial, not technical decision.

So yeah, it's a shame we're losing current and future power and tech advancements to sell TVs instead of advancing as a medium.

Edit: a well though simplification of the argument by a very analytical poster.

But while people are ascribing straw-man arguments to OP ("Resolution doesn't matter at all so 240p is fine OP?" (admittedly partially due to OP's somewhat poor 240p example to illustrate the principle of effects vs resolution)), what he's actually saying is very specific to our current hardware and the current resolution standard jump from 1080p to 4k.

He's simply saying that the effects that could be pushed out with 4x the power would make a much larger difference than the difference you see in the jump from 1080p to 4k.

He's not saying there's no difference.

He's not saying there's no significant difference.

He's saying it's not as big as a difference as if that horsepower were pumped into effects.

It's a very simple argument, and one that's kind of difficult to argue against.

Now, you could say that effects are experiencing the sorts of diminishing returns that resolution is--for example, a lot of people are seeing RTX as a pretty underwhelming upgrade to lighting for the cost of a lot of horsepower. And that's an argument worth having.

But that's not the argument people are having in this thread. "4k is an upgrade, OP!" Yeah, it is. The question is whether that horsepower couldn't be better spent elsewhere.
 
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
4,979
#4
I definitely disagree, 4K or even 1440p is a significant improvement for me on a 65” more so than for movies. Going back to 1080p games they look so much worse and more jagged in comparison.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,888
Toronto
#5
Can't relate to this at all. The first time I saw a 1440p monitor in person - let alone a 4k panel - it was an immidiate "oh, yeah, this is a big deal" moment for me.
 
Aug 29, 2018
49
#8
Wait a few weeks and then play some games at 1080p. That's the moment when you realize how important is to play at 4K.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,992
#9
I used to think the same, then I got glasses and it's pretty day and night. My 4k TV made me notice I had a slight eye problem hahaha
 
Oct 27, 2017
716
England
#14
After years of fence sitting I bought a great 65'' Samsung LED 4K HDR panel. My 1080p was too small for my tastes and it was time to go big or go home. And so I did.

After 4 hours of professional calibration it was time to enter the new ave. Movies look drop dead gorgeous, with lots of clarity. Mind you, the effect was nowhere near as revelatory as sdtv->1080p, but it was good enough.

But when time came to plug in my beloved PS4 Pro, I couldn't be more dissapointed, and worse, worried at the implications of the industry sudden affair with 4K.

Simply put it. Games look certainly /clearer/ but they don't look /better/.

And so it dawned on me. I know even the almighty X can't manage to reach native 4K most of the time, and that's with games being targeted at a really weak console (The S). The X meanwhile was a $500 console. And while the added resolution is nice, there is no room to add more graphical effects that put the games closer to real life at all.

What dawned on me is that next gen, with consoles probably targeting native 4K, we're not getting the generational leap we could have had if devs had stayed on 1080p or the much more healthy middle of 1440p. The jump in power previously used to advance lighting, polygons and calculations are now being used to stretch the image with negligible difference in "realism".

And you know what's that? Because real life doesn't need resolution. You can watch a football match on a 240p portable bLack and white TV and it will certainly look more realistic to you than Star Citizen at 16K ever will.

So it is of my opinion that devs should focus more on creating new rendering techniques to advance the content of the images instead of the images instead. But given that is gonna most certainly not gonna be the case, we'll be advancing at turtle speed now with consoles being judged on their ability to reach such a high resolution so that the badly lit rock texture can be a bit noisier.

Before you ask me, I tried every high profile game you can name (GoW, Horizon, Spiderman, SOTC, AC Origins, RDR2, RE7) and it was always the same. HDR /is/ pretty great but it being tied to 4K is a commercial, not technical decision.

So yeah, it's a shame we're losing current and future power and tech advancements to sell TVs instead of advancing as a medium.
I'm surprised you aren't more impressed. The difference of horizon on my old 1080p set and my Sony oled was jaw dropping.

Also with regards to your last bit there are actually a good number of 1080p TV's with HDR.
 

LiK

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,565
#15
Huh, play RDR2 on X1X (native 4K) and it's insane how good it looks.

I don't agree at all, you can totally see the difference with the titles you mentioned.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
#18
Resolution has always been the constant for decades for allowing better rendering, from the days of 260p games now to 2160p you are pushing more pixels and therefore a better image. It is simple.

Just go ahead and play an older game you used to play at 480p and then run it at 2160p and it allows for drastic image quality increases while not having to actually change anything in the game.

In the end, for those who say things like OP about 4K, HDR, etc. it is a waste for you, a waste of money to buy these items if your standards for image quality are low or if you just don't care or see the difference.

Also, you just tested gaming with a PS4 Pro? That is a first mistake, also the X can easily do 4K native games, it is usually developers not doing enough to take advantage. If Red Dead Redemption 2 can run at native 4K then most other games really need to explain themselves why they cannot.
 
Oct 28, 2017
283
#19
I got a 55" and I'm really happy to watch 4k HDR content. Unfortunately there's no hardware that can do proper 4K/60fps yet...but I know I just have to wait.
 
Oct 29, 2017
833
#21
And you know what's that? Because real life doesn't need resolution. You can watch a football match on a 240p portable bLack and white TV and it will certainly look more realistic to you than Star Citizen at 16K ever will.
Real life does need resolution, hence the abundance of people wearing some kind of vision correction. 4K games look fantastic compared to their 1080p counterparts for this very reason.
 
Dec 1, 2017
29
#22
If Horizon Zero Dawn jump from 1080p to 4k CB + HDR didn't wow you then you either need your eyes checked or your TV sucks.

What model did you get?
 
Oct 25, 2017
462
#24
You don’t even have a 4k console. Try playing RE4 on pc in 4k or any other game.. You didn’t even play 1 4k game...
 
Oct 25, 2017
922
#25
While I agree with the fact that I love having all the bells and whistles working, end of the day 1440p>1080p

...unless like, you're sacrificng EVERYTHING

He probably prefers the effects over the resolution, so it's understandable at the least.
 
OP
OP
Baccus
Dec 4, 2018
1,251
#29
Huh, play RDR2 on X1X (native 4K) and it's insane how good it looks.

I don't agree at all, you can totally see the difference with the titles you mentioned.
There /is/ a difference, in that everything is clearer. I can see that.

But when I read that these beast machines are struggling to get up there and knowing how much power is needed to /just/ up the resolution I weep inside, for staying at 1080 or 1440p would allow devs go deeper into the simulation.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,857
#30
IMO when you're ready to make the jump, you gotta do it the right way: OLED.

The blacks are more of a game changer to me than 4K or HDR.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,356
#31
I agree that the jump from 1080p to 4k isn't as impressive as the jump from 720 to 1080, but I think it's still a pretty notable difference. I do think HDR is a bigger change in image quality than resolution, typically speaking, and I still believe that framerate is absolutely the most important part of making an image pleasing to look at, and for that reason I'll always opt for 1440p 120hz or 141hz with variable refresh rate over 4k 60 hz. Motion clarity is absolutely a part of image quality, and a smooth image is the top of the mountain for me and my priorities.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13
#34
How far away from the TV are you sitting? At certain distances, given the size of your TV, the difference between 1080p and 4k is hard to notice.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,813
#34
You bought a LED tv and not a OLED there your problem good sir, but to each his own but seriously my jump to 4K OLED HDR makes is so worth it insane how good it looks.
Some better blacks are not worth the easy image burn in that plagues OLED so far, which is even more important since we are taking videogames here.

Also OLEDs still need some work when it comes to brightness.

This idea that OLED are superior and LED is old tech and should be replaced is antiquated.
 
Oct 25, 2017
23,123
#35
I have a 1440p monitor, 4k HDR monitor and 4k HDR tv.

Whilst the choice is nice, I won't lie, I usually game @ 1440p since the graphics difference really isn't that big for the performance hit it causes.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,343
#36
This is why PC gamers chose 1440p instead of chasing the 4k marketing buzzword. Better frame rates, higher refresh rates, better image quality instead of sacrificing everything to hit a really high resolution target.

The fact consoles have to use checkerboarding which turns the image into a blurfest every time you move the camera should be enough evidence of how misguided the race to 4k was.
 

ΑGITΩ

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
288
#37
What model TV is it? This always plays a factor on the panel amd even compatible HDMI ports. I went from a 1080p to a un55hu7250, and thats a 2014 pre HDR era 4k and it wasnt that notoceable of a difference, then a couple years back i upgraded to a 65A1E 4K oled HDR, made a world of difference. Not only is the dofference noticeable but even my friends have to make comments.
 

Windrunner

Restless Dreams
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
3,357
#39
Even 1440p looks like a massive step up from 1080p. Sorry OP, you've got something wrong somewhere down the AV chain.
 
Oct 27, 2017
255
#41
Agree with OP, my 1080p OLED looks better than anyone's "4K" set I've seen, and my issues with game visuals are not resolution, they're artifacts like uncanny valley human faces and bad LOD pop. More pixels won't fix either of those things.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,238
Amsterdam
#43
I agree with you. I'm playing Spiderman on a base ps4 on a 4k tv and it looks good enough to me. I wish next gen systems would target 1080p 60fps with raytracing rather than 4k.
 
Oct 25, 2017
457
Russian Federation
#44
Preach, OP.

It’s just a cheap way to market new hardware for manufacturers since it costs nothing in assets budget(if they have HQ textures already) to resize framebuffers.
Since resolution doesn’t matter let’s play all games at 240p
It matters to a certain point. 1080-1440p with good AA is more than enough even for big screens.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,481
NYC
#45
OP how far do you sit from your TV? Also, did you noticed the jump from 720p to 1080p? Are you really saying that if you go to Youtube on this new TV...then find a video that has a 4K option...play it first in 1080, then 4K...do you still not see a difference? Because it sounds like you haven't compared them.

It didn't blow me away at first, but then I went to my friend's place and saw is TV looked uglier than usual LOL...

Also, try playing old games/old content below 720p, as those tend to look particularly bad, with jaggies and such standing out more than they did in HD.
 
Oct 27, 2017
176
#46
I'm highly disappointed with 4k, 720p to 1080p was a far larger difference in my opinion. 4K looks more crisp for sure but not that huge of a difference to me.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,356
#47
I used to think the same, then I got glasses and it's pretty day and night. My 4k TV made me notice I had a slight eye problem hahaha
This is actually a real thing and I can attest to it, not personally but anecdotally. My wife has terrible vision, but neither she nor I ever really knew just how bad it was. Then one day, she was playing a game on PC on our 1440 p monitor, and I noticed the image looked absolutely awful, but she didn't seem to mind. She hates going in to options menus and tinkering mind you, so I offered to do so for her and fix up the image, as we've certainly got the hardware for her play at a higher resolution and settings should she wish to. I get into the settings and realize that my wife was playing the game at the default resolution of 720p and low settings! I turn the resolution up to 1440p and max out all the settings and the frame rate still remained above 120, and she went about continuing to play. I asked a little while later if she was enjoying it a little more with the improved settings, and she said she honestly couldn't notice any difference, which made me realize that my wife had a very serious vision issue. We went to an optometrist and found that her vision was predictably terrible, and we're now trying to save up some money for her to get Laser surgery for her vision as she's wanting to join the Air Force now and they won't take her with her eyes as they are.
Long story short, if you can't tell the difference between low resolutions and high, seriously see an optometrist as you may need a prescription of some type.
 
Oct 27, 2017
549
#48
I'm with you OP. I'd much prefer games at 1440p or 1080p at 60fps, over struggling to hit 4K30 just for marketing and buzzwords.

I say this as someone with an LG B6, I play most of my PC games at 3200x1800 or 2560x1440 to hit 60fps.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,693
Los Angeles, CA
#49
Owner of an LG OLED and I couldn't agree more. Obviously the best source material, rendered/encoded at 2160p, will look incredible, but the vast majority of content simply doesn't live up to that standard. I would absolutely take 1080p/60 with max settings over 4K/30 any day.
 
OP
OP
Baccus
Dec 4, 2018
1,251
#50
That is a first mistake, also the X can easily do 4K native games, it is usually developers not doing enough to take advantage. If Red Dead Redemption 2 can run at native 4K then most other games really need to explain themselves why they cannot.
SOTC is native 4K and one of the best looking games around. Maybe only RDR2 is an overall better showcase across all console gaming.
What model TV is it
Samsung Nu7100. Great TV, I'm very happy and it looks great after calibration. And yes I'm wearing my glasses lol.

...

I'm not saying there is no difference, I can see the difference, but is it worth it over more complex scenes or advanced lighting models? I don't think so.

Base consoles next gen should be capped at 1440p.