If you're in the market for a large screen TV...
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    If you're in the market for a large screen TV...

    Right now, Sony has some good price drops on a couple of their well-appointed, 4K televisions.

    For the 2017 model year, they have a couple of TV 'families' that are really nice. The 800E and 900E models offer a lot of excellent features and excellent picture quality while not literally requiring a second mortgage on your home to buy. They have also instituted some price drops that make these particular sets really good values for what you get.

    The 800E family offers 4K, HDR, Edge lit LED with Frame Dimming and Sony's Tri-Luminous Display processing. The picture quality on these sets is really nice - I have one.

    The 900E family offers everything that the 800E family has except that it's a direct lit FALD set (Full Array, Local Dimming) which gives the best backlighting and overall PQ. It also has the X1 processor (which means it -may- qualify to get the Dolby Vision update). Picture quality on these sets is excellent - I have one.


    Current pricing on the 55" model in both families makes them excellent overall values with the 800E being $800 and the 900E being $1000.

    While these prices will be a bit shocking to some, and understandably so, they are some of the best prices I've seen on sets with really high quality 4K / HDR panels. And if you want a much larger screen, the 65" or 75" 900E would give my 940D a run for the money, and their prices are considerably less than I paid for the 940D.

    Anyway... If you're in the market for a really nice TV that's a bit on the larger side, check out these 55" models before Sony pulls the sale prices.
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    Since the edit function doesn't appear to be working, I'll add here:

    XBR55X800E and XBR55X900E are the model numbers of the 55" sets if anyone is interested in looking them up.

    The 800E family has a 43", 49", and 55" model.
    The 900E family has a 49", 55", 65", and 75" model.

    The two numbers after the XBR denote the screen size. Change them out as you see fit to see if one of these sets is to your liking.

    Anyone who knows me knows that I don't like to come out and make recommendations like this. I'm always concerned that someone might have a bad experience and it will fall back on me. But, I really like these sets.

    Also, if you're one who believes in extended warranties, but the SquareTrade Warranty on any of these sets from Costco. You do NOT need to purchase the set from Costco, you get a three ADDITIONAL year warranty, and the price is better than anywhere else you can buy it. I believe the most expensive warranty is $89 and it applies to sets over $1000 in price.
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    Iíve been passively watching the progress with these new TVs. Itís nice to see the newer technology come down in price quickly.

    But I still just donít understand all the hype with 4k since there is very little content the average person can get. The only thing I see is Netflix which has a very limited library and costs quite a bit more to get the 4k service.

    Iíve had my 50Ē 1080p Samsung for almost a year now and still am amazed with how great the picture is. Of course our TV room is small and we are sitting ~9í away. So until 4k content is main stream I just donít see any reason to upgrade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Iíve been passively watching the progress with these new TVs. Itís nice to see the newer technology come down in price quickly.

    But I still just donít understand all the hype with 4k since there is very little content the average person can get. The only thing I see is Netflix which has a very limited library and costs quite a bit more to get the 4k service.

    Iíve had my 50Ē 1080p Samsung for almost a year now and still am amazed with how great the picture is. Of course our TV room is small and we are sitting ~9í away. So until 4k content is main stream I just donít see any reason to upgrade.
    I was of the exact same viewpoint as you until about a year ago when my primary TV died. I replaced it with a Sony 4K w/ HDR.

    While 4K does not really "wow" you, here's what it DOES do: It allows you to sit closer to the TV (or have a larger screen viewed at the same distance) and not be looking at a pixelated picture.

    The "wow factor" in these TV's is in the HDR. Driving the panel with HDR content adds a lot of depth to the images and is actually impressive. Driving a quality 4K panel with BluRay (1080p) content can provide for some really nice viewing. I have Avatar on BluRay and there's much more detail that's now viewable and the colors have more "pop" to them.

    In the end, it's all about the quality of the original content. I have Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark on standard DVD. Playing it on this panel from my Sony UBP-X800 player (UHD, HDR capable) shows a REALLY nice picture with a lot of detail. I was actually quite surprised at just how good that particular disc looked even though it was mastered in 480i.
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    Quote Originally Posted by meburdick View Post
    I was of the exact same viewpoint as you until about a year ago when my primary TV died. I replaced it with a Sony 4K w/ HDR.

    While 4K does not really "wow" you, here's what it DOES do: It allows you to sit closer to the TV (or have a larger screen viewed at the same distance) and not be looking at a pixelated picture.

    The "wow factor" in these TV's is in the HDR. Driving the panel with HDR content adds a lot of depth to the images and is actually impressive. Driving a quality 4K panel with BluRay (1080p) content can provide for some really nice viewing. I have Avatar on BluRay and there's much more detail that's now viewable and the colors have more "pop" to them.

    In the end, it's all about the quality of the original content. I have Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark on standard DVD. Playing it on this panel from my Sony UBP-X800 player (UHD, HDR capable) shows a REALLY nice picture with a lot of detail. I was actually quite surprised at just how good that particular disc looked even though it was mastered in 480i.
    I know I may be missing out on some of what you are talking about. But 1080p on a 50Ē screen at our viewing distance seems to be a sweet spot. It just kind of makes sense to me since I am feeding the TV with 1080p content with Netflix at least. Still havenít figured out what Hulu and CBS All Access streams at.

    In a similar thread some time ago the subject of upsampling came up. From what I understand.....with a 4k TV fed with 1080p content the TV will upsample the feed to be viewed in 4k. With my experience with photography and digital editing, you always wanted to avoid upsampling because added artifacts would skew the image.

    Iíll have to do more resesearch the HDR part. I see that some TVís claim HDR and some HDR10. I donít know what any of that means but do understand it will give more depth to colors. But again - does my feed from from my Roku player account for this? Maybe the HDR/HDR10 part is all about the TV display itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    I know I may be missing out on some of what you are talking about. But 1080p on a 50Ē screen at our viewing distance seems to be a sweet spot. It just kind of makes sense to me since I am feeding the TV with 1080p content with Netflix at least. Still havenít figured out what Hulu and CBS All Access streams at.

    In a similar thread some time ago the subject of upsampling came up. From what I understand.....with a 4k TV fed with 1080p content the TV will upsample the feed to be viewed in 4k. With my experience with photography and digital editing, you always wanted to avoid upsampling because added artifacts would skew the image.

    Iíll have to do more resesearch the HDR part. I see that some TVís claim HDR and some HDR10. I donít know what any of that means but do understand it will give more depth to colors. But again - does my feed from from my Roku player account for this? Maybe the HDR/HDR10 part is all about the TV display itself.
    Upscaling is present in every television. Any panel is only capable of displaying at its native resolution.

    4K panels will require upscaling for everything that isn't 4K. 1080, 720, 480

    1080 panels can't handle 4K and require upscaling for 720 and 480.

    In a nutshell, when you drive a panel, the signal is either native or below native. Anything below native will be upscaled in the TV. If you happen to try and drive the panel with something -higher- than native, you get nothing. Some devices have excellent upscaling engines, some do not. Since all of my TV's use the same engine, and they are all excellent, I drive the panels with native resolutions and let the TV upscale anything that's sub-4K. For me, this results in the most consistent experience in terms of picture quality.

    Another reason to let a 4K TV do all the upscaling is because, like you said, you are introducing pixels that were not there originally. If you upscale in an external device (to 1080, let's say), the TV will still have to upscale to 4K. In this scenario, you're upscaling twice, and the second time degrades the picture an appreciable amount.

    4K streaming content is available from Netflix and Amazon. I don't believe Hulu has any 4K content, so it would be 1080 at best. CBS and NBC have 1080 content, so that would be the max stream quality. ABC and FOX are 720 (if you can believe that).

    I have an antenna and grab OTA HD content from CBS and NBC - PQ on the 4K panels is excellent. Part of this is because all of the transcoding that the providers do to get the signal into your house is absent. Colors are more vibrant and there's actually better overall definition to the pictures as well (the signal transcoding sacrifices a small amount of PQ for size).

    Something you could try: If you have any high quality 1080 content on disk, put a copy on a USB stick and take it with you to a store. Plug it in to the TV and watch the content on that TV.

    Avatar, The Martian, Passengers (2017), Beauty and the Beast (2017) - these have really good picture quality and would give you a reasonable idea of what a 4K panel can offer over an HD panel.
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    Forgot to mention...

    Your current 50" TV could become an immersive 65", 75" or even a little bigger with no perceptible drop in PQ from your viewing distance. I went from a 55" to a 75" and the picture is actually clearer.
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    As always I am enjoying our discussion - I love learning about this stuff.

    Your explanation of upscalling is great. But then I wonder how one would determine a TV with a good upscalling engine. Just by price?

    I understand what you are saying about TV size. Because of limitations in our TV room I could squeeze in a 55Ē but mo more. This is our ďsitting roomĒ which is mostly windows and big glass door.

    Your idea of taking a USB drive to the store is a great one. However I have no content on media. Also donít know what a Walmart employee would do if I tried that.

    The only place for me to view TVs on display is Walmart. But I donít really look as I know they pipe content through them on display that is meant to WOW you. Also viewing TVs under flourescent lighting is nothing near what it would look like in the home. So I rely on internet research and pick the brains of people like you.

    I will have to look at the Sony TVs you mentioned. I will admit that I have become a Samsung fan after this and my previous TVs. Once I get the dispaly settings like I want I find the quality just great. I now have a barebones 5000 series and was going to go with a 7000 series next. But I have tunnel vision now with Samsung. If nothing else you have prompted me to look at Sony also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    As always I am enjoying our discussion - I love learning about this stuff.

    Your explanation of upscalling is great. But then I wonder how one would determine a TV with a good upscalling engine. Just by price?

    I understand what you are saying about TV size. Because of limitations in our TV room I could squeeze in a 55Ē but mo more. This is our ďsitting roomĒ which is mostly windows and big glass door.

    Your idea of taking a USB drive to the store is a great one. However I have no content on media. Also donít know what a Walmart employee would do if I tried that.

    The only place for me to view TVs on display is Walmart. But I donít really look as I know they pipe content through them on display that is meant to WOW you. Also viewing TVs under flourescent lighting is nothing near what it would look like in the home. So I rely on internet research and pick the brains of people like you.

    I will have to look at the Sony TVs you mentioned. I will admit that I have become a Samsung fan after this and my previous TVs. Once I get the dispaly settings like I want I find the quality just great. I now have a barebones 5000 series and was going to go with a 7000 series next. But I have tunnel vision now with Samsung. If nothing else you have prompted me to look at Sony also.
    You definitely can't rate the upscaling capabilities by the price of the panel... Sony has some that are really good and some that are so-so. And they may have similar prices to each other. The upscaling engine in the 800E and 900E are very good. I have a 55" 800E that I watch ripped DVD's (480) on and the PQ is quite good. The rips are lossless, so they are as good as the original DVD. The only device that's "doing anything" with the content is the TV (I stream the files from an in-house media PC using Plex). The PQ is just as good as what I get from my 49" 900E and -almost- as good as what I get from my 75" 940D. This is how I know the upscaling in these sets are all very good.

    I have also watched this same content on a 49" Sharp 4K TV and saw similar resolution quality to the Sony's, so those sets (Best Buy only) seem to have very good engines as well even though the price is half that of the Sony 800E of the same size.

    With a lot of windows and such, you may find the 800E to have a slightly washed out look during the day because of the type of display panel it uses. The 900E might be better in that situation.

    I doubt a Walmart employee would do anything because they seem to never be around anyhow. The thing you would need them for would be to get your hands on the remote so you could launch the movie from the USB stick. As far as having media, I seem to recall from other threads that you do your fair share of tinkering with computers. Download a program called MakeMKV and use it to rip a BluRay that you own to disk. Then copy the movie file to the USB stick. I would -not- try this today, however, because the eval version of MakeMKV is actually not working. It will likely take the author a couple of days to update it so that it's working again (he includes a time-locked eval key with the download, and that key is currently expired).

    I agree that the viewing options in box stores can make it tough, especially if you're limited to only one retailer.

    I had a Samsung in my kitchen that I put there in 2011. It was a 40", HD, and I added a camera for Skype. It died on me at 14 months, but Samsung offered to replaced the main controller board under warranty (they sent a tech to my house). It continued to operate until April of this year when I got sick of the constant "Smart Hub" updates that would reboot my TV seemingly every other day. I took it down, sold it, moved over to Sony, and haven't looked back.

    To each their own, but I'll never own another product from LG or Samsung because I have had multiple bad experiences with products from both companies. It's unfortunate that I have this stance, too, because Samsung TV's are generally a bit less expensive than the Sony models.

    With regard to settings - they make all the difference in the world. Out of the box, my 940D and 900E had "nice" pictures. But, they weren't tweaked at all. I used someone else's calibrated settings for their 940D as a starting point for mine. I made a few tweaks from there to get a picture that I like. I then used these settings as a starting point for my 900E. Again, a couple of tweaks and I now have a picture I like.

    With the 800E, I haven't yet touched the settings. I will, I just don't yet know when. lol

    If you go with a set with FALD like the 900E or 940D (last year's model - no longer available), spending a couple hundred more to get the set calibrated in your home is often very much worth it.
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    glc
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    Those are some really nice Sony prices, compared to what we paid for our Samsung curved 4K 48" 2 years ago. Ahh, the never ending merry-go-round of technology and price.

    Funny thing, we got the TV, and I talked the wife into getting the Samsung (only one at the time) 4K Blu ray player too. Afterall, what's the sense of a 4K TV without a 4K player...........Right?!

    Well, we STILL haven't watched anything in 4K yet!
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