HD Radio home components a bust.

Added the HD-Radio tuner to the home theater system a little over a year ago.
Only to find that the tuners are flawed they lack venting or any heat sinks to keep the chips cooled down.
What happens after a very short time is the radio will no longer hold any HD signal for more than a few moments at a time before dropping signal completely and not reverting to standard signal like it is supposed to when a HD signal drops. Which once you are locked in it should not drop at all especially when your tuner is attached to an outdoor antenna that is 30+ ft high.
Most realize that there is a heating issue once they have this happen but is to late the damage is done cooling & heat sinks can’t repair damage already done they can only prevent heat damage.
Which left me to either re-purchase another HD-Radio Tuner and take it apart right away modify case add fans and also heat sinks before ever turning it on. Or simply just buy a SiriusXM Home tuner instead. Which does not have the overheating issues but will cost me a monthly fee.

There are only a few rack type HD-Radio tuners and all are made by 1 or 2 companies Sangean & Insignia there are a few different models but all have the same flaw. And both start at $150-$200.
There are a few different models each company makes one model has only analog output while the other supports both analog out and Optical SPDIF Output.
At $150 it should have the optical output anyhow.
HD-Radio not to be confused with Satellite radio they differ not only in hardware types but HD-Radio doesn’t cost you any monthly bills.
Sony does have a model that has outputs but is not a rack type tuner it has an alarm clock look or a modern boom box ipod dock.
Sony XDR-S10HDiP

As you can see this just isn’t something that will stack up in your home theater cleanly.
While the Insignia and Sangean models look similar but work in a rack setup.
Sangean HDT-20_
Insignia NS-HDTUNE

What I decided was to not replace the HD-Radio at that cost to have to modify it and hope it lasts a few years to get my $200 worth.
I  miss Howard Stern and the metal station the Polk Audio XRT12  was perfect it fits in a rack system and it only costs $60!
Sure a small monthly bill kind of sucks ass but it will work and not overheat and die in under or a little over the year mark.

Polk XRT12

 

Advertisements

Is 4k Blu-Ray media dead before it catches on?

Recently I purchased a UltraHD aka:4k Blu-ray player and 6-7 4k movies a few were true 4k the others were 2k scans or 3k scans that were converted to 4k.
I have watched them all and the only 4k movie that was the least impressive compared to the 1080p Blu-ray was The Huntsman: Winter’s War. And it was still an improvement regardless the darker scenes were greatly improved upon and of course the colors & has finer detail than the 1080p version.

Many movies are 2k scans upconverted to 4k but that is changing more this past year are being filmed in higher than 4k resolution.
Then there is streaming 4k movies and TV shows many feel this is why 4k Bluray will fail.
With Amazon, Hulu & Netflix at the front pushing 4k w/HDR seems like a solid win why buy 4k media?
But those who know the tech know that in order to stream 4k you need 15mb to do so which means the content is heavily compressed and not truly a 100% 4k stream.
4k Blurays push 100-128mbps continuously compared to the 15mbps that fluctuates for streaming 4k with Netflix, Amazon & Hulu.
It’s pretty clear where the true 4k can be seen at and it’s not streaming.
I watch shows on these platforms in 4k some what regularly and will say that these 4k streams look little better than the 1080p streams they provide. If someone has never seen true 4k content and first sees a Netflix or Amazon stream they will walk away very unimpressed.
Which does damage the 4k market in my opinion.
I can see the differences because I am accustomed to watching and even comparing different versions of movies. But someone who is not won’t see any difference with streaming 4k content.

1080p Blurays look great even on 4k panel televisions but a true 4k Bluray will look far better.
Even 1080p 3d movies look better on 4k panels “Passive only” Active won’t make any difference. There is good reason why.
On the 4k panel it can render the 3d image completely on the large resolution with no dulled brightness. Where on a 1080 screen it must split the resolution between both eyes. This depends on Active or passive different story unrelated to 4k Blu-ray;-)
There are benefits to 4k in some areas but what it comes down to is the future really streaming?

I hope not:-( will be a sad day if this happens. I really hope people today are smart enough to do their homework and see that if media dies off so does quality.
ATSC 3.0 broadcast won’t be able to handle true 4k we know streaming really can’t at only 15mbps.
The only way to truly see 4k and any upcoming changes will be through media and the hardware that can play said media.
And that doesn’t include the audio side of things which broadcast and streaming can’t do well or sometimes at all.
On Netflix there are 4k movies that don’t even allow old Dolby 5.1 only stereo due to it’s limitation in bandwidth.
Dolby 5.1 is old tech we are 4-5 generations past that now and only 4k Bluray media can hold both highest quality image and sound of Dolby-Atmos and DTS-X.
There is also DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD which are also a few generations ahead of the old Dolby Digital 5.1.

Let’s hope that media and the hardware to play the media is not going to be limited to only the top end of the consumer market.
For it to be successful it needs to be adopted by all to not only improve technology later but to also bring down current generation prices as well.
4k TV’s are already there and cost the same as 1080 models of yesterday.

With the XboxOne S capable of playing 4k media hopefully this will help the market.
What I have read that DVD still brings most profit while standard Blu-rays only hold like 20% of the market.  Breaking into this market will be tough unless there are plans to discontinue DVD.
It all comes down to the average consumer and if they see 4k worth their hard earned cash.
The high end consumers are not nearly enough to make 4k Blu-ray successful.

I want to say that it will succeed and 4k Blu-ray will stay but right now I think it’s still undecided.
All the odds are against it but it’s still being put out on store shelves not just Best Buy even Walmarts.
And with Disney close to releasing 4k and many others that are it helps when the odds are against it. Although I think Disney may be waiting for DolbyVision aka: Dolby’s HDR to support 4k Blu-ray first.
Think at CES Universal, Warner and Lionsgate pledging support for Dolby Vision discs so thinking Disney not far behind.
I prefer HDR-10 over Dolby Vision but guess others see it differently.
Right now 4k Blu-rays are HDR-10 but Dolby Vision is jumping on as well I’m sure others will follow.
There are also HDR from HLG and one from Technicolor these will most likely appear on 2017 model Televisions and up and maybe a FW update for 2016 models?
Now they will release 10 different types of HDR to try and  make a competition between manufacturers that support some and not others.

What happened to Plasma Televisions?

In the mid 1990’s the flat panel was introduced to the public and out to market for people who had $20,000-$30,000 to get this new exotic Plasma technology.
I remember the commercials of the TV on a ceiling over a bed thinking how cool!
Now with what we know who the hell would want a 160lb TV 9-12 feet above them when they slept?! Lol certain death for sure.  Who would hang a TV on a ceiling any how? Maybe an asshole?

Plasma TV’s produced the best picture quality.”period” for many, many years until 2013-2014 OLED technology was able to produce high resolutions and larger than 18″ panels.
But it wasn’t OLED that took Plasma down it was the thin light weight LCD/LED panels that did it.
And they never and still have not come close to even matching plasma picture quality. LCD/LED panels not getting close to Plasma is incorrect really they are getting closer but still not there.
a old 2014 Plasma 1080p vs the 2015-16 UHD 4k LCD/LED  still did not match the plasma displays color or picture quality.
Plasma didn’t need 120hz-240hz it just kicked ass naturally and had no picture deterioration during fast moving or action packed scenes like LCD/LED panels did and still do.
Well for the most part the super high end 4k models from Sony & Samsung are okay with fast moving action but still don’t rival or match plasmas picture quality and color.
As of December 2014 the last  plasma factory was closed down by Panasonic who was the Plasma kings.
They have officially moved to LCD/LED & OLED and will be using LG’s LCD & OLED panels.

Which is good they were close to shutting down their TV line completely.
Panasonic makes great products.

But Plasma had the better picture almost reference how did an inferior product like LCD/LED take it down?
Most will say it was poor marketing on Panasonics part, Limited consumer knowledge, falsified info regarding plasma.
The list can go on for a little more. Sure these issues did have an impact on it’s demise.
But I think what killed Plasma was partial consumer ignorance but mostly Plasma’s weight and size.
Today everyone wants small foot print even if they are buying a 70″ TV they want it light and thin. Not to mention Plasma couldn’t compete in the super sized markets of 70″ and up panels.
And even if plasma could give you a 70-80″ TV it would weigh 500lbs.
Even small panels have you ever saw a laptop with a plasma screen?  Or a cellular or tablet?
Smallest plasma could get was 32″ and there weren’t many of them out there.
This is where LCD/LED just whipped the pants off plasma now with the maturity of LCD/LED it’s getting close to plasma picture quality but they keep getting bigger and lighter.

When the consumer see’s LCD on their phones and tablets and computers, laptops this alone is selling LCD technology. And not to mention the fantastic marketing being done for it from huge manufacturers like Sony & Samsung.
Plasma didn’t stand a chance.
Over it’s life span on the market and many generations later the plasma did get a little lighter and a little thinner. But could never compete with LCD on that level.

My own personal issues with plasma were not weight or how thin it was. I always preferred plasma over LCD technology for it picture quality.
But The Burn-in/image retention issues were to hard to ignore.
Later generations claimed to have fixed the issue with image burn or retention but it was just to late by then I had already adopted LCD/LED technology.
In truth I just did not believe they fixed the burn-in issues with shifting.
I had repaired a Vizio 32″ Plasma television they never came back for it so I kept it.
It was a 2009 model which was on it’s 15th or 16th generation panel. Claims that burn-in and retention were a thing of the past with plasma displays.
If I put on a TV show for 30 minutes on TNT or TBS the logo would burn-in on the bottom corner. After an hour or 2 on a different channel with no logo’s and turning the TV off a few times the image would no longer be present.
This was very concerning it indicated to me that if I had decided to watch a week long marathon on one channel like TNT the burn in would be permanent.

If I ever do run into a Plasma display that needs repair that is 2013-1014 model I’m going to put it to the test and do the 30 minute sitcom on TBS.
Willing to bet it gets retention. I don’t care what manufacturer it comes from. Well in 2013-14 only Panasonic was making and releasing Plasma TV’s.

The future of OLED Televisions.

LG is the creator of OLED technology and was the only manufacturer to produce and sell OLED televisions. “Here in America” Samsung did have a model or 2 as well early on in the OLED release back when Samsung was praising the tech.
Back in 2013/2014 the 1st generation of OLED was on the market LG & Samsung were the 2 companies to release the OLED there was the LG 55EM9700 & Samsung KN55S9
The prices were high LG’s OLED $8,999 Samsungs OLED $9,999. And LG Dropped the price to go against Samsungs OLED.
Later on “2014” Only 1 model released prior and no others produced Samsung decided with OLED’s short lifespan of 30,000 hours and issue with the color blue dying out before red or green to no longer make any OLED televisions and is concentrating on Quantum Dot and QLED another off shot of OLED which LG holds patents on.
The future of OLED was not looking so bright with only LG pushing this technology.
Even if it’s the best quality picture you can get even over Sony’s $50,000 professional-grade studio monitor.  If no one is making the tech then prices never drop and it drops off the market and peoples minds very quickly.
Over seas was quite different there were other OLED manufacturers that released televisions. Names like Changhong 55Q1A “China”, Skyworth Tianchi E980 “China”, Konka 65X90PU  “No info on region surely not the states”, KTC 55L8EF “China”, Metz Novum Twin R  “Germany”, Loewe Bild 7  “German”, Skyworth S9-I  “China”, Grundig 65VLO9790  “Scandinavia”,. All OLED models “Just the OLED Panels” listed are produced by LG.

Fast Forward to 2016-17 and now 5th-6th generation panels OLED has matured and become a bit cheaper to mass produce.
And also has a lifespan longer than what’s rated on LCD/LED televisions over “100,000 hours” and the blue color issue long resolved.
Now Samsung is saying no to OLED “for now” Sony’s Bravia line is introducing OLED  in 2017 Sony Bravia A1 & A1E.
LG still releasing OLED models as well and now Panasonic is also releasing OLED Televisions in 2017.
With Samsung now basically saying it’s surviving so we will produce OLED again if we must to stay competitive in the UHD TV market and Vizio also considering.
OLED IS NOT going anywhere it’s here to stay and 2017 will be the year people start putting them in their homes. With 55″ OLEDS as low as $2,500 and when on sale as low as $1,999.
It’s just a matter of time that everyone takes notice.
By 2020 I think it’ll be wide spread with Picture on glass OLED and fully Flexible OLED TV’s there will be a TV for everyone and every type of setup imaginable.
Current OLED’s 2016 and up are as thin as a credit card 1mm thick weighing less than 30lbs for a 55: TV.
Almost forgot Philips is also in the OLED game this year.
http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1486966135

Check out the flexible OLED amazing!-:
https://youtu.be/-uazGyw99e0

LG OLED thin as news paper and rolls up too. This may be the future of newspaper.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHSdObeUdxI

Only issue I see with OLED at this time is no production of any panels that are 20″-32″ for the laptop/desktop market.
There are plenty of Cell phone OLED screens and 55″, 65″ 75″ television sizes.
Comes down to production I saw a SonyDrive XEL-1 OLED it is 11″ and at a cost that exceeds a 55″ OLED Television $2,499! A few hundred $$ more and you can buy a 2016 65″ OLED TV.
For now it seems that cutting computer sized panels is costly and ruins possible larger screens that could of been produced.

Until OLED is more widely used as home TV’s chances are we won’t see any OLED computer or laptop screens for a few more years. Hopefully I’m wrong.
OLED’s latest models would make great laptops and even desktops. even thinner & lighter laptops computer screens that are thin and clear like glass until you turn your PC on.
Or Laptops that have a thin flexible screen that can be inserted and pulled out of the laptop making it much more portable. Or Tablets that are glass  no speakers needed now that OLED’s can produce sound right from the screen.
The possibilities are endless and in my opinion the next major step forward.

Sound from the OLED panel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tA8RZl0Y44

Setting up the Samsung UBD-K8500 UltraHD Bluray Player “App redundancy”

Put in the order last week for the Samsung UHD Bluray Player along with 2- 4k BR movies.
The movies were supposed to arrive same day they did not. After the player arrived I just went to Best Buy and grabbed up a UltraHD Bluray that was on sale. “The Huntsman Winters War”
Get in door begin to unpack the player and connect to our home theater setup which consists of The TV and the Pioneer VSX-830-K Surround Sound receiver.
The receiver has a total of 6 HDMI ports only 3 of the 6 are being used. Figured simple stuff connect HDMI cable to Bluray player then put the other HDMI end into one of the free HDMI inputs on the Pioneer plug in Ethernet cord and power and off I go! But nope this wasn’t the case.
All I got was a black screen no picture or sound and what’s worse when the player was powered on the receiver would no longer allow any other components to work which did prior to connecting the new UHD BR Player. So now all components were black screened with no sound.
Unplug & power off the UHD BR player. Then power down and restart TV & receiver to get the other components back working again.
The player worked when plugged directly into the TV but I want it through the receiver for surround sound what is the point if this doesn’t work.

Into the Samsung’s UHD BR players menu to see what’s happening like FW updates and video settings.
Sure enough the player needed a FW update. This is quite normal usually all components that you get need Firmware updating.
Then decided better to check TV & receivers FW as well. They were both current no updates were available.
So after FW update I power down and hold the stop button on the player to set to manufacturers defaults.
Power on to try again, no fix same issue black screen no sound and now the receivers HDMI light is flashing red. When working properly the light should be solid red.
Now figure it must be my HDMI cables. Try Vizio made cables, LG, Monster & a few different brands still no fix.

In the Sound menu options in the Player I see you can select to use HDMI 1 or HDMI 2 on the player.
The Samsung UltraHD Bluray player has 2 HDMI ports. One for Video & audio then a 2nd HDMI port for audio only.
I then tried this HDMI Port 1 from Player directly to HDMI 2 Port on Tv separate from the receiver and then put HDMI cord in port 2 of the Samsung player and plugged into the receivers free HDMI 4 input for just handling the audio side of things. All I want is to get surround sound anyhow so if this works I’ll be okay with it.
And again no audio but I get video when HDMI cable goes directly to the TV.
Notice that the HDMI light on receiver is blinking red handshake issue I believe at this point.
In order to watch any 4k Bluray movies your Television and receiver must be HDCP 2.2 in order to view 4k content on disc.

I pack it up go to bed wake up 2 hours later try again with no luck. Wake up this morning try again but now I have troubleshot enough to know that the TV & the Player play well it’s the receiver that is not.
Read the manual it clearly says all HDMI ports are HDCP 2.2 compliant.
Still trying same shit just in different order I almost give up. I then say okay let’s hit the forums. Still notta. So I then download a new manual to see it’s revised and now in small letters in a brackets box at the bottom of the page it says VSX-1031 & 830 HDMI ports DVD/Bluray or HDMI 3 are the only ports that are HDCP 2.2 compliant.

So connect the audio HDMI cable to the DVD -HDMI port on the receiver and sure enough the damn thing works!
An updated damn manual!! Frustration at MAX!!

In an age where every flat screen television that is 26″ or larger is a smart TV.
I have to wonder why Samsung added their SmartOS into the UHD BR player.
All Samsung TV’s are smart what is with the redundancy? The player is not going to be bought by basic movie watchers. The Player requires a 4k TV that is HDCP 2.2 compliant why would they think they needed to add any apps to this device? Seems a waste to me.
Could of come up with other things to add in try to innovate make something new don’t just push latest tech with rehashed apps that are on every smart TV & media box available.

This wasn’t a $99 player. They were charging a premium price for it. So they felt they had to add something else to it why not regurgitated apps that are on every device we own!
It’s time to drop the SmartOS apps in component devices that don’t make sense we all don’t need Netflix and Hulu on every device connected to our home theater.
Come on! You make millions off latest tech you can’t get a team to come up with something that isn’t on every device already?
Have a menu with a browser and a app that allows you to download and view scenes that were cut and not included on the 4k Blu-ray in the drive.
Virtual tours on set or back stage. Anything other than the same apps we have on every device we buy. I’m sick & tired of seeing Netflix & Hulu in every damn TV & small media box there is.

Some people may want to wait a few player generation jumps before stepping into 4k Bluray.

Update 03/04/2017
If you want to watch true 4k then you will have to dish out the cash for a UHD player.
I recently watched my first 4K movie “Deadpool” It was filmed in 2k and processed to 4k from transfer.
Did it make a difference compared to 1080p? Absolutely even a conversion looked superb.
You can see every stitch and detail in Deadpool’s outfit and  the colors are unmatched to anything I’ve ever seen.
Everything is vibrant and bright and the blacks are deep.
I’ve watched Netflix UHD w/Deep color/HDR Also Amazons UHD and they are NOT true UHD you will not see true 4k unless you have a 4k Bluray player and 4k media.
Once you see it you will like.