The Death of High-Performance Audio at CES and 8K Musings

The Death of High-Performance Audio at CES and 8K Musings

full?d=1547403972.png
(January 11, 2019) Jason Knott (CePro) punctuated last year’s CES media coverage with a brutal take on the declining presence of high-performance audio at the yearly expo. At the time, said audio occupied just two floors of The Venetian Resort and, as Knott detailed, exhibitors were grumbling that hallways were relatively devoid of bodies. It’s not that CES attendee numbers were (or are) on the decline – far from it. Much like this year, the 2018 version of the show found the North, Central, and South halls of the Vegas Convention Center packed to the gills with tens of thousands of attendees. And the same can be said of activity at the show’s Westgate and Sands locations, where your head needs to be on a swivel as you navigate through crowds. But for high-performance audio, it’s become a scene that’s tamer than tame.

According to Knott, the drop in Hi-Fi audio’s presence is driven by several factors: a declining interest in audiophile gear, integrators opting not to attend the show, European vendors choosing to stay put and attend larger shows across the pond (such as ISE in Amsterdam), and exorbitant hotel fees in Vegas during CES. I can certainly attest to that last point, as a decent hotel room within a mile of the action can easily cost $500 to $900 a night (nothing that a $30 breakfast and a $10 espresso won’t cure). And setting up shop a dollar-saving distance away introduces commuting unpleasantries because CES traffic is synonymous with three-mile Uber rides that can take 35 minutes during peak hours of the day.

This year, high-performance audio sparsely occupied one floor the Venetian, with unclaimed rooms filled by companies from completely unrelated sectors. Tucked away like a hidden gem, guarded by a difficult to find elevator bank and site attendants claiming that floor-to-floor stair access wasn’t possible (it was), audio’s 29th Floor was a quiet place. And that’s truly unfortunate. As you’ll read in my forthcoming audio show coverage, quite a few crowd favorites where there, including SVS, GoldenEar, Emotiva, PSB and NAD, Onkyo, Sound United, along with the likes of Wolf Cinema, Seymour-Screens, AudioControl, and more. But the general vibe was grim. And it’s not that vendors weren’t putting on a good show (they were), bodies simply weren’t there to enjoy it.

At least two high-profile companies told me they’d tried to backout of this year’s show, only to be denied refunds. And a heap confidently stated they were officially done lugging their gear to Vegas. Then there’s the chatter among audio-focused media folks, many of whom say a 2020 return is unlikely (mentally, I’m on the fence).

Last year Jason Knott thought it was the end of high-performance audio at CES. It looks like he was correct, plus one last gasp of breath.

With that bit of depressing news out of the way, let’s move on to my personal and rather surprising reaction to the tsunami-like tech wave created by the massive (and I mean MASSIVE) 8K show-of-force delivered by Samsung, Sony, LG, and the rest of the heavy-hitter gang. Cutting right to the chase: it left me feeling rather unenthused.

Yes, I said it: unenthused.

Don’t get me wrong, these companies delivered 8K demos on larger-than-life displays that hardly seemed real. Jaw-dropping and stunning. But it all felt a tad forced and unnecessary, leaving me to wonder: who is watching out for the average US consumer that’s bought into 4K?

The Convention Center was nothing short of a videophile’s delight. But I question why it’s all necessary right now, especially considering that US-based content providers have yet to consistently deliver quality 4K content to all of the expensive 4K TVs that currently grace our homes. And in some cases, experiencing good 4K playback with certain expensive gear (I’m looking at you, projectors) is something that most buyers will never achieve because it requires advanced knowledge and expertise. And let’s be honest, the average buyer isn’t tech-savvy nor do they know they have to be. Want proof? I present to you our good friend, Tom Cruise. Just weeks ago, he used his celebrity to tell millions of fans that motion interpolation is a bad thing. Think about that for a minute. We’re in 2019 and that basic message still isn’t common knowledge to buyers that plop down quality coin on soon-to-be old hat 4K TVs. Want more proof? Just tune your cable-bound 4K TV to the NFL on FOX on any given Sunday, and you’ll be treated to an upconverted semi-HD viewing experience that appears to be 10 years ancient (because it probably is).

So, what’s the end game here? Why are we frantically racing forward when we’ve yet to properly feed what we already have? And while some new and interesting 4K tech (like Samsung’s new take on micro-LEDs) is exciting, I’d much rather have companies devising ways to streamline finely-tuned 4K content delivery. Or how about easy-to-use calibration technologies that integrate with TVs?

Think about that latter point for a second. This year’s crop of TVs will ship with advanced AI, Internet connectivity, streaming capabilities, voice control, and display tech that literally blows the mind, yet the engineers haven’t figured out how to integrate simple set-up and calibration tools. How is this possible?

Of course, I’m not ignorant to the fact that new and better tech is what we – enthusiasts – thirst for. And I also recognize that CES is meant to be a showcase of the future. But I believe the industry owes us, the paying customer, the courtesy of perfecting a video experience with the gear we have. If anything, they owe it to mother Earth, who is already bearing the burden of junked TVs and gear that’s no longer current. At the end of the day, CES left me with a building fear that 4K TVs (and boatload of related gear) are about to get jumped and left in the dust without ever having been properly purposed and fed.

I had dinner with a few other industry folks last night and I shared my thoughts with one of them. Granted he might have thought I’d lost my mind, but he summarized my thoughts by saying the 8K wave feels like it’s happening “because it can, not because it should.” I liked that summary. Of course, I reserve the right to wake up tomorrow with a renewed perspective and a changed mind (and I’ll probably regret ever cementing these words on the Internet), but I sincerely hope the industry machine slows down, takes a breath, and puts the paying customer first on multiple fronts.
 
Last edited:

Comments

Matthew J Poes

Staff Writer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 18, 2017
Messages
1,830
Todd didn’t this happen with the switch to HD in the first place. We went from 480i to 720p/1080i only to have that quickly replaced by 1080p. Maybe this is similar?

Admittedly 720p and 1080i were both half measures. The switch made sense. This time around, it’s not clear the need for 8k.
 

Todd Anderson

News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,244
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
The gaps in standards weren't the same... I think HDR has a lot to do with it.

Right now, I just want to see our infrastructure support 4K across the board. We don't have it and it doesn't appear to be close.

Hopefully there will be a tightly controlled backwards compatibility that allows content to be shared from the top down, but it sure would be nice to perfect what we have before racing to the next step.
 

ddude003

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
265
Location
Somewhere Northeast of Kansas City Missouri
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium TubePre (2 channel+sub)
Main Amp
McIntosh MC152 SS Amp (2 channel)
Additional Amp
Yamaha RX-A850 Pro (the other 5 channels lol)
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
LG BlueRay
Front Speakers
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL
Center Channel Speaker
Martin Logan Motion C2
Surround Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4
Surround Back Speakers
Martin Logan Motion 4 (yes, another set of these)
Subwoofers
Martin Logan Dynamo 700
Other Speakers or Equipment
Cifte 12AU7 NOS & Genalex Gold Lion Tubes in Pre
Video Display Device
Sony TV KDL50W700B
Remote Control
Audirvana Plus, Tidal HiFi MQA and DSD128...
Other Equipment
Throw rug, saddle blankets and base traps...
Infrastructure means a lot of content creator studios, post production and special effects, storage and delivery folks all having to upgrade their facilities with millions and billions of $$$ across the industry... It is not like us consumers just going out and buying a new AVR and TV or Projector for our living room or Home Theater... I remember back when Post Production houses struggled to afford a single Quantel Harry or Domino to stay current to bring in work... Then came the Super Minis and GFX Workstations and Servers like Apollo, Sun and Sillicon Graphics... And multi million $$$ render farms... And a jump from 2k to 4k is 4 times the resolution and data... The next jump from 4k to 8k is another big jump in not just data but bandwidth to keep all those bits and bytes moving thru the content creation process to delivery...
 

Todd Anderson

News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,244
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
It's a problem, for sure. The industry has found a way when it comes to movies. They're happily pumping 4K on disc while they can, but we all know that discs are in a nose dive that's destined to be fatal. It's almost over for discs.

Don't get me wrong. True 4K HDR is awesome to behold. But performance and standards are still all over the map... and most people buying 4K probably aren't buying 4K discs or attempting to watch streaming 4K. (my guess, not backed by actual data)

So, this year at CES (by my count) the industry announced roughly 9 or 10 "8K TV" models that should ship in the US sometime during 2019. That's partly why I'm scratching my head. Secondarily, by the time any sort of real 8K content pops up, all of these sets will old tech. In my opinion, it would be huge mistake to buy an early round 8K TV.

At the end of the day, manufacturers will begin to reserve their best tech for 8K because that's going sell more high-dollar TVs. That's the goal, right? What bothers me, is the big marketing spin that explains why these advancements are paramount and ultimately important: it delivers creator's intent. That might be factually true. But it's also the reason I don't understand why manufacturers aren't putting more R&D into creating self-calibration systems that can put these expensive TVs into a position to delivers creator's intent.

They certainly found away to jam AI into TVs... and looking at VIZIO, apparently its because it's a post-sale way of making money off a buyer (see all the recent news about Vizio). I think they can take some of that coin and start putting it to use to make the ownership experience better and worthwhile without racing to the next hill.
 

tesseract

Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
1,074
Location
Lincoln, NE
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Emotiva XMC-1
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA-3 Gen 2
Other Amp
Dayton SA1000
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony BDP S590 & Pioneer DV-610AV
Front Speakers
JTR NOESIS 210 RT - L/R mains
Center Channel Speaker
Chase SHO-10 - Center
Surround Speakers
Chase PRO-10 - Surrounds
Subwoofers
Chase VS-18.1 x 2 - Subwoofers
Video Display Device
Vizio E550VL
Other Equipment
h/k TC35C/Ortofon Super OM10/Pro-Ject Phono Box S
Nice show summation, Todd.

Too bad audio hifi is taking a hit at what is turning out to be primarily a smartphone/HDTV showcase. I love the mention of in-home screen calibration and it shows that video could learn a lesson from audio in that regard.
 

Allen Rumbaugh

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
30
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Sherbourn preamp
Main Amp
Enlightened Audio Designs Powermaster 1000
Additional Amp
Emotiva UPA-700
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo UDP-203
Front Speakers
RCF monitor 6
Subwoofers
Bag End ELF
Other Equipment
Yamaha Motif XS
Wow, what a bummer. I used to attend CES and loved the high end audio section. Where I live I have fiber optic run to the house with blazing fast internet but the tv is topping out at 1280 by 720p. I do have an Oppo blue ray player, and blue ray discs look awfully good to me. I have one of the last 65 inch Plasmas made by Samsung. It is a 1080p. Meanwhile my audio is all played off a Mac Tower from uncompressed files using HQ Player software through a Focusrite Clarett interface. Oh yeah this is all stereo. One problem I can see of having all music streaming out in surround sound, is that the professional studio infrastructure does not exist to provide the masters. If we could just get uncompressed AIFF files streaming, it would be a really good improvement. Surely we can muster the bandwidth to do that. Until then I will keep listening to my 2000 cds and 2000 records.
 

Allan T.

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
16
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Yamaha RX-3070
Main Amp
Carver A-500x
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo UDP-205, Xbox One X
Front Speakers
Def Tech BP-2002
Center Channel Speaker
Def Tech CLR-2002
Surround Speakers
Def Tech BP-2X
Front Height Speakers
Def Tech Studio Monitor 45
Rear Height Speakers
Def Tech Studio Monitor 45
Subwoofers
Polk PSW 110
Other Speakers or Equipment
Roon Optimized Core Kit (ROCK) on Intel NUC
Video Display Device
TCL 55P607
Other Equipment
Home Built PC with Roon Core
In regard to the 8K comments, I'm much more of an audiophile than a videophile. Despite this, video has driven a lot of upgrades to my audio system.

For me, 8K is just not going to be worth an upgrade. DVD was a huge upgrade and I jumped in the month it was released. Blu-ray was a nice bump in performance but I waited until the format war was over. For 4K I waited for the price on hardware come down. I still think that the 4K discs are too expensive so I typically just wait for prices to drop on a release before I buy a disc.

In my local best buy, you have DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K available. I can't see stores stocking 4 competing formats if 8K is released. Also, we barely have 4K streaming. 8K streaming is a long way off. 8K seems way too premature to be successfully released any time soon . . .
 

Tony V.

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
995
Location
Edmonton, AB, Canada
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Onkyo TX RZ920
Main Amp
Samson Servo 600
Additional Amp
QSC MX1500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic 220
Front Speakers
EV Sentry 500
Center Channel Speaker
EV Sentry 500
Surround Speakers
Mission 762
Surround Back Speakers
Mission 762
Subwoofers
SVS PB13u
Video Display Device
Panasonic AE 8000
Remote Control
Logitech 1100
Other Equipment
Denon DT 625 CD/Tape unit, Nintendo WiiU, and more
Can you imagine the broadcasters? They just spent millions on upgrading their equipment to go 1080p very few have the ability to do 4K so 8K seem very far off. I still am on the fence about upgrading my projector to 4K as there is so much misleading info out there as to projectors abilities to do full 4K.
 

JStewart

Senior Member
Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
327
Location
Central FL
Todd, very well written and you make a lot of great points.

With regard to audio companies not attending CES, what if there's just too much going on there for audio to get any attention? Flying taxis and machines that fold shirts are pretty cool after all. I hope the audio companies just add more audio shows, like the new Florida show next month. I'd like to think they have to because there are so few places now you can actually see, touch and listen to different things. Maybe I'm wrong, not 100% on that. I come from the perspective of growing up in the 70s when there were more HiFi shops and records stores than fast food outlets. Spent a lot of time in them.

With respect to AI and not calibration features on displays, but unless the masses know what their missing out on there's probably no compelling reason to add it as a feature. Besides may cable picture is horrible anyway compared to a disk or even streaming. Wish I could have afforded to keep DirecTV. The picture was great compared to Spectrum.

I'm also one of those who finds a 1080p disc to have an equal to or better picture than a 4k stream, so I'm in total agreement with your what's the point of 8k question. Why bother when we can't use the capability we have?

The only possibility with 8k that would ever compel me to consider it is glasses-less 3D.

@Allan T. I'm with you on no more early adoption. I did for 1080p and blue-ray. I can't say I regret it, but it was pricey at the time and I just don't see that kind of visual difference to be made with more pixels at this point.
 

Todd Anderson

News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,244
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Can you imagine the broadcasters? They just spent millions on upgrading their equipment to go 1080p very few have the ability to do 4K so 8K seem very far off. I still am on the fence about upgrading my projector to 4K as there is so much misleading info out there as to projectors abilities to do full 4K.
It has less to do with full-4K or e-shift 4K (visually, to my eye, resolution looks really good)... and a lot more to do with HDR and the fact that most non-laser projectors struggle with HDR reproduction. Then there's the fact that not all 4K discs are the same... some are mastered at 1K nits others at 4K nits. In order to experience the best image, you need different settings.

When you get it right, it looks great. But when it's off, it's not so great.

To me, this is a huge failing on the entire industry. I look at friends of mine... lots of really smart folks, just like all of you... they aren't thinking in those terms nor are the interested in thinking in those terms. Most won't even know what they're missing.

My theater is off line for the next few months, but I have one of the new panasonic 4K players on hand. I'm hoping it will help ease the issue and make the projector experience a little more satisfying on a disc to disc basis.
 
Last edited:

Todd Anderson

News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,244
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Todd, very well written and you make a lot of great points.

With regard to audio companies not attending CES, what if there's just too much going on there for audio to get any attention? Flying taxis and machines that fold shirts are pretty cool after all. I hope the audio companies just add more audio shows, like the new Florida show next month. I'd like to think they have to because there are so few places now you can actually see, touch and listen to different things. Maybe I'm wrong, not 100% on that. I come from the perspective of growing up in the 70s when there were more HiFi shops and records stores than fast food outlets. Spent a lot of time in them.

With respect to AI and not calibration features on displays, but unless the masses know what their missing out on there's probably no compelling reason to add it as a feature. Besides may cable picture is horrible anyway compared to a disk or even streaming. Wish I could have afforded to keep DirecTV. The picture was great compared to Spectrum.

I'm also one of those who finds a 1080p disc to have an equal to or better picture than a 4k stream, so I'm in total agreement with your what's the point of 8k question. Why bother when we can't use the capability we have?

The only possibility with 8k that would ever compel me to consider it is glasses-less 3D.

@Allan T. I'm with you on no more early adoption. I did for 1080p and blue-ray. I can't say I regret it, but it was pricey at the time and I just don't see that kind of visual difference to be made with more pixels at this point.

Thanks @JStewart. I actually held onto this piece for a few extra days... largely because I ended up getting really sick on my last day in Vegas (I was telling Matt Poes, it's truly an international mixing bowl of germs, LOL)... but I also wasn't sure I wanted to relay my feelings about 8K. This is actually the tame/edited version ;-). I was half expecting to get skewered... perhaps deservedly so.

The glitz and glamour of all of the things you describe are definitely there for the taking. But I don't think CES ever intended for high-performance audio and home theater to shrivel up. For vendors, the show is a place to demo for consumers, but also to interact with and do business with integrators... it's a simple fact that those things are happening elsewhere and at places that are significantly cheaper to attend. You typically think of Vegas as being an inexpensive destination because Vegas knows you're going to dump bank on gambling... but it is mega-expensive during CES. Take the Venetian. A room there last week was right around $900 a night. If I were to fly to Vegas next month, I could stay for $100 a night. And that same expense hike translates into air travel, too (unless you're willing to crush yourself with a red flight that takes 15 hours because of a layover). It's not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

The only other event that begins to encroach on hiked rates is one that I value way more than CES, which is CEDIA. It's a super fertile ground for AV News and a place that I get to interact with a lot of my contacts. But it's significantly less expensive than CES, for sure.



There was a vendor demo-ing 3d-glassless TVs... I'll have a little write up on them soon!
 

bkeeler10

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2017
Messages
307
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD T758 v3
Main Amp
Outlaw Model 7125
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo BDP-103/Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
Revel Concerta2 F36
Center Channel Speaker
Revel Concerta2 F36
Surround Speakers
Revel Concerta2 M16
Surround Back Speakers
Revel Concerta2 M16
Front Height Speakers
Tannoy AMS 6DC
Rear Height Speakers
Tannoy AMS 6DC
Subwoofers
Rythmik F18 (2)
Other Speakers or Equipment
miniDSP 2x4
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-RS440
Screen
Seymour AV retractable 110" 2.35 AR (UF material)
Great write-up Todd, and I'm with you on the 8K issue. Why are we going there? I suppose the main reasons for manufacturers are the rush to be first to market with new technology and to be able to continue selling hardware. But, correct me if I'm wrong, there's no benefit to 8K other than just the resolution increase, which for nearly every consumer application is not a visible improvement. At least HDR and WCG came along for the ride with 4K and helped justify the move to a new format. But what does 8K have going for it other than pure resolution?

Of course, those who a year or two from now want to buy the best picture quality in areas other than resolution will probably have to buy an 8K TV to get it. Just as all the great technology is not found in 1080p sets today, that will probably be the case with 4K TVs in a couple years. Feels like a hamster wheel eh? I say buy your 4K TV soon, while you can still get high performance models, and then get off the hamster wheel for several years and see what happens.
 

Todd Anderson

News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
Staff member
Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
5,244
Location
Balt/Wash Metro
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Great write-up Todd, and I'm with you on the 8K issue. Why are we going there? I suppose the main reasons for manufacturers are the rush to be first to market with new technology and to be able to continue selling hardware. But, correct me if I'm wrong, there's no benefit to 8K other than just the resolution increase, which for nearly every consumer application is not a visible improvement. At least HDR and WCG came along for the ride with 4K and helped justify the move to a new format. But what does 8K have going for it other than pure resolution?

Of course, those who a year or two from now want to buy the best picture quality in areas other than resolution will probably have to buy an 8K TV to get it. Just as all the great technology is not found in 1080p sets today, that will probably be the case with 4K TVs in a couple years. Feels like a hamster wheel eh? I say buy your 4K TV soon, while you can still get high performance models, and then get off the hamster wheel for several years and see what happens.
:T

Technically speaking, 8K allows for significantly larger display without noticeable pixels. But once you get to normal distances, you can't see a difference. Ultimately, tho, you're right. Companies will eventually tie their fanciest tech to 8K wagon. Want true Rec2020 wide color? You'll probably need 8K. Want the best viewing angles? 8K. Best up conversion? 8K.

Perhaps gamers will benefit most from HDMI 2.1 and 8K. But the fact that that we have 10 different 8k models to choose from really has me scratching my head. There's practically no 8K content. And from what I can tell, there's only two 8K capable video camera models in the world (three tops). There's just nothing to feed it.

I'm with you, 4K tops. If you're just watching standard HD cable, stick with your old TV (unless its showing serious wear and tear).
 
Last edited:

Sonnie

Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Messages
2,200
Location
Alabama
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD T-758 AVR
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-1 Gen 2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Seven
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
Emotiva T2
Center Channel Speaker
Emotiva C2
Surround Speakers
Emotiva T1
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
Dual Custom Built 18" Subs
Video Display Device
Epson 4040
Screen
Elite Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Very interesting observations Todd... excellent and detailed as usual.

I never thought CES to be the really "high-end" showcase spot. I've always assumed the uber high-end stuck with RMAF, Axpona, etc. I've always seen CES as a mass marketed gear show and a lot of gadgets... new technology type stuff. But now it seems even some of the mass marketed audio companies are getting less attention there. I would think unless they have something really new and exciting to showoff, they also should probably stick with RMAF and Axpona, since those clearly attract more of their type market.
 

mechman

Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
892
Location
Empire Township, MN
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Pioneer VSX-832
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo UDP-205
Front Speakers
Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 55s
Center Channel Speaker
Definitive Technology CS8040
Surround Back Speakers
Definitive Technology DI6.5R
Other Speakers or Equipment
Apple TV 4K
Video Display Device
LG OLED65C7P
Remote Control
Logitech Harmony 650
Other Equipment
DirecTV HR54/200
Personally, I think all of the tech from the video side is driven by the almighty dollar. People are still running out and buying new displays therefore manufacturers have to have a reason for their product to be bought over competitors. They could honestly care less about standards. They only care about not being left behind.

Sooner or later market saturation will catch up and it will all slow to a crawl I hope.
 
Top Bottom