It’s about time that televisions, which are used to watch movies and world-changing documentaries by David Attenborough, have been given a resolution where you can appreciate what it would be like if you were standing in the place of the cinematographer; to let others know what they have recorded – which you wouldn’t have ever known about otherwise – so as to change the world’s view of the planet they’re living on.
It hasn’t quite worked out has it. David Attenborough has been around doing this stuff for decades and we’re still finding that, no matter what is recorded and then given to the world to see and observe, we still keep affecting the planet in a negative way.
I’ve had a thought in my mind why that might be; I think why that is, is because we’re seeing something that doesn’t have enough detail in it that would put anybody to unease. Such as seeing the rapid displacement of life along evolution’s immense journey; that you are connected to its circumstance and unable to disconnect from it because it doesn’t have the appearance of something that isn’t happening to you and therefore any personal feeling toward it.
What follows will also try and convince you to buy a 4K Television – for a lot of really good reasons. Reasons that will not include the fact that buying a 4k Television will end up affecting the planet in some negative way; for a better future more often than not.
Everything you see around you has far more detail than your eye could ever capture. This incredible detail is the reason why you feel the way you do, even if you don’t know it exists. This reality we’re in is designed to completely obscure what’s really there, by showing you near infinity… to nothing at all. It’s very odd when you think about it – to believe in something, you have to not know anything about it or be able to understand it if it were not immediately presented to you as to what it really was.
What’s actually there goes so far beyond the capabilities of your eye that it’s a wonder why the eye is not better than it is. When you’re looking at your television it will follow specific visual cues before you react to it; it needs to be choreographed to even make it work – otherwise, you instantly dismiss its importance. Unless what you’re seeing looks as if you could touch it and not disconnect from it, in the way that looking at a digital image does, it’s missing important information toward change that is intentional within the material.
It’s fortunate then, that a new generation of televisions have moved toward 4K. It’s not going to ever get to what the eye is capable of seeing, but it’s the best we have right now; before documentary cinematographers catch on that they’re not transferring their art in the way that they know it should.
The resolution of the display I’m looking at right now is 2 million pixels. It’s known as Full HD and it’s a widescreen display I’m using – also known as 16:9. Which is an aspect ratio for width and height: 16 units wide, 9 units high. It can also be seen as 1.77:1 where, from the movie industry standard’s wider than widescreen point of view, it is the closest to 1.85:1.
There are 1,920 pixels from side to side and 1,080 pixels top to bottom. Multiply those numbers together and you get 2,073,600 pixels in a total space of 246.12 inches². That means it’s a 24″ inch display. The density of pixels in each square inch is 92.
This is good enough to produce a convincing digital image that your eyes will look at and know, for certain, that it’s real if it were somehow captured from the source of reality and then converted to a digital state. There’s enough points of light and color for every inch of my screen to complete a digital composition as you would see it in that reality.
If the screen display I was looking at was designated ‘4K’, you’d get a pixel density of 185 in a total space of 246.12 inches². The resolution therefore, would be 3,840 pixels side to side and 2,160 pixels top to bottom. The total number of pixels that my 24″ inch display would now have is 8,294,400 pixels.
The question is, would you be able to tell from looking at both screens, which one had more detail and was even closer to the reality you’re so familiar with.
The answer is yes.
The next question to ask is, is it worth doing what I just did above by quadrupling the number of pixels. Because our eyes are 18 (1.5 feet) inches from the screen, which is about the right distance for a 24″ inch display, a pixel density of 185 would be extremely beneficial to say the least. That’s because the human eye could only ever be an equal to the human brain. The extent to which the human eye can perceive detail and color is likely beyond current technology as it stands for a further 10 years, if each were perfect in every way.
So, what if you have that perfect vision and we try to accommodate that. There’s a 4K Television in front of you 7 feet away and is 65″ inches. What would you need to completely push those eyeballs to the limit of what they’re capable of, so that you wouldn’t have any idea that what you were looking at wasn’t exactly like you’d experience whenever reality gently made a brush stoke over those perfect eyeballs.
The upcoming 8K Televisions won’t be able to do it, assuming 65″ inches on the diagonal. 8K Televisions would be a monumental jump from 4K and a 100″ inch screen would still have the pixel density of a 24″ inch display that I’m using right now just 18 inches from my eyes.
Here’s how to do it. What you would need is a 12K Television with a pixel density of 203, on a screen 65″ inches on the diagonal, 7 feet from where you were looking at it. Therefore, you would have 75 million pixels at a resolution of 11,520 x 6,480 in a total space of 1,805.34 inches². I know what you’re thinking… “Wouldn’t 400 ppi be the sort of density you should be factoring in here; what with 0.5 arc minutes and 20/10 – … ” I did factor it in and I don’t want to wait for something like that to be the next 10 years of waiting for it to happen, since only a tiny fraction of the human population on Earth would have 20/10 at any one moment in time. This version of a 12K Television is possible today and if we did that now, you would have to make use of contact lenses that provisioned 1 arc minute and 20/20 vision in both eyes to appreciate it, otherwise you would not be capable of seeing it – the same as you would not in the reality already around you…. all things being equal and whatnot. Wearing spectacles is not precise enough – they move; they vary. The ability to focus precisely is the key to pixel density’s worth.
Back to Earth, Back to Reality
I’m in a showroom of a dedicated retailer showing for me, 4K Televisions. My vision has been tested at 1 arc minute and is 20/20 – there’s nothing in my genetics that allow for anything better to occur. That’s the way I have been designed through my DNA. Color vision is normal.
There’s a 4K LCD that’s 55 inches on the left and a 4K OLED that’s 65 inches on the right. It’s the right 4K OLED that has me completely frozen to the seat in awe. I have never seen any picture, in the last 10 years look anything like that, except the best that Plasma Television has ever reached. There’s something wrong with the 4K LCD; I can’t tell exactly what it is – right up until the lights go off and the room is left completely black.
There’s a movie running on it – it’s listed below, the furthest to the right. If you want to know what I am getting at with what makes an image like a film – unlike clean digital perfection – this is about the best way to see that. I’ve said the same thing in a DSLR blog about ISO 25,600 and F1.4 lenses.
There is just no way I can look at the 4K LCD on the left. It’s getting to the point where it’s pointless thinking about the differences in cost. The 4K OLED completely removes the 4K LCD from my mind as nothing more than abstract litter, floating about in empty space. The blacks on the 4K OLED swim as if they’re alive.
There’s another thing that’s going on – the motion and clarity of the 4K OLED. I’ve seen smooth video – it’s not like that; I’ve seen demonstrations of movie material shot at 48fps – it’s not like that either. I don’t know exactly what it is; I think the nearest I can explain is that I can’t seem to be able to blink even when there’s a lot going on. It’s like there’s a cohesion of light and color there that isn’t causing me to break the spell of looking at it.
There is no other 4K Television I can recommend other than the one listed at the bottom. The Blu-ray player listed below was not used in the demonstration I saw, but I’m using the same manufacturer for continuity. You should get similar results.
If 4K really takes off, we’ll be pulling 8K closer.
Just remember how pixel density works. If you’re between 5-7 feet of a 4K Television, don’t buy a 65″ inch; go for the 55″ inch. If you know for sure that you’re outside of that, and you have a bigger audience than two and a larger living space for four, a 65″ inch at 7-9 feet is the right choice. Those few feet are going to mean something when you have the facts to hand.