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Topics - Ari Altman

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We're starting a new thread for TBG's $3,500 Ultimate Gaming PC Buyer's Guide given the major CPU and GPU updates to this build. To see discussion about the previous $3,500 Build, see this thread.

Comments or questions about TBG's "Radio Controlled Vehicle Buyer's Guide"? Post them here!

Starting a new thread for the $2,500 build, as it has changed significantly since the last thread was created.

Feel free to post any and all questions here!

TBG is pleased to announce that it has started up a unique partnership with SilverStone Technology Co., which has signed on as a sponsor of TBG's Do-it-Yourself PC Buyer's Guides! SilverStone has made its entire product catalog available to TBG, so you'll be seeing many of SilverStone's newest cases, power supplies, and PC accessories featured in the guides, often long before you see them featured anywhere else.

To help celebrate this partnership, SilverStone has offered to give away some cool new swag - check it out below:

(1) SilverStone SF02 Sound Dampening Acoustic Foam
(2) SilverStone Raven RVP01 Large Gaming Mousepad

To enter to win, simply post a message in this thread with your prize preference. The two winners will be chosen on June 20th (the first day of Summer!). Due to shipping costs, the contest is open only to readers in the 48 contiguous United States - sorry to all our Canadian, Australian, and European readers, as well as everyone else around the world!

Comments or questions on TBG's article "Taking 4K Gaming to the Limit: Testing GTX 1080 Ti SLI"? Post them here!

Comments or questions regarding "The PC Builder's Guides: Assembling a Mini-STX PC (2017)". Post them here!

Home Theater PC Setup / TBG's Review of Cyberlink PowerDVD 17 Ultra
« on: May 15, 2017, 01:07:38 PM »
Comments or questions regarding TBG's Review of Cyberlink PowerDVD 17 Ultra? Post them here.

Questions or comments on TBG's Home Office/Theater Mini-STX PC Buyer's Guide? Post them here!

In order to review the topic of 4K HDR in articles here on TBG, I recently purchased an LG C6P 65" 4K OLED along with an Oppo UDP-203 4K UHD Player, along with two sample 4K HDR discs (Planet Earth II and Arrival) along with a number of recent Blu-Rays. To be clear, this was an enormous cash outlay, and it's not something I plan on doing regularly for purposes of product reviews!

So, it turns out that OLED tech is nice, but it has some significant problems that all the glowing reviews you'll read on CNET, 4KRatings, and every other TV-focused site just isn't bothering to grapple with. The LG offers fantastic color and contrast as all the reviewers have said, but as a tech reviewer myself, I know that when reviewers get into a pattern, they can miss big problems, and manufacturers know this too, so they design products around how they'll be tested.

The LG has a few major issues that I'm pretty surprised at, and which are a big step down from the 2014 Samsung HU8550 I previously tested with:

(1) when any dejudder is used (even level 1), fast-moving objects will actually be partly deleted from the frame. For example, the tie fighters and X-Wings in the Rogue One battle scene on Scarif are practically erased due to dejudder. You can see the same thing in Arrival when the jets pass over Amy Adams' car in the parking lot scene about 5 minutes into the movie. This is a critical error, and I hope that the Korean firmware update people have been talking about fixes it.

(2) any use of deblur and especially dejudder causes noise around moving objects on contrasting backgrounds. An example would be the sea iguana scene in Planet Earth II, where the black iguana turns into a blur as it skitters across the light sand running from the snakes (this is at exactly 24 minutes in the Islands episode). Another example can be seen at the beginning of chapter 9 on Arrival, when Amy Adams and Forest Whittaker walk into a room and noise surrounds the profiles of their heads against the computer monitors. It's pretty clear that the processing involved for deblur and especially dejudder is far too slow to work on fast-moving objects. My guess is in fact that the LG OLEDs don't have enough processing power, and it may not be an OLED panel limitation. Hard to say until Sony's model hits the market.

(3) The judder in panning shots is quite significant when no deblur or dejudder is in use. Arrival has a number of pan down shots that clearly illustrate this, including the very first seconds of the movie as the camera pans down from the ceiling of Amy Adams' house. You can also see it in chapter 9 with the pan across the computer monitors mentioned above. The judder in La La Land as the camera pans across the drivers sitting in their cars in the first musical number at the beginning of the movie was unacceptable, and I had to turn on dejudder to watch it, which then ruined the Rogue One watching experience a few days later.

I've actually found that the best fix for all of these problems, at least on 4K HDR material that has limited options, is HDR Game mode. It eliminates the noise around moving objects, and also seems to take care of judder to a certain extent. Note that when in this mode, Dejudder and Deblur are shown as available, but have no visual impact when utilized, which suggests to me that they are actually being bypassed despite appearing to be user adjustable.

I'm still working on the best setting for 1080p BD material, but it may be Game Mode as well. I've determined that deblur fixes panning issues to a certain extent, so it's an option where you aren't watching fast motion. Note that I've also determined that both the "smooth" and "clear" options use some dejudder, which is a question that came up earlier in this thread. You might think that clear is DB=10 and DJ=0, but it's not, as any use of either smooth or clear made the jets disappear in Arrival. As far as I'm concerned, dejudder must be at zero.

As I test more Blu-Rays on my Oppo 203, I'll report additional findings. For 4K HDR, I'll only be using HDR Game mode. The processing involved in HDR adds so much more latency that no other option is viable.

I also sometimes use Amazon streaming via LG's built-in app. There's very little 4K HDR material that was actually filmed on modern film equipment (much of it is old nature documentaries or Amazon Original TV episodes, which are far too compressed to be of use as serious test material, similar to Netflix 4K). That being said, if you want to see 4K HDR at its finest, watch Spike Lee's Chi-Raq, which has color and light that's beyond belief. Having no fast-moving action, game mode isn't needed, which is a good thing, because it isn't available when using built-in content apps. There are some panning shots that suffer from judder, and if you'd like to see the problem with using dejudder, skip to 16:15 and watch the panning shot with DJ on and off. With DJ off, there's considerable judder in the billboards behind the woman walking, but with DJ on, her outline blurs in an ocean of noise. The best option for this non-action movie is DB=10, which limits noise while reducing judder slightly.

I think one of the problems people are finding in listing "best settings" is that the optimal setting doesn't just vary by source, it varies by scene. So it's not just whether you're using Blu-Ray or Cable or Amazon/Netflix, it's whether the scene you're watching has panning, fast-moving objects, significant contrast, etc. I'm afraid this in fact means that users are never going to find an optimal setting unless LG fixes the issues in its OLED models, if that's even possible.

Note that to share this with a broader audience, I've posted my findings to AVS Forums, which has a thread dedicated the LG OLED motion issues, but I will be publishing additional insights on 4K HDR more generally here on The Tech Buyer's Guru.

Comments or questions on TBG's article "Customizing PCs in the RGB Age"? Post them here!

The HTPC Build / TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide
« on: April 27, 2017, 02:55:48 PM »
Comments or questions on TBG's High-End Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide? Post them here!

Questions or comments regarding TBG's review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founders Edition? Post them here!

With the release of AMD's quad-core Ryzen chips, it's finally time for the Budget Gamer to move on from Intel, so a new thread has been created to discuss the ins and outs of building this AMD-based system. You can check out the previous Intel-based $750 Budget Gaming PC thread here.

Comments or questions on TBG's Guide to Assembling an AMD Ryzen PC (2017)? Post them here!

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