The 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray format has been on the market for just over a year. Have you bought into it yet, or are you still happy with regular Blu-ray?
I’ve been an avid videophile for most of my adult life, and I’ve typically been on the leading edge of every new home video upgrade since the Laserdisc days. I spent a lot of money and exerted a lot of effort building a dedicated home theater with a large projection screen and Dolby Atmos surround sound. Despite all this, I’ve been content to stay pat with a 1080p projector (actually, two of them) and standard Blu-ray.
The unfortunate irony of the move to 4k video is that the better your home theater, the harder it is to upgrade. Although a typical consumer with a single-cord connection between their source content and their TV should have little problem replacing both of those devices with 4k models, I would have to replace (at a minimum) my disc player, one of my projectors, my video processor, any other components in between these things (switchers, splitters, etc.), and very likely the HDMI cable that currently runs behind my walls and above my ceiling. That would be a huge ordeal and expense that I’m just not ready for.
In addition to that, the difference between Blu-ray and UHD is smaller on a projector than on a flat-panel TV. Projectors struggle to hit the peak brightness requirements that make High Dynamic Range video worthwhile. The larger the screen, the less improvement is noticeable.
Furthermore, I am still very impressed with the image quality I get from watching a regular Blu-ray on my JVC projector, which is typically better than anything I see at a commercial cinema near me. I simply haven’t been aching for an upgrade the way I was during the move from DVD to Blu-ray.
On the other hand, I’m frustrated that some home video studios are making Dolby Atmos soundtracks exclusive to UHD even though there’s no impediment to putting them on Blu-ray too. I may have to eventually break down and buy a UHD player just for that, even if it means downconverting the video to 1080p.