Sunday, November 16, 2014

What Best Buy isn't telling you about its Black Friday Samsung 4K TV

One of Best Buy's Black Friday doorbusters is a 55" 4k Samsung TV for $900. A smoking hot deal, right?
     Nah. Any savvy shopper looking to pick up a 4k TV knows it should have these three features in order not to become obsolete in the next few years:
1) HDMI 2.0. Why? To support up to 60 fps (frames-per-second) content at 4k resolution, support dual video streams, 21:9 aspect ration, dynamic sync of video and audio, and other features.
2) HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, aka H.265). Why? HEVC is the new compression scheme necessary to transmit huge 4k files in a practical manner. Netflix (and probably other streaming services) will send 4k content via HEVC and TVs that don't have it won't be able to display that content without an exterior media receiver
3) HDCP 2.2 (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). Why? It's the HDMI copy protection encryption scheme and it will probably be used by forthcoming 4k Blu-ray discs and players.
     So does Best Buy's Samsung Black Friday bait have these features? Not one is mentioned in the company's website "specifications" tab; geek website i4u says that the TV probably doesn't have the near-future proofing specs.
     It recommends instead the Sam's Club Holiday Celebration sale $998 60-inch VIZIO P602UI-B3 LED 4K Ultra HD 240Hz Smart TV as being "off the charts," although CNET has some reservations about the VIZIO P-series.

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