Trending February 2024 # Benq El2870U Quick Review: Value 4K Hdr Monitor For Media Consumption # Suggested March 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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If you have been following the 4K HDR monitor market, you’d know that most models were well out of reach of the average buyer, with prices well above the Rs. 50,000 mark. This has also made 4K content less accessible unless you had deep pockets..

Obviously, the price demanded our attention so we decided to take a closer look at the latest monitor from BenQ, and see whether its picture quality and feature set are enough to justify a recommendation from us.

BenQ EL2870U Specifications

Dimensions and Weight657.9×476.27×194.6mm, 7.2kg

Screen Size27.9-inches

Resolution3840×2160

Aspect Ratio16:9

Panel TypeTN (Twisted Nematic)

BacklightLED

Brightness300 nits

Native Contrast1000:1

U/D: 160 degrees

Response Time1ms (GtG)

Refresh Rate60Hz

Color Gamut72% NTSC

PPI158

Speakers2Watt x2

PortsHDMI v2.0 x2, DisplayPort v1.4×1, 3.5mm headphone jack x1

PriceRs. 32,889

BenQ EL2870U Design and Build Quality

But once you start using it, you’ll notice that it’s surprisingly well built and the bezels aren’t all that intrusive. The monitor is definitely quite ‘simple’ to look at, with a pretty standard rigid stand, a significant chin which has all the hardware buttons and the ambient light sensor.

In comparison, some of the recent monitors in the same price range from companies like Dell and HP look a whole lot more modern with their minimal bezels and fancy stands. But then again, those monitors pale in comparison to the EL2870U’s feature-packed spec list, which is ideally what you should be looking at to begin with.

Granted that the competitions tiny bezels and swiveling stands seem quite impressive when you first look at the monitors, but their novelty quickly wears out once you start using them, and you’re less concerned about their looks and more concerned with what you’re actually seeing on the display. This is exactly where the EL2870U shines, but more on that later.

For now, lets talk about what you get in the box when you order a brand new BenQ EL2870U. With every BenQ 2870U you’ll receive a rather heavy stand which ships in three pieces and requires a Philips-head screwdriver to assemble, a power cord with no external power supply which is great, a standard HDMI cable and some paperwork that you’ll probably never look at. Now that the box contents are out of the way, lets address all the buttons and ports on the monitor.

BenQ EL2870U Ports

All the hardware buttons on the BenQ EL2870U are placed on the underside of the right corner of the bottom bezel, with the exception of the dedicated HDR/BI button which is placed up front and has a copper colored sticker placed above it.

In terms of connectivity, the monitor features the bare minimum ports you’d need to connect it to a system, including two HDMI v2.0 input ports, a single DisplayPort v1.4 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a power input port. The lack of any USB ports is a major shortcoming.

The monitor also packs in two 2 Watt speakers that are barely audible and sound quite poor to be honest. So if you plan on purchasing this monitor for multimedia consumption, do note that you might also have to invest in a good pair of speakers to go along with the 4K display.

BenQ EL2870U Picture Quality

The BenQ EL2870U features a 27.9-inch 4K 3840×2160 TN panel with an LED backlight and it’s definitely a pretty good panel for media consumption. As mentioned above, the display has a standard 16:9 aspect ratio with a pixel density of 158ppi and a maximum brightness of 300nits. It has a fast 1ms (GtG) response time which should be great for gaming, but the refresh rate is limited at just 60Hz which is a bummer.

The panel’s viewing angles are pretty solid, with the company claiming clear visibility 170 degrees vertically and 160 degrees horizontally. However, in my use, I definitely noticed some color shifting while looking at the display at an angle, something that’s is quite prominent when looking at the display from a steep vertical angle.

The panel has a matte finish, which is great if you wish to avoid screen glares, but the matte finish has a negative impact on the display’s color reproduction. Images and videos on the display look at bit washed out and, once again, blacks don’t look as deep as some other LCD or OLED panels.

The color reproduction is rated at 94 percent on sRGB and 74 percent on Adobe RGB, making the EL2879U a decent option for casual photographers or video editors on a budget, but it’s certainly not on par with professional-grade displays.

HDR Support

The display also comes with HDR support, along with a couple of HDR specific modes, which is probably why most prospective buyers will give this display a second look. However, since the display has a maximum brightness of just 300nits, it isn’t able to make the most out of its HDR capabilities. Therefore, media consumption and gaming without the HDR mode turned on looks a fair bit better than it does with the HDR modes activated.

With the HDR mode turned on, there’s very little detail and visual artifacts in the blacks and the colors looked crushed at high intensities. So if you’re specifically considering the EL2870U for its HDR capabilities, you’re definitely going to be disappointed with your purchase. An IPS panel at the same price point will be able to reproduce better blacks and colors, with or without HDR support, making it a better choice.

Low Blue Light Emissions and Brightness Intelligence Plus

To help users adjust the settings quickly on the fly, the monitor features a dedicated button that allows you to cycle between four presets, including multimedia, web-surfing, office and reading. Depending on what you plan on using the monitor for, you’ll need to select the appropriate blue light filter setting to get the best results.

The Brightness Intelligence Plus technology also adjusts the brightness automatically, which helps avoid overexposure and enhances the details in the darker areas of the image. This goes a long way in preserving the original color saturation and hue, and I preferred using the monitor with this setting turned on.

AMD FreeSync Support

Additionally, the EL2870U features AMD FreeSync support which is great for those of you who wish to play games on the display. However, you’ll need to use a compatible AMD GPU in order to make use of this feature and since the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, you shouldn’t expect FreeSync to make much of a difference. Since we don’t have access to a compatible AMD GPU, we weren’t able to test the monitor’s performance with the FreeSync mode turned on.

Pros:

Affordable

HDR Compatible

FreeSync Support

Decent Build Quality

Reduced Blue Light Emissions

60Hz Refresh Rate

Low Native Contrast

Bad HDR Performance

Limited Connectivity Options

Poor Audio Quality

BenQ EL2870U: Decent 4K Monitor for the Budget Conscious

The BenQ EL2870U is a pretty decent monitor for the price and should be a great option for those of you looking for a 4K monitor on a tight budget. Priced at Rs. 32,265, the feature packed monitor is great for multimedia consumption, but it isn’t ideal for gamers.

Even though it comes with AMD FreeSync support, the monitor’s 60Hz refresh rate limits it from used for gaming, and there are plenty of other options in the market, with 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate displays, which would be a better fit for gamers.

It competes with the LG 27-inch 27UK650-W 4K HDR monitor, which is priced just higher at Rs 33,895, but with a similar 60Hz panel and a slower response time as the BenQ monitor. The Acer 28-inch KG281K monitor on the other hand is far less expensive at around Rs 24,000, but it does not have the same anti-Blue Light emissions or brightness adjustment features which make the BenQ monitor more suited for prolonged usage.

The EL2870U is also a decent fit for photographers and videographers alike, thanks to its decent color reproduction capabilities, but you’ll definitely need to calibrate the display if you want the best color accuracy. The monitor’s HDR capabilities are shabby at best and you shouldn’t really consider the EL2870U if great HDR performance is one of your top priorities.

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Benq Ew3280U Review: A 4K Monitor Meant For Multimedia Entertainment

The BenQ EW3280U 4K screen comes with a minimalist design and is equipped with all the modern interfaces, such as USB-C, that one could ask for. However, you will have to accept compromises in other areas, such as the lack of ergonomic adjustment options. The monitor isn’t cheap, currently starting at around $699, but it’s not far-fetched for a large screen with its capabilities.

BenQ EW3280U: The specs

Display size 32-inchNative resolution3840×2160Panel typeIPS / 16:9Refresh rate60HzAdaptive syncCompatible with AMD’s FreeSyncPorts1 DisplayPort, 2 HDMI, 1 USB, 1 analog audio jack, USB-CStand adjustmentNoneVESA mountYes, 100x100mmSpeakersYesHDRSupports HDRiPrice$699

BenQ EW3280U: Image quality

With the refresh rate limited to a relatively low 60Hz coupled with its high resolution, the BenQ EW3280U is more of a specialist monitor when it comes to gaming. It will work well for games with sophisticated graphics-oriented and detailed representation, such as Witcher 3, where not every frame-per-second is important. But it will undoubtedly lead to some ghosting and tearing when playing fast-paced multiplayer games.

BenQ EW3280U: UHD entertainment monitor that is also suitable for gaming

PC Welt

BenQ EW3280U: Ports

The array of interface ports on the BenQ EW3280U is plentiful and, in addition to 2x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort, also includes a USB-C interface that delivers 60 watts of power delivery. The corresponding cables are also included in the box so you are free to use whichever is best for your setup.

Benq EW3280U: The integrated USB-C interface with 60-watt Power Delivery

PC Welt

Benq EW3280U: Menu and features

The screen menu is clearly structured and can be conveniently controlled via a five-way joystick on the right rear of the housing. A small remote control is included with the monitor that has a neat rotary wheel in the middle for adjusting the volume of the speakers.

Benq EW3280U: A small remote control for convenient control

PC Welt

One of the features on this monitor that impressed us the most was the two stereo speakers. They are supported by a respectable sub-woofer, which delivers a surprisingly full and rich sound. While its common for monitors nowadays to include built-in speakers, they are typically an afterthought. These monitor speakers produce excellent treble and bass response even when playing the most demanding audio with strong bass lines.

BenQ EW3280U: Power consumption

With a power consumption of around 43 watts in operation at maximum brightness, the BenQ EW3280U is towards the low end when compared to other 4K 32-inch displays. Additionally, in standby mode the energy requirement drops to a low 0.4 watts.

Final thoughts

The BenQ EW3280U monitor not only delivers great performance for gaming and multimedia entertainment, but it throws in a few surprising features as well such as the excellent built-in audio system, low power consumption, and a practical remote to control everything. You’ll also find plenty of ports for all of your connections. It does have a disappointingly low refresh rate and the lack of ergonomic adjustment options can mean you need to find creative ways to change the height on a desk, but overall this is a solid monitor worthy of displaying the latest movies or blasting your favorite music.

This review originally appeared on PC-Welt, PCWorld’s German sister site.

Benq Tk800 Projector Review: 4K Movies Never Looked So Good

Our Verdict

This projector might not be strictly 4K, but the projected results can certainly emulate that experience quite effectively. Well balanced output, decent colour representation and plenty of lumens to combat ambient light. At this price point calling it ‘budget’ seems silly, but for those building a home cinema system this borders on affordable.

Projectors have lagged behind somewhat from an output resolution perspective. Where LCD TV technology has left everything lower than 1080p far behind, projectors have struggled to keep pace with the 4K revolution.

The BenQ TK800 is built specifically for those with home cinema aspirations are looking for something better than a 1080p projector, such as the Epson EH-TW650. A solution they can use successfully for 4K live broadcasts, movies or gaming.

BenQ TK800 Projector Price and Availability

The UK pricing for the TK800 is £1,198.99 from Amazon, and at this time it isn’t sold directly through the BenQ online store.

That’s almost the same price as the BenQ W1700, a solution that looks very similar, but is only rated to 2200 lumens, where the TK800 is 3000 lumens.

In the US a TK800 costs $1,499.99, almost the exact dollar/pound exchange rate. It might be possible to find it cheaper, but that’s the standard price that is on Amazon.

At the top of the list of competitive devices comes BenQ’s own HT2550, the previous design that has marginally better colour representation, but a lower power lamp.

On price the TK800 is undercut by the ViewSonic PX747-4K at £999.99 ( $1,299.99), Optoma UHD300X at £999 ($1,299.99), but it is cheaper than the Acer H7850 at £1,714.08 ( $1,999).

It should be stated that none of these devices are native 4K, and they mostly offer less lumens than the BenQ TK800 has.

BenQ TK800 Projector Features and Design

There is something vaguely familiar about the TK800 we realised when we unpacked the review model. It is almost identical to BenQ’s previous HT2550 model, with the major difference being the blue fascia.

The choice of that colour is unusual and reminded us of something from a seventies Christmas decoration. It’s certainly striking, but not everyone will love it.

It doesn’t exactly break new ground in projector ergonomics, either. The optical system has a zoom and focus wheels, all the inputs are on the rear and there are menu navigation controls on the top surface.

While they are outwardly similar, the TK800 takes much of the physical structure from the HT2550, but swaps out the colour wheel for some alternative technology and also boosts the available Lumens to 3,000 from 2,200 before.

The diametrically opposite of portable, this is a large device that can be used either as a front or rear projection when placed on a table or ceiling mounted. It isn’t a short throw projector, having a throw ratio that depending on the zoom slides between 1.47 and 176:1.

In this reviewer’s home that capped the size of the image available to 100 inches (at 3.25 meters), although with bigger rooms the TK800 is built to generate a massive 300-inch projection.

BenQ included a nicely made remote control which features backlit keys, and significantly more buttons than are on the projector.

The available inputs are two HDMI ports, 3.5 mm audio jacks (in and out), a RS232 12v trigger, and VGA.

That last option is entirely out of place to our mindset, because VGA doesn’t support 4K and any computer that only has it as an output choice would ancient.

Also, only one of the HDMI inputs is 2.0 spec. Limiting 4K resolutions at 60Hz to a single input, as HDMI 1.4 on the other port doesn’t support better than 4K at 30Hz.

Why those designing it didn’t ditch the VGA and give this two HDMI 2.0 spec ports is annoying, because having only one port that does 4K in 60Hz means that a HDMI switcher will be required for those with any combination of cable, console, computer and Chromecast Ultra to connect at the same time.

The USB port scenario is also less than ideal.

There are two USB ports; a Type A and a Type mini B. On other, usually business projectors, at least one of these would allow you to present various file types without a computer/console, but in this design that feature was never considered. The mini B is purely for service diagnostics, and the Type A is only to provide power if you have a Chromecast or something similar connected.

But, the first question that most people will ask about this product will be is it truly 4K?

Defining True 4K

The documentation that we got from BenQ about this projector claimed it has a natural resolution of 3840 x 2160 or ‘True 4K’ as it is referred, but a deeper dive into the details reveals that definition is more marketing than certified.

At the heart of this projector is DLP XPR Technology, created by Texas Instruments to enable lower resolution chip that uses pixel-shifting technology to achieve the 8.3 million pixels needed for 4K.

The concept of pixel shifting has been around for a while, first appearing on camera sensors. What the system does is moves the sensor half a pixels width, to effectively double the apparent resolution by creating overlapping data in successive frames.

So is this a real problem or a prosaic one? That entirely depends on how sharp you like the image.

Because however you dice things, pixel shifted 1080p is never going to look as sharp as native 4K. But equally, if you are watching a movie or a rapidly moving game output at distance, and not still 4K images with single pixel thick lines, you well might not notice.

And, at least this system is 4K certified, compared with some ‘4K Enhanced’ designs that forget about half the pixels in each frame.

Our take on this is that the BenQ TK800 looks better than a standard 1080p DLP projector, but lacks the fine details and clarity of one with an actual 4K DLP.

If you want a 4K DLP projector, be prepared to pay three times the cost of this, and possibly even more.

BenQ TK800 Projector Performance

Having accepted that Pixel Shifting is part of the TK800 equation, the output from this projector is exceptional in many respects.

As this hardware is designated as HDR, the colour representation is important and the BenQ engineers managed a product that achieves 92% Rec.709 coverage with ‘Decent Brightness’ as the promotional material puts it.

That’s a good gamut, but it is also about 3% less than the prior BenQ HT2550 offered. This is undoubtedly the flip-side of having more lumens, as the brighter the lamp the more it appears to degrade the colour accuracy.

We need to point out that you can’t get a projector with 100% coverage for less than 50 times as much as this, therefore it’s not an issue that is easy to engineer away.

Another factor in this may be the colour wheel, that uses four elements; RGBW. The ‘W’ designates an entirely clear segment, and on some projector designs this approach can cause issues.

With that section clear, almost 100% of the light from the bulb passes through, where any pixels with colour components will be by definition less bright. We’re not sure how BenQ engineers achieved this, but they avoided creating overly ‘hot’ highlight areas, balancing the brightness correctly from deep colours to brighter sections.

This is especially impressive if you activate the HDR functionality, and have a computer or games console that can generate enhanced dynamic range output.

BenQ quotes 3,000 lumens, and in our testing it exceeded those numbers marginally. This makes it perfect for those locations that aren’t entirely devoid of ambient light, or outdoors at night with the biggest possible screen size.

One caveat here is bulb life, at just 4,000 hours of ‘normal’ use. That’s three years use of four hours a day, and you can double that lifespan using SmartEco mode.

And another issue is the light leakage around the image. Because the masked area around the projection isn’t entirely light free, creating a slightly dark grey frame bounding the projection.

When you initially run the projector the grey frame can be a distraction, but as your eyes accommodate the new lighting conditions it seems less of an issue, and you rapidly forget about it.

Overall, the TK800 is a major improvement over the best 1080p projectors, even if it isn’t the full 4K El Dorado. There are things we’d change about it, like the HDMI port selection, and that blue facia, but it has many strong points too.

Specs BenQ TK800: Specs

DLP projector

1920×1080 native resolution (4K pixel shift)

16:9 aspect ratio

10000:1 contrast

3000 ANSI lumens

10,000 hours lamp life (Eco mode)

Manual focus and zoom

Auto keystone correction

1.47 – 1.76 throw ratio

30-300in projection

Single 5W speaker

headphone jack

1 x 12V trigger

1 x 3.5mm mini jack

1 x VGA Inputs

2 x HDMI (2.0 and 1.4)

1 x USB type A

1 x USB type mini B

remote control with backlit buttons

35.3×13.5×27.2mm

4.2 KG

24-month warranty

What Is A 4K High Dynamic Range (Hdr) Tv?

If you’re in the market for a new HD TV, you’ve probably noticed that some 4K models also have a feature called HDR (High Dynamic Range).

HDR is a technology that dramatically improves the brightness and contrast of a display. HDR is objectively superior to older TV technology, but not all sets are created equal, and HDR isn’t a monolithic standard. Nonetheless, HDR provides the best TV experience, and we’ll explain why.

Table of Contents

The Easy Part: 4K

The easiest part of the technology to understand is the “4K” bit. This simply refers to the resolution of the television. “Resolution” in this context means the number of pixels the TV has. Most “4K” TVs are UHD or “Ultra-high Definition,” which is slightly lower resolution than the proper 4K standard used in professional Hollywood cinematic film production.

A UHD TV has a pixel grid of 3840×2160 pixels. This is an incredible four times the number of pixels in an FHD (Full HD) display. UHD resolution isn’t related to HDR at all. Displays can offer HDR regardless of what resolution they have. For example, 1440p computer monitors and mobile phone panels offer HDR, despite having a lower resolution than 4K UHD.

HDR is something you’ll find almost exclusively paired with 4K or higher resolutions when it comes to television. So it’s no surprise that these two TV specs are spoken of in the same breath.

What Is Dynamic Range?

However, dynamic range is more about how much detail can be retained in an image’s darkest and brightest parts before you get “crushed” blacks and “blown out” whites.

You might recall that infamous episode of Game of Thrones where scenes were so dark that many viewers could see nothing but a mushy black image. The show’s creators had pushed so far down the dynamic range that lower-end TVs (which most people have) simply weren’t capable of reproducing the details.

Standard Dynamic Range vs. High Dynamic Range

The dynamic range of content and displays is standardized so that the people who master video content know the limits within which they can work. SDR or Standard Definition Range content results from technological limitations in camera and display technology.

Modern cameras and displays can capture and reproduce a far wider range of brights and darks. Not only that, they can capture and reproduce details within those dark and bright parts of the image that would have been lost before.

All HDR does is widen that range and increase the available information cameras capture and screens can show. If you make content with an SDR camera, you won’t see any improvement on an HDR screen. Likewise, if you put HDR content on an SDR screen, it will look like SDR content.

HDR Standards

There are five HDR standards at the time of writing: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, and Advanced HDR by Technicolor.

HDR10

The most widely-supported HDR standard is HDR10. Virtually all HDR displays support HDR10, and most HDR content is available in HDR10. Other standards improve on this original implementation of HDR, and it’s usually only cheaper sets that only support HDR.

HDR is a relatively simple open standard created by the UHD Alliance, the consortium responsible for defining the UHD resolution standard. For a TV to be HDR10 compliant, it must meet specific technical peak brightness and contrast ratio standards.

The HDR metadata, which is additional information about light levels encoded in HDR content, is static in the case of HDR10. That means the specified brightness and contrast levels are the same regardless of the display or specific scene you’re watching. That’s as opposed to HDR standards that use dynamic metadata, which changes those brightness and contrast values on a per-scene basis.

HDR10+

The UHD Alliance does not define HDR10+. Instead, it’s defined by Samsung, one of the largest TV manufacturers in the world.

As the name suggests, HDR10+ builds on the foundation of HDR10. It does this by adding dynamic metadata, which means that HDR targets are based on the current scene. Samsung has made HDR10+ an open standard just like the original HDR. So anyone can put this certification on their TV if it complies with the on-paper requirements.

Dolby Vision HDR

Dolby Vision is one of the significant HDR standards, and you’ll find a fair number of higher-end TVs and media devices to support it. The latest generation of Xbox consoles supports Dolby Vision, for example.

Dolby Vision certification is somewhat more challenging than HDR10 or HDR10+ since it’s a licensed standard. TVs and other HDR devices must pass their certification to display the Dolby Vision sticker.

This standard uses dynamic metadata. This means the image is adjusted to the capabilities of your particular Dolby-certified HDR TV, which has manufacturer settings built into it that help interpret how to display content mastered in Dolby Vision.

Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)

Hybrid Log-Gamma works differently from either HDR10 or Dolby Vision. This standard doesn’t have metadata. It instead uses a calculation to work out what the brightness level should be on an HDR display along an SDR gamma curve.

The standard was developed for broadcasters to allow a single signal to work on both SDR and HDR sets. However, very few 4K TVs currently support HLG so unless there’s a greater level of adoption, HLG has an uncertain future.

Advanced HDR by Technicolor

Technicolor is a name known to anyone who has an interest in cinema. This company pioneered much of the film industry’s display technology.

Advanced HDR by Technicolor is an attempt to bring some of that know-how into HDR, but it’s by far the smallest compared to Dolby Vision and HDR 10, so it’s bound to be an uphill battle.

To make things worse, there are three standards within the Technicolor HDR family: SL-HDR1, SL-HDR2, and SL-HDR3. SL-HDR1 is backward compatible with SDR, making it a viable choice for broadcasts like HLG. SL-HDR2 has dynamic metadata and is the competing standard to HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. SL-HDR3 is still in development.

LG, a major rival to Samsung, tends to include a broader range of supported HDR standards with its TVs, supports Technicolor, and you’ll also see sets with support for this standard sold under the Philips brand.

HDR Affects Color Reproduction

While HDR is mostly about peak brightness and darkness, color is also affected. With the extra luminosity data embedded in HDR video, it becomes possible to capture and reproduce more shades of color. 

Therefore, good HDR displays are brighter and more colorful than typical SDR screens. An HDR display can have poor color reproduction for other reasons than its HDR range, but in practice, better color usually goes hand-in-hand with better HDR.

HDR Color Gamut

Those mastering HDR content to comply with specific HDR standards have a defined color gamut. Dolby Vision uses the REC.2024 wide color gamut. HDR10 uses the narrower DCI-P3 gamut, but wider than the standard HD gamut, REC.709.

Just because a given HDR standard offers a wide range of colors, that doesn’t mean every HDR TV can reproduce all of them or do so accurately. Screens are often rated as covering a percentage of a certain color gamut, with higher numbers being better.

You Need HDR Content

If it isn’t clear from the discussion so far, you need to feed your 4K HDR TV with HDR content to get any benefit from it. Not only that, but the TV shows or movies have to be mastered in the HDR standard that your TV supports.

For example, Netflix streams using two HDR formats: HDR10 and Dolby Vision. The Netflix app automatically detects what type of HDR your TV and streaming device supports and then streams the correct kind of content. Different streaming services usually support at least HDR10. Amazon Prime Video supports HDR10+, and some titles are also available in Dolby Vision.

When it comes to collecting physical media mastered in HDR, your only option is 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. This is different from standard Blu-ray technology, which only supports a 1080p resolution and doesn’t have enough spare room for HDR information. You’ll also need a UHD Blu-ray player, which must also support HDR.

Turning SDR Into HDR

It’s possible to get more out of SDR content by “converting” it into HDR. Many televisions have an option to activate a sort of pseudo-HDR where SDR content is analyzed and the TV’s software “guesses” what it would look like if it were HDR.

The results can be pretty mixed, depending on the specific algorithm the TV uses. But in many cases, it does offer an enhanced picture. 

On the latest Xbox consoles, you’ll also find a feature called “Auto-HDR,” which injects HDR information into games that were not created with HDR support. How well this works once again varies on a case-by-case basis.

What to Look For When Buying 4K HDR TVs

Just because a new TV is labeled as an HDR 4K TV doesn’t mean you’re getting the picture quality benefits you think. There are several aspects of any new TV with HDR you should pay careful attention to.

Advanced HDR Standard Support

Virtually all HDR TVs support HDR10, but you should avoid TVs that only support HDR10. Try to go with a set that supports at least HDR10+, Dolby Vision, or both. For now, these are the two most common standards, and they offer a significant step up over standard HDR10.

True HDR Compliance

What does the HDR label on a 4K TV actually mean? One of the essential considerations is peak brightness. Brightness is measured in “Nits,” and good HDR TVs usually produce at least 600 Nits of peak brightness, with high-end HDR TVs making 1000 Nits or more. In practice, many low-end TVs only produce 100-300 Nits, so they can’t reproduce a proper HDR image.

It’s always a good idea to check the brightness levels tested by third-party publications such as RTings or Consumer Reports to see if the TV you’re considering is bright enough to be an HDR display.

Backlight and Display Technology

There are several TV technologies on the market, and they have different approaches to producing images and creating brightness.

OLED (Organic Light-emitting Diodes) are generally the best HDR displays. OLED is an emissive technology, which means that the pixels in the screen produce their light. OLED TVs can have perfect blacks since the pixels can be very dimly lit or even turned off completely. Although most OLEDs don’t get all that bright, the contrast ratio helps them produce fantastic HDR imagery as long as you’re watching in a darkened environment.

LED LCD TVs are the most common type of TV you’ll find. LCD is a transmissive technology, which means that the light is provided by a backlight that shines through the LCD panel. This limits how dark the screen can get since the backlight still shines through when the pixels are off.

New LED technologies such as local dimming zoned, QLED,  Mini LED, and Micro LED bring LCDs closer to OLED displays without the drawbacks of OLED screens. An LED screen with many local dimming zones or Mini LED technology will likely produce much better HDR imagery than an edge-lit LED with no dimming.

Limited HDR Inputs

While your TV may support HDR and even offer a decent HDR image, it may not support HDR on all its inputs. Some mid-range or lower-end HDR TVs only support HDR on HDMI input 1.

So if you have multiple HDR-compatible devices, such as a PlayStation 5, Apple TV, Roku, or Google TV device, you’d have to use an HDMI splitter or switch to enjoy HDR content on both devices. If you have a smart TV, any apps running on the TV will have HDR as long as they support it.

Devices that don’t support HDR, such as the Nintendo Switch, should be plugged into non-HDR inputs. The good news is that you don’t need a special HDMI cable for HDR. Any certified HDMI cable will work.

Professional Reviews Matter

It’s vital to read professional reviews by publications that use specialized equipment to check whether the claimed performance measures up to the real-world performance. It only takes a few minutes to see if the 4K HDR TV you want to buy is as good as the on-paper numbers suggest.

Looking On The Bright Side

TV makers such as Sony, Samsung, and LG have been hard at work to push HDR on their products and support several competing standards. While it’s still anyone’s guess which HDR standards will become the most universal, there’s almost no HDR TV you can buy that won’t support HDR10 or Dolby Vision.

Review: Sandisk Extreme Portable Ssd – Fast Enough For 4K Workflows

As a MacBook Pro user, having access to external SSD storage is important given the price of build-to-order SSD upgrades. For example, a 4TB SSD upgrade alone on the 2023 MacBook Pro can set you back $3400, more than the price of the laptop itself.

With this in mind, such upgrades can’t be reasonably justified for many users, which means relying on external storage where necessary. Thankfully, there is no shortage of external storage solutions for the MacBook Pro, with many of them featuring bus-powered USB-C connectivity for plug and play functionality.

SanDisk’s Extreme Portable SSD, available in various storage capacities, is one such product. Watch our video hands-on for the details.

Specifications

Up to 550 MB/s read speeds

Up to 2TB of storage capacity

Shock and vibration resistant

IP55 rated against dust and water

USB 3.1 gen 2 support

Comes with USB-C to USB-C cable, and USB-A adapter

3-year limited warranty

The first thing that stands out about the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is its size. At roughly 3.5-inches tall, less than 2-inches wide, and .25-inches thick, it’s very compact and can easily fit in a pants pocket. The drive is made up of plastic and soft touch rubber on the rear, along with a full rubber bumper surrounding the exterior of the enclosure.

Video review

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The drive doesn’t feel particularly robust, especially when compared to other drives, like the Samsung T5, with metal housings on the outside. Yet, SanDisk says it designed its SSD with portability and somewhat precarious environments and situations in mind. For example, it’s IP55 rated, meaning it’s protected from limited dust ingress, and from low pressure water jets from any direction. SanDisk also notes that the Extreme Portable SSD is vibration and shock-resistant, and is able to withstand up to a 2-meter drop. All of these claims are backed up by a 3-year limited warranty, which should offer users some peace of mind.

Inside the box, you’ll find the drive, a short 7-inch USB-C to USB-C cable, and a USB-A adapter for connecting to legacy ports. The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD comes with a single USB-C port on the bottom for connecting to the host computer, which means it is fully bus-powered and ready to go upon connection.

I tested the 1 TB version, but you’ll also find 250 GB, 500 GB, and 2 TB storage options. Prices range from roughly less than $100 to a little over $500 for the top end storage size.

Speed Tests

The drive is pre-formated using ExFat, which allows for both Mac and Windows compatibility out of the box. If you’re a Mac user, you can venture into Disk Utility and format the drive however you’d like.

I ran a couple of speed tests using my two favorite Mac drive benchmarking tools: Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and QuickBench. Here are the results:

As you can see, read speeds in the Blackmagic test averaged around 521 MB/s, while speeds with the QuickBench sequential test trended closer to the 550 MB/s rating on the box.

This drive is plenty fast enough for 4K ProRes 422 HQ workflows at 60 frames per second, which makes it a solid MacBook Pro / Final Cut Pro X companion drive.  I tested both ExFat and Mac OS Extended (Journaled) formats using these two speed test utilities, and found the results to be identical.

Conclusion

My biggest reservation with this drive is with its longterm durability. The plastic front exterior doesn’t exactly exude confidence as far as build materials are concerned. Yet, SanDisk has obviously designed this drive to be portable, traveled-with, and in some cases used in less-than-ideal environments. The drive even includes a hole in the upper right-hand corner for attaching a loop or even something like a carabiner, further emphasizing its on-the-go ability. So, maybe I shouldn’t be so worried about the drive’s long-term durability? I’ll keep testing and report back.

My favorite things about this drive include its extremely light weight, that it’s bus-powered, and it lends you plenty of room for handling storage-heavy tasks like video editing. If you need more MacBook Pro storage, then a compact drive like the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD may be just what the doctor ordered. You can also find the drive available from B&H.

Do you like the idea of using a portable SSD with your MacBook Pro, or would you rather drop lots of money for more of Apple’s ridiculously-fast internal SSD storage?

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Best 4K Tvs For Apple Tv 4K In 2023

4K TVs have been ruling the roost for quite some time. And why not? They are well-timed for an incredible cinematic experience. Having already snapped the best 4K monitors, we’ve taken a shot at the best 4K TVs for Apple TV 4K in today’s roundup.

On what parameters have We Picked Out The Top 4K TVs?

Top-Notch Display: It’s been the biggest deciding factor

The Design: It’s what separates cheese from the chaws

Performance: When the dust finally settles on, it’s the performance that really counts

Enough talk? Let’s take a peek at our top 10 4K TVs!

1. Samsung 7 Series Smart 4K TV

Should you think of going for a more affordable yet highly impressive 4K TV, Samsung’s 7 Series Smart 4K TV would be a top contender. Well, I say it because I find this TV to have covered all the bases and also offer some extra goodies.

First and foremost, the sleek modern design helps it win the eyes with little effort. And the ultra-large display is good enough to offer sharp and vibrant photos.

Samsung touts that the TV offers 4X the resolution of the Full HD. Thanks to the robust UHD engine, it also transforms the non-4K TV content into 4K.

The motion rate of 120 plays a pivotal role in helping the TV run your games and movies smoothly. That’s not all, 7 Series Smart 4K TV also brings all of your apps and content from multiple devices at one convenient location for quick access.

2. Insignia NS-43DF710NA19

The Insignia 43″ Smart UHD 4K TV has built-in Fire TV features along with Alexa remote to make things a lot easier. The TV flaunts 8 million pixels, delivering stunning picture clarity, with deep contrast, giving a true-to-life 4K experience. If we talk about hardware power, the TV boasts a quad-core CPU with multi-core GPU giving speed in whatever you do.

The Fire TV feature enables you to view over-the-air channels using the HD antenna. It has three HDMI ports that can be used to connect either DTH or a Gaming console. Besides, you can also view Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO by connecting your TV with WiFi. Lastly, there are regular over-the-air software updates that enhance your TV experience with the ever-changing dynamic tech industry.

3. Samsung QN75Q70RAFXZA

Samsung knows how to produce top-notch 4K TVs. And its QN75Q70RAFXZA model is yet another example of how good the South Korean tech giant is in making one of the finest 4K TVs.

It has a bit sturdy build and features 75-inch diagonal QLED screen that is fully capable of enhancing your viewing. The QLED display is more than capable to offer rich colors and clear images.

The ability to provide 4x the resolution of Full HD makes it bang on the target for an enjoyable movie. One notable feature of this TV is that it can let you upscale your HD content into 4K.

4. SunBrite

Are you on the lookout for a top-end outdoor TV? If yes, SunBrite 4K Series can be one of the better choices for your specific taste.

The TV has a handsome build and is capable of operating in all weather conditions. SunBrite has offered a reliable safeguard in the form of nano-coating to protect both the interior and exterior. Therefore, the TV remains protected from dust, snow, and even rain.

The ultra 4K screen can be trusted to live up to your viewing demand. Besides, it ideally calibrates photos so that they can appear crisp and sharp. Not to speak of the powerful built-in speakers that can amplify your music videos.

5. Toshiba 43LF621U19

As long as features are concerned for this Toshiba 4K TV, it is almost identical to Insignia. The significant difference between the two is the brand name and customer support. Toshiba is an established electronic brand and has better after-sales support. This smart 4K TV also has 3 HDMI ports, over-the-air software updates, DTH, and HD antenna support.

Besides, you are at liberty to watch streaming services like Netflix by connecting your TV with your WiFi network. The prices are slightly higher compared to Insignia. Lastly, there are three models available, 43-inch, 50-inch, and 55-inch.

6. Samsung UN40NU7100FXZA

This 4K TV from Samsung offers seven different sizes, starting from 40-inch and going up to 70-inch. Samsung is very well-known for its display technology, and this TV is no different. With a built-in UHD engine, even a non 4K content is upscaled to 4K. The Samsung remote is pretty neat in navigation.

The TV supports most of the streaming services, all you need to do is connect your TV with the WiFi network. The PurColor technology delivers millions of colors, giving a perfect soothing experience to your eyes. It is slim and beautiful if we talk about its looks; perfect to suit your furniture. If the budget is not an issue, Samsung is undoubtedly worth the money.

With a superior quad-core processor, LG 55UM7300PUA offers wider viewing angles with minor loss of color and contrast. Hence, this 4K TV is a perfect choice for group and family viewing.

4K TV provides deeper black levels and improves color accuracy. The 55UM7300PUA Series TVs are fully compatible with HDR technology and also offer HDMI and analog AV inputs. The TV also has native support for Google Assistant and Alexa, making your viewing experience a lot more convenient.

If you are in quest of a highly functional budget 4K TV, TCL 43S425 with a built-in Roku operating system can be a perfect option. The Roku system provides access to 500,000 movies and episodes. While some channels are free, others are available for a pay-per-view fee or a prepaid monthly subscription.

There is a USB port to let you access digital media content on compatible devices. It also enables you to share audio, video or photo on your smartphone. It also offers fabulous image quality with Direct LED backlighting. TCL’s 43S425 Series Roku TVs is available in four sizes like 43, 50, 55, 65, and 75-inches.

9. SunBriteTV SE

SunBriteTV is designed to be a premium 4K TV for outdoor usage. The LED/LCD screen is three times brighter than the other TVs. An enhanced anti-glare screen backs its direct LED backlighting.

It has settings for both daytime and nighttime brightness situations. This set can resist rain, salt air, dust, and even insects. Besides, it is capable of handling temperatures from minus 24 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even better, it also comes with better cable management options for additional security in different weather conditions.

That’s it!

What’s your favorite?

Which 4K TV have you picked for your Apple TV? Do let us know its name and the qualities you admire in it.

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Author Profile

Dhvanesh

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

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