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iPhone X, CBS Star Trek issues, HD Standards, Mobile Gaming, & Alpha Access

On “Altered Geek,” Steve is rejoined by Mike Powers to catch up on tech. The guys examine the new iPhone from an Apple enthusiast’s perspective, Star Trek Discovery controversy and the CBS All Access Distribution platform, HD Digital standards, mobile gaming and getting Alpha Access on Battlefield 1 Incursions. All this and more on Altered Geek!

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About Steven C. Phillips

Co-Creator @GeekCastRadio | Creator @AlteredGeek | Voice Actor | Podcaster, Husband | Father | Web/Graphic Design | A/V Editor | Geek of Games, Tech, Film, TV

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  • Tim Silvers

    Enjoyed the show. Welcome back, Mike!

    Interesting discussions. Regarding the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, I still use my iPhone 6. I just don’t need the constant upgrades. My current phone is fine except a bit sluggish with ever iOS update, it seems. Saving money is more important to me. I do use my phone a fair bit, but mainly for a few things, which all work fine with that phone I have now. That said, I think the 8 might as well have been called the iPhone 7S. And the X is what the latest iPhone should have been with no price bump. The Face ID tech is cool, but I think the unlock and swipe is clunky. Yet, it is better than Android, which can be fooled with only a picture.

    Another tech discussion I wanted to weigh in on is the Apple TV and 4K. This is why I am sitting this out until things are more fully baked. Well, that and the fact that I have a 65″ 2013 plasma that has a fantastic picture. Even if I had a 4K TV, I would watch less than 5% of 4K content on it. There are actually Dolby Vision encoded UHD Blu-rays now, including the latest Transformers film. I think Power Rangers is as well. So, yay, I guess. The HDR standards are still shaking out (there is HDR, HDR 10+, Dolby Vision, HLG, and Technicolor). LG TVs support all but HDR 10+, which was just announced THIS YEAR! So, anyone jumping into 4K right now needs to take a healthy dose of patience and realize they are early adopters and all perks and frustrations apply. Things are very much in flux and the TV you have now will look paltry in a year or two as the manufacturers race to support wider color and produce more peak brightness. Even the best TVs are only hitting in the ballpark of 1000 knits. Content is mastered at 2000, if I recall. Plus, most films are shot in 2K, not 4K. So, content is upscaled from 2K masters. I understand they look good and there can be some improvement in detail, however. And the content mastering will get better. So, the UHD version now will get a remaster in a few years so you can go buy it all over again.

    So, what was that about planned obsolescence? 🙂

    • MC Powers

      Interesting thoughts on 4k. I have 2 4K TVs and I love them both. I have 2014 Vizio P Series and a 2016 P Series. The 2016 P series also supports, or will support all HDR standards. At the moment it handles HLG, HDR10 and Dolby Vision. For my money, Dolby Vision is the best. I am in the process of acquiring a Dolby Vision enabled UHD player, I have a Samsung UHD Player that only supports HDR10, and the differences are noticeable, even while streaming DV come out on top. And while Samsung could update the player to support DV, they won’t. They want the $$$.

      As for the nits, I work on/install Dolby Cinema laser systems. The Dolby Vision standard in cinema is 65 Nits, so TV manufacturers boasting about a 1000 nits is ludicrous. They no doubt can hit that, but nothing in actual Cinema hits that, so its a silly bullet point to make a TV set seem more appealing. And you are correct on the Blurays being encoded for DV, you can add Spider-man Homecoming to your list of DV enabled UHD’s.

      As for the “most films are 2k” argument, I have given up on the resolution side of 4k or UHD being the draw, the real draw for me is HDR and the expanded P3 color gamut. Those 2 things have a larger impact on the viewing experience than seeing something in actual 4k, IMO, so even if its a 2k edit upscaled to 4k for a UHD release, I am going to be happy, but if theres a true 4k master, thats even more impressive. Movies that were actually shot on film should benefit the most from a 4k transfer. I am very excited to grab the recently announced Nolan collection for its 4k release. Nolan insistence on shooting on actual film stock, and with IMAX cameras should make for some truly impressive 4K demo content to show off a home theater.

      But I hear all sides to the 4k argument, but as a self professed cinephile, I had to go 4k as soon as possible. I am just very glad (as is my wife) that Vizio has been fully supporting their 4K sets by actually updating the firmware, when possible, for free, to support all the new standards. So even though I invested early, I still haven’t been bitten by the early adoption.

      • Tim Silvers

        I appreciate your thoughts, Mike. With more content becoming available, I have been contemplating getting a 4K TV, actually. Prices are coming down and I would love to see HDR for myself. Depending on how low they go, I may get one, but most of what I watch will still not be 4K/HDR, so I may wait another year or two.