Now that I’ve finally got the space, and as a member of the Rogers Social Insiders (#RogersSI) I recently joined the world of 4K display television when the good folks at Rogers hooked me up with the gorgeous 55″ Samsung SUHD 4K Flat TV Smart TV. This baby has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, produces a super clear and bright picture, and is an absolute joy to watch!
Equally important, along with the 4K TV Rogers sent me their new “Nextbox 4K” (which is aka Cisco CAV10242HD [PDF Manual]) with a free 4K TV subscription and free cable box rental so I can watch the Toronto Blue Jays playing all their 2016 home games broadcast in 4k! Yes, the Blue Jays are the first Major League Baseball team to broadcast all 81 of their home games in 4K resolution. According to Sportsnet they, “are North America’s first 24/7 dedicated sports feeds featuring 4K content…,” which is pretty freaking cool!
You’re probably wondering what it’s like to watch content in 4K and if it’s worth the investment right now so here are my thoughts on the strengths:
- Baseball: When you’re watching the Jays in 4K there is ABSOLUTELY a difference. Replays are when the picture resolution being 4x as large as 1080p HD shine especially bright. Watching a baseball game in 4K means when you yell at the garbage call the obviously blind ump made you KNOW that guy is clearly an idiot or the commissioner of the MLB really is out to get Toronto. 😉😂😂😂
- Nature/Scenery: On the Rogers 4K Preview Channel (Ch 999 “4KTV”) they have been showing back to back episodes of Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan which is a show that has the actor from “Lost” travelling the world and exploring the nautral beauty of the plant and animal world. Watching the scenery and getting up close to the animals is truly breathtaking and I cannot wait until channels like Discovery and National Geographic start broadcasting in 4K!
- YouTube: YouTube actually has a dedicated 4K section and because the Samsung Smart TV Rogers gave me has WiFi and is on my home network I’ve been watching a lot of my YouTube on the TV. YouTube has a bunch of 4K content and I have been watching things like The Slow Mo Guys, videos by NASA from outer space, and drone(?) flyover exploration videos of places all around the world on Amazing Places On Our Planet.
Now, while I am in love with the 4K TV and watching television in 4K there are currently a couple of weaknesses that bear mentioning, although I am sure these weaknesses will be addressed and fixed soon as they aren’t major issues.
- HD TV Now Sort of Stinks: As a child of the 1980s I remember watching TV in the days before HD existed so I’m not actually complaining about the quality of HD or saying it is substandard. But once you start watching things in 4K and then watch 1080p HD shows (especially on a 4K TV) you notice the artifacts in the picture and can’t help but recognize that it’s a lower quality image than your TV can produce. Basically this first one isn’t really a weakness and is very much one of Dan’s #FirstWorldProblems which he should just quit talking about.😀😂😅 So, moving on…
- No PVR On Nextbox 4K (YET!): The current model Nextbox 4K does not have an internal hard drive which means you cannot record any TV on it. It also means that you can’t pause or rewind live TV. The Rogers Nextbox 4K, of course, CAN be put onto a home network of TV boxes so if you have a standard HD cable box like Rogers’ Nextbox 3.0 with PVR then you can access recordings from that box on the Nextbox 4K. I fully expect Rogers to release another Nextbox sooner or later which will address this.
- No Picture In Picture [PIP]: When the Raptors were still in the 2016 NBA Playoffs and the Blue Jays were also playing a game, the struggle was real deciding which game to watch when I realized that the Nextbox 4K doesn’t support PIP display (so you can watch 2 channels at once). Luckily, I realized quickly I could watch one game on my computer or phone and the other one on TV so no PIP was really required…of course, this is something which can also be changed with an updated Nextbox release (or maybe even a software update?).
All in all, I am loving living #LifeIn4K thanks to Rogers being so awesome and providing me with this TV, cable box, and TV subscription for free to test it out and write about. Keep watch on this space as well as my Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook which all share the username TheDanLevy.
Have you watched stuff in 4K or have a 4K TV and/or TV subscription of your own? What do you think?
- Link to Rogers 4K TV page
- Link to the Samsung UN55JS8500F 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV JS8500 Series 8 page
Since I got the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 as part of the Rogers Social Ambassadors group, aka #RogersSI, I’ve been wondering what is the best way for me to get some actual work done on this tablet. After I read Rannie’s review of the Microsoft keyboard I decided to dig out the Kensington Bluetooth keyboard, tablet case, and tablet stand to do just that.
This post is actually this first thing I am writing on the keyboard while I lie on a bed and type up a storm with my keyboard detached from the case (it connects with magnets) and lying on my lap as the screen sits in front of me. The only downside I can see thus far is that the built-in virtual Samsung on-screen keyboard doesn’t know to automatically close when the external Bluetooth keyboard is connected. Luckily, I figured out that if I tell the Note 8.0 that I am going to use the Google Voice input it will give me the full screen with no keyboard.
Using this external Bluetooth keyboard for the tablet increases my productivity a whole bunch. I still have to get used to the size of the keyboard as it is way smaller of a physical keyboard than I am used to. The portability of it is awesome though. If you have a tablet and plan on actually doing any writing on your tablet I highly recommend you grab a physical keyboard because it is an absolute game changer.
The only mild complaint I have with this keyboard is something which can also be seen as a huge plus: the tablet “clips” are 4 pieces of rubber which velcro onto the top of the stand. They do a great job holding the device – any device of a variety of sizes – but it is somewhat of a pain taking your tablet in and out of the clips. As I said, this isn’t a real complaint because this is one of the only ways they could have made this case into a universal case and keep the accessory useful for multiple devices as you continue to switch and upgrade from tablet to tablet over the long haul. One great thing about the clips, though, is that they leave plenty of room for the Galaxy Note 8.0’s S Pen to come in and out of the device, it mostly frees up the space for the speakers on the device, and every other port and button is fully and easily accessible.
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