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Is Samsung 4K 50" monitor better than 1080p at displaying text?

Posted on 2015-02-16
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Last Modified: 2015-02-22
I am researching displays to see which model would better show TEXT for demonstration purposes in a conference room setting. I am comparing the 1080p Samsung UN48H5500 and the 4K HU6950.   I am inserting the dialogue between myself and the Samsung rep, any input would be appreciated.

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Christopher: I am inquiring about two different displays.
Vega J: Hello, Good Morning.
Vega J: Sure, I will help you with the information.
Christopher: The first is UN48H5500AFXZA which has a diagonal dot pitch of 0.55 mm and the second is UN50HU6950FXZA which has a diagonal dot pitch of 0.54 mm
Christopher: A) is this correct? and B) which display will allow me to view text clearer
Christopher: It will be used as a monitor attached to a PC for display purposes and text clarity is important
Vega J: Could you give me a few minutes while I gather the information for you?
Christopher: Yes, thank you
Vega J: Thank you.
Vega J: I appreciate your time and patience.
Vega J: Yes, your correct.
Christopher: I am correct how?
Christopher: Which device will be better in the case of viewing the text?
Vega J: Both the TVs can view the text clearer, However HU6950 will be good than the H5500 model TV.
Vega J: H5500 come with 120 CMR, where as HU6950 come with 240 CMR.
Vega J: The picture quality will be more in HU6950 than the H5500 model TV.
Vega J: Higher the CMR, higher the picture quality.
Vega J: Clear Motion Rate was developed to accurately measure how well an LCD or LED TV can depict fast moving images. Previously, motion-clarity was calculated by the frame refresh rate alone. But CMR offers a more complete measure by calculating 3 factors: frame refresh rate, image processor speed and backlight technology.
Vega J: This is the reason HU6950 has better viewing the text.
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Question by:bselltiz
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by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 40612625
I'd wager that, for displaying text (solely or primarily) in a conference room setting, where people aren't sitting within 3' of the display, the UN48H5500AFXZA will work just fine and there will be no noticeable difference in quality.  Unless the text is really, really small.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40612699
It is likely that your video can support 1080p native resolution.  I'm not so sure about supporting 4K native support.  Remember that it is the combination of the monitor, the video card and the software that determines the display quality.
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by:bselltiz
ID: 40612714
My video card can support 4k.
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by:bselltiz
ID: 40612722
I really need to know how the pixel pitch affects the display quality. I am only concerned about the monitor. Can you tell me if the 4k monitor should have a much tighter dot pitch or not?
Thanks.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40612741
4K should be 'wonderful' at native resolution.  However... your text display is probably NOT going to be at 4K resolution.  That means that your video card and monitor are going to approximate the required resolution.  And I can't tell you how well that will work.
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by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 40612982
"Pixel pitch" describes the distance between pixels, and determines how smooth non-horizontal lines are.
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by:it_saige
ID: 40612996
I am going to side with Dave and paul here.  IMHO, if this is for text presentations, there will be no discernible difference (other than the cost of the unit) for one monitor over the other.  The UN48H5500AFXZA will work just as well.

-saige-
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Author Comment

by:bselltiz
ID: 40613052
Re - '4K should be 'wonderful' at native resolution.  However... your text display is probably NOT going to be at 4K resolution. '
Dave can you explain why my text would not be at 4k? If I get a video card that can support the full resolution?
Thanks,
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by:it_saige
it_saige earned 167 total points
ID: 40613057
Since text is *generally* black and white (or greyscale), the real question is how much difference is there between .55 DPI and .54 DPI.  Honestly, not much unless the text gets really really really small.

I like this chart for illustrative purposes:X = Viewing distance from TV; Y = TV Screen Size.Source

-saige-
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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 166 total points
ID: 40613090
The most extreme example I can think of is a command line DOS display.  That is typically set at 80 characters width by 25 to 50 rows with dot-matrix characters instead of fonts.  You can select the character set that is used but there is no anti-aliasing to smooth the fonts and make them look better.  At least not on my computers.

So the question is... what program and method are you using to display text?  Some programs like web browsers can scale the text and the screen for you.  A DOS box won't.
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by:bselltiz
ID: 40617673
it_saige - Regarding - the real question is how much difference is there between .55 DPI and .54 DPI.
Theoretically, if the DPI is lower on the 4k display, the text will be clearer?
I don't think we got the right info from Samsung, in my head I think there would have to be a bigger difference in DPI between the 1080 and 4k monitors if they are both the same size.
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by:it_saige
ID: 40617736
I think you might be confusing DPI with PPI.  A 4K monitor has 4 times as many pixels per inch then a 1080p monitor.

http://99designs.com/designer-blog/2013/02/26/ppi-vs-dpi-whats-the-difference/

Pixel Density comparison between 4K and 1080p monitors of the same size.Source

Every display becomes a *Retina Display* at a certain distance based on it's PPI and Size.  This means that when viewed beyond this distance, the human eye is unable to distinguish the pixels that make up the displayed image (text or otherwise).

So for the 4K monitor the retina distance is at or over 39" (99cm) -Capture.JPGWhile the 1080p monitor has a retina distance at or over 78" (198cm) -Capture.JPGSource

The real question then becomes, how far is your audience going to be from the monitor when making presentations?  If it is beyond 78" (rougly 6.5 feet), then I would go for the 1080p monitor.

-saige-
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40617758
In a web browser, text and graphics are displayed at a fixed size in terms of pixels.  An image that is 200 pixels high will be half the size on a 4K monitor as it is on a 1080p monitor.  It will still be 200 pixels but they will take up less space on the screen.
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Author Comment

by:bselltiz
ID: 40617775
Great article.

I actually meant to reference Dot Pitch. When I read about dot pitch I see that it has to do with sub pixels, so if I understand it, a lower dot pitch will mean a higher pixel per inch?

Anyway, so if a 4k monitor has 4 times the PPI as a 1080P monitor, then text should appear sharper correct?
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40617807
It will usually appear smaller.
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Accepted Solution

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Paul MacDonald earned 167 total points
ID: 40617863
The text will appear smoother.  Feel free to say sharper, but the only place you'll notice a difference is on edges that aren't horizontal or vertical.

Again, this won't make much difference at all if the people are sitting a few feet away from the monitor.  Rationalize the 4k display if you like, but you won't really see a difference day-to-day.
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