OK just a little update, i just watched Revenant UHD and my word its so gorgeous, this is a must see if you are delving into HDR, fire and starry night scenes in HDR is incredible. I watched with friends and all them said this was the best quality they have ever seen other than Imax, my non HDR tv handled it really really well, i cant wait to test out on a proper hdr tv. Im also going to meet up with macuser as he has a HDR tv so we can gauge what this player can do when paired with a tv that handles BT.2020. Will post results and im sure macuser will give his thoughts too.
OK finally got to check out an actual HDR TV (thanks macuser!) and my thoughts are:
Unbeatable ease of use, Basically plug the player into the right HDCP2.2 input on the tv and the tv switches to HDR mode and everything is almost perfect, we had to boost colour on the players internal setting slightly and thats about it and we had it on the player settings described in my first post. Coming from my experience and spending hours getting the perfect settings on my tv to represent what hdr was spitting out (i have to have full colour boost within player, turn on full range in colour mode and turn on vivid colour within the panasonic tv) , this hdr input recognition was very intuitive. Im not reviewing the sony tv here but its got a lot of great features but going through the menus is kinda clunky.
However, having the ability to switch between BT.2020 mode and Standard was a really good way to see exactly what HDR was doing to the colours. I noticed a huge difference just in the home screen of the player compared with my TV but the players internal colour settings can only be accessed when some media is being played so I cant even get the effect just the home screen has on my TV so thats a +1 i guess.
Now to the crux, do i need to upgrade (or do you) now that i have an officially non HDR tv but it is HDCP 2.2 4k/60p compatible and has wide colour specs?
Movies tested were Life of Pi, Martian, Mad Max and Revenant
I really cant say enough about revenant, its just gorgeous (albeit brutal) and this is the one i hoped would give me the best indicator of what hdr can do, switching beetween BT.2020 and standard on this brought out really intense colours (sky, fire, foliage, water, grass, leaves and mainly faces) just bloomed with colour without getting saturated, looks incredibly natural but my panasonic tv held its own completely (please note my colours are at max settings before any obvious oversaturation and the sony is on default) I didnt feel like i saw anything more in the sony that i didnt experience on mine. So phew...
Similarly life of pi and martian didnt yield any obvious enhancement to my own. But Mad Max is a different story, mad max definitely had deeper reds and the shiny and chrome we shinyer and chromeyer, although i didn't notice a big improvement on the noise and grain, maybe that was in there as a production element. My TV would over saturate before producing those scarletts and crimsons how i saw them on the sony.
This is where i was slightly jealous of macusers set up and he understands whats going on better in terms of colours, so could explain why that is. But im happy enough with my set up to pass on upgrading for atleast the next few years, if my tv doesnt blow up in the mean time.
So again if you have a 4k 60p tv with decent colour specs and HDCP 2.2 This player will give you an experience like never before. We couldnt compare streaming 4k hdr as my netflix app on the player didnt have HDR just uhd but from just resolution point of view its no where near as clear and much higher noise so i still think physical media is king for now. Atleast till everyone has access to 200mbps wifi anyway.