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Mockduck

The 4K Experience (and trouble-shooting)

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I have personally found the 4K experience lacking significantly on the new VCS. It outputs a 4K signal, but the video just doesn't look great, and even the Home experience is laggy and framey. Playing games is also laggy and framey. 

 

What's your experience? The 2k experience is full-on excellent for me, but 4K? Nope. 

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55 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

I have personally found the 4K experience lacking significantly on the new VCS. It outputs a 4K signal, but the video just doesn't look great, and even the Home experience is laggy and framey. Playing games is also laggy and framey. 

 

What's your experience? The 2k experience is full-on excellent for me, but 4K? Nope. 

For me, it was always only streaming in 4K, and I did not expect games to play in 4K.
Actually, I do not have a 4K TV, so it wasn't important to me.
However, I'm interested which streaming service you are using, and what your Internet speed is. On Ethernet?

Jani who wrote Guntech was told recently that Guntech was laggy in 4K, and he said he'd never tested it in 4K.
He had never intended the game to run in 4K, and was quite surprised that it worked at all. He said there was
an option to set the resolution to 1080p, for example, but he'd not added it because he hadn't thought about it.
 

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11 minutes ago, justclaws said:

For me, it was always only streaming in 4K, and I did not expect games to play in 4K.
Actually, I do not have a 4K TV, so it wasn't important to me.
However, I'm interested which streaming service you are using, and what your Internet speed is. On Ethernet?

Jani who wrote Guntech was told recently that Guntech was laggy in 4K, and he said he'd never tested it in 4K.
He had never intended the game to run in 4K, and was quite surprised that it worked at all. He said there was
an option to set the resolution to 1080p, for example, but he'd not added it because he hadn't thought about it.
 

Yes, on Ethernet with a strong fast solid connection. The main "omg this is a thing" moment to me was when I booted up Netflix on the VCS in 4k and streamed 10 minutes of video (to give time for the bit rate and such to buffer and settle), then compare the same to the native 4k Netflix app included in my sub-$200 open box Walmart TV. So, yeah, not a 4k expert, but the difference was visible to an undiscerning eye. The VCS 4k was full of artifacting and a generally low bit rate, while the TV was as expected. 

I too wasn't expecting games to really play in 4K, but Atari is marketing it as such on the box, and even the Home screen is like trying to run Windows 10 on an old laptop. But since I am also both fairly new to 4K and with just an entry-level TV I wanted to get people's input.

 

I also noticed that even plugging into the TV (which has HDMI 2.1), the VCS did not by default set the output to 4k. Instead, it was 2k. When trying to plug into a 1920x1080 screen, it doesn't allow for a 4k setting (greyed out in the settings). That leads me to think that the VCS is capable of knowing whether it could be 2k or 4k, but even if it detects 4k, it doesn't seem willing to switch it over unless it is done manually. That seems to me like a sign that even Atari might be aware of the state of 4k output on the new VCS.

 

 

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That is strange. I think as first check, if you can go to speedtest.net on the VCS, (this is via AtariOS, yes?)
and also on the other device if possible(?) then we can work out if it's the network connection or rendering.
If they're both on cables, as a control test, maybe swap the two cables over in the switch, in case of fault?

As the system chipset has specific hardware just for video decompression for 4K, it should not strain it.
It's something AMD was very clear about on the specs for the R1606g, as it can drive 2x 4K monitors. 😕
I'd love to connect my VCS at work; we have several hundred gigabits for our data centres; a nice test.

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The Atari VCS IS capable of 4K output! I know because I have one and tested it out on my new LG 32" 4K monitor.


The 4K setting is not enabled by default. You need to go the VCS settings page under System >  General Settings and select the one that says Ultra HD output. After you've done it, reboot and the system will be running in 4K.

 

If you're running Windows 10, it would be advisable to do this first before installing with WinToUSB, as this would enable the display settings in Windows to detect it is running in 4K and so provide you the full set of display settings.


To be honest, I was very surprised it could run 4K (let alone potentially handle 3 separate 4K displays as per the AMD specs for this Ryzen R1606G CPU). It is quite an amazing system for what it is.

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To be clear: it can run 4k, and does output a 4k signal. My report is that the 4k experience is not great, however, with the video not as good as it is on comparable TVs and consoles, and the gaming experience in 4k to be too framey to play very well. 

 

I have since also been told that since the VCS uses the Chrome web browser for Netflix and the like instead of a native app that the video is limited to 1080p. I will take people's word for it, since I don't know how to check that myself really. 

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Of course **the computer** (sorry, I callz em like a seez em) doesn't output 4k to displays that don't support 4k.

 

FYI.

https://jtechdigital.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001539773-What-is-EDID-Extended-Display-Identification-Data-

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39 minutes ago, orange808 said:

Of course **the computer** (sorry, I callz em like a seez em) doesn't output 4k to displays that don't support 4k.

 

FYI.

https://jtechdigital.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001539773-What-is-EDID-Extended-Display-Identification-Data-

who said anything about forcing a 4k signal to a non 4k display ?

 

On 1/17/2021 at 4:31 PM, Mockduck said:

To be clear: it can run 4k, and does output a 4k signal. My report is that the 4k experience is not great, however, with the video not as good as it is on comparable TVs and consoles, and the gaming experience in 4k to be too framey to play very well. 

 

I have since also been told that since the VCS uses the Chrome web browser for Netflix and the like instead of a native app that the video is limited to 1080p. I will take people's word for it, since I don't know how to check that myself really. 

I think (if you have a keyboard) you can press "Ctrl" + "Alt" + "Shift" + "D"  to see what quality netflix is playing at.

But yes, Netflix in chrome is limited to 720p. For the full quality you need a dedicated app or the edge browser, so I guess that leaves windows ? (don't know if they have a linux app). I don't think it's really honest to advertise the VCS as being a 4k machine while the main application for it (movie streaming) is not available without a dedicated app which doesn't exist for the VCS.
Same thing for Amazon prime. 
Also applies to sound I think; should you have a fancy  Dolby Atmos or something setup. Only Sterero in chrome (I think).

 

edit: just checked on a computer under windows, in chrome Netflix plays at 720p and 2.0 for sound. "Ctrl" + "Alt" + "Shift" + "D" will show that and a bunch more stats (bitrates, dropped frames count, etc .)

Edited by Zor

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22 minutes ago, Zor said:

who said anything about forcing a 4k signal to a non 4k display ?

Even if I misunderstood the post, it's still an EDID problem. 

 

If the display is 4k and the computer doesn't detect it properly, it's still an EDID issue.  Either the next device in the video chain (after the computer output) isn't properly advertising it's capabilities (most likely) or the driver/OS aren't handling the EDID information properly.

 

It's likely the issue is the because of an AVR, video processor, switch, or splitter device sitting between the computer and the display.  Although, it also could be the display itself.  

 

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17 hours ago, markofwolves said:

Even for me the experience in 4k is bad. I can only use it in 2K but I am disappointed.

I hope the next update can fix the 4K experience.

UPDATE: I can only use it in 2K because in 4K is unthinkable. I've 4K TV and PS5 and XBOX Series X work perfectly in 4K.

Edited by markofwolves

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I suspect that quite a few of the "4k works fine for me" posts are actually from people who don't realize that they have to go into their system settings and manually switch it over to 4k. They might think since it is plugged into their 4k TV it would just stream a 4k signal by default, like the PS5 and such do. Just a guess, though, but I'm no expert at recognizing video tech and the tanked frame rate and laggy experience has always seemed really really visible. 

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On 1/4/2021 at 3:20 PM, Mockduck said:

I have personally found the 4K experience lacking significantly on the new VCS. It outputs a 4K signal, but the video just doesn't look great, and even the Home experience is laggy and framey. Playing games is also laggy and framey. 

 

What's your experience? The 2k experience is full-on excellent for me, but 4K? Nope. 

^ this.  This is why mine is dust collector at this point.

 

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2 hours ago, Ripdubski said:

^ this.  This is why mine is dust collector at this point.

 

 

Better get one of those dust protectors.  A new customer born.

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On 1/4/2021 at 2:20 PM, Mockduck said:

I have personally found the 4K experience lacking significantly on the new VCS. It outputs a 4K signal, but the video just doesn't look great, and even the Home experience is laggy and framey. Playing games is also laggy and framey. 

 

What's your experience? The 2k experience is full-on excellent for me, but 4K? Nope. 

We're talking about cart size with the 2600, right? They have 32K and ARM-based technology, too.

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Directly from Atari Support:

 

We are being told by engineering that we are waiting for hardware acceleration for 4K from AMD. They had promised it to us when we selected the AMD Ryzen, but they have missed two deadlines for delivery and we are still chasing them. Once they provide us with that update 4K performance will improve dramatically. 

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2 hours ago, markofwolves said:

Directly from Atari Support:

 

We are being told by engineering that we are waiting for hardware acceleration for 4K from AMD. They had promised it to us when we selected the AMD Ryzen, but they have missed two deadlines for delivery and we are still chasing them. Once they provide us with that update 4K performance will improve dramatically. 

That is really cool, assuming it happens and works. 

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8 hours ago, markofwolves said:

Directly from Atari Support:

 

We are being told by engineering that we are waiting for hardware acceleration for 4K from AMD. They had promised it to us when we selected the AMD Ryzen, but they have missed two deadlines for delivery and we are still chasing them. Once they provide us with that update 4K performance will improve dramatically. 

That makes sense to me, too, because from what I see, Windows 10 video-driver is better than Linux,
and there have been reviews by ETAPrime of streaming 4K on way-LESS-powerful mini-PCs and that
was puzzling me. However, without a 4K screen/TV to test on, I could not quantify the VCS differences.

(As I wrote elsewhere, as streaming services are (so I read) moving to Web-Assembly for their clients,
means that streaming should also improve as this delivers native clients via the web-browser, as well.
This means streaming via a web-browser will be as fast as a native client, and would need no updates.)

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2 hours ago, justclaws said:

(As I wrote elsewhere, as streaming services are (so I read) moving to Web-Assembly for their clients,
means that streaming should also improve as this delivers native clients via the web-browser, as well.
This means streaming via a web-browser will be as fast as a native client, and would need no updates.)

This isn't about speed, 4k video playback in browsers is not an issue, it's something about DRM management. In all browsers but Edge, Netflix caps videos at 720p.
Does that web-assembly thing changes anything about DRMs management ?

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I was also under the impression that the 4K is just for streaming. ThrustLander is in no way made for 4k output on the VCS.

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Does anyone know why 4K display mode is still so bad on the Atari dashboard? I know it’s not my VCS at fault as I’ve been using 4K resolution in PC mode for YouTube and web browsing etc and it runs good but when I select 4K on the Atari dashboard it restarts the system and the dashboard runs at a snails pace and the fan goes wild for a bit, it’s been like this since January for me so I’ve just stuck to 1080p but I really would hope it gets fixed in an upcoming update soon as the console is more than capable of doing web browsing at 4K. It’s a strange problem that I can only put down to issues with the firmware. 

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I don't have a 4K screen of any sort so I can't investigate it. 😞

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