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I need a 4k 40 inch TV that I will use when writing software. I need:

  • HDMI 2.0
  • the ability to disable overscan
  • to disable all image processing
  • low lag
  • around 40" in size

I have seen that the most popular TV for this user is a 39 inch Seiki, but it has some problems and also I cannot find in Italy.

I am interested now in finding info of a Philips 43PUH4900 which I can easily buy and it costs 400 Euro, but I can't find any reviews for it on the internet.

Otherwise I am open for receiving hints on popular brands like LG or Samsung.

  • When you say programmer, I wonder if you plan to connect it to your computer? If so not all video cards support HDMI 2.0 (you may already know this). Also as a programmer myself reading lines of code on a 4k is quite helpful, however the farther you have the screen away it is harder to work with. For example Visual Studio (or whatever IDE) is much easier to read on a 4k monitor at 28" one foot away than a 40" at 6 feet away. (This is my own experience and opinion based an assumption in your question.) – Gram Oct 25 '15 at 16:58
  • Thanks for your info, infact I have an hdmi2.0 card. I understand your comments on monitor size, but if I do not like it I can recycle it as a tv! – mgiammarco Oct 27 '15 at 9:46
  • I see, I have seen many reviewers say that OLED (the one that turns off the pixel when is is black) is an good choice if you have the cash. I also warn if you plan to use for gaming check to see if the screen has a delay (not the Xms refresh time). Several TV's have a delay between input and the result on the screen, this happens from my understanding due to the processing on the screen itself. This display kills reaction-based games like FPS or RB/GH. youtube.com/watch?v=I44RJYOVAoo techhive.com/article/183928/… – Gram Oct 27 '15 at 18:56
  • Sorry it looks like the 43PUH4900 is not on it but I found a good site that lists display lag that may be of interest: displaylag.com/display-database – Gram Oct 27 '15 at 19:01
  • I am also curious to know how the Philips 43PUH4900 is performing as a development monitor. Did you buy it? How is it performing as monitor? – JohnB88 Apr 14 '16 at 23:53
3

I have bought Philips 43puh4900.

Positive:

  • there a lot of parameters to set. After some time you find the combination that works well as a monitor.
  • you can also avoid overscan/underscan easily
  • the screen is matte not glare so you can use it many hours at a day for programming
  • 43 is better then 40 so you can split the screen in 4 monitors

Negative:

  • I made a big mistake cheated by manual and brochure. It says under hdmi (translated from italian) "the TV can do 3840x2160 at 60hz". I suposed it was hdmi2.0 but unfortunately at 60hz it goes at chroma subsampling 4:2:0. So it is not usable and it is NOT hdmi2.0. At 30hz it does 4:4:4 so you can use for programming.
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tl;dr The Samsung KU6290 is a 40" 4K TV for around $300. It has HDMI 2.0, Chroma 4:4:4, input lag of around 35ms, and has been recommended on Amazon for use as a computer monitor. The 6290 is identical to the KU6300 except for the smart remote control.

I've been doing a ton of research on monitors, televisions and display technology. My goal was to purchase a larger display to use for the following tasks:

  • General computer use (web browsing, email, etc)
  • Programming (mostly using the JetBrains IDEs and Visual Studio
  • Word processing
  • Gaming

Some of my other goals and constraints

  • Inexpensive (sub $500)
  • Wall mountable

Initially, I was looking at 27" to 30" monitors, but I discovered that 4K/UHD/3840 × 2160 (all three mean the same thing) medium sized monitors aren't really that useful for productivity, programming, and word processing. The idea is that these tasks are text-intensive, and a 4K resolution on a 27" monitor is going to produce text sizes and UI element sizes that are too small to see comfortably.

Instead, I started looking at a 4K television that I could use as a computer monitor. Based on reports from other people, and on my desk size, it seemed that 40" was about the right size. When looking for a 4K TV-as-monitor, I discovered that there are a few important factors:

  • Chroma 4-4-4: Chroma when used in reference to televisions refers to algorithms used to compress the RGB color signals. The more compression, the faster the signal can be transmitted and processed. This is fine for video or games, but when you start compressing colors, text can become blurry. Chroma 4-4-4 means that there is no compression. Most of the people I've spoken with have agreed that finding a tv that allows for 4-4-4 chroma is one of the most important factors when using a tv as a monitor.

  • HDMI 2.0 input: There are two common HDMI standards, 1.4 and 2.0. Only 2.0 will support 4K @ 60Hz. 1.4 will maxes out at 4K @ 30Hz. The Hz refers to the refresh rate of the screen. For programming and general computer use, 30Hz may be fine for most people, but the difference between 30Hz and 60Hz when gaming is very noticeable. Many serious gamers use displays with a 120Hz refresh rate. The higher the rate, the less motion blur there is. This is especially important when the FPS of a game or video increases. In general, you won't notice a big quality difference from 60Hz to 120Hz unless your average FPS is also above 60. Unfortunately, for now, HDMI 2.0 doesn't support a 120Hz refresh rate at 4:4:4 Chroma, as the data bandwidth is too low. You would need either Display Port or USB 3.1 for this. Very few 4K TVs have a display port input, and I haven't found any that have a USB 3.1 video input.

  • Input Lag: Measured in milliseconds, this is the amount of time it takes before change in the source data is reflected on the screen. This rating is mostly irrelevant for video playback, as once the video starts, the response time doesn't really matter. However, it is very relevant in a monitor for general use, programming, and video games. A high response time will produce a noticeable lag between a mouse movement (or controller movement) and the change on the screen. In competitive, fast paced games like Call of Duty, or DOTA, even a small improvement in input lag can improve a person's ability. As I'm not in the upper echelons of competitive gaming, this isn't a huge factor but is still important. Input lag is inversely correlated with data bandwidth (i.e. chroma).Thus lag can be reduced by increasing chroma compression and using 4:4:4 chroma will produce the highest input lag for a given display. I haven't found any hard rule, but it generally seems that an input lag of under 50ms is good enough for both for general computing and general video gaming. For comparison, higher-end 1080p monitors have around a 15ms input lag. A couple of other points. Many TVs have a "Game Mode" which will reduce input lag at the expense of video or color accuracy. This is an acceptable trade-off for most instances. Since Chroma 4-4-4 is not nearly as important in video games as it is for displaying text and programming, increasing the chroma compression to decrease input lag is a good trade off.

So in summary, I went looking for a 4K television that:

  • Between 37" and 43"
  • Capable of chroma 4:4:4
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Relatively low input lag
  • Under $500

I looked at a number of options, but ultimately went with the Samsung 40" KU6290 for $300 (2016 holidays). The KU6290 is identical to the more popular 6300 except that is doesn't have the voice activated "smart" remote, and doesn't allow for Bluetooth audio connections. The television has good reviews on Amazon, and a number of people have recommended it for use as a computer monitor. Here is what I like about it

  • Multiple chroma levels (including 4:4:4)
  • Low input lag
  • Multiple modes (gaming, video, etc)
  • Lots of customization options. Check out the Amazon reviews for a helpful guide on which values to set for use as a PC monitor.
  • Available at a local retailer (Best Buy in my case) for ease of return
  • Wall mountable (uses 400mm x 400mm VESA brackets)

This is an entry-level 4K tv, and there are some downsides. First, it has a low response time. Multiple reviewers have said that motion blur is noticeable in high-action movies. Second, the viewing angle is not very good when viewed more than 20 degrees off-center. Third, it can't reproduce as many colors as other TVs and monitors. None of these drawbacks are particularly worrisome for use as a PC monitor. The reduced color space may be an issue for graphic designers, but not for programmers.

Here is the Amazon listing and reviews for the Samsung KU6300

The TV will be arriving next week and I will update my post once I have it configured. I'll be using it with an MSI gaming laptop with a GTX 1070.

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  • What do you think after a few months with the KU6290? Is the input lag bearable? – MikeTV Feb 18 '17 at 23:23
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    I love it. I don't notice the input lag at all unless I'm looking for it. At first, I was changing the Chroma settings to 4:2:2 and then placing it in "Gaming" mode when I would play FPS games, but after a few weeks I didn't bother changing it anymore, and I haven't noticed much of an issue. If I was playing something competitive it might matter, but not for what I do. I mostly use it for coding, watching movies, and playing single-player games, and for that it works great. – BrianHVB Feb 20 '17 at 1:57

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