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4K TV Quality Hits New High: 'House of Cards'

See other 4K TV posts.

Last fall I wrote Impressions of 4K TV and then later after viewing more material, More Thoughts on 4K Video + Good 4K is Better than a Movie Theatre. My main dissatisfier was/is the generally low quality of 4K footage, some inferior to 1080p HD.

But now, Netflix takes 4K quality to a new level, in this year’s episodes of House of Cards. It’s the best 4K footage I’ve yet seen, and some scenes are stunning in the use of shallow depth of field with tack-sharp faces (the strongly backlit capitol scene with the speaker and Remy in dark clothing, sorry I forget which episode). It reminds me in some cases of the best Zeiss Otus rendition; the optics are superb and with a strongly dimensional character. As far as I can tell, it was shot with Zeiss Master Primes, a speculation confirmed by a reader in the know.

So I recommend seeing the latest episodes of House of Cards to see where 4K is going. There are still some compression artifacts to nitpick, but Netflix is delivering truly outstanding 4K that is a cut above all the other material I’ve seen before.

World of Tamron

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