You’ve been thinking of picking up a Sony X1 4K Media Player to enjoy native ultra-HD content on your awesome 4K TV, but the price and the mixed reviews make you a little unsure of the decision. While you’re putting off going all-in on a 4K home theater system, you might want to pick up the Seiki U-Vision to supercharge your current viewing experience.
An HDMI cable that can upconvert HD content into 4K, it lets you take full advantage of your ultra-HDTV’s power even without native 4K content. Simply hook it up to your cable box or Blu-ray player, and enjoy erstwhile HD-only movies and TV shows in pure 4K glory. At least, as close to it as an algorithmically-processed picture can get.
The Seiki U-Vision uses Marseille Network’s VTV-1222 video processing chip for the upconversion. To the unfamiliar, the VTV-1222 is the very first chip to be approved by Technicolor’s 4K Image Certification program. Considering the great reviews of that chip from last year, this could prove a worthy replacement if your 4K TV has a so-so upscaler built-in (and, yes, a lot of early ultra-HDTVs do). It supports upconversion of 1080p to 4K video signals up to 30Hz, as well as 720p to 1080p. Key features include adaptive edge enhancement of lines and curves, adaptive sharpening, noise reduction, low-latency processing for HD gaming, and improvement of brightness, saturation, and contrast.
Do you need this? It depends. If your ultra-HDTV upconverts videos just fine, then you’re good. If it doesn’t, then the Seiki U-Vision, which retails for an affordable $49, sounds like something that’s, at least, worth trying. It’s available now.