Amazon Prime 4K, Triax THC 22 and the Hisense LTDN65K680M3D 65 Inch 4K UHD TV

Following on from these posts dating back a couple of years the Hisense is well and truly bedded in and in use every day.  As explained previously I really bought this TV (strictly speaking a ‘monitor’ as it doesn’t have it’s own TV tuner) for it’s size rather than as simply a 4K TV – the wow factor came from seeing high definition video on a 65” screen – and that still looks fantastic to this day!  That said, I finally got round to getting a regular streaming source for 4k in the shape of the latest Amazon Fire TV Box .



Having used the box in 1080p mode for a couple of weeks I decided to see what was on the market to allow me to stream 4k to the Hisense (which, being a little long in the tooth, only supports HDCP 2).  I found the Triax on the CPC website for under £50. 




The Triax is simplicity itself to set up – simply connect the standard USB Power,the output to the HDMI 1 input on the Hisense and the Input to the Fire box and away you go!

Most of the content made by Amazon is available at no extra cost as a part of their PRIME subscription service including the excellent “Bosch” which is one of my favourites.  As luck would have it season 2 is being made available in 4k tomorrow (11/3/2016) and I am looking forward to binge watching this in 4k!

Picture quality is fantastic – but as I said the wow factor for me was really the 65” screen at 1080p – sure it looks better in 4K but for me 4k is simply a ‘nice to have’.

Netflix?  I haven’t tried the Triax with Netflix but would be confident that it would work just as well as it does with the Amazon streamed 4k content.


NB I have all my sources, including the output from the Triax routed through an Onkyo A/V Amp (built in 4k support)



With very little around in the way of 4k content I decided to set about creating something for myself and others to enjoy.  Of course the project ended up snowballing and has resulted in the release of the “Textures” video (I believe the first commercial 4k release in the UK!).  I thought I should write something to accompany the release and shine some light on the steps that led up to it:

Disappointed with the smattering of 4k content on the web, much of which seemed effects laden (I always wanted the focus to be on the resolution/detail and nothing else). And so it was that I started to think about recording some 4k content myself: Having already photographed much of the three Counties for ‘Vantage Point’ my first thought was to utilise the same great historical scenery to show the level of detail that can be captured in 4k. 

I guess that was when I had one of two epiphanies:


1. I realised that focussing on great architecture (or any great subject) actually distracted one from the main objective – which was to highlight the sheer quality and detail) *

2. I found that the more subtle and static the subject matter was – the more one engaged with the quality and detail that was there!

These two realisations led me towards thinking about different subject matter and  in reviewing the content that I already had the answer seemed obvious (if a little counter-intuitive when expressed in print)  – ignore the traditionally interesting subjects and find something less obvious, yet more relevant instead!

After some experimentation with smaller 4k video devices I decided that to do the project justice I would need something closer to the professional 4K rigs that are out of my reach.  I settled on the Panasonic FZ1000 – which although essentially a stills camera, has had some stunning reviews relating to its 4K video quality.

I quickly started to appreciate that just a little movement within a detailed scene was far more effective than anything Michael Bay might produce (!) and it followed that my own garden, with it’s gentle breezes and meandering streams, was an obvious place to start.  I have to say that I had not fully anticipated the depth of content that sat so close to my own front door and yet I stumbled several times after devising “great panning and zoom shots across the meadow”– only to realise again that these simply detracted from the main objective.  I am reminded of a phrase that has oft been repeated in my career as a software developer that was revealing itself to be just as relevant with my new hobby – “Keep it simple, stupid! ” 



* I realised that this was always going to be true for the majority of movies and TV releases in 4k – sure the detail is there but you are actually engaged in following the storyline rather than focussing on the medium itself – this is, of course, just as it should be, albeit at odds with the objective here.

So if you want to see what that new 4k TV can do, and you like the look of the clip above then please take a look!

NB The full version of the video can be ordered here:

Textures 4K Video (USB Stick)


All video was shot using a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 camera (F2.8-4, 25-400mm lens).
The result was edited in Power Director 13 and the final result made ready for distribution on EX-FAT USB Sticks by encoding with the H.265 video codec.


Where to next?

I have no idea if anyone else is really interested in what I have tried to do here – for me I now feel I have a good appreciation of 4K.  But there were always going to be some technical shortcomings and compromises (HECV is good but any compression medium has to be a bad thing for quality).  I am also not a professional cameraman, nor do I have professional equipment but I guess there has to be a starting point and all in all I am very happy with the results of my first endeavour!

Please be supportive.

Hisense LTDN65K680M3D 65 Inch 4K UHD Smart Television Review – Upscaling


If I am honest I bought this TV because it fell within my upgrade criteria (see my last post but one if that sounds remotely interesting) I was familiar with 4K TVs but had no real plans to get one just yet.  But when I spotted the Hisense ar such a good price I could not resist!  When I think about it the most use that this TV will currently get is in watching standard HD, and so the up scaling quality to 4K is quite important.

I haven’t had the device long but reading the article below suggests that Hisense have favoured the “Halos effect” which to my eyes reminds me a little of the ‘oil painting’ filter common in graphics packages (Paint.Net has a great oil filter – use it just a little on a photograph and you will see what I mean).


Examples of the different artefacts produced by up-scaling algorithms

So that is no bad thing but my gut feeling is  there might be better options for up-scaling (by better I also mean more processor intensive) and so I am already starting to think about alternatives (perhaps one of the newer BluRay players that sport custom up-scaling technology up to 4K)

A good (and straightforward) explanation of up scaling issues:

Is up-scaling important?

As this diagram shows the further away from your set you sit the less important up-scaling is (you might have the best up-scaler around but be sitting too far away to really be getting any benefit!)


“Mastered in 4K”

I will come back to this but have to say that I was a little disappointed with the BluRay for “Taxi Driver” which to my eyes looks quite grainy.  of course the age of the film is largely responsible for this perhaps making it not the best choice as an example of this process. (though I welcome the chance to see this film again on the ‘big screen’(!))


Taxi Driver / After Earth /Angels & Deamons (Mastered in 4k 1080p BluRay)

(Not sure how these come across on the web but they look pretty impressive in ‘real life’ 🙂



YouView remote control


I use a YouView box most of the time for watching and recording TV.  It up-scales well (both SD and HD).

I found it handy to program the YouView remote with the code for the Hisense  which enables me to control a lot of the Hisense’s functionality without having to pick up a separate control.

Incidentally the control code for the Hisense is “491” – to program hold down the TV button for 3 seconds, enter 491 (The TV will switch off) then press OK and you are done.!)

Hisense LTDN65K680M3D 65 Inch 4K UHD Smart Television Review – History



Historically my criteria for purchase of a new TV goes something like:

  • My current TV must be at least 3 years old
  • Budget  £1000

And so this formula has led me to:

Tosh circa 2000

Toshiba 28W8DB. CRT

I have great memories of this TV which came with a full Dolby Pro logic surround system and integrated stand.  I think I got this Circa 1998 (no idea what my foot is doing in this picture – sorry about that – and if anyone is concerned the answer is yes – I do have new slippers now!)

Next up was this Sharp Aquos 42” 1080P set:

Circa 2005 – Notable as the first high definition TV we owned and it’s massive size (at least in those days). this TV now does sterling service wall mounted in the kids play room.

(Note to self – those cables look a mess!)

Circa 2010 came this 50” Samsung Plasma – a significant upward shift in size and the first TV to support 3D – which was my main motivation for the purchase (read elsewhere on my blog – stereoscopy is a hobby of mine – yes, I am that nerd).  Not much changed otherwise (a spot of decorating and some new carpets maybe)

(Eagle eyed will spot the ill fated (but bargain at £799) Lenco 65” 4K TV in the background waiting to go back as it had arrived damaged)


The Hisense unboxed and in situ. (It is big – this picture doesn’t give you a sense of just how big!)

The first thing that struck me about the TV, apart from its sheer size  is how good it looks!  Aesthetically it is a nice bit of kit lRemoteooking every bit as good (and possibly a little better) than TV’s from the “name brands”. 

The remote is simple and although plastic feels better quality than the average remote.  I was able to navigate around what is quite a lot of functionality quite easily – so ergonomically I guess that is a good thing.  (It feels functionality better than the last two TV remotes I have owned from Samsung and Sharp).


The TV isn’t too heavy and I was able to un-box and attach it to it’s stand (which IS heavy) by myself (easier with 2 people but my wife is away at the moment!). Once assembled it was a struggle to lift it onto the existing unit (in the picture above) but again, I managed it alone.



The down side of being well packaged will be a trip to the dump at the weekend to rid myself of all the cardboard and inserts!



(I will save switching on the TV for the next post).