on February 5, 2014
Got this to use as a WIN 7 PC monitor at full resolution with a PNY GTX 660 bought for this purpose. I am a programmer and wanted a monitor that would display the max amount of text in several windows at once.
Purchased as a 'used - very good' for $372, but it clearly had never been out of the box when it arrived so was in new condition.
Followed the advice of the other reviewers - updated firmware to the latest version (39") from the SEIKI site, turned sharpness down to 0, noise reduction off, automatic power off to OFF, and adjusted backlight and colors to get a pleasing image. Once that is all done, the image displayed is pin sharp and looks great. Note that you must use a HDMI connection to get 3840x2160.
Monitor does not support waking up after PC goes to sleep - it will turn off, and you will have to turn back on manually, not a huge problem, but depending on your graphics card, you may find Windows (or NVIDIA) has moved all your windows to the top left of the display if you let the PC go to sleep (a pain), so I disabled turning off monitors in 'power settings' in Windows. Hope they can implement 'wake up' in firmware in the future like other monitors.
Font size - regular windows fonts at the default size are about as small as you probably want on the 39". Since the SEIKI display is almost exactly equal to 4x20" 1080p monitors, the text you get at 4K resolution will look the same size as text at 1080p on a 20" monitor. If you are used to a 24" 1080p monitor, the text on the 39" SEIKI will be a little smaller - the 50" model would be approx the same as 4x24" 1080p monitors.
Monitor placement - since font sizes at max resolution are comparable to a 20" monintor at 1080p, you need to be as close to the 39" as you would a 20" in order to get the same legibility. This was OK for me. The 50" version would give slightly larger characters, but the 'front row at the movies' effect would be more evident I think. You will have to move your head to view from one side to the other in either case.
30HZ refresh rate (a limitation of HDMI 1.4) - works fine for me, but I'm only editing text, not gaming.
All in all, monitor works great for me, and there is nothing else comparable in the price range. Other companies are coming out with 4K monitors in the 28-32" size range at the moment, but quite frankly, for my purposes of viewing the most text possible, a 4K monitor that *small* would display *tiny* fonts by default (same size as you would get with a 14"-16" 1080p - there isn't such a thing), and increasing the font size using the Windows control panel just gives you less text, so my opinion is you need the physical large size as well as the 4K resolution for text editing purposes.
(Update 2/25/2014 - purchased a Accell (B086B-008B-2) UltraAV Mini DisplayPort 1.1 to HDMI 1.4 Active Adapter and can now run my mid 2011 Mac Mini (AMD Radeon HD 6630M) at 4K / 30hz using a HDMI 1.4 cable, as with the PC its Excellent!)
Your needs may be different to mine!
on June 14, 2014
This review is for the Seiki SE39UY04, a 39" 4k TV
tl;dr 4k@30Hz, under $400, blanking issues, not good for games or videos @ 4k. **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - Update with SE50UY04 firmware. I now recommend this product.
The old adage, "you get what you pay for" definitely holds true with this product.
First a little about my setup; I am using this TV as a computer monitor for CAD/productivity applications. I do not intend to play games with this TV, but I used to be an avid gamer so I will make a few comments there. While I do watch a decent amount of videos, I do not have any that are 4k, so there would be no advantage over my other TV, although I did watch some snippets for this review. I am using the included HDMI cable **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - I am using the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable Supports Ethernet, 3D and Audio Return (3 Feet/0.9 Meter) to connect the HDMI1 input to the HDMI 1.4 port on my laptop (i7-4700MQ, GTX 770M). All of my testing was done at the 4k resolution, because if I wanted a 1080p screen I could choose much cheaper and smaller screens than this one.
- 4k (3840 x 2160) resolution.
This is a huge difference in CAD programs. I do a lot less panning, scrolling and zooming in/out, all of which saves time.
- 39" diagonal.
I thought this was going to be a con before I bought it because I sit fairly close to it, but I realized that it is large enough that text is easily readable on the screen (without changing any accessibility settings), and small enough that it still fits on the desk somewhat comfortably. I think a 30" would be the smallest I'd want to go with this resolution for a monitor sitting on a desk. A laptop is another story though.
- Low cost.
Under $400 when I bought it. Next closest competitor was in the next order of magnitude for cost.
- Included an HDMI cable.
For the price I was not expecting this, as many of my other cheap computer monitors did not ship with any cables (not even the power cable). I did not measure, but I would guess it's about 5' long (definitely longer than a 3' cable, but is shorter than my other cables that are supposed to be 6'. See cons.
- No dead or stuck pixels
that I found anyway in my 10 minutes of looking for them.
- **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - Email support
The email support person actually recommended a fix that helped. I'm shocked; I know I shouldn't be, because it's their job, but still... 3 emails and almost a week later, but the TV now works acceptably, not perfect, but definitely useable.
- Blanking Issue **Updated on 6/20/2014**
This is where the screen goes blank (shuts off the backlight and everything) and after five or so seconds it either reacquires the signal, or displays a blue screen with the words "Not Support". Initially it would do this every few seconds after acquiring the signal, in which I tried a myriad of things to fix it, including updating the firmware, that supposedly has a timing fix, but that did not seem to help. See setup and troubleshooting. **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - The SE50UY04 firmware helps greatly with this issue. With this updated firmware for the 50" TV (I know I have the 39" TV), this issue occurs much less frequently, and when it does it only goes black for a second or two, not 5 seconds, and usually only does so once, not several times in a row. I am much happier with it now.
- No Support **Updated on 6/18/2014 and 6/20/2014**
I called the Seiki support phone number 3 times during their claimed normal business hours. Each call was over 15 minutes waiting for the "next available representative" before I gave up. I doubt anybody answers that phone, ever. I also emailed the support email, and got an automated response back from the Tong Fang Global Support Team that a support request (EU- 42770) had been created. We'll see if I get a real response back, but considering other reviewers stories, I doubt it. I will update this section with new info as/if I get it.
**UPDATE** 6/18/2014 - I did get a couple email responses from a person concerning the blanking issue. So far all they have told me to do was update the firmware (already done before asking for support, but they did not know that) and check to see if the issue occurs at 1080p (nope, I think because 1080p@60Hz is about half the data rate of 4k@30Hz, thus the signal timings are much less stringent. See Other Thoughts). We will see if they can solve my problem.
**UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - And another email from them. This time they asked me to use the SE50UY04 firmware (the firmware for the 50" version of this TV), which is much improved over the 39" firmware. I will see if they have anything else to help with my laundry list of other issues, and other wishlist items.
- Stiff HDMI Cable **Updated on 6/20/2014**
Included HDMI cable is very stiff, to the point that I am concerned that it could twist a HDMI connector off the TV or my laptop if I am not careful. If I had a more flexible cable that worked, I would be using it. **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - I am using the Amazon Basics 3ft HDMI cable, which is much more flexible and still works.
- Blocked HDMI2 input
The HDMI2 input has a piece of the plastic casing about 2 inches in front of the connector, which prevents the included HDMI cable and most normal HDMI cables from fitting into that input. I have one flat, very flexible HDMI cable with a shorter than normal connector that does fit, but my recent testing shows it does not support the 4k resolution. Makes that input useless.
- Poor Documentation
User's manual is worth more as paper for starting a fire. No helpful instructions or troubleshooting guide (which is very sorely needed), and often the instructions it did have did not match the prompts on the TV.
- Firmware **Updated on 6/20/2014**
The firmware has lots of issues, both functional and usability. First, the changlish prompts are annoying, contrast and brightness don't seem to consistently control the contrast and brightness (for example lowering the brightness below a certain level started giving the picture a reddish hue), the color option does absolutely nothing, it does not seem to consistently save your settings, the color options take forever to adjust, etc. I'm sure there are more on the TV side of the firmware, but I did not test them as I am not using this as a TV.
**UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - Update your TV to the SE50UY04 firmware. Yes, it is the firmware for the 50" version of this TV, and yes, it does work on the 39" model of the TV, which I have. It greatly reduced the blanking issue and made that issue much less annoying when it did happen. The Color setting now works (0 is grayscale, and 100 is oversaturated colors). The color map that the TV actually uses seems to have changed, as all of my color settings have changed, and now are nearly the same for both general desktop use and video watching (only the brightness gets changes a little bit between the two; See Setup and troubleshooting). Most of the changlish prompts seem to have been deleted. It still has some problems like consistently saving my settings, and the buttons on the remote sometimes did the opposite of what I pressed, but no deal breakers there.
- Poor Colors **Updated on 6/20/2014**
Colors are way off and seemingly impossible to get them to a good all around setting (all of my other monitors had some happy medium that at least looked decent all around). The presets are pretty bad as well, making them useless. I found a combination that looks decent during videos/viewing pictures, but absolutely terrible in the CAD programs, and a combination that looks ok in the CAD programs, but makes videos and pictures horrific. See setup and troubleshooting.
**UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - The 50" firmware seems to use a different color map. I found a setting that looks decent all around, and the only difference between my movie setting and general computer use/CAD use setting is a minor adjustment to the brightness.
- Default sharpness setting is horrid
Unless you like blurry images with halos around everything, set the sharpness to 0 and never touch it again.
- Off-center screen
Screen is not centered in bezel, and the bezel is slightly warped.
- Glossy screen
I hate glossy screens, but the lack of any competitor with a matte screen in the same price bracket did not bode well for me anyway.
- Old firmware
Unit comes with old firmware installed, and the firmware update documentation is wrong. While the actual update process is not bad, once you know it, they should not be shipping out TVs with old firmware. See setup and troubleshooting.
- Lag **Updated on 6/18/2014 and 6/20/2014**
There is a noticeable lag when moving the mouse, or watching a video. I estimate it at about 100ms. In the gaming world, this is only acceptable for feeders, cannon fodder and n00bs. Also pretty bad for video unless you shift the audio track.
**UPDATE** 6/18/2014, my previous measurement method was flawed, and the lag is really upwards of 200ms, based on how much I need to shift the audio when watching a video. There is still potential for flaws with this method, so for my next update, I will get an exact measurement with a 60Hz video camera.
**UPDATE** 6/20/2014, Apparently my "60Hz" camera is really 52.952Hz... either way, I measured the lag at 8 frames of video, which is a lag of ~151ms with an uncertainty of ~18.9ms. I also learned that I can't seem to line up the audio with the video better than 50ms, which is pathetic.
The display will sometimes glitch, with things moving by a few pixels, or the picture freezing on the screen for a short period (less than a second). This makes videos un-watchable on this screen.
- 4k refresh rate
The TV claims to Windows that it supports 4k at 23Hz, 24Hz, 25Hz, 29Hz and 30Hz. It really only supports 4k at 24Hz, 25Hz and 30Hz, and all of them have the screen blanking, lag and glitching problems.
- Does not respond to monitor sleep and wake commands
Being a TV, it seems to ignore the monitor sleep command and monitor wake commands from the computer, so when the computer tries to shut off the monitor it just sits there with a bright blue screen.
Other Thoughts: **Updated on 6/20/2014**
I suspect poorly designed electronics, that I think does not actually consistently meet the signal and/or timing specifications for HDMI 1.4 (the HDMI specification that allowed 4k resolutions over HDMI). I am blaming this for most of the blanking, glitching and lagging issues above. The cable is also partially to blame as a poorly constructed cable will not be able to effectively transfer the data, and even the best cables will exhibit some signal loss. If this TV did not have the screen blanking issue I would have given it 4 stars, and recommended people buy it, and with the lag and glitching gone I would have given it 5 stars. But alas the only things keeping it out of the 1 star range are its resolution and price point. It took me 5 days to get a picture on the display, and it still does not work consistently. As such I currently cannot recommend its purchase.
**UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - After the suggestion from support to update the firmware to the SE50UY04 firmware, which ended up being much better, I can now recommend this product for people who are willing to put in a little extra time to set up the TV. I will keep the rating at 3 stars because it was a lot of work to get here, and everything is not fixed yet.
Setup and Troubleshooting: **Updated on 6/20/2014**
Ok, so you already bought one and are now trying to get the picture on the screen at 4k... you should try the following things:
- **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - Update the firmware on the TV to the SE50UY04 firmware by using the following steps.
1. Get a flashdrive and format it as FAT32 and delete all of its contents.
2. download the SE50UY04 firmware at Seiki's website. It will come as a zip archive.
3. unzip the archive and copy the "install.img" file to the flashdrive.
4. plug the flash drive in and turn on the TV.
5. press "MENU" on the remote.
6. press "0" four times in a row to get to the hidden service menu.
7. select "Software Upgrade", then "yes", and wait for the process to finish. This should take less than a couple minutes.
- Make sure you are outputting your 4k signal at 24Hz, 25Hz or 30Hz, not 23Hz or 29Hz.
- Try a different HDMI cable, or use the included cable if you have not tried it yet.
- Update all of your graphics card drivers. I have a laptop that switches between integrated and discrete graphics, and I only got marginally consistent results when both GPUs had fully updated drivers.
I understand that everyone has different preferences, and manufacturing tolerances in the panels will affect you numbers in comparison to mine, but you can use mine as a starting point to get your color settings. **UPDATE** 6/20/2014 - I now only really have one set of color settings with the 50" firmware so I will only give you those. My color settings are as follows:
Brightness: 66 for videos and 63 for general computer use
Color Temp: normal
Red Gain: 141
Blue Gain: 126
Green Gain: 132
Red Offset: 532
Blue Offset: 510
Green Offset: 504
on June 11, 2014
Works great as a developer monitor too bad it's just 30Hz. I know most people mention the service menu accessed by 0000 but I found there is also an engineering menu by pressing 2947. I was trying to disable the boot animation so I could reduce the startup time but the option doesn't seem to work.
I looked through the firmware image and it's a MIPS process inside running the 2.6.34 kernel and even has some RealTek usb wireless drivers included. If you could find a way to configure networking on the wireless interface you could use telnet which is enabled. It also has an httpd server included but it doesn't do anything useful. The init scripts claim it's a RealTek Linux distribution.
I didn't try to modify boot images or the menu but it should be possible with little work. I just didn't want to attempt it without a way to reflash the image and unbrick it. I'm wondering where the UART is at which I guess might be able to unbrick it if just the menu was broken.
on September 8, 2013
Considering the 4K content available in this earl stage of the 4K lifespan, I do wonder why others are buying this display. The 4K site states that the viewer needs to be 5 to 6 feet away to see the difference on a 4K screen. That presented no problem for me as I am sitting less the 3 feet away as I type this (which is shortly after the announcement of the HDMI 2.0 standard).
My purpose in buying this unit was solely to use as a PC monitor. I had been using 3 1600x1200 displays rotated into portrait mode because that is how I work -- 3 large text displays, editing code. I became so accustomed to this, anything less is constantly frustrating. Since 1080p displays became a standard, the quality of monitors has dropped and one would have to pay through the nose for higher resolution. 2560x1440 IPS displays have only recently dropped below $500 if you don't care about brand or source.
I've been watching display prices. When the Seikis appeared, I couldn't believe it. I felt there must be a catch but I couldn't find one. I'd been putting off building a new system until certain key components were more affordable, namely displays and 1TB SSDs. When both appeared < $700, I decided to go for it.
I can only detail how they work as a PC monitor. There are drawbacks but they are few.
The first drawback was that from a PC they require 30 Hz input, period. I had attempted to use the built in graphics of the Intel i7 4770K CPU. The i7 supports 4K but only at a max of 24 Hz. The Seiki reported to the system that 24 Hz was supported but it could not be displayed, the Seiki reported signal issues and I could only see corrupted glimpses of the desktop every few seconds. I supplied a graphics card that supported 4K and multiple timings and the Seiki was happy. When I looked at the screen resolutions the Seiki was reporting to Windows that it could support, it listed 24 through 30 Hz.
What's great about the Seiki is that my Windows desktop looks great. I was concerned about having a monitor that is only 30 Hz. I must say, it is not an issue. I have no idea what this looks like for gaming but I would guess that it would be run at 120 Hz 1080p. And as another reviewer pointed out, you need to go into the Seiki's menu so that it doesn't try to enhance your picture. And if you are using Windows, I highly recommend finding the ClearType settings and adjusting them. If you're a Windows user and you've never done this, you should. Like a visit to the optometrist Windows will give you a bunch of text images and you tell it which is clearer and it will display the text as sharp as your monitor and your comfort allow. Also, if you are a Windows user and run older programs that attempt a bad scaling of the fonts they use, you should know about a little used setting you can make. It involves finding the .exe of the program, not a shortcut, and right-clicking on it and selecting Properties. From there you go to the compatibility tab and find the box that says, "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings". This can make a difference on monitors of 1080p and higher. This should only be used if needed and will not have an affect on most programs.
Now, here are the downsides, I've encountered.
Low contrast text appears a bit fuzzy. I write a lot of code. I stare at text a lot. Text editors for programming colorize text to aid readability. I use a dark gray background. The typical default color for a code comment is green. There isn't a lot of contrast between it and the background and it just isn't as sharp. And this text is just not sharp. Readable but fuzzy. My guess is how LED displays handle contrast and black from backlighting. People complained that early LCD monitors didn't display black only dark gray. Enter LED backlighting, backlighting is turned on behind a pixel when the display determines it's bright enough to need it. That way sections that want black can be black and you can have vivid images with high contrast. The downside is the backlighting isn't at the same resolution of the display. For a picture it doesn't represent a problem but for text with immediate changes from black to white or from grey to green in this case it does and the contrast is lost and the text isn't as sharp. All other text is sharp, and you aren't likely to have a lot of low contrast text anyway.
The other annoyances are minor. I don't like the remote. Every remote I have has the volume on the left side, this one has it on the right and you can't really navigate it by feel.
It has no auto-on. This means if your PC after going into screen saver mode turns off the display, the Seiki will sit there on a blue screen for several minutes and then turn itself on. If you wake up the PC, you will have to manually turn the Seiki on. This isn't adjustable in settings. It also doesn't auto-switch to the input with a valid signal, which depending how you like things may be a plus.
There are buttons to turn the Seiki on, adjust volume and change input. You'll need to feel around to the back on the lower right and learn where they are by feel or keep the remote handy.
That's not a lot to complain about, and none of them are deal-breakers.
Video and final thoughts.
As for video, I haven't found a lot. And just because a video is 4K doesn't mean it's a good image. There's still the level of compression and the quality of the compression method used, otherwise you get a blocky image with compression artifacts particularly when there's a lot of fast motion going on. There's a growing list on YouTube. And when you get up close to examine the detail, all a 4K display does is show how imperfect the video is. There is one called Skydive Dubai which uses about half the bandwidth of the others but has less compression artifacts.
There are only a handful of true 4K movies, and I'm not really motivated to shell out $700 for Sony's 4K video streamer but I am curious what the demo videos it is preloaded with look like. There are no 4K blu-ray discs right now (there's barely a spec) but there are streamable 4K movies you can buy. And that concerns me. Generally, a blu-ray movie fits on a single blu-ray layer < 25GB. The studios are big on packaging multiple discs but the truth is, they could fit everything with all the extras except the DVD version on a single disc. But that movie at 15 to 20GB is still a huge whopping download. When you stream an HD movie, that video has been compressed by a huge amount. Put this way, a typical fast connection will get you 2GB per hour. When you stream HD from Netflix or whoever, they know you don't want to sit around through 2 meals waiting for your video to start, so that blu-ray which is still compressed video gets compressed again a whole lot more.
A 4K image is 4 times the size of blu-ray. This means (because of the way compression algorithms work) it takes about twice the size of a blu-ray to get the equivalent quality level. But when streamed, unless you are going to wait overnight for your movie to be downloaded, you are going to be getting reduced quality. Which makes the only reason they want to sell us 4K movies is to make them streamable and get rid of resale or even loaning your mom your disc. It's the way it will be, eventually.
I bought this to use as a good monitor. It's a bit small to use top watch movies but it is very nice for editing photographs, text and likely videos as well. I'm very happy with it. I imagine Seiki will learn and improve future models.
If you read this far, thanks for listening to rambles along with the review. I hope this helps.
on February 18, 2014
I just got this display so I'll share my initial impressions.
The first big thing you should know is that this TV only supports HDMI input, which is limited to 30Hz refresh rate. This means this display is not suitable for hard core gamers because you may experience some lag and tearing. Updating the firmware helps to reduce the lag significantly.
I'll update this review as I use it with more information.
Note: 4K displays require a LOT of processing power. You WILL need a beefy video card. I recommend a Geforce Titan (or later).
Note: You MUST use a HDMI 1.4 cable. Older revisions of HDMI cables do not support 4K. You can use the one that came with the TV, but don't replace it with an existing older HDMI cable you might have lying around.
First I'll explain everything you have to do to make this display functional as a monitor.
First, you will probably want to get a better display stand because the one that comes with the display is not adjustable in any way. Shop carefully because after market display stands tend to be bought by government organizations and large companies so they tend to be overpriced.
Next, before you even start using the display, upgrade the firmware. You'll get a better picture and more options in the menu. I also noticed that the display lag when I move my mouse was significantly reduced after the firmware update.
The process described on the manufacturer's website (where you unplug the TV, plug in the flash drive, then plug in the TV) does not work so don't bother trying it.
To upgrade the firmware:
1. Go to the manufacturer's website.
2. Click Downloads.
3. Format your thumb drive with FAT32, using the Default Allocation Size (if you use any other allocation size the TV won't find the device).
4. Download the firmware for the SE39UY04 and unzip the single file in the zip file to your thumb drive.
5. With the display powered on, press Menu then 0000.
6. Navigate with the remote to Software Update.
7. If thumb the drive is formatted properly and contains the install.img file the TV will power off and the LED will flash rapidly between blue and red for about 2 minutes (the website says 30 seconds, that is a lie).
8. After the firmware update is done the TV will reboot and display a setup wizard. If you're using the TV as a monitor you can hit Return on the remote to skip this.
1. Plug in the HDMI cable to the TV then to your video card. You MUST use a HDMI 1.4 cable. My TV came with a nice one.
2. Plug the cable into your video card.
3. Press Source on the remote to select the HDMI port you plugged the cable into. The input on the left side is HDMI3.
Configuring your video driver:
1. If you have an NVIDIA graphics card, open the NVIDIA Control Panel, go to each section and click Restore, Apply.
2. Reboot your PC.
3. Go into the NVIDIA Control Panel and check that the resolution is set to Native (4K).
Adjust scaling (Windows 8):
By default text on the display will look like crap, especially in your browser, because Windows sets the display scaling to maximum. I like to set it to 1 notch down from maximum. That way I can still read the text but it doesn't look like it's being displayed on an NES.
1. Go to Control Panel.
2. Search for "DPI" in the search box.
3. Click Display (the only search result that comes up).
4. Drag the Smaller/Larger slider to set your preferred scaling.
5. Click Apply.
I found the backlight's default setting to be eye seering. After you update the firmware you can go into Menu and adjust the backlight setting to something more reasonable.
Disable 4-hour standby:
Seiki apparently decided that 4 hours of TV is enough for anybody, so they have made their TVs automatically shut off after 4 hours, and buried the option to turn it off two menus deep in a hidden debug menu.
1. Press menu, 0000 on remote.
2. Go to "Others"
3. Go to "4Hours Auto Standby" and set it to Off.
You have to scroll all the way down past the first page of options.
Most applications that support themes (including Windows itself) do not include images that are of a resolution high enough to not look like garbage on a 4K display.
For example, in Chrome you'll want to reset to the default them in Settings or you'll get lots of ugly pixelation.
Here are some additional settings I found help make the picture better:
* Make sure your video card is set to output ycbr rather than RGB to get correct color.
* Check the Temperature setting in the TV's settings menu is set to Normal.
* Turn the Noise Reduction off in the TV's settings menu.
* Set the Sharpness in the TV's settings menu to 0.
on June 25, 2014
This review is for this item as a 4K computer monitor -- I have not attempted to use it as a "television". 4K would be a complete waste of pixels for a 39" display viewed 8' or more away (typical television viewing distances) -- not to mention, as of Jan 2015, there is almost no true 4K content available.
As a 4K monitor ... WOW. Although I might not use it for color-critical photo or graphical art work (I'd use a monitor like the Asus PA249Q for that), the colors are fine for normal computer monitor use. I am using it with a late 2011 15" MacBook Pro ("MacBookPro8,2"), and it works perfectly, at full 3840 x 2160 resolution (and a coworker drove it to full 4K resolution with a mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro, no problem). Even at that high resolution, the icons and text are a very workable, readable size -- NOT too small (even with my less-than-20/20 vision).
You have to see a spreadsheet on this monitor -- it's a thing of beauty! -- a huge number of cells are visible, plenty of context for complex spreadsheets. I can easily simultaneously view multiple pages of text, Terminal windows, browser windows, Finder windows, etc on the screen.
I would not even consider a 28" 4K monitor ... the pixels will be too small for practical use. 32" *maybe*. 39" seems perfect to me, for that high resolution. At the price of this Seiki, it's terrific.
Very important tips:
* when using as a monitor, I set the TV(monitor) controls as follows, in the menu > Video selections:
. -- Sharpening down to *ZERO*, to remove the obnoxious halos (this is CRITICAL)
. -- Brightness down to 10 (so I don't need to wear sunglasses to use it!)
. -- Color down to ~35 (to bring color saturation down to more accurate levels)
* to make it run at full resolution, you need to use the provided blue UHD HDMI cable plus an *active* miniDisplayPort to HDMI adapter. Apple's mDP-to-HDMI adapter does NOT work at 4K resolution. I got the Accell B086B-008B UltraAV mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter from Amazon (http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ESFEUSG), which DOES work. I read that the right DVI cable might also work, but the HDMI combo is working for me.
* 4K support was probably added to Mac OS X in 10.9.2 or 10.9.3. If you have an earlier OS version, 4K might not work for you. (I'm running 10.9.3 as I write this) [update: I've since upgraded to 10.9.4 and 10.10.1 and the display still runs flawlessly at 4K resolution]
* if you want 4K resolution, you can't run a MacBook (or presumably iMac) with the displays-"mirrored" option -- that will use the "lowest common denominator" resolution, which (except for the Retina 5K iMac) means the built-in Mac display. Turn off mirroring in System Preferences > Displays; then in the SE39UY04 display options choose "Scaled" and "3840 x 2160" resolution. The built-in Mac display still works, *in addition to* and independently of the external 4K display.
* Apple claims that only a late-2013 Mac Pro or a 2012 or newer Retina MacBook Pro will drive a 4K display at full resolution. As it turns out (pleasant surprise!), my late-2011 15" MacBook Pro drives this display just fine :-), using its internal AMD Radeon 6750M graphics chip. Some 13" MacBook Pros don't have a discrete video chip, so I don't think they can drive a 4K monitor at full 4K resolution ... although as mentioned, a coworker's mid-2010 13" MacBook Pro worked fine with it at 4K resolution, also.
on November 13, 2013
I'm really happy with it, but i have a few reservations about recommending it wholesale to just anyone. The SEIKI 39" 4k "TV" still has limitations as a computer monitor. It has HDMI 1.4b inputs, which means it can only support 30Hz at 4k resolution. Hopefully future revisions of this display support HDMI 2.0, or add DisplayPort connections to enable 60Hz. I hear this is a big deal for gaming, but I don't notice it in my daily web developer workflow.
The display visual quality is great, not color perfect for photography, but close enough for any general dev and web work. It does have a glossy screen, which can be a distraction if you're used to matte displays or have a bright work environment.
At 39" it is about 110dpi, which is 10dpi higher than my previous 3 dell ultrasharp fp2001 21" 1600x1200 monitors which were ~96dpi. Text and curves are smoother now. It's essentially like having 4 20" 1080p monitors without bezels. I appreciate that I benefit from the extra pixel real estate here rather than a dpi bump of the other brands 30" 4k monitors.
The hugest improvement to my workflow is thanks to the incredible 2160 vertical pixels. That means less scrolling text in code files, less scrolling for long web pages, or in my case, plenty of room for a 1080p sized window with a 1080p sized F12 dev tools or firebug window embedded into the same window. AMAZING! Excel and PHPMyAdmin are easier than ever to digest information full screen at 4k resolution for database tables with a lot of columns and rows.
I was already accustomed to using the windows app "GridMove" to break up the large monitor into smaller virtual window spaces that i can maximize windows to instantly with keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are key because it feels like a long trip with the mouse cursor moving from one corner to the opposite of the 3840x2160 maximized screen.
The biggest drawback for using it as a monitor are mostly the result of it being designed as a TV. As other reviews mention, it doesn't support DPMS power off/on support which is how windows shuts down the monitor after the pc become idle, and turns it back on when you wiggle the mouse, etc... A complication of that is when the monitor is powered off Windows thinks it has been disconnected, and all my windows are resized to a 1024x768 corner in the top left of the monitor when i unlock my workstation. This could be the result of the AMD video card drivers too, i'm not sure. An easy workaround is to leave the monitor on and use a "blank screen" screensaver instead of the power saver options. (assuming your admin's windows group policy allows that option, mine doesn't) Instead i found an autoHotkey script that can learn and later restore window placement. I use that after i logon to put all my windows back where i had them previously.
I initially bought a low end AMD R7 230 2GB video card (~$70) that supported 4k over hdmi. It worked fine for desktop, but couldn't keep up with 4k youtube video playback fullscreen.
Our new workstations have AMD Firepro W5000 2GB cards that are about 3x more powerful, it has no problems keeping up with 4k youtube video.
So overall, yes, I would without a doubt choose this monitor again at this price point. (I even saw it went on sale for $117 cheaper than i paid last week!) It's ideal for a problem solver developer or techie, but i'd hesitate to recommend it for somebody who'd prefer something that "just works" without tweaking. I hope the next generation will learn some lessons from this early milestone in price to pixels. I'd love to see a 39" with a matte display and even a single DisplayPort input supporting 4k at 60Hz. (ditch the TV tuner and coax inputs, etc and sell this as a monitor!)
Hope this helps somebody who was intrigued as I was by this display!
I have calibrated my display for the computer using the X-rite "ColorMunki Display" spectrometer and software. I've the resulting SE39UY04_D65.icm file here. [...]
In Windows 7, i think you can install that profile using the Control Panel > Color Management screen.
My seiki menu picture settings that go with that profile are ...
Picture Mode: User
Color Temp: User > Reset to 128, 128, 128, 512, 512, 512
My settings might not work right for you, as there may be variation with different video cards, display batches, ambient lighting, etc... Please read up before you change your calibration settings, you're on your own here :) Also, if you don't have a backlight setting in your menu, you may want to consider updating your Seiki's firmware.
on October 24, 2013
For about 6 hours, this was a great monitor for technical work, entirely because of its high resolution. You wouldn't want to use it for anything else because of its awful color, uneven backlighting, bad lag, nasty afterimages, and 30Hz maximum refresh rate at 4K resolution, but it sure did fit a lot of text.
Then, with no provocation, the screen popped up a "NO SIGNAL" error. I power-cycled it and fiddled with the connections, and tried moving from HDMI 1 to HDMI 3; no change. I switched to HDMI 2, which took a bit of effort because there's a protrusion on the case that prevents plugging most HDMI cables (including the supplied one!) into HDMI 2. On HDMI 2, it was able to display a signal... but only at up to 1920x1080 resolution, which made this just an ugly TV. I verified the brokenness with three different HDMI cables, four different laptops running three different operating systems, a desktop PC, and a PS3, so this was definitely a hardware problem.
I called Seiki's tech-support line. It dropped me to voicemail after 15 minutes on hold, so I left a message. I waited a day and tried calling them a few more times; nobody answered. I emailed them; no response except an automated acknowledgement from their ticketing system. I waited a few days, and then gave up on Seiki entirely and started the Amazon return process.
In addition to the serious brokenness described above, I should mention that every single thing about this monitor is kludgy and terrible, from the start of the setup process where you drive a bunch of pointy wood screws into the plastic base, to the painfully slow (~1 minute) startup every time you turn the thing on, the idiotic default settings (overscan and unsharp-mask enabled on 4K inputs, as if any human on the planet would want that!), to the broken HDMI EDIDs that require weird configuration tweaks on many computers, to the lame user interface, to...
Sometimes you get what you pay for. It turns out the reason that this TV costs a quarter of what the competition costs is that it and its manufacturer just suck. 4K displays are going to get cheaper. Don't waste your money on this one. Wait.
on February 12, 2014
tldr: Died after one day. No support from Seiki. Save your money, wait for a trustworthy company to produce an affordable 4k screen.
I got my display yesterday. It worked, for the most part. Although, a couple times when I turned it on the red light would switch to blue, the backlight would turn on but nothing would show up and pressing any buttons (like, change source or menu) on remote/side of the tv would have no effects (except for the turn off button). In this case, I would turn off the tv, unplug it from power for a couple of seconds turn it on and it worked just fine. A little annoying, but, still, usable. Once it "died", turning black in the middle of work, I turned it off and on and it worked fine.
Today I came back from school and tried to turn it on. Red light switched to blue, backlight would turn on, and that's it. I tried the trick with unplugging, waiting and plugging back but nothing.
I called SEIKI exactly 28 minutes and 32 seconds ago and still waiting for the representative.
I've been plugging it in to the same power source I've been using for my two other displays and my mac for months without any problems. I unplugged everything else to make sure it gets enough electricity but still, the same result.
I've seen complaints like that from other people. Not worth the risk and money.
on January 3, 2014
Got one, broke within 5 minute. The power supply fried. Got a replacement. Same thing happened. Returned it, got money back. Five stars for amazon return policy. 0 for tv.