Big screen 4K UHD TVs as big high res displays for Scrivener

Here’s a new, somewhat costly option that may work for those who have the physical work/desk space… Instead of cramming 4 times higher resolution into traditional size laptop/tablet/desktop displays, sometimes resulting in small squinty text and icons, cram that 4 times higher resolution into 4 times larger displays… 4K big screen TVs. 4 times the Scrivener space! Also great for programmers, web developers, video editors, etc.

CAUTION. This is still somewhat “bleeding edge” “early adopter” territory. Research and verify before plunging in. See some links below. My experience is with a PC running Windows 10. I can’t speak to the Mac side of this.

A growing number of 4K UHD big screen TVs are capable of properly displaying 4K UHD 3180x2160p 60hz chroma 4:4:4 signals supported by the new Nvidia Geforce GTX 900 family of graphic cards. 60 hz is generally needed for fast enough screen refresh/redraw. Chroma 4:4:4 is needed to assure the ability to display fine text without color fringing/smudging around/in the text.

My situation… Replaced a Samsung T260HD 25 inch HD TV/monitor (HD 1920x1080p) with a Samsung UN50JU6500 50 inch 4K UHD TV (4K UHD 3180x2160p with support for 60hz and chroma 4:4:4 via HDMI). Basically, 4 times the resolution, on a display 4 times larger, resulting in 4 times the screen real estate, but with pitch/dots per inch/text size basically same size as before. 40 inches might work for some, but was going to be too squinty for me. NOTE: If were also planning to watch movies (24 frames per second) on such, might want to spend more for a higher end more powerful model that better handles/avoids related “judder” better.

Not cheap… but not that far beyond what the biggest/best ultra high resolution “computer display monitors”, typically maxing out at 27 to 30 inches (with resulting small text and icons), cost. Or multiple displays, for those who use such.

CAUTION: Note the requirement, at least at the time of this posting, of the use of one of the Nvidia Geforce GTX 900 family of graphics cards. They range in horsepower and price. AMD (Radeon) and others will presumably move to support this as it catches on. There may be others that I’m not aware of.
To elaborate… all of the GTX 900 family produce the needed 4k 60hz chroma 4:4:4 signal required… and should be fine for 2D (desktop app)… where they vary is in their 3D (typically for gaming) horsepower. I got the GTX 960, as was the lowest/cheapest model at the time and it works fine with next to latest generation games (Battlefield 3 for example) at 4K. If it bogs down on newer more demanding games, there’s the option of dropping back to HD 1080p, which still looks good. There’s now a lower/cheaper 950 card… and of course the higher end pricier 970, 980, etc.

CAUTION: I had to replace overpriced supposedly high speed HDMI cables purchased at the local electronics box store with cheaper Amazon branded high speed HDMI cables from Amazon, to get this to work properly.

For discussion and verification of new (typically only new 2015 models) 4K UHD big screen TVs capable of this, and folks experience with getting started with them, see these (and other) sources: … nitor/best … -list.html

When I started looking into this, Samsung seemed the main/only option. Judging from the Rtings article above, other manufacturers are getting into the game.

Your mileage may vary.

P.S. If you do this and the Start button and taskbar icons seem awfully far away to the left, look into Stardock’s ObjectDock utility, which provides a supplemental/replacement equivalent that can be centered at bottom, top, left or right of the screen.


  • This was using the HDMI 1 port on the Samsung UN50JU6500 TV. Haven’t tested its other HDMI ports to know if they handle this or not.
  • I ordered and tested two more of the above cables. They also work fine.

You can do this with most modern Macs too (they all support 4K). The cable is the only bit you need tow worry about as in this brave new world cables now have versions… (1.x - 2.0), which support caring degrees of resolution (2k-4k), 3D, networking and audio. Oh and if you have one of the new MacBooks, you’ll need a splitter (given it only has one port…, but it does support 4k over USB-C).

I don’t have a 4K TV yet (skipping it, first 6K and HDR screens will start appearing in 2016), but you can also use AirPlay to beam your Video/Audio to the TV via an AppleTV if you have one of those. I do this quite a bit: I zoom scriv’s text in and edit on a 60" 1080p screen from the sofa (helps with eye strain sometimes).