Was thinking of purchasing a Samsung 4K set. For those that have 4k sets, was curious as to the Directv picture quality of HD programs on 4K sets. Does it look the same, worse or possibly better. Samsung says the HD picture will be upscaled and was wondering if the picture quality is indeed better. Also, does SD look any better?
So long as the 4K set is capable of 60 fps, there's no way it could look worse, because a 720p program has 3x the pixels in each dimension, a 1080i/1080p program 2x as many pixels in each dimension. Whether the upscaling really helps or not depends on the content and how closely you look at it, but I'm pretty sure it can be disabled if you don't like it so worst case it looks the same.
SD often looked worse on HD sets than SD sets because the dimensions (320x480 for broadcast NTSC, 640x480 for digital cable/satellite; both 4:3) don't fit evenly into the number of pixels in a HD screen, which was typically 1280x720 (especially on earlier HDTVs when there was still a lot of SD around) 1366x768, or 1920x1080 16:9. Between that, and simply dealing with viewing 4:3 content on a 16:9 screen via stretching or bars on the sides, made it pretty unpleasant to view.
4K won't suffer from that, same 16:9 format and 2-3x the pixels in either direction will make it a painless transition so even if it doesn't look better to your eye it won't look worse like SD often did on a HD TV.