When is an image good enough? We take a quick look at 4K TVs, the next level of viewing technology after high-definition TVs (HDTVs) and bring you some tips to make your TV shopping a breeze!
At the moment, HDTVs are common, with only a handful of brands offering 4K technology. But like all new technology, 4K looks set to dominate when prices come down, thanks to its superior picture quality as compared to those of current HDTV sets. One day, we will look back on regular HDTVs and wonder how we managed to watch TV in such low resolution! Here’s what you need to know about 4k technology.
The Samsung 65-inch curved UHD TV HU9000, $7,999, is available at all major electrical stores.
What is a 4K TV?
4K, also known as ultra HD (or UHD), offers a resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels – four times higher than that of a full-HD TV. With its 8.3 million pixels (as compared to two million for full HD), it has the highest resolution and, therefore, best picture detail for TV screens to date.
How long has it been around?
The first consumer 4K TV was released in 2012. Today, they are readily available from electrical giants such as Samsung and LG.
What’s good about it?
As TVs get cheaper, more people upgrade to larger screens (most go for 50 to 60 inches). Here’s the problem: screens are getting bigger, but the number of pixels remains the same and the individual pixels become more visible. Think of it as stretching an image, causing it to become blurred. 4K displays address this by “packing” more pixels together. As the resolution of a 4K TV is four times greater than that of a full-HD TV, it has a higher amount of pixels per inch. This makes the images on a 4K TV significantly more detailed and realistic, with text appearing clearer even for the smallest of letters. Another advantage is the wider colour range for more vibrancy, and greater contrast.
The Sharp 50-inch LC-50UE1M 4K TV, $2,039, and 58-inch LC-58UE1M 4K TV, $2,799, are available at Harvey Norman.
What content is available for 4K TVS?
4K broadcasting has actually already begun. Apart from sporting events (such as the 2014 World Cup) that have been shot and broadcast to the public using the technology, Internet streaming services (such as Netflix and YouTube) now offer 4K content. There will only be more to come, as movie-makers and TV networks explore the possibilities. That being said, while the Internet has been an important content enabler, there is still a lack of 4K content on TV and cable networks. However, 4K TVs can also elevate regular HD content such that it looks close to 4K resolution.
What’s the price difference?
Between a full-HD TV and a 4K TV, depending on TV size and specification, the price difference can range from $500 to $2,500. It is expected that prices will only go down as the technology becomes more popular.
4 K or UHD?
The terms “4K” and “UHD” are often used interchangeably, but technically the term 4K is used to refer to cinema screens with a screen ratio of 17:9. TV screens have a screen ratio of 16:9. “4K” TVs, as they are marketed, are actually UHD TVs with the same TV ratio of 16:9, but with superior picture quality due to the higher number of pixels.
By Home & Décor, April 2015