The world of TVs has moved on a lot in the past few years. There are new technologies and certifications, all aimed at making the next leap forward, none more so than 4K TV.
4K is no longer something for early adopters, but is now coming into its own as studios, broadcasters and streaming services support it.
Click here to know more about the best 4k TV in India!
Netflix and Amazon have pushed 4K greatly on their streaming platforms in the past few years, with the latter also offering several 4K compatible devices. There’s also Sky Q, which brings 4K to a whole new segment of mainstream TV viewers in the UK. On the gaming side, there’s 4K love from the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. There’s also Apple’s attempt to storm the 4K castle with its Apple TV 4K.
With all that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about 4K, to save you a load of time and effort when buying a new 4K TV.
What is 4K?
4K, also known as Ultra HD, refers to a TV resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. That’s four times as many pixels than in a full HD TV, a total of about 8.3 million pixels. Having so many pixels means a higher pixel density, and you should have a clearer, better defined picture. It’s not necessarily about sharpness, but about letting more detail and texture through.
A couple key buying tips for getting your first 4K TV:
- Most importantly of all, buy the TV with the biggest display you can reasonably afford. 4K resolution and HDR both look much better on larger screens.
- An HDR 4K TV is definitely much better than a non-HDR 4K TV and man very affordable HDR models are now sold, such as Vizio’s excellent P-sereis TVs or Sony’s very low-price X800D and X750D 4K HDR televisions.
- Pay attention to the real display specs of your 4K TV, the smart platform and other “features” like “Motionflow” “AutoMotion Plus” and “HDR1000” are mostly unimportant or completely dishonest in conveying actual display performance.
- Don’t buy a 4K TV that’s from before early 2015. Many older models are no longer up to the current standards for viewing the best 4K content sources.
- There are many excellent 4K TVs with HDR even sold now for less than $1000. So buying one doesn’t have to be a budget breaking event.
1. What does “4K” mean, what does “Ultra HD” mean, and what are the differences between the two?
Quite simply 4K is used to refer to a resolution which amounts to about four times the pixel count of Full HD resolution. Full HD is measured at 1920 x 1080 pixels and for most consumer purposes, 4K UHD resolution is set at 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is roughly 4 times as many pixels as FHD (Full HD). They’re also colloquially called 2160p and 1080p resolutions respectively. There is also a less common 4K resolution called DCI 4K, rarely found in 4K TVs but common in 4K home theater projectors and some 4K video cameras. This is set at 4096 x 2160 pixels and offers roughly half a million pixels more than 4K UHD.
As for ultra HD, it has a more flexible meaning. Right now it’s practically synonymous with 4K UHD TV displays and other 4K consumer products but when other resolutions like 6Kand 8K become more common, they could also be called ultra HD.
2. Why are 4K screens/displays preferred over 1080P
what are the advantages and why is this technology worth it? How does this ultra-high definition technology change the user experience for the better on various devices (TVs, computer monitors, phones and cameras)?
4K resolution isn’t actually easy to distinguish from normal FHD on smaller display devices of less than 45 inches across (diagonally) unless you get really close up to the screen but aside from this 4K definitely brings with it a much better level of sharpness on all larger screens and even on smaller screens, the sharpness and smoothness of digital video looks far superior when viewed close up. Aside from these obvious benefits, 4K display devices come with the best peripheral display technologies these days and 4K recording devices are obviously better because their 2160p video output is more future-proof for being displayed on larger screens (which are becoming more popular among consumers).
3. What are the current 4K screen technologies available to consumers (e.g., HDR, OLED, AMOLED, Quantum Dot [QD], UHD, etc.)? Please describe the differences between these technologies mentioned and list any others that I failed to mention.
The most important 4K display technologies (mainly for 4K TVs) currently available are HDR and OLED. Quantum Dots and other brand-specific technologies mostly revolve around enhancing 4K resolution or HDR in any case. OLED is its own distinct display technology for display design and it is also found in non-4K screens.