What is 4K Ultra HD TV? -Everything you need to know
4K TV is finally a serious proposition, thanks mainly to the increasing availability (and affordability) of Ultra HD TVs and the all-important 4K content.
4K, Ultra HD, 4K Ultra HD all variants of the same new TV (or screen technology) is essentially a techie kind of way to indicate 4 times the resolution of a Full HD screen resolution.
The TV market is full of TVs that all claim to be 4K or Ultra HD. There is also a number of BluRay players and discs and naturally, you can also stream 4K content from Amazon, Netflix, iTunes and YouTube. For us in South Africa, streaming will forever be the quickest and easiest way of obtaining these kinds of signals as the numbers don’t add up to coerce the local broadcasters into bringing this format to us via direct, or even satellite, broadcast.
As things stand, we are seeing more and more models turning up at our store with a full 4K specification and far fewer without, so we can be sure that this is the way that the entire market is moving.
So, what's 4K TV all about? What is 4K Ultra HD?
Officially, 4K resolution is 4096 x 2160 pixels, but in order to fit this higher resolution video into a normal 16:9 picture format, it has been slightly dropped to 3840 x 2160. This is still four times the number of pixels found on a Full HD 1080p screen (1920 x 1080), so it is immensely high in the amount of detail that can be displayed.
As always, in order to obtain the maximum from your new 4K set you will need a compatible TV, a compatible source and the 4K content to make the most of the extra pixels.
We have been selling UltraHD TVs since 2013, but without all the pieces of the puzzle, it was, at first, an incomplete experience. Still, even with standard definition signals, there is some advantage to be had from a 4K TV. Firstly, it offers much better signal processing and this means that your old movies and series will still look a lot better and smoother, with better colour reproduction. Secondly, we don’t only use our TVs for old-fashioned TV watching. On the contrary, we find more and more people who buy TVs, never connect them to satellite decoders or TV aerials and simply make use of screen mirroring, streaming and other means of obtaining content. As we live in a world where smartphones are the norm and thus we carry in our pockets a device that record 4K videos, we suddenly have many sources of some of the most spectacular video resolution that was ever recorded.
So how do I get 4K performance in my house?
- •Get a TV with true 4K resolution.
- •Connect it to the Internet and stream 4K videos from YouTube, Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. All these operators have a selection of 4K content on their platforms that are either available for free or at a monthly fee.
- •Use the TV’s built-in screen mirroring facility (or free app) to take all the content from your mobile phone onto the screen and enjoy the photos or videos that you took on your phone directly on your TV in the original resolution.
Then there is HDR.
‘HDR’ stands for High Dynamic Range, and is currently the Big Thing in the TV world. The term originates in the world of photography, and refers to a technique that increases a picture’s dynamic range (the contrast between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks). The theory is that the higher the dynamic range, the closer a picture gets to real life.
An HDR TV is all about contrast and colour performance, and therefore a TV must be able to deliver a certain minimum level of brightness and black level to support HDR. The most readily available spec comes in the form of the Ultra HD Premium badge, which requires that a TV delivers 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) and 10-bit colour depth. This helps the discerning consumer select a TV that is measured to a much higher standard and can therefore claim to be among the best available.
Read more here:
Full list of 4K titles on Netflix in SA
More info on 4K