What is 4K? Like the difference from standard definition to high-definition, 4K refers to displays with an increased number of pixels, also known as the display resolution. The term 4K refers to the fact that these displays are around 4000 pixels wide. A 4K TV contains four times as many pixels as a 1080p TV. You can think of it as four full HD TVs stitched into one screen. 4K video content is created with special cameras that capture videos at this ultrahigh resolution to match these displays. This extra resolution gives 4K TVs incredible amounts of detail resulting in clearer, more vibrant pictures.
While 4K content will look the best, your 4K TV can display all of your normal content, from broadcast programs to video games, just like a normal TV. Most 4K TVs apply something known as upscaling to non-4K sources. Upscaling is the process of adding pixels to a video source to match a higher resolution display. While it won’t transform a 1080p signal into true 4K, it does make the signal look a lot better on a 4K TV.
The single biggest complaint about 4K TVs right now is the lack of native content. What that means is that there isn’t much access to true 4K content right now because no providers are currently broadcasting a 4K signal. But other sources of 4K content are growing every day. Multiple manufacturers provide 4K streaming video players which are devices specifically designed to access and play 4K movies through an online library. Streaming services are also getting into the game. Netflix currently offers a handful of shows ready to stream in 4K. Amazon Instant Video features a library of 4K movie rentals that are constantly growing. Even YouTube has the option to upload and view videos in 4K. And the industry is currently finalizing standards for 4K Blu-ray discs and players.
4K TVs can also be of interest to avid videographers or anyone who wants to get the most out of their home videos. There are plenty of portable camcorders and digital cameras capable of capturing 4K content for easy playback on a 4K TV. Most casual TV watchers won’t need to buy any more equipment if they’re only adding a 4K TV. If you have a more advanced home theater system, you may need to make additional upgrades. Connecting cables will need to be HDMI 1.4 or higher, also known as HDMI high-speed. Since this standard was introduced in 2009, most cables sold in the last few years should suffice. If you pass your video signal through your audio receiver and route to your television, you will need to make sure your receiver supports 4K pass-through, or the signal will be degraded.
Unlike video fads that have come and gone, 4K is the way of the future. So if you’re buying a new TV today, choosing a 4K TV is a matter of future proofing. With price differences between 4K and 1080p TVs continuing to drop and access to 4K content always growing, a 4K TV is a great way to ensure you’ll have access to the best possible picture for years to come.
How to Buy an HDTV
In this section, we’re going to give you some tips on buying a high-definition television or an HDTV. There are five main factors to consider when purchasing an HDTV:
– What type of TV is best for your room
– What size is best for your room
– How you plan on displaying or mounting your TV
– What features you want your TV to have
– And if you want your TV to be 3D capable
Currently, there are four types of HDTVs to consider: LCD, plasma, LED, and DLP. LCD TVs are great all-purpose TVs good for anywhere in the house, including bright rooms. Plasmas are excellent fast motion so if you’re a sports enthusiast, a gamer, or like your action movies, plasma is your thing.
LED TVs offer you an outstanding picture with great color and contrast that you can mount virtually anywhere in the house. DLPs are known for their size and value.
People ask all the time “which type of TV is right for me?”. First off, consider the room. If the room is sunny or bright, consider an LCD or LED TV. They do better with bright lights, and they have less glare. If it’s a darker room, you may want to consider a plasma which has richer color and deeper contrast. For a larger room, consider a DLP which gives the best clarity in a large size.
Size of the TV
Next, determine the size of the TV that is best for you. Here is a simple method to determine the best size and distance for your room. First, take the screen size, multiply it by 2, then divide it by 12. That would be the distance in feet you should be sitting away from your TV. For example, if you have a 42-inch screen, multiply that by 2: 84. Divide it by 12. That gives you an optimum distance of seven feet away from your TV. Don’t forget that the TV position in the room will also make a difference.
Once you determine the type and size of the TV, you will need to think about how you will display it. Will it be a stand, credenza, or a wall mount? If using a stand or a credenza, make sure that it can hold the size and weight of the TV. If you are using a wall mount, you can choose between three different options: a flat mount, a tilting mount, or a cantilever mount.
A flat mount, or a low profile, is good when you want your TV to be positioned close to the wall. A tilting mount is going to be used when you mount your TV higher than normal so it can be tilted downward for a better picture. Finally, a cantilever mount can be mounted anywhere in the room so it can be positioned for all viewing angles.
With heavier TVs, like anything 55 inches or larger, consider a professional installer so they can be properly mounted on the wall for the safety of both you and your TV. Many HDTVs have additional features, like Netflix, music streaming, or Wi-Fi. You want to know which feature best fits your needs when deciding on your new TV.
Finally, the last thing you want to consider when buying a new HDTV is if you want it to be 3D ready. 3D ready TVs are able to play 3D programming and movies from either a 3D Blu-ray player, 3D cable box, or satellite box or compatible 3D gaming systems.