4K televisions have been on the market for a couple of years now, but it is only recently that they have moved content has started to become available in such a high resolution that purchasing such a TV has made sense.
With 3840 x 2160 pixels compared to the 1920 x 1080 of high definition, 4K TVs offer more nuance and detail to the picture, and along with a higher frame-rate of 50/60 fps they offer much improved clarity when watching sport or fast moving action scenes in a movie.
1080P was designed for screens between 30 – 40 inches in size, but now with more and more people looking to recreate that cinema feel with screens over 50 inches, an increase in resolution is required to keep the same “quality” of picture without seeing the pixel grid.
All this technology is great, but what makes 4K a much more attractive option now than a year ago? The content has started to arrive.
The BBC tested out 4K broadcasting for some matches during the 2014 Brazil World Cup, which shows the broadcaster is looking into implementing the technology for future sporting events. However, the real push for 4K comes from the internet, with YouTube streaming available videos in UltraHD, and NetFlix streaming hits such as House of Cards and Breaking Bad at the same resolution.
The Blu-ray standard is expected to be updated to offer 2160P (another name for the 4096×2160 and 3840×2160 resolutions) movies on disc soon, but even with current 1080P Blu-rays the picture is much improved by the upscaling technology in 4K TVs. Just as 1080P displays make DVDs (480i or 576i) look better than traditional TVs with clever upscaling technology, 4K TVs do the same with Blu-rays so consumers will see improvements in picture quality even with the HD content they already have.
3D TV may have been a fad, but 4K is already here to stay as its higher resolution picture quality is simply better than the current 1080P standard, and even as we wait for more Ultra HD content to become available, 1080P content has never looked better.