The Truth About 4K Ultra High Def—What Is It & Do I Want It?

The latest and greatest in visual technology is here. Enter the Ultra High Definition TV, also known as 4K. High-definition has never been so clear and crisp, and to get the ultimate in your viewing experience, the Ultra High Def TV gives you 4x the picture resolution of a normal 1080p HDTV. The result? A lifelike image that’s virtually perfect…crisp, clear and in depth. The detail in the picture is undeniable, and with a horizontal resolution of close to 4000 pixels, these “4K” TVs are sure to become the most sought after video technology of recent times.


It’s likely that you’ve already viewed cinema at a 4K quality-level. Sony Electronics launched the first 4K technology, and Texas Instruments also makes it possible for theaters to use the 4K technology in cinematic viewing — in fact, about 40% of all movie theaters currently utilize 4K digital projectors.


A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Simply put, pixels equal picture quality. The more pixels, the better the detail in your image. This is true for all components — TVs, Smartphones, your iPad or tablet. The key to knowing if you have a high quality picture is simple. Can you see the pixels? The highest quality will have the highest number of pixels, ultimately giving you the clearest image possible, one where you can’t see any pixilation. The 4K Ultra High Def TVs offer a superior image and visual depiction that’s unparalleled.


The Downside to 4K

While there’s no denying 4K offers a technologically advanced image, as is often typical with the release of most hardware technology, the production of the product has advanced faster than the content it is intended to project. Similar to what we saw with the advances from VCR to DVD, DVD to Blu-ray, and SDTV to HDTV, 4K content is not yet 100% available.


Is Media Compatible?

Currently, 4K televisions on the market are compatible to view lower quality media from other video sources. Media can be converted from your existing satellite/cable, gaming console or Blu-ray player to fill the screen formatting on your 4K TV. This conversion wont be 4K in a true sense of the word, but it will improve the picture size and quality enough to make a difference.


Why Are the TVs So Big?

4K television screens start at much larger sizes than their HD counterparts. The reason for this is simple. Traditional 1080p resolution is fine on a TV screen that’s 50” or smaller. Most viewers wouldn’t even be able to see the pixels or tell the difference from an average viewing distance. If you’re not in the market for a TV 50” or greater, 4K may not be worth the money you’ll spend to get the latest technology.


What TV Should I Get?

Several major brands now offer 4K options. If you’ve decided you can’t watch one more movie without the supreme quality that 4K offers, these brands are your best bet.


LG—LG offers some of the most cost efficient 4Ks on the market. Their innovative IPS panel technology allows for a crisp picture that stays constant even if you change your viewing perspective.

SAMSUNG—With a “thinking-outside-the-box” and forward planning approach to the next generation of cinematic technology, Samsung offers a “One Connect Box” for your components’ inputs. This outside component will allow for future versions that will upgrade your TV’s processors and memory, making for an investment in technology that won’t be obsolete by next year. That in itself may be an enticement to jump on the 4K bandwagon.

SHARP—You’re all but guaranteed to not be disappointed with Sharp’s 4K technology. With the THX® certification, this TV has passed more than 400 picture quality tests, ensuring you’ll get the ultimate in viewing experiences.


SONY—For the true theater-like viewing experience, you won’t go wrong with a Sony 4K TV. With a background in building 4K equipment for the pros, Sony boasts a catalog of films larger than any other movie production company out there. The result? You’ll have more options to enjoy your investment.


4K is definitely an investment you’ll want to be sure about making before you do so. With an overwhelmingly larger price tag than HDTV options, being informed before you decide to buy will help you not end up with buyer’s remorse.