4K TV, also known as Ultra HD, is being touted as the next big thing in television technology, but what actually is it? Let’s take a closer look at 4K TV including what it is and how it works.
What is 4K?
4K, or Ultra HD as it is sometimes known, is the next step following on from Full HD. In terms of resolution, Full HD, or 1080p, has 1920 x 1080 pixels. This has been the highest quality picture available to most people although many television providers are broadcasting in a slightly lower quality of HD (1080i). Ultra HD takes things a step further with a resolution almost 4 times larger than Full HD. 4K has a 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution – that’s over 8 million pixels and more pixels means a higher quality of picture.
Ultra HD is about so much more than pixel resolution. With the move towards 4K, it has been suggested that TV and film makers should also be increasing the frequency that they shoot in. At the moment, most Hollywood films are shot as 24 frames per second (fps) and television is shot at either 25fps or 30fps depending on the country of origin. However, experts suggest that in order to get the most from 4K, content needs to be shot at 120 fps. If you went to see The Hobbit on the big screen then you have already seen higher frequency in action. The film was shot at 48fps and the change in picture quality and the level of detail were glaringly obvious. Imagine how much more could be done with 120fps!
Is 4K Available Now?
The short answer to the question of whether or not 4K is actually available yet is yes. However, it is not widely accessible. While some online streaming services are beginning to offer a small selection of programming in 4K format, the truth is that television providers such as comcast Pennslyvania are not. It has also been suggested that 4K Blu-ray will hit stores towards the end of this year. The majority of people will agree that there is simply not enough content available at the moment to make the cost of a 4K television justifiable.
Should You Buy a 4K TV?
To summarize, 4K is the next step in the evolution of television, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be rushing out to buy yourself a 4K TV just yet! As noted above, the amount of 4K content that is actually readily available currently fairly limited. There seems very little point in laying out a large sum of cash for a 4K television if you are going to be watching standard HD for a few years. The chances are fair that by the time 4K content is mainstream, your expensive television would be outdated and better models will be on sale for far less than you paid! The 4K market is certainly increasing and there are predictions that smartphones and other devices will start incorporating 4K sooner rather than later, but it is still a good idea to wait at least a year if not longer before you splash out on a 4K television. In conclusion, 4K certainly looks like it is going to be the next big thing in television, but it is still very much in its infancy and still needs some time to evolve.