Remember that new high definition television you brought home not too long ago?
Your first experience was probably pretty amazing — a huge step up from your old “tube”. Beautiful picture quality. Amazing sharpness and detail. Like the sales person said, a true “cinematic experience”. It can’t get any better than that — right?
How about four times better.
4K UHDTV — What’s The Big Deal?
Just like your new HDTV changed your perception of picture quality and sharpness, the new 4K standard, you may also see it referred to as “Ultra HD”, “UHD”, “4K HD”, and other branded names, packs over 4,000 pixels of resolution into the screen (specifically up to 4096 x 2160 for most formats) vs. 2,190 pixels for the current HDTV standard (at 2190 x 1080). And more pixels means more picture detail, and greater sharpness because you’re simply packing smaller pixels into the same physical space. This extra sharpness and depth becomes particularly apparent at very large screen sizes but, even at screen sizes of 60” and under, Ultra HD offers smoother edge detail and greater picture depth. In some cases, the picture depth rivals 3D TV — without the need for those glasses.
Ultra HD 4K TV Sets Are Out There — And They’re Getting Cheaper
If there is one immutable law of consumer electronics, it’s “technology usually always gets cheaper”. Of course, new UHD TV’s are no exception to that rule. While there are currently UHD compatible TV sets street-priced as low as $1,000 — a sure indicator of average prices to come — full featured sets in the popular 40” to 60” sizes are solidly in the $4,000 to $6,000+ range, with larger screens going much higher.
Major manufacturers SONY, Samsung, LG, VIZIO, and others have all jumped onto the 4K bandwagon with a growing list of UHD 4K TV offerings.
OK. Great Picture. But What About Content?
Precisely the issue. Much like the transition from standard definition to HD TV several years ago, right now content originated and delivered in 4K is pretty hard to find. It’s a two sided issue. Content origination and delivery.
While many new film and TV industry productions are now being originated on 4K cameras (or “upconverted” from HD), the current delivery network bandwidth (the “pipes” or “cables” that deliver Internet and streaming TV to your living room) isn’t quite adequate to push all that extra information (remember, more pixels) through to you. But, like everything in consumer electronics, things are changing quickly. Tremendous effort is being devoted to new data encoding and compression technologies that may hold the promise of delivering all that extra 4K data in the same “pipes” currently carrying HDTV signals.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of at least some of picture quality Ultra HD has to offer right now. Watching existing content, whether it’s an HDTV broadcast or Blu-Ray disk, on a new Ultra HD 4K set will make the content look better. Most of the new 4K sets will “upconvert” the source material to “near-UHD” resolution.
And you do have a few other options. SONY launched their Video Unlimted 4K service last year and, while you need a SONY 4K Ultra HD Media Player, you can watch a number of movies and TV shows now. Netflix has joined the surge as well. If you have a very fast (25Mps +) Internet connection you can also take advantage of some limited releases for hit TV shows and movies.
Ready To Move On Up To 4K?
If you’re ready to make the jump into Ultra HD TV, contact us. In addition to custom media wall and custom home entertainment center design we also provide complete A/V equipment sales and installation from all the major brands. We can put together a complete, turnkey package for new or existing custom media wall clients.
More From Around The Web
Here are a few more helpful links with additional information about new 4K Ultra HD TV