Ultra HD TVs, or 4K TVs, are not a fad. Let’s get that out of the way up front. Next year and in the years to come, the number of 4K TVs will not only expand, but the format will eventually take over everything but budget and small TV models.
That doesn’t mean you should wait to buy a 4K TV. Every major, and many not-so-major television manufacturer is selling Ultra High Defintion TVs. But do you understand everything you need to buy the best Ultra HD TV for your family? The January 2015 issue of Electronic House explains what you need to know about 4K Televisions and what to look for when buying one.
First, what is 4K TV? Ultra HD TV and 4K basically mean the same thing to TV manufacturers. It refers to the onscreen resolution of the TV. A standard 1080p HDTV has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. A 4K TV has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. Those extra pixels can make a huge improvement in picture detail, if all the other puzzle pieces fall into place. This article explains how those extra pixels let you sit closer or get a bigger TV for your home theater or media room, without seeing the pixel structure of the TV panel.
What are those other puzzle pieces? First, you need to make sure your TV has the correct version of HDMI input. Most new ones do now, but some of the first Ultra TV didn’t.
Do 4K TVs need 4K video to work? No, not at all. Just like when 1080p TVs started replacing all the 1080i and 720p HDTVs, the TVs simply scaled the incoming video signal to fit the native screen resolution. In many case, especially with better TV models, the 4K upconversion process improves the incoming video signal, so that even without native 4K content, the picture looks sharper.
Oh course, upconverting lower-resolution video to Ultra HD isn’t the only thing these new 4K smart TVs are good for. Many new sources of 4K video are coming to market. These include 4K downloads onto hard drive servers, 4K online streaming, satellite TV providers and even a new 4K Blu-ray disc. You can read more about those in the January 2015 issue.
In this article you’ll also learn about new curved 4K TVs, OLED Ultra HD TVs and the new category of 4K projectors.
You can check out that article and more in this issue of Electronic House.
Also, don’t miss this Samsung UN65HU8550 4K Ultra HD TV Review.
This article was originally published on February 17, 2014: and was updated on June 4, 2015.