How Will a 4K TV Benefit Me?
When you're just starting to browse for 4K TV, all the terms can get confusing. UHD TV, Ultra HD TV, Ultra High-Definition TV, 4K Ultra HD TV, 4K HD, Ultra HD, 4K UHD TV… from the standpoint of simply watching television, all these terms are referring to the same thing. 4K Ultra HD TVs offer true-to-life picture resolution made up of more than 8 million pixels, providing 2160p resolution (3,840 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels tall), which is four times the resolution of 1080p HDTVs (1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 pixels tall = 2,073,600 pixels). Along with an improved picture, another big benefit of 4K televisions is the boost they provide in picture quality for non-4K resolution shows and media. This step up in quality is called upscaling. 4K upscaling delivers near-4K Ultra HD quality for non-4K content, up to the maximum capabilities of your television or monitor.
Beyond the technical details, the bottom line is that the images you'll see will be incredibly realistic, with a level of detail you have to experience for yourself to believe. Objects in the distance will appear with much greater clarity. Shadow and light will be more nuanced, black tones will be blacker, white tones will be whiter, and the entire picture will look sharper and have a greater sense of depth.
Is There Enough Content Available for My 4K TV?
There's been a revolution happening in the movie business for a number of years. Hollywood has been filming the majority of their big-budget films in 4K Ultra HD (moving away from 35mm film), and an increasing number of movie theaters are projecting in 4K. In addition, more and more TV shows are starting to film in 4K Ultra HD, so there is a large archive of great 4K content available. You can enjoy it using 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and discs, which feature a massive storage capacity, capable of storing the uncompressed video needed to bring 4K quality to your TV screen. Additionally, we're seeing a big push to release 4K content from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, for instance. If the 4K television you select isn't a smart TV, you'll also want to get a 4K UHD streaming media device to watch all your favorite shows with 4K resolution. You can also lose yourself in worlds built for 4K gaming, where action is brought to life with 2160p frame buffers. Enjoy brilliant graphic details in light, shadow and reflections with high dynamic range and wide color gamut. Experience premier sound that puts you in the center of spatial audio. Stream and record game clips in 4K at screaming-fast 60 fps.
In short, there's a huge amount of 4K content available right now, with even more planned for the near future. Or, you can create your own 4K content. Use a high-end video camera or a 4K camcorder to capture everything from your latest film project to your family's special moments in 4K. If you want to learn more about making the leap to 4K, and take a look at the wide range of available 4K-compatible devices and content, check out our online 4K Ultra HD hub where you can learn about, and order, all things 4K.
Choosing the Best 4K TV for My Family
All 4K Ultra HD TVs use either LED or OLED display panel types. The majority of 4K TVs currently use LED (light-emitting diode) panels, and they are the most popular HDTV type on the market. They often have very thin profiles, allowing for easy placement in any viewing space. 4K LED TVs have LEDs providing advanced backlighting and edge lighting for each pixel. The pixels of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs, on the other hand, emit their own light to deliver an extremely high degree of color accuracy, great contrast, and a picture that is virtually blur-free. Additionally, 4K OLED TVs feature technology that allows for extraordinarily thin screens. QLED (Quantum Dot LED) TVs from Samsung, known for incredibly vibrant and bright colors, are more similar to LED than to OLED. Quantum dots are microscopic molecules that sit within the displays and are lit by LEDs along the edge.
Other 4K TV Considerations
The pixel density is such with 4K Ultra HD TVs that you can move close to the screen without suffering from blur, or sacrificing picture quality. For 4K TVs, the minimum "unofficial" recommended viewing distance is one and a half times the height of the TV screen (compared to three times the height for HDTVs). So for a 65" class TV with a screen height of 35", you can sit as close as 4.5 feet away for an incredibly immersive experience. For that reason, your 4K TV opens up your options for home theater seating because you have more of the room available to position seating. Another consideration that becomes a priority when you're streaming 4K shows (or downloading 4K content) is a need for adequate internet speeds to ensure crisp, seamless viewing. You may want to upgrade your router if the one you're currently using is old or inconsistent, to make sure you have the best 4K experience possible.