The big buzz in consumer electronics is the new 4K, the common name for the Ultra HD TV format. So what is 4K, exactly, and how do you know when the time is right to get it for your home?
4K represents the next giant leap in image resolution. How big a leap? 4K creates images composed of nearly 8.3 million pixels, compared to about 2 million in a 1080p image, the full HD resolution produced by Blu-ray®. In other words, FOUR TIMES the resolution of the TVs that you’re likely watching now. These pixels are usually arranged in a 3,840 x 2,160 configuration, compared with the 1,920 x 1,080 for full HD TV, also known as “1080p.”
Is 4K different from Ultra HD?
Though not the same, the two terms have become interchangeable, thereby creating some confusion. “4K” is the most commonly used term. However, some consumer electronics manufacturers prefer “Ultra HD” because it distinguishes between the 3,840 x 2,160 resolution inherent to 16:9 ratio TVs and the 4,096 x 2,160 resolution most commonly used in digital cinemas. For our purposes, we’ll refer to it as 4K.
How much difference will I see between 4K and full HD?
The larger the 4K TV screen, the more value you’ll get from 4K. The difference between 4K and full HD is most noticeable with 65-inch or bigger TVs. It’s important to note that the farther from the TV you sit, the bigger the TV you’ll need to see the difference.
The advantage of 4K is about more than just having more pixels, though. At any screen size, you’ll notice more image clarity, detail, smoothness, and color depth (since 4K employs a larger color space). The image looks virtually life-like. All of your full HD content, including Blu-rays, will display on a 4K TV. However, the image will be scaled up to fill the screen. So while it won't look quite as good as true 4K content, it will still look better.
From New York to Boca Raton, ACS is here to help you learn about the latest 4K technology. Stay tuned to part 2 of this article where we’ll answer common questions about optimal room location, what content is available and how much it costs to own a 4K TV.