Just when you thought TV viewing couldn’t get any better, along comes the next best thing in TV tech to blow your mind. In this case, that thing is 4K Ultra High-Definition technology – widely known as Ultra HD. You may also hear 4K called by other names such as UHD, though 4K seems to be leading the race to become the default name for the evolving technology.
What’s Different About 4K?
4K is a feast for the eyes that offers a staggering resolution of 3840 pixels x 2160 pixels in 16:9 aspect ratio. 4K offers double both the vertical and horizontal resolution of full HDTV, which translates into almost 8.3 million pixels. This increase in available pixels produces better colour depth and clarity at closer viewing ranges. Compare that to the approximate 1 million pixels of standard 720p HD and 2 million pixels offered by 1080p full HD and it’s easy to see the possibilities of what four times the pixels will offer to movie and TV enthusiasts.
What’s So Great About 4x the Pixels?
There are several advantages to having four times as many pixels as Full HD 1080p, but all are centred around the production of stunning picture quality for the viewer. With added pixels, you get a more detailed, true-to-life picture with smoother curves and diagonal lines. More pixels also means that images can be displayed at larger sizes before they start to break up – an important factor for the trend towards ever-larger screen sizes. For the best possible viewing experience you should have a screen that fills your entire field of vision. However, if you sit too close you’ll be able to make out the individual pixels on the screen, which can be distracting and ruin the quality of your entertainment.
4K picture resolution is so amazingly sharp and detailed you’ll be able to get as close as 1.6m (5.2 feet) to a 55” screen and still enjoy a smooth, gorgeous image. It’s a great way to make your movies, TV shows, sports, and games feel larger than life. A 4K curved TV can fill your field of vision even more effectively for a completely immersive experience, so you almost feel like your favourite on-screen characters are right there with you.
What’s the Difference Between 4K and OLED?
OLED is another term you might have heard bandied about when referring to the future of TV technology. However, 4K and OLED are basically two completely different things. 4K refers to resolution while OLED is a type of TV display technology. To use a rough analogy, think of cars. A sports car would be a type of car, just like OLED is a type of TV display. 100 km/h is a speed that a car can travel, just like 4K is a resolution that a TV can display. It’s possible to have a TV that’s both 4K and OLED, just like it’s possible to have a sports car that can go 100 km/h.
The benefits of 4K technology focuses around the number of available pixels on a screen, giving you stunning image clarity and sharpness on huge screen sizes. On the other hand, the great thing about OLED is that each pixel in the display contains red, green and blue elements which gives each pixel the ability to reproduce every colour in the spectrum. OLED displays require no backlight, so they offer stunning picture quality in a super-thin form factor. If you want to learn more about OLED TVs, check out our OLED TV Buying Guide.
What If I Don't Have 4K Content?
4K technology is amazing, and you can take full advantage of the incredible image quality if you’ve got 4K content to enjoy. But what if you don’t have 4K content? Don’t fret because even regular content will look more vivid and detailed on your 4K TV with advanced upscaling technology. 4K TVs come with upscaling technology that boosts regular and HD video to near-4K quality by increasing the number of pixels through a process called interpolation. The sophisticated processing chip in your television examines the pixels from your non-4K content and guesses the missing information to fill in the blanks and create a near-4K quality image. This means that even your beloved DVD and Blu-ray collection will get a visual boost through your 4K TV. Newer Blu-ray players and A/V receivers are including 4K upscaling on their list of features, so you won’t run out of beautiful near-4K content to enjoy.
While some broadcasters around the world are pushing ahead with 4K technology, it is still relatively new in the consumer world. Many Hollywood movies and TV shows are being shot using 4K technology, and with 4K upscaling available on 4K TVs, some Blu-ray players, and A/V receivers, there’ll be no danger of running out of 4K content any time soon.
The Future Shop Difference
Future Shop is always on the cutting edge of consumer electronics, so you know it’s one of the best places to get the latest TV technology. 4K TVs are already available in Future Shop stores and on futureshop.ca from manufacturers like LG, Sharp, Sony, and Samsung, so check them out and experience the amazing vividness of 4K TVs for yourself.