Fancy getting a new TV this year? Now is probably be a good time to upgrade your old HDTV in your living room with a 4K TV.
It’s been a long time coming, but prices of these ultra high-definition TVs have finally come down to an affordable range; on average, they now cost as much as the standard HDTVs seven years ago.
You can easily pick up a new 4K TV set from brands such as Sharp and Philips for just under $2,000, while flagship 4K TVs from Samsung and LG can go upwards at a few hundred dollars more.
But before you spend your hard earned money on a 4K TV later this week, you need to consider what you’re getting out of this new TV technology.
At a glance 4K TV sets look similar to your standard HDTV, but it’s only when you get really close to the screen that you will notice the difference. The improvements are really on the picture quality.
As the name implies, 4K panels boast four times the amount of pixels as 1080p displays. To be precise, that 3,840 by 2,160 pixel resolution, as opposed to yesteryear’s 1,920 by 1,080.
What this means is that movies will look sharper and clearer, even if you plan on sitting closer to the TV set. You won’t notice any pixels, everything down to a film character’s nose hair will be extremely detailed.
Of course, the TV won’t do its magic without 4K content. Fortunately, 4K content is now widely available, from ultra-HD blu-ray to media streaming services like Netflix and Apple TV now offering 4K quality movies.
Today’s smartphones and digital cameras support 4K recording, so you can enjoy 4K playback on your new 4K TV. Even the new Sony PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4 Pro) game console supports 4K gaming, and so will the next game console from Microsoft that’s expected to come out later this year.
Even if you don’t have access to 4K content, 4K TVs will upscale 1080p HD content. Although upscaling doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of lower-resolution images, at least you know that your new 4K TV is backwards-compatible.
In addition, the premium range of Ultra-HD TVs from LG or Samsung offers OLED panels and HDR (high dynamic range) that further improves picture quality; OLED will make colours look more vivid and punchier, while HDR allows greater range of brightness and luminosity (you’ll see more detail in shadowy, darker areas in the picture).
If you’ve been holding on to your old HDTV for nearly a decade, you’ll also immediately notice how much modern TVs designs have evolved over the recent years.