What is 4K TV?
Have you heard about the latest, greatest, newest, coolest NEXT BIG THING in Home Entertainment?
Well, here it is...the new...(drum roll please) 4K UHD TV!!!!(echo, echo, studio applause)
Isn't it great?!!...I said, Isn't it GREAT??? (echo, echo, cue crickets)
OK, so I can see you may need some background first so you'll understand just why you need to start getting excited here.
Just the Facts Please
4K TV refers to the new HDTV standard called UHD (Ultra High Definition) with a minimum screen resolution of 3,840 pixels wide x 2,160 pixels high or TWICE the current HDTV standard of 1,920 pixels x 1,080 pixels.
So how did they arrive at that name, you ask? Well, since 3,840 wasn't exactly a sexy number for the marketing department to build a campaign around, they decided to call it "4K". Officially, Sony announced they would call the standard, "4K Ultra High Definition."
So now you have 4 standards of resolution in home TV viewing. Standard definition (480p/540p where "p" refers to progressive scan lines), high definition (720p), full high definition (1080i/1080p where "i" refers to interlaced lines), and now ultra high definition (2160p).
What Can 4K Do for You?
Let's say you're a major sports junkie. You probably still have vivid memories of how HDTV totally changed your life when that new standard hit the market and you saw your first football game in HD, right? There was a huge leap in picture quality from what you remember "back in the day". For the first time, you felt as if you were really standing on the field watching the game right there with the players because the image was so crystal clear.
Well, now (theoretically*) with 4K UHD running at twice that HD resolution, when they do that replay of the big game winning Hail Mary pass and show that glorious spiraling football sailing across the stadium in slow motion? You'll now be able to see the beads of sweat flying off the laces and the wear on the "R" of the Rawlings logo too. Impressive, huh?
*We say theoretically because the truth is there aren't too many sources yet putting out native 4K content that can even bring you that theoretical football game.
How important are those beads of sweat to you? And does that bump in quality justify the additional price of at least $1K extra for a non-Chinese 4K UHD vs non-4K and between $5K and $10K for the larger size TVs? Well, that depends on your level of video fanaticism.
Ask your wife if the price difference between VVS2 and Flawless is justifiable in your choice of diamond quality and you'll surely get an opinion.
But there are other benefits too.
Promotes Intimacy While Maintaining Creative Independence
With 4K, now couples CAN have their cake and eat it too. That's right, now you and your significant other don't have to part ways and head off to different rooms on Friday night to watch your separate favorite show/movies at the same time.
There's a new dual monitor feature that comes with 4K UHD and the new HDMI 2.0 standard. Now this is pretty cool, we have to admit. The feature was originally created by the gaming industry, where two players could have two different viewing experiences watching the same screen, using special glasses.
Now she can be viewing HGTV while he's watching ESPN on the SAME screen. That's right. Spend more time together without sacrificing your personal freedom of choice. Pretty cool, right?
Now is this a likely scenario in your home? Possibly. Possibly not. Truth is you'll actually be able to do this AFTER they release the new HDMI 2.0 standard. Currently, HDMI does support the new 4K standard but only at 30fps, not the 60 frames you'll need to see this feature.
Is 4K Right For You?
If you were one of those people who hung out all night in the (snow/rain/sleet/freezing cold/burning heat) to get the very first iPhone 5 or you bought that first 42" Fujitsu plasma TV when it first came out back around Y2K for a cool $25K, then yes, you NEED to get 4K UHD TV NOW. Because it is the latest and greatest and you simply can't not be the first one on the block to have one and impress your friends.
Yes, you WILL see a noticeable improvement in picture quality and it is quite impressive. But that improvement only becomes obvious when viewing the larger TVs (as in 55" and above) at typical home viewing distances.
But then you may get frustrated after your initial buzz wears off after getting it home because you might not find too much native 4K content right now to sink your teeth into. Just as there were only 4 HD channels available when HDTV first came out, once again the technology leads the content providers.
Not sure which way to go yet on 4K?
Give us a call at Ultimate Sound & Installations. We'll help guide you and figure out together if this is the right time to jump into 4K. And we won't sugarcoat it either. We'll give you the facts and tell it to you straight.
After more than 28 years in business, we've seen all the NEXT BIG THINGS that ever came out in this business. With that kind of experience, we have a pretty good idea which ones will sink and which will swim.
In these murky waters of new technology, we'll help you avoid swimming with the sharks.