For some people, watching their favorite television shows or movies at the highest quality is of utmost importance. While LED and 3D televisions are considered to be the best of HDTV, the newest technology, 4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD), is already being herald as the next best thing in high-def entertainment.
What Is 4K?
4K/UHD refers to a resolution of about 4,000 pixels wide and 2,000 pixels high. The term 4K currently refers to various standards that are close to the resolution, although most 4K televisions are referred to as Ultra HD.
4K was originally designed to help enhance the moviegoing experience. In fact, the first high-profile 4K release for the cinema was Blade Runner: The Final Cut in 2007. Unfortunately, very few theaters were able to show the movie in its full resolution at the time. Yet, it was Avatar in 2009 that helped boost the popularity for 4K Sony projectors to be used in theaters across the world.
Although the industry is very excited about the use of 4K televisions, consumer 4K content is currently not available. In the absence of 4K content, displays and players will need to be upscaled to keep up with growing technology. For example, Sony's BDP-S790 is a Blu-ray player that will be upscaled to 4K so that 4K films can be watched at home.
Some industry experts question the need for 4K technology at home since it does not seem that there is a huge difference in quality between 1080p and 4K. Fortunately, the difference between standard definition to 4K is quite the leap. You will want to find local TV providers that are able to supply the signal required in order to experience the higher quality shows. However, at the very least, making the move from standard to high-def will be beneficial.
Cost and Size
Unfortunately, 4K televisions will be expensive for the next few years. For example, the LG 84LM9600 costs $17,000 and Sony's 84-inch XBR-84X900 TV costs $25,000. With such high price tags for items that don't yet have specialized content, 4K televisions may not be for everyone. However, just like with most home entertainment technology, the price is expected to lower once 4K products become more mainstream.
The size of 4K televisions is also an issue. For instance, Samsung showcased a 105-inch television set that weighed 2.5 tons during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a few years ago. Fortunately, 105-inch television sets today only weight about 150 pounds, so they are much more convenient for consumers.
In 2008, a Japanese prototype 8K system with a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels was revealed. However, if the technology becomes available to consumers, it is believed that 8K televisions will not be readily available for anything less than $10,000 for at least a decade.
If you love to keep up with growing technology, 4K could very well be the next best thing that you will need to have. Although the sizes and prices currently make the technology harder to obtain, 4K could become more readily available in the near future to make the most of the home entertainment experience.
Dale Hooper enjoys keeping up with the latest advances in TV technology. He also enjoys sharing his insights and tech stories online.