Getting 4K TV: Your questions answered
WITH Australia poised to get join the 4K movement, we've answered every question you might have about the technology game changer.
WHAT IS 4K?
The term 4K was borrowed from the film industry and refers to the number of pixels shown on a screen. Technically, 4K resolution is 4096 pixels across the screen and 2160 pixels down. Most television screens promising to deliver a 4K resolution actually offer 3840 pixels across the screen.
WHAT IS ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION?
Ultra High-Definition, also known as UHD, is the official term for 4K resolution in televisions. While it's often used interchangeably with the term 4K, it refers to the slightly lower resolution of 3840 pixels across the screen and is an industry standard.
HOW IS 4K OR ULTRA HIGH-DEFINITION DIFFERENT FROM FULL HIGH-DEFINITION RESOLUTION?
4K screens offer four times the resolution of Full High-Definition screens so they can deliver pictures that are obviously crisper and more detailed. To put it another way, 4K TVs have eight million pixels, while HD screens show just two million. Golf screened in 4K would make it easier to follow the ball's trajectory, and film aficionados may find it easier to identify hidden background cameos or catch extra detail in cityscapes.
WHAT IS HDR?
This term stands for High Dynamic Range and refers to televisions that can show a wide range of colours and contrast levels so detail is not lost in the shadows or bright parts of a scene. Sunsets and dimly lit scenes look much more striking on televisions that support HDR.
WHAT IS ULTRA HD PREMIUM?
This is a brand designed to let consumers know that a television meets a set of high standards for a 4K screen. To qualify for the label, a television must offer a 4K resolution, at least 10-bit colour depth, and meet standards relating to its peak brightness and colour range.
WHAT IS 4K UPSCALING?
Upscaling is a digital process that can make high-definition footage look like 4K video. The artificial process can be performed by your TV, games console, or set-top box, and brings extra clarity to your screen. It's not quite as good as native 4K content, however.
WILL I NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE?
Watching 4K content on a 4K TV will be noticeably different, particularly if you sit close to the television or if you have a large screen. The optimal distance for taking in the detail of a 65-inch 4K television, for example, is 1.31m.
ARE 4K TVS MORE EXPENSIVE?
Yes, but for different reasons than you might expect. Most televisions over 40 inches in size now come with a 4K resolution, and only smaller, cheaper models still arrive with HD screens. If you buy a modern big-screen TV, it probably supports 4K.
WILL 4K MAKE MY HIGH-DEFINITION TV OBSOLETE?
You will still be able to use your old television to view 4K content, you just won't get the full benefit of the boost in picture quality. If you try to play a 4K Blu-ray Disc on an HD television, for example, its resolution will simply be downgraded to match the resolution of your TV.
WILL I BE ABLE TO GET 4K CONTENT FOR MY TV?
Yes. You will be able to access Foxtel's 4K channel over satellite in October, and you can currently access 4K content from streaming services including Netflix, Stan, and Amazon Prime. It's also available on UHD Blu-ray Discs and YouTube, and many cameras and smartphones also record video in 4K resolution.