You’ve probably heard of ‘Ultra HD’ 4K TV by now. They’re everywhere. So if you’re in the market for a new television, you might be left wondering if investing in 4K is worth it for your home theatre setup.
What is ‘Ultra HD’ 4K?
Unlike 3D TVs or curved TVs, which came and went a few years ago, 4K displays aren’t a gimmick. 4K refers to the resolution of the television screen, and the higher the resolution the more detailed the image.
To put 4K in perspective, the average television on the market has a resolution of 1080 pixels. A 4K TV has, you guessed it, almost 4000 pixels. This means that a 4K display is four times higher definition that a standard display.
So, what kind of difference will this make to your day-to-day television viewing?
In reality, not much. Smart phones, computer monitors, and laptop screens with higher definition displays really do improve the user’s experience. This is because our eyes are so close to the screen. When we watch TV, we usually sit a few metres back. Therefore, the difference between 1080 pixels and 4000 pixels isn’t that remarkable.
What About 4K Content?
If you’re really into HD displays and you think the subtle difference is worthwhile, then an Ultra HD TV could be for you. That being said, there isn’t much 4K content available. And by content, I am referring to the following:
- Movies. DVDs are not available in 4K. Some movies are available in 4K on Blu-Ray, but to play them you’ll need the latest (and quite expensive) Blu-Ray player.
- TV channels. In Australia, no TV channels are 4K.
- Netflix and other streaming services. A few TV shows available on Netflix are filmed in 4K. However, your internet connection must be over 25 Mbps to watch the shows in 4K. Unfortunately, most Australians cannot get that speed of internet.
- Games on consoles. Currently, no gaming consoles support 4K.
Keep the lack of content in mind when considering a 4K TV. Is there any point in paying extra for a feature you can’t currently take advantage of?
The Verdict: Wait Before Buying a 4K TV
If you’ve got money to spend, and you’re into tech, then go ahead and pick up an Ultra HD 4K TV. In a few years time, there will be a lot more content for you to enjoy.
However, if you’re looking for a good-quality TV with a great picture for a fair price, don’t bother with 4K. In addition to the initial investment in the TV, watching 4K will cost more. Streaming 4K will take up a ton of bandwidth, and watching Blu-Ray in 4K will require a top-of-the-line player.
Finally, consider this: the cheapest 4K TV will cost more than a mid-to-high range 1080 pixel TV. So, while the display may be higher definition, the 4K TV might have poorer colour reproduction, a slower refresh rate, and a higher lag for gamers.
Need TV Help?
Maybe you’ve just bought a new TV (4K or otherwise) and need help setting up your dream home theatre. We’d be more than happy to help you out. We do everything from computer repairs to home network setup and nas storage. Give us a call on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page. We’ll get right back to you with more information.
Image credit: John Karakatsanis