Over the last few years, there has seem to be quite a lot of hype around 4K. What is 4K and is it really worth the hype many technological companies have given it? I remember when curved TVs first came out and they faded all so quickly because, to take advantage of the curve, you had to sit right in the middle of the TV (for optimum viewing) and not to the side: which most people do in living rooms. Therefore, is 4K going to be just like curved TVs or is it going to build momentum?
What is 4K?
4K is the term given to screens that have four times the pixels than that of 1080p screens. In simple terms, instead of the screen having 2 million pixels, it will now have 8 million and a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels. This will result in the final images and videos produced on screen to be much much clearer. Wrinkles on people’s faces will be wrinkled and, in general, it will be much more life-like to watch.
How Expensive is 4K?
This is one of the problems associated with 4K. Like with most new technologies, 4K does not come cheap and you should expect to pay thousands, if not, tens of thousands, for a TV screen that has 4K. Saying this, 5 years go, the previous sentence applied to OLED screens and look at where we are now: pretty much most top- end TVs and even some mid-range TVs feature OLED screens. This makes it clear that give it a few more years and the prices should start falling down to consumer level.
What Can You Watch in 4K?
At the moment, not very much. Another problem 4K TVs face (and it’s a big problem) is the fact the current hardware the vast majority of people use to watch television and cable channels cannot transmit the necessary amount of information fast enough to produce 4K. At the moment, only certain movies and videos online have the power to stream in 4K.
This might seem a large problem. But, technology advances quickly. I would not be surprised if companies make way for new cabling to enable 4K to consumers soon.
As well as this, 4K is better by using the updated HDMI 2.0 cable. The previous iteration, HDMI 1.4, can deliver 4K content. However, because of the limitation of the hardware, the 4K content would only ever come out as 30 frames per second. In an age where 60 frames per second is becoming the norm, the HDMI 2.0 was produced to deliver 4K content at 60 fps.
Ultimately, should you invest in 4K yet? I would say no. It is still a new technology that has not got the backing of cable channels, movies and more yet. The screens might be able to delivery 4K at 60fps. But, where are people going to get 4K at 60fps other than from a very fine selection of sources? Once 4K starts going public with all movies and channels in 4K, that is when you should buy a 4K TV. Other than that, wait it out until the prices reduce.