TV jargon - What is 4K or Ultra HD

TV jargon - What is 4K or Ultra HD

Here at Digiland we know just how confusing it can be when it comes to choosing a TV. There are a wide range of makes and models and much talk about 4K, or Ultra HD as it is often known.

We thought it would be a good idea to go behind the jargon and try to explain simply what some of these things are in simple, plain English.

So, what is 4K TV?

4K means four times the detail of high-definition television and is becoming more available to the consumer all the time. It’s a TV with a resolution of 3,840 X 2,160 pixels, more than eight million pixels in total. This is four times the number of pixels in Full HD.

Pixels are tiny dots on your TV screen that make up the picture, so the more pixels you have the more picture detail you get. To fully appreciate 4K you need to watch it on a big screen and you will find that 4K TVs usually come with a 40 inch screen or larger.

Watching 4K TV reveals detail above that of HD TVs and can feel like watching in 3D. 4K is still a new innovation and as such still has some challenges to overcome.

There are not too many 4K TV channels available at present but these are increasing all the time and content is becoming more available via pay TV, like Sky and BT, ultra-HD Blu-rays and internet streaming. But there are still obstacles to overcome regarding the introduction of 4K channels to Freeview.

It may also be a while yet before we see ITV or BBC go fully 4K, but the BBC is in the process of trialling the new system and has already screened some football World Cup matches in 4K, as well as a rugby league game and Blue Planet ll on its catch-up service.

The better TVs being produced by the big-name retailers are now 4K and, as with anything new, they are becoming cheaper to buy as more are produced and sold. It is also true that 4K sets are better at displaying HD content than Full HD sets, having the edge in picture quality.

If you are thinking of upgrading your TV then 4K is the way to go. There may be some limitations on content at present but this will continue to expand and become more widely available and the difference gained in picture quality is well worth the switch.


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