Friday, June 21, 2013

What is 4K? UltraHD Explained

It seems like High Definition is still the newest and greatest thing to hit TVs since cable TV. High Definition provides 720 or 1080 vertical lines of resolution to provide a razor sharp picture, compared to the 480 lines on a regular standard definition TV. Most people have just recently started to upgrade to HD TVs, HD cable or satellite service, BluRay players, and more to take advantage of the high definition shows and movies that are starting to appear on the market. Many channels on TV broadcast in HD and a lot of the most popular shows are filmed in High Definition. Movies can be bought on BluRay discs and played on your home BluRay player to give you the theater experience right in your own home. But is there anything better than 1080p HD? Sure it is crystal clear on most home TVs, but what about extremely large TVs like the models that are 55 inches or larger and projectors that can display video on screens the size of an entire wall? That is where Ultra HD 4K comes in. 4K is 2 times sharper than 1080p High Definition, with about 4,000 horizontal lines of resolution! The exact resolution of Ultra HD is 3840x2160 for a total of 8,294,400 pixels. 1080p refers the number of vertical lines, while 4K refers to the amount of horizontal lines. So while it sounds like it should be 4 times the lines, it is actually twice the amount of lines. But this is still a major improvement over current 1080 and 720 HD standards. Some 4K Ultra HD projectors currently on the market can display video on a screen size up to 105 feet.

So does that mean that you have to throw away all the new High Definition TVs that you've bought? Are they all obsolete now that there is something bigger and better? Well no not exactly. While Ultra HD is the latest and greatest in the world of HD, it is only available on large screen TVs that are 55 inches are bigger and they cost thousands of dollars - easily 4 to 6 times the price of a standard HDTV of the same size. Right now cable TV and satellite companies don't broadcast in 4K, and most BluRay discs are in 1080p. But some newer BluRay discs are now available in 4K Ultra HD format to take advantage of every inch of the four thousand lines of resolution. A handful of computer video cards are capable of displaying images in 4K Ultra HD format. As of now these are pretty much the only ways to view 4K HD video. But it is inevitable that TV channels will start broadcasting in 4K in a few years and more and more movies will be released in 4K format. But until then 4K TVs are mostly a novelty item, allowing you to brag to your friends and coworkers that you have the biggest, baddest, best TV on the market. Most people have never even heard of 4K Ultra HD, so imagine bragging to your friends and neighbors that your brand new TV is 4K capable.

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