As technology goes, television has a rich and mature technological history that can be traced back to the 1920s, yet is evolving at a rate that many people can’t keep up with to this day. From the years of 480i to 720p, and moving onto 1080p today, where could it possibly go from here? From here it is all about the breath-taking picture quality and jaw dropping 4K Ultra HD.
So where do you start when you are considering taking the leap from your beloved 1080p quality, which has been a pleasure until the word of Ultra HD came onto the scene?
What’s it all about, and is there a difference between Ultra HD and 4K?
As consumers we are usually pretty keen to know what is around the corner, and what might push aside the product we currently think it incredible. Ultra HD or 4K as it is often called, is a picture quality roughly 4x that of 1080p. Technically this means it should be 4,096 x 2160 pixels, though the Ultra HD TVs we are going to see have slightly less pixels in the horizontal axis (3,840 instead of 4,096).
Many leaders in consumer electronics wish to call it Ultra HD instead of 4K to avoid confusion, though companies such as Sony are adamant on sticking with 4K.
So does this mean 1080p is over?
Not at all. Your 1080p TV is definitely not rendered useless by any means, and there are no foreseeable plans to push out 1080p broadcasting for Ultra HD. Although 1080p is not over, the chances are if you get a glimpse of Ultra HD you will not look back.
Why should I go Ultra HD?
If you appreciate quality images and have the means to go Ultra, then you will likely be hooked. There are 8 million pixels instead of 2 million, which you see in a 1080p display. Each pixel is 4x as small, meaning your image will appear as life-like as you can image it possibly being. As the pixels are smaller, the screen size has scaled up to make these TVs an impressive and eye-catching component of any home. Their sheer enormity is actually too much for many homes, so many leading manufacturers are making smaller screens to accommodate for a market that cannot fit almost 90 inches of TV into their living rooms.
The closer you sit to a television screen, the easier it is for you to see the pixels. This ultimately negatively affects your viewing pleasure, so we have learnt to sit further away. In doing so this has caused issues for people with hindered eyesight, and this is just another way that Ultra HD is going to please the crowds. You will be able to sit closer despite the large screen, which would usually highlight the pixel visibility.
With talk of 8K being just five years away from our reach, is it worth stepping up to 4K already? This comes down to your personal preference on following technology and the investment you can put into your viewing pleasure. With the issues 4K has already seen regarding HDMI and bandwidth it could be a very hard road for 8K to travel, so there are no promises on the release date of 8K.
Tom Clark is a technology writer from the UK. He writes on the advancements in consumer electronics and the components that make it happen. He is currently interested in Ultra-Low Phase Noise Crystal Oscillators and the potential they have in Ultra HDTV.
Image credit to LGEPR