Technology does not stop surprising us and what we thought was new the following year is displaced by something that surpasses it. The digital revolution goes through all the devices and, when the time comes to renew, there is always much to learn. In the field of televisions, the latest in image quality has a name and surname: we tell you what a 4K is on TV and we share the keys to decide if it is a good option for your home.
- The difference between a 4K/UHD resolution and a 1080p/HD resolution is really hard to notice. We worked in a laboratory watching the images at a very close distance, comparing a 65-inch TV with 1080p screen with a 65-inch with 4K resolution. Despite all the extra pixels contained in the 4K, most of the time we did not see a big difference in the detail. Larger televisions or closer distances make the difference more visible; something that happens with computer graphics, animation and games, but even that is not drastic.
Also, do not expect to receive the benefits offered by computer monitors or higher resolution mobile phones (Apple’s Retina display, for example). That analogy is irrelevant for televisions, since you do not watch television with your face attached to the screen or just a few centimeters.
- If you want the best picture quality on an LCD next year, you may have to buy an ultra-high definition LED TV anyway. The televisions that we tried showed an excellent image quality and, for their price, they better be good. All 4K TVs on the market use LCD screens illuminated by LEDs and use some of the best features to improve image quality.
- Despite the lack of content, 4K TV’s will soon be affordable and very popular. The LCD screen TVs are easy to manufacture with a 4K resolution, so there will soon be these televisions at prices for the masses. Panasonic, for example, predicts that 40 percent of the 60-inch TVs that will be sold in 2019 will be 4K image quality.
- The 4K will not make 1080p TVs soon obsolete. There is already some original content in 4K, like some YouTube videos and surely more will come from Netflix and Blu-rays 4K next year. But it will be many, many years before television and producers replace all their high definition equipment with cameras and special accessories for 4K. And, when they do, there’s no guarantee that those images will look better than their HD counterparts. Even today, high-definition channels vary enormously in quality, due to restrictions in bandwidths and not differences in resolution.
Meanwhile, a standard LED TV android purchased in the next few years will still be perfectly viable by the time you have it. Sure, you may not be able to use it to play the most advanced game content in 4K but you probably will not even notice the difference.