What are you actually seeing?
A selection of general public is now taking the advantage of the available latest 4K with their purchase of the first Ultra HD TV.
There is a lot of publicity about 4K Ultra HD TV’s, and, no doubt, these sets can deliver a higher resolution image, but there are some issues to take into consideration in terms of what you can actually see on the screen. This is in terms of Screen Size, Seating Distance, and Details.
Readily available are three key issues to take into consideration in order to see the difference between HD and Ultra HD.
Firstly, is the Screen Size? Although most 4K Ultra HD TV’s come in sizes of 65-inches and below, it can be challenging for many clienteles to recognise a considerable difference between 1080p HD and 4K Ultra HD. However, in screen sizes 70-inches and up, the difference between HD and Ultra HD begins to become noticeable, and the larger the screen size gets, the more obvious the difference can be.
Secondly, there is Seating Distance. Along with screen size, the closer you sit to the HDTV also makes a difference. For example, if you spent money for a 55 or 65-inch 4K Ultra HDTV, then you can sit closer to the screen and obtain an enjoyable viewing experience, as the pixels are much smaller.
Thirdly, there is the Video content issue. Yes, even taking the first two considerations discussed above, those settling into 4K Ultra HD in 2013 and 2014 will find that there is not a great deal of native 4K content available currently, which means that even if you have a 4K Ultra HDTV, you may not be able to fully take advantage of its higher resolution display capabilities. In simple explanation, just because you have one of these new cutting-edge TV sets; it doesn’t mean that the whole lot of TV programs you see on the screen is in stunning 4K.
As of 2014, there are no 4K Ultra HD TV cable, satellite, or broadcasts (the tuners built-in your 4K Ultra HD TV is a standard ATSC HD tuner), and there is no native 4K Blu-ray disc format available yet. On the other hand, there are some limited 4K content sources available. If you purchased a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV, their FMP-X1 media server and 4K movie service provides access to native 4K movies and content. Also, for other TV brands, REDRAY and Odemax is a 4K content option.
Similarly, Sony has been distributing a line of 4K Mastered Blu-ray Discs that, although they are still 1080p for playback on standard Blu-ray Disc players, there are some added cues imbedded in the discs that allow Sony 4K Ultra HD TV’s to extract more detail and color clarity for display on their 4K Ultra HD TV’s.
Furthermore, Netflix has revealed that it will begin limited 4K streaming, starting with season 2 of House of Cards, beginning in 2014, that some 4K Ultra HD TV’s can take advantage of its required fast broadband connection and HEVC codec compatibility.
For the forthcoming, broadcasting, cable, and satellite providers are all experimenting with ways to deliver 4K content to consumers, although it’s a small drip for now; by 2015/16, 4K content will be more easily accessible as standards become more concluded.
4K Up scaling: So, although 4K Ultra HD promises well for the future, as the content will come, but where does that leave most 4K Ultra HD TV owners now if they can’t take advantage of what little 4K content is currently available?
The answer to that question lies in the fact that all 4K Ultra HD TV’s can upscale currently available standard and HD resolution content to match as closely as possible to 4K. Also, in a parallel development, an increasing number of new Blu-ray Disc players and “Home Theater” receivers also incorporate 4K up scaling capability.
Although not as accurate as true 4K, depending on the quality of the video content, results can look better than what you see on a 1080p TV (also taking the screen size and seating distance factors noted previously in this above article). In spite of this, let’s face it, VHS standard resolution broadcast, cable, or satellite, and standard DVD won’t look that great on a large screen 4K Ultra HD TV, but a good HD broadcast, cable, satellite, or HD Blu-ray disc can look well-defined.