4K. It has a nice ring to it but what does it mean?
A digital screen’s resolution is a measurement of its clarity. Whether it be the screen on your smartphone or your car’s Satellite Navigation system, the resolution tells us how many pixels are on the screen and how sharp a picture we can expect from it.
Full high definition TVs took the world by storm not too long ago and with good reason. They were thin, light, and had a whopping resolution of 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels.
A visit to your local Harvey Norman will show you how cheap these TVs have become. This resolution was a revolution and set a benchmark in clarity. 1080p, full HD and FHD, all titles to describe this giant leap in screen technology.
But nothing stays still in the world of consumer tech. FHD has shown its limits and people were hungry for something clearer, something they could sit closer to and not feel eye strain. All major manufactures dug deep in a bid to win a pixels per inch in this arms race.
And now a new champion of resolution has emerged.
The 4k experience
Trailblazing cinematographers have been experimenting with higher resolutions for years before the tech made it into your 55” TV.
4k was to be the new standard in movie resolution with a mind boggling 4096 x 2160 resolution. That brand new 4K TV you took home has a slighter smaller resolution of 3840 x 2160, meaning technically, it’s not true 4K but UHD or ultra-high definition.
These terms have been interchangeable for so long that for all intents and purposes 4K is 3840×2160.
Even with a slightly smaller resolution than true 4K this gives your screen four times the resolution of a full HD screen. Four times! With that sizeable increase in resolution comes major improvements in visibility, viewability, and comfort.
These TV’s have been out for a few years now and the technology has had time to mature. For a good range of 4K TVs, check out the Harvey Norman website, and you can see how available the technology has become.
The advantages of higher resolution are clear but there is another major reason to purchase a 4K TV.
A full high definition TV has a decent number of pixels or pixel density and at medium distances it will be sharp and clear.
If you have been up close to a FHD screen you may have noticed that you will be able to see individual pixels. The lower the resolution or pixel density the further away you have to sit to not notice the blur.
Sitting too close to a FHD screen for too long can be uncomfortable.
4K TVs have a much higher pixel density so that you can sit closer to the set.
For a 50-inch 4K TV it is recommended that you sit 50 inches away. That’s half the distance of a full HD TV!
For the same sized TV in full high definition (FHD), experts recommend you sit at least 100 inches away from the TV.
Sitting closer will also allow you to appreciate the clarity of your 4K TV.
There are some who argue that the benefits a 4K TV are lost over a certain distance but I wholeheartedly disagree.
Stack two TVs side by side — one FHD and one 4K — and you will immediately see that the 4K television’s image is sharper and has a lot more detail.
The adoption of the 4K standard has not only changed TV sets but the media industry as well. More and more content creators are utilising 4K and even streaming giants like Netflix are cranking out titles in 4K.
TVs and Monitors
This move by Netflix towards 4K is especially important since we’re seeing more and more device crossover where the division between televisions and computers is becoming blurred.
I don’t know about you but if you’ve ever tried to plug your computer into your television you would know that the old televisions really don’t cut the mustard.
Seeing the miserable resolution on your television where the icons on your desktop were all blurry and it was nearly impossible to read any text anywhere…
Finally televisions have caught up with the sort of resolution required for computers and with a 4K TV you can actually run your computer through the TV with the full, precise clarity that you are used to.
Which is cool because it means you can either bring your computer to your TV from time to time and do interesting things on it or depending on what you’re trying to achieve you could even replace your computer monitor with a massive 4K television and feel like a king!
Some of these 4K televisions are so big that they are like having 6 monitors at once. That is a LOT of real estate to take advantage of!
This ability to run your computer straight through your TV really does give you a lot of freedom and ability to do interesting things!
The technology has matured and become affordable; the way to television heaven is clear. The 4K way.