With the kickoff of the Consumer Electronics Show of 2013 in Las Vegas this week, the web is abuzz with talk of the latest and greatest gadgets.
With regards to televisions, some of the names being thrown around involve 4K and UHD.
Consumers may be left wondering, what is a 4K television and what is UHD?
A newcomer to the consumer market, 4K refers to the horizontal resolution of the television, which is approximately 4,000 pixels. (Typically 4096 x 2160 or 3840 x 2160 pixels.) This is twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of current 1080p HDTVs.
Also called Ultra High Definition, Ultra HD, or UHD TVs, the 4K and even bigger 8K (7680 x 4320) resolutions boast more pixels than current HD or even 3D televisions. Consumers may also hear them referred to as Quad HD televisions.
Besides better resolution, another advantage of 4K is its ability to provide better picture quality at larger screen sizes. Beyond 80”, 4K shows less pixel distortion than 1080p HD resolution.
A couple of Ultra HD TVs being shown off at CES 2013 include Vizio’s XVT, Sharp’s 60-inch ICC Purios, and Sony and LG’s 84-inch screens.
Some companies aren’t revealing prices yet, however Sony’s 84” model lists at $24,999 on its website. LG’s comparable 84” model debuted at $19,999 late last year.
Besides the prohibitive price, consumers should be aware that 4K data isn’t readily available yet and faster internet downloading speeds would be necessary. For TV or internet transmission, new cables would be required which would mean a hefty investment in infrastructure that companies would want to pass on to already penny-pinched consumers. Also, new DVD players and discs with an extra layer would need to be produced for movies to be viewable in 4K, although some Blu-Ray models can upscale to it.
Due to the prohibitive cost of implementing a new 4K compatible infrastructure, it appears most 4K viewing will take place in the form of upscaling from current 2 or 3D technology for now.
Which means the latest 3D HDTVs aren’t going anywhere just yet.