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What is 4K and What Does it Mean to You?

High-definition televisions entered the marketplace quite some time ago. Many homeowners went out and bought a 1080p television the minute it hit the shelves. While this type of standard television might be great for some, many are ready to turn in their old television and upgrade to the latest technology out there. This is where ultra-high-definition, UHD, televisions come into play. While this might be the technical name for it, many consumers simply refer to them as 4K televisions. If you are in the market for a new television, here are a few things you need to know to make sure you make a smart buying decision.

What exactly does 4K mean?

A television with 4K display has a minimum of eight million pixels actively working to bring you the stunning picture you see. This means you will receive a standard 3,840 x 2,160 display. The 4K resolution used at movie theaters is a little higher, coming in at 4,096 x 2,160. It doesn't matter how you look at it. The number of pixels on a 4K display is four times that of a standard 1080p display and 23 times more resolution than what the old standard definition televisions offer. This means you are going to get one of the most stunning displays you have ever experienced.

What's the difference between 1080p and 4K televisions?

Regardless of how you look at it, a 4K television will deliver a sharper and more clearly defined picture than any 1080p can. While a 1080p television holds one pixel per space, a 4K television holds four. Since the number of pixels per space is quadrupled, it means that the clarity is going to be absolutely stunning when compared to a regular 1080p television.

However, there isn't a lot of material out there right now available in 4K resolution, which means you might not always be able to tell the difference between the two televisions. Once you get to watch a true 4K show, you will be amazed at how much clearer and more defined everything is. The colors are crisper and the images are more lifelike.

Because the resolution is a lot higher, your television is going to require a lot more bandwidth to be able to transmit the images. The new HDMI 2.0 was designed to be able to support 4K televisions. With one of these HDMI cables, you get stunning 2160p video at a whopping 60fps. The older HDMI standards were able to work with the 4K televisions to some degree, but they weren't able to deliver the speed that the new ones can. If you want to stream any 4K video online, you are going to need an extremely fast connection to do so. Users watching 4K content on Netflix need at least a 25Mbps downstream on a steady basis to stream the content.

Even if you don't have any 4K content to watch, these televisions can make older shows and movies look amazing. They upconvert the picture of lower resolution shows and videos and make them 1080p. In doing so, it helps to reduce noise, smooth the edges and produce a sharper picture all-around. When the technology is working like it should, you get natural-looking video on your 4K television.

While many people struggle to see the difference from 720p to 1080p on smaller televisions, the differences are quite obvious when you get into the larger screen televisions. The 4K televisions take the breathtaking picture of 1080p on your big screen and help to amplify it even further. In the end, you get images that are so real and lifelike it makes you feel like you are in the middle of it all.

What 4K televisions are available to purchase today?

Surprisingly, 4K televisions have been on the market for quite a few years now. However, it wasn't until recently that they became more functional and affordable. Now, you can purchase a decent 4K television for roughly the same amount of money as what you would spend on a middle to higher end 1080p television. Many of the top name brand manufacturers have their own version of the 4K television.

If you are interested in watching 4K content, head over to Netflix or Amazon and take in some of the different movies and shows that they have to offer you. Once you get a chance to experience the difference on your new 4K television, you will wonder why everyone else hasn't made the switch already. With 4K television, you can enhance your viewing experience and get breathtaking imagery that is unlike anything else you ever experienced with standard 1080p television.