4K TVs are becoming popular so much faster than HDTVs. To begin, when the first flat panel appeared, people had to be told how exactly this rectangular chassis of metal, plastic and glass worked because there wasn’t a big heavy cathode-tube inside dictating the design. The next plateau to overcome was viewer confidence in that high-definition television actually looked better — after all, very few people had seen HD outside of sports bars or special presentations in theaters. And finally there was the cost, which was pretty exorbitant at the start and which took some time to become affordable — culminating in big screen HDTVs being available today at prices that were unheard of just a few years ago.
So with people now primed of all these facts, it’s no wonder that there’s no need to explain what a 4K TV is, but there is a need to “see” the picture. For this is where the superior color palette and resolution (4x greater than HDTV) make their mark by being viewed. But it’s the size of the TV that’s so important and for two reasons.
The first is 3D - yes what was supposed to have been the “evolution of TV” that 4K has taken over. To see 3D on a TV, regardless of whether you’re wearing glasses or it’s glasses-free, there needs to be enough overall space at the sides relative to the viewer. So while a single person, seated dead center to a 3D TV, will see the 3D effect, the same can’t be said for the person seated next to the person or farther along (i.e., on a couch). This is especially true when the TV is smaller than 50”. So for more than one person to comfortably enjoy watching a 3D TV picture, that picture needs to be a on big TV — a 55” HDTV will do fine and a 60” or even larger will do magnificent.
The same is true of a 3D 4K TV, only 4K ups the ante because it doesn’t have the resolution issues that appear when 3D is brought into play. A 3D HDTV using polarization doesn’t need bulky, battery driven glasses and can use lightweight polaroid ones instead. But the detriment of doing this is that the resolution gets lowered, so the picture being display, even if it is in 1080p HD, is now of less resolution that that. That’s not the case with a 4K 3D TV, because its resolution is so high that not having “active” 3D technology doesn’t matter.
The other issue is size, plain and simple. The bigger the TV, the bigger the picture — that is obvious. Also obvious is that more people can comfortably watch a bigger 4K TV, even though today’s 4K TVs don’t dominate a room even though they’re large (certainly nowhere like the old big sized cathode-tube TVs did). But a big TV does something else — it justifies the home theater experience which is based on the fact that you don’t need to go to a movie theater to watch a movie and enjoy it just as much. Now that you can rent or buy movies (something that wasn’t possible in any resolution some 40+ years ago) and get them in 4K resolution, there’s nothing that the theater can offer that the home can’t. “Move night” used to be derided and made fun of, but now that a 4K Ultra HD TV can be had, the only draw of the movie theater is cold popcorn or an expensive slice of pizza.