Video and Audio Center Blog



Monday, October 13, 2014

Why 4K High Definition Is So Good

Television has been around for more than 70 years, but in many ways the TV set itself hasn’t changed. Regardless of whether it’s big or small, thin or chunky, the picture appears on a display at the front of the TV watched by the viewer. But it’s what the viewer sees that has changed, because the image is now amazingly well-defined and lifelike. That’s a direct result of the high definition quality of the display — it has to be built in from day one.

So why is high definition so important and, as the all-important follow-up question, why is it that a 4K Ultra HD TV is the picture of choice for anyone wanting the best picture they can get? It’s all about the pixels.

Pixels are the “building blocks” of the image that you see on the TV screen, and the greater their number, the denser they are (closer to each other). A 4K TV has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 — versus a HDTV’s 1920 x 1080. That means 4K TVs have 4X the number of pixels to work with. As a result, this removes the fuzziness and “blockiness” that standard-definition images and even HD ones can fall prey to, especially if you get up close and look at the screen. With a 4K display, the pixel structure is so tightly compacted that sticking one’s face right up to the screen won’t betray the “grid” pattern of the pixels. It’s that good.

Plus there’s the level of clarity to the image. Clarity is a very important result of the high definition. A piece of jewelry on a person is no longer a smudge or an ill-defined blob, but a detailed object that can be made out immediately. Of course such things as books or signs that once were unreadable are now pinpoint sharp. And can you see the sweat on a person’s brow or the stubble from a 2 day lack of shaving, for sure you can. Also there are often scenes in which objects are moving across the screen at a high speed (think car chases). With the high-definition of a 4K TV, it’s now possible to see the license plate, not as a blur of letters but as individual readable text. These things that you see in real life, and which have been masked by the lower resolution of the TV’s display are now gone. That makes what is being watched on a 4K TV more “real life” than ever before, because there’s no longer a need for making excuses about the lack of detail while watching. In fact, according to some in the film community, the 4K pixel structure is about as close to film as has ever been the case — making the transition of movies from film to forms suitable for watching on a 4K TV more akin to what the film-maker wanted you to see in the movie theater.

It also goes without saying that the colors and level of contrast (white to black) are superior on a 4K TV, raising the bar as to why the picture on these sets look so good. Of course this all presupposes that the show or movie is being transmitted to the 4K TV in 4K resolution (or from a 4K media server designed for this purpose), but even HD programming up-converted by the electronics in the 4K TV benefit visually from the display’s high resolution.

And because 4K looks especially good on bigger TVs, the trend towards bigger displays — 55”, 65” and even larger — is accelerating. Who doesn’t want to watch a bigger picture on their TV? With 4K, the barriers against doing this from a technological reasoning are gone. As is also the case from pricing, since the affordability of 4K TVs is quickly accelerating since their appearance just 2 years or so ago. So getting the high definition image at home that makes watching TV a pleasure is now possible by getting a 4K Ultra HD TV. Because it’s that good.

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