Video and Audio Center Blog

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

4K TV - What's Inside Counts Too

There was a time when a TV came inside of a cabinet because it was considered furniture; now the sleek look of a glass panel that seems to float makes any room look more attractive without having to be hidden away when not being used. We all know that 4K TVs are vastly superior to HDTVs not just because the resolution is 4X greater, but also because the colors are richer and more realistic to the eye as well. And that a 4K TV makes 1080p content look better than on an HDTV (thank you, up-scaling). Thats what you can see.

But what about what you cant see what needs to be inside that 4K TV so that it will perform up to your expectations tomorrow and for the days to come? Lets turn our X-Ray vision in this direction and highlight two important technologies.

HDMI 2.0
Almost all TVs, 4K included, can now be upgraded through the Internet. This lets the manufacturer enhance and add features to the computer brain that governs how the TV works. But the same cant be said for the hardware for example, the HDMI inputs that let you attach such things as Blu-ray players, Cable boxes and more cant be physically changed from the way they were made. Take playing a 3D Blu-ray movie if the TVs HDMI input doesnt support it, then you cant watch a 3D movie. This is even more true if youre going to be attaching a 4K video source player to the 4K TV the HDMI input needs to be able to accept that high resolution signal and all of its associated technologies. The reason to be concerned about is that HDMI 2.0 is very recent, So while its there on recent 4K TVs, some of the early models didnt have it. The real-world results is not being able to view UHD content at 60 frames a second (for extreme fluidity of movement) which will excel for watching sports. Its true that the 60 frames isnt here as yet, but thats no reason not to be ready for it when it comes.


This term might seem a little imposing since its not one found in day to day talk among computer and electronic devices still, High Efficiency Video Coding (or its numeric, more commonly used term, H.265) purpose basically is to take a video stream and compress it to a manageable amount so it can be transmitted, received and viewed more efficiently and without incident. This is important when streaming 4K content but also can improve on HD content as well. There is an alternate to having this in that a HEVC-compatible external video player can be used for example the Sony 4K Ultra HD Media Player (to be used w/Sony 4K TVs).  Some 4K TVs have it right now, others will be able to get it from a firmware update and some will use Media Players like the Sony mentioned in order to do it. But it is definitely the leader when it comes to the next video standard. 
Todays 4K TVs look great in use and even when theyre turned off. But taking a look at the specifications first before deciding on the 4K TV you will be taking home make sense. Not to mention giving you the excuse for going to where the 4K TVs are so you can see them in all their splendor. 


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