2015 marks the year of the 4K Ultra HD Television. We’ve seen these TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in past years, but this year they will dominate the market. 4K Ultra High Definition is the next generation of resolution in televisions, offering a more detailed and realistic entertainment experience.
Prior to 4K Ultra HD, the highest-definition television on the market was Full HD 1080p, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. 4K Ultra HD uses four times this number of pixels – 8.3 million to be exact – meaning that every pixel from four 1080p sets would be able to fit on just one 4K screen.
Additionally, 4K Ultra HD picture quality is enhanced by the “screen door” effect. This involves the reduction in gaps between the pixels, resulting in sharper detail and smoother lines so that even extreme close-up images appear clear and less pixilated.
Ultra HD displays have been around for some time, but they have been too expensive for the average consumer, and there has been a lack of content produced for this platform. This is no longer the case. At the 2015 CES, many companies, including Sony, LG, Sharp, and Samsung, took up significant floor space promoting their newest, and more affordable, ultra high definition sets.
Some manufacturers are offering new 4K sets that are comparable in price to non-4K sets. Sharp, for example, offers a set that will cost under $8000. Additionally, studios like Netflix and Amazon have begun to produce 4K shows and movies, giving consumers the incentive to purchase new Ultra HD displays.
In an effort to normalize 4K terminology, manufacturers like Sony, Dolby, Samsung and 20th Century Fox have formed the UHD Alliance. They aim to eliminate the confusion around ultra high definition, making Ultra HD sets more accessible for consumers and boosting sales quickly.
While some experts are calling this technology a game changer, one big question remains: Will 4K Ultra HD be the next big thing, or will it go the route of 3D television, which has virtually disappeared?