What is a 4K TV?

These days there’s a lot of buzz in the U.S. around 4K TV sets.

HD TVs, if you believe the buzz, is passe.

So 2012.

Sony, Sharp, and Seiki are some of the vendors that have jumped into the 4K TV fray in recent months.

Just this week, two vendors have launched 4K TVs.

On Monday, Seiki put out a 39-inch 4K TV for $699 to oohs and aahs over the price.

This morning, Sharp launched the 70-inch AQUOS 4K TV for $8,000.

Sharp 4K TVSharp 70-inch 4K TV – Just $8,000


So how is a 4K TV different from a regular HDTV?

A 4K TV a.k.a. UltraHD TV has four times the resolution of a high-definition TV.

This means that 4K televisions have over eight million pixels (3840 x 2160).

That’s four times higher than the current generation high definition televisions, which come with two million pixels (1920 x 1080).

Worth It?

The big question we have to ask ourselves before plumping for a 4K TV is whether it’s worth casting aside our existing HD TVs in favor of a 4K TV.

Those who know more than me on this subject don’t think the time is right to buy a 4K TV.

Even those who have been dazzled by 4K picture quality at close range will admit, the advantages of 4K may be entirely superfluous. As resolution increases, the benefits are only noticeable by increasing viewing distance and screen size proportionately. As most viewers have continued to watch television at an average distance of nine feet even after switching from analog television to digital HD, it is presumable that they will not change their viewing habits (i.e. move closer) after going 4K. Thus, unless consumers are planning to purchase a ridiculously large screen of 80″ or more, all the extra pixels will more than likely be completely lost on them.

Further, not enough content is available for 4K TVs.

Bottom line, I’d advise you to stick with your HD TV for a couple of years more.

Based on what I’ve read, the margins are higher on 4K TVs and that’s the reason the vendors are launching an aggressive push for 4K television sets.

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4 Responses to "What is a 4K TV?"

  1. Naveen   June 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    For majority of the people it is hard to spot the difference between 720p and 1080p.

    This 4K TV will make the Surface tablet look successful.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. I suspect a lot of TVs will move in the 4K direction because of higher margins!

    2. Surface will not sell in any significant numbers in Steve Ballmer’s lifetime.

    Just wait for the fire sale a la HP TouchPad, B&N Nook etc.

    • avynne   June 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Heard in NPR couple of days ago that B&N is closing down the Nook tablet line due to disappointing sales. They are going to continue with the B&W eReader though.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I can’t imagine eReaders as a category will survive for long with the growth of tablets!

      • avynne   June 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        Hard to read a whole book in a tablet.

        Anyway that is a relatively smaller segment of customers, who read books these days !!

        SearchIndia.com Responds:

        Not for all.

        You’re right – Books are so old-fashioned these days! 😉

  2. Madmax673   June 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Someone with throw away money sitting in a Malibu mansion would definitely get it.

    This 4K TV which is close to the resolution we get on movie theater screen is the only reason they might opt for it.

    And those wealthy people doomed with OCD who can’t stand people crunching and munching popcorn, beef jerky etc while watching a movie might opt for that TV.

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