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What is UHD (4K) TV?

Tony Ibrahim | April 17, 2014
The next television standard will deliver content on our screens in far greater detail than what is currently available. The official name for the standard is Ultra high-definition (UHD), and it ushers an age of TV in detail previously unavailable. Should you invest in a UHD set, or do the drawbacks outweigh the 'wow' factor?

Two years later and the same 4K movie has dropped significantly in file size and price, to 25GB and $99 respectively.

The high price and the large file size prevents UHD from becoming the prevalent standard. UHD movies will have to be sold on a hard drive or downloaded over an internet connection. Downloading just a few could cause you to exceed your data plan too.

Then there's the real kicker: the price. Spending $99 on each movie is a privilege not reserved for the masses.

Are there any content hacks? Legal, of course

UHD televisions have screens populated with 8.29 million pixels. Cameras that have 8 megapixels or more support this, and easily make it possible for most people enjoy their home-made videos with no-compromise clarity.

Propelling the standard forward is a range of smartphones being released with the ability to record UHD videos. Currently Samsung's Galaxy S5, LG's G Flex and Sony's Xperia Z2 all support UHD recording. It is no coincidence that these three smartphones are from the big TV brands.

Television companies also want to give people a reason to buy a new set. Boffins from Samsung, LG and Sony, to name a few, have developed intelligent software that upscales common content to UHD levels. Upscaling doesn't achieve the same 'wow' factor, but it does make content look better on screens larger than 55 inches.


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