All you need to know about 4K

If you haven’t bought a TV in a while and you want a new one, you may find that stepping into an electronics shops and looking at what’s to offer is like entering some sort of alphabet spouting spaceship. TV’s have gotten so much bigger in recent years, with the average size for a family home reaching a whopping 55 inches. And then once you’ve got over the sheer size of the machine, you are bombarded with terms like LED, UHD, 4K and a ton more, which might make you wonder why you bothered coming out here in the first place.

But don’t panic, ignore all of the other terms and let’s focus on the most important one for now: 4K. 4K is also known as Ultra HD. It is a term used to describe the resolution of your TV screen. Resolution tells us how many pixels make up your TV screen, the more pixels presents, the more clarity and definition you have on the screen. 4K describes a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. If we compare that to standard HD: 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, the value is 4 times bigger for a 4K screen.

If you were ever confused about whether 4K and UHD were the same thing or not, they technically are, but there are some differences which you can read about here:

How great is 4K?

As we’ve explained above, 4K introduces much more depth and definition to our TV screens, and therefore it makes what we are watching look much more lifelike than on a regular TV screen. The quality of product you can get from filming in 4K will give you the same resolution as using a 35mm film.

Ideally, 4K is at it’s best when on larger TV screens, which is why many TV’s over the size of 55inch where the 4K badge with pride. However, it can still make a huge impact on smaller screens too. If you currently have a 30inch TV and switch to 4K, you will notice a huge difference in the clarity.

What can I use my 4K TV to watch?

The biggest plus side of having a 4K TV is the amount of cinema quality content you’ll be able to watch in the comfort of your living room. As far as streaming services go, Netflix is a huge contender with offering new releases in high resolution. You’ll need to pay around $9 per month in order to stream TV series, box sets and new films too. You can catch up on Stranger Things Season 2 in 4K, or stick to the films they have in their library. Get all of the info here:

Either way, you’ll get loads of opportunity to make the most of what your TV can do. Amazon Prime also offers a large library of 4K streams for you to enjoy.

If sport is your thing, then you’ll be glad to know that BT Sport has a 4K channel for you to watch your favourite games, you’ll see turf, sweat and spit flying everywhere on your screen, just as if you were in the stadium watching it yourself.

The good news is you won’t have an issue with your 4K TV not being able to stream these channels anymore. A few years ago some 4K TV struggled with the data fed to them by streaming services and couldn’t cope, but these days 99% of 4K TV’s support 4K streaming with ease.

Do you need great broadband?

Ideally, if you want to be using streaming services such as Amazon or Netflix to watch all of your 4K quality content at home, you will need to have a minimum download speed of 15Mbps. If you have a lot of devices in your home, and you feel as if you always lose out during peak times of the day, you may struggle using the services to their full capacity.

Usually what will happen at this time, is whatever stream you are watching will lower quality down to HD for a while until the speed rises again adequately. It may mean that for a few minutes the image is blurry, but don’t worry about it. Give it a few minutes to buffer and download as much Cache as possible, then go into your settings and change back to 4K.

Remember though, if you have a lot of devices in use in your home, you want to make sure that even after everyone is on their devices, you still have at least 15Mbps available for your TV streaming.

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