News & Media

To 4K, Or Not To 4K?

By now you have probably heard the term 4K.  But what exactly does it all mean?  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, now 4K. Wow that is a lot of numbers, and all represent the most commonly used resolutions in TV’s.

When we speak about High Definition TV (also known as HDTV), all of the above with the exception of the 480 resolutions are considered to be HD.  But what is the right resolution to get for your new TV?  When TV broadcasters say they are broadcasting in HDTV it means 720p, or 1080i.  1080p is a format for Bluray discs, as well as some streaming services offering it as well.  There was talk for a while of broadcasters using 1080p, but before it could even be discussed, 4K was born.

Television started with 480i. The “i” represents interlaced.  When the DVD was born we were all impressed with its picture quality when it came out 480p.  “p” represents progressive.   480i means you are actually viewing 240 lines alternating between odd and even lines every 1/60 of a second.  480p means you are watching all 480 lines at the same time all the time.  Arguably doubling the resolution.  Now apply these same principals to 720p, 1080i, and 1080p.  4K is also a progressive format.  So a true 4K picture is actually almost 20 times the resolution of televisions earliest format!

Back to the original question of do you need it?  Depending on your current setup, and your internet speeds (because of streaming services) really justifies this answer.  If you always like buying the latest and greatest in technology, then yes!  If you are not really sure, then it is time to speak with an integrator.  Be careful walking into that big mega store because of course they want to sell you what makes them the most profit, or what they have the most in stock.  Before making an informed decision, consult with an integrator who can answer all of your questions, and recommend the right set for YOU!      Make sure to consult with a professional integrator.


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