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With the arrival of 4K, the hottest new tech available, there are now four main resolution standards for use in your home: Standard Definition (480p/540p), High Definition (720p), Full High Definition (1080p) and 4K/Ultra-High Definition (2160p). With all this choice available we have put together a handy 4K buying guide to help you understand why 4K is the latest and greatest resolution available.
What is 4k?
4K TV, or Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV as it is also known, is set to become the next viewing standard. Boasting a resolution of 3840 x 2160, UHD TVs have double the vertical and horizontal resolution of today's Full HD 1080p TVs meaning 4 times as many pixels.
Why should I buy 4K?
4K TVs have 8.3 million tiny pixels instead of the 2 million pixels in a standard Full HD 1080p screen. The extra resolution of 4K images adds more detail, more depth and more colour resolution to the picture, resulting in images that look incredibly life-like – more like looking through a window than watching TV.
The higher pixel density of a 4K panel also enable you get much closer to the TV without the grid-like structure of the image itself becoming visible. This means you can comfortably watch a much larger screen from the same seating position as your current Full HD panel.
What is the difference between Ultra HD and 4K?
Technically, "Ultra High Definition" is actually a derivation of the 4K digital cinema standard. However while your local multiplex shows images in native 4096 x 2160 4K resolution, the new Ultra HD consumer format has a slightly lower resolution of 3840 X 2160. The terms are used interchangeably for consumer 4K products.
What size screens are available?
4K is especially effective on very large screens so we currently have 2 screen sizes available, 55" and 65". Our 55" 4K TV is available as a flat or curved screen for an enhanced viewing experience. All our 4K TVs come with Smart functionality to keep you connected and 3D functionality so you can recreate that cinema experience in the comfort of your own home. Click here to see our TV Buying Guide which explains these features.
What is the ideal viewing distance with a 4K TV?
To get the best from 4K, it is recommended that you sit closer to your screen than is recommended with HD TVs. This is partly so you can most clearly appreciate the extra resolution, but also because it makes the 4K image fill more of your field of view, making for a more immersive experience.
What 4K content is currently available?
Currently Netflix is making quite a bit of 4K content available, and appear to be committed for the long haul. Two of the service's most popular series, House of Cards and Breaking Bad, are available in 4K, and more things are being added regularly.
If you're looking for streaming videos in 4K, YouTube has it covered. Although there isn't a way to search specifically for 4K content yet, if you add "4K" to your search term, you should be able to find some great videos that take advantage of the phenomenal resolution of your new TV.
As for watching live TV in Ultra HD, your options are limited at this moment in time. There aren't any TV channels that regularly broadcast in 4K in the UK, though occasional events are available. For example, the last World Cup was broadcast in 4K, though in limited areas.