8 reasons to buy a 4K UHD TV now
Looking for a new TV? With the new football season on Sky and Netflix bringing back shows like House of Cards, now’s a great time to choose a 4K television…
‘You have more choice, the prices are coming down,’ says Daler Bhaker, our large-screen TV buyer.
If you’re wanting to spend less on going out in 2017, then a 4K TV is a great investment. With loads of movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime and Sky Sports available in 4K, staying in could be the new going out.
‘If you buy a 4K TV today you’re only going to reap the benefits more and more as time goes on and more content becomes available,’ Daler explains.
Still not convinced? Here are 8 reasons to upgrade to 4K UHD this year…
1. You can buy a 4K UHD TV for less than £500
Prices really are coming down. Take the Samsung KU6000 – this 43-inch set has received rave reviews and packs in 4K resolution with HDR technology for better contrast.
The first 4K TVs cost around £20,000 – now you can get a premium 4K TV for under £1,000. The Panasonic TX 55EX600B is built for 4K HDR for excellent detail and contrast, compatible with the HDR formats to be used by the BBC and Sky, as well as Netflix and Blu-ray.
Get the Panasonic TX 55EX600B
2. Proper 4K content looks amazing
Whether it’s the Marvel's Defenders or a top-flight football match, everything looks better in 4K.
To get the best from your 4K TV you want to combine it with 4K content. This will give you a picture quality with 4 times the detail of Full HD.
The result? Facial expressions, interiors shots and buildings all look sublime, completely rich in detail and colour. When watching football you can expect to see details like blades of grass and beads of sweat. Netflix, Amazon, Sky, BT Sport all have 4K content.
3. See the football season in Ultra HD with Sky Q
The 2017/18 football season is well and truly under way. Those with a 4K TV, Sky Sports, and the right Sky Q box and package can see it in stunning Ultra HD.
More than 120 top-flight matches will be shown this season in Ultra HD, with up to 4 times the definition of HD and at up to 2x the frame rate. This means you’ll get blur-free motion when the ball belts up the pitch.
Motorsports fans are also in for a treat, with the entirety of the international motor racing season also being shown in Ultra HD. The season started in March and ends in November, with the final race in Abu Dhabi.
BT Sport also shows top-flight football in 4K.
4. Netflix and Amazon Prime have loads of 4K
Netflix has Stranger Things and The Crown, and Amazon The Man in the High Castle and The Grand Tour (with Clarkson et al) – all massive hit shows, and all in 4K.
Stranger Things and The Crown are both returning for second series in the autumn. And this summer sees other Netflix favourites make a comeback: House of Cards season 5, starring Kevin Spacey as politician Frank Underwood, and also female prison drama Orange is the New Black season 5.
On Sky you can enjoy incredible nature documentaries from the likes of David Attenborough and National Geographic – as well as movies like Spectre and the Revenant.
5. Because 2017 is the year of 4K HDR
HDR is the biggest TV trend of 2017. It makes your 4K picture even better by adding extra layers of detail between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites. Netflix and Amazon both have 4K HDR content.
Dark shadowy scenes (Netflix’s Stranger Things) are deeply atmospheric and stuffed with detail. Bright skies, football pitches and sunshine reflections (Amazon’s The Grand Tour) are positively popping with colour. Enjoy premium HDR video for a mid-range budget with the Panasonic TX-40DX600B.
6. Blu-ray has had its long-awaited 4K upgrade
Movie buffs have long been committed to Blu-ray for its better-than-DVD picture quality and great audio. Now it gets upgraded for 4K UHD TVs with Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Samsung and Panasonic have Ultra HD Blu-ray players, while movies studios 20th Century Fox, Universal and Sony are releasing stacks of 4K Blu-ray discs.
7. Regular TV will look much sharper
Having said all this. A lot of what you watch on your TV won’t be in 4K resolution, like when you’re watching normal BBC 1 or ITV.
But you won’t be missing out because 4K UHD TVs will upgrade regular (non-4K) content. Shows and movies are upscaled to near-4K quality by the TV’s processing engine.
For the best upscaling, watch the HD channels. The more you spend on your TV, the better upscaling it will provide.
8. We’ve got a handy checklist for choosing a TV
Want the best from 4K UHD? Look out for these future-proofing features available in most new TVs:
- HEVC decoder for 4K streaming of Netflix
- Processing engine to upscale regular movies and TV shows
- HDMI 2.0 ports for plugging in a Ultra HD Blu-ray player
- Web-connected smart TV capabilities for catch-up TV and streaming apps
HDR compatibility to get the best from Netflix/Amazon Prime/Ultra HD Blu-ray