Why 4K will rock your world
Recently re-branded Ultra HD, 4K is the next generation of TV display technology.
4K may sound like an abbreviation for the next millennium or X Factor's next big boyband, but it is set to change your life in the here and now without a heartfelt ballad in sight.
Recently re-branded Ultra HD, 4K is the next generation of TV display technology. Announcing itself to the world at the International CES, it offers a picture which is four times sharper than a regular HD set.
We checked out the sets in Vegas, and the picture's so great its pretty pixels more than made up for the 10-hour flight. If you don't believe us, then check out our TechTalk video.
Once you've seen it with your own eyes you'll want to know a bit more about the technology. So, here's the rub.
Current HD tellies deliver around two million pixels directly to your living room. Two million sounds like a lot - sorry, two million is a lot, but Ultra HD is an absolute pixel monster.
With eight million pixels to cram in, it's no wonder the screens are pretty big - 84-inch at the moment. But if you don't fancy turning your living room into a cinema you'll be pleased to hear smaller screens are on their way soon. Sets with 55 and 65-inch displays are expected in the summer.
You may be thinking 'there's more to life than pixels' but it's really worth listening to us bang on about them. This is because more pixels mean a better picture - duh.
If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty and crunch some numbers, Ultra HD has a resolution of 3840x2160, while current HD TVs weigh in with 1280x720 upwards.
My other half always tells me off for sitting too close to the screen, but one thing I notice while getting up close and personal with Super Sunday is that the image begins to separate into pixels in you're close enough.
Ultra HD means this is a thing of the past, even when sitting on top of your TV cheering on Liverpool.
The end of last year saw LG and Sony launch 84-inch Ultra HD sets, but it was at the International CES the technology really made its arrival.
The show had a shed-load of 4k Ultra HD TVs, but one which really caught our eye was the Samsung S9: an 84-inch beast which swung majestically in a frame as impressive as its picture. It gave the impression it was floating, adding to its overall 'second coming of TV' vibe.
The technology has so far been embraced by early-adopters and celebrities, but the sets unveiled at CES pave the way for 4K to become more commonplace.
Japan recently announced plans to begin broadcasting in 4K in July 2014. This is two years ahead of the planned date, but officials have moved it forward to coincide with the Brazil World Cup.
So 4K is coming and now you know it's the next generation of broadcasting technology rather than the next Take That you're ready for the revolution.