4K Ultra-HD (UHD) TVs have been around for a while, but with continued improvements in technology – like High Dynamic Range (HDR) – and more 4K content available, there’s never been a better time to buy.
Here are 8 reasons to upgrade to 4K UHD this year…
1. The quality of 4K UHD TVs is improving year on year
In 2018, TVs are getting slimmer as OLED technology hits the mainstream. With no backlight, OLED TVs are slim enough to take the place of a picture on your wall and deliver the holy grail of picture quality: strong contrast and pure, absolute blacks.
Throw HDR into the mix and your senses are in for a treat. While UHD bumps up the number of pixels, HDR makes them more accurate. You’ll see every little detail.
The latest Sony Bravia KD55XF87 is equipped with some great technology including a 55” HDR OLED screen, smart functionality that lets you stream from your favourite sites and voice recognition. No more hunting for the remote – just tell your TV what you want to watch.
The first 4K UHD TVs cost around £20,000 – now you can get a premium model for a lot less.
The LG 55SK8100PLA is built with 4K HDR for excellent detail and contrast, compatible with the HDR format the BBC are trialling, as well as that used by Netflix and Blu-ray. To top it off it features LG’s ThinkQ voice command technology – so you can ask it to switch to the news, turn up the volume or play a movie.
2. Full 4K content looks amazing
Whether it’s cheering on your nation’s team in this summer’s big football tournament or watching the latest series of Westworld, it’ll all look so much better in 4K UHD.
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 the green of the pitch will all look sublime, completely rich in detail and colour. Netflix, Amazon, Sky and BT Sport all have 4K content.
The BBC will be broadcasting in 4K quality for this summer’s footie event in June - find out how.
3. See the football season in Ultra HD with Sky Q
This season, watch top-flight matches in stunning Ultra HD with a 4K TV, Sky Sports and the right Sky Q box and package.
124 Premier League games will be shown in Ultra HD, with up to 4 times the definition of HD and at up to 2 times the frame rate. This means you’ll get blur-free motion when the ball belts up the pitch.
Motorsport and cricket fans are also in for a treat, with every race from Formula 1® 2018 being shown in Ultra HD, along with England Test Matches.
4. Netflix and Amazon Prime are adding to their 4K content
Netflix and Amazon Prime are constantly adding to their 4K content. New series to look out for in 2018 include Castle Rock, Maniac and The Alienist on Netflix, and Absentia on Amazon Prime.
Popular shows such as Westworld, Jessica Jones and Ozark are slated to return for a second series on Netflix along with the sixth and final season of House of Cards.
On Sky, you can enjoy incredible nature documentaries from the likes of David Attenborough and National Geographic. Classic movies such as The Godfather, Trainspotting and Rocky have had a 4K makeover, making them look better than ever.
5. There are more opportunities to watch 4K HDR content
HDR was the hottest TV trend of 2017 and both Netflix and Amazon are set to expand their 4K HDR content in 2018.
HDR makes your 4K picture even better by adding extra layers of detail between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites.
Dark shadowy scenes (Netflix’s Stranger Things) are deeply atmospheric and stuffed with detail. Bright skies, football pitches and sunshine reflections pop with colour. New shows are being added all the time to take advantage of the quality of 4K HDR viewing.
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 totally miss out because 4K UHD TVs will upgrade regular content. Shows and movies are upscaled to near-4K quality by the TV’s processing engine.
The more you spend on your TV, the better upscaling it will provide, particularly if you watch the HD channels. Saturday night football will look much sharper with a 4K TV and BBC One HD.
8. We’ve got a handy checklist for choosing a TV
Want the best from 4K UHD? Look out for these future-proofing features when shopping for your new TV:
- HEVC decoder for 4K streaming of Netflix – this ensures you won’t have any lag when watching your favourite shows
- Processing engine – the computer part of your TV – to upscale regular movies and TV shows
- HDMI 2.0 ports for plugging in an 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 and Ultra HD Blu-ray.
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