Buy a 4K TV now to ‘reap the benefit more and more‘ in the future
With plenty to watch and prices tumbling – now really is a great time to buy a 4K UHD TV."You have more choice, the prices are coming down," says Daler Bhaker, Currys large-screen TV buyer. "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," he explains.
Still not convinced? Here are 9 reasons to upgrade to 4K UHD this year…
1. You can buy a 4K UHD TV for less than £500When we first clapped eyes on a 4K TV at CES 2013 in Las Vegas the prices (and TV sizes) were astronomical. You were looking at upwards of £20,000 to own one. But a lot has changed since then, with prices tumbling. You can now buy a smaller screen 4K UHD TV for as little as £500.
Take the Panasonic TX-48CX350B – this 48-inch set gives you great 4K UHD detail, built-in Netflix and HDMI 2.0 ports, all for under £500. And you can get a high-end, premium 4K HDR TV for under £1,500.
2. The TVs come in small-room-friendly sizesYou needed a living room as big as a cinema to house those first 4K TVs – like the 84-inch model unveiled by Samsung at CES 2013. When we saw these TVs up close we were amazed by the picture quality – but we couldn’t quite picture them in our living rooms.
How things have changed. Now you can choose a 4K UHD TV with a 43 or 48-inch screen. Perfect for those of us who don’t live in a mansion.
3. There’s much more 4K content to watchThe first 4K TVs were blighted by a lack of content. To watch something in proper 4K you need TV shows, movies or sports events recorded, broadcast or mastered in the resolution. But initially there wasn’t much of that around at all.
Now? Well, there’s much more what’s called ‘native’ content available. You can watch proper 4K movies with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player and discs, or stream boxsets like Breaking Bad in 4K from Netflix. Football fans can enjoy top-flight action from across Europe in 4K with BT Sport Ultra HD.
4. New 4K TVs are future-proofedWhen Netflix and Amazon Instant Video began streaming in 4K the first generation of 4K TVs (which pre-dated 4K streaming) weren’t compatible. Thankfully the latest 4K TVs are packed with future-proofing tech to make them a long-term investment.
Look out for the following features:
•HEVC decoder for 4K streaming of Netflix
•HDR-ready for watching HDR content
•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
5. Everything looks better in 4KWhen you combine your 4K TV with 4K content you’re getting picture quality that’s 4 times sharper than your HD television. 4K TVs offer 8 million pixels compared to 2 million with HDTVs.
This means more depth and detail in your picture. When watching football, for example, details on boots and names on backs of shirts will be clearer. Expect landscapes that are natural-looking and rich in colour, while edges of things like buildings and furniture will look sharp.
6. Ultra HD Blu-ray is the pinnacle of home cinemaHome cinema enthusiasts have always sworn by Blu-ray for the best possible picture quality and audio. But Blu-ray was designed to get the best from Full HD TVs and content (not 4K).
Movie buffs have been waiting for Blu-ray to catch up with 4K TVs for a good couple of years – and now it’s finally arrived with Ultra HD Blu-ray.
With an Ultra HD Blu-ray player like the Samsung UBD-K8500 you can enjoy up to 4 times the resolution of regular Blu-ray when paired with new 4K Blu-ray discs. Sony, 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures are among those releasing 4K Blu-rays this year.
7. HD content will look better tooNative 4K content gives the best possible experience although regular TV hasn’t quite caught up with the technology. So when you’re watching the BBC or ITV, you’re watching content that’s standard or high-definition.
What’s the point in going for a 4K TV then? The picture will still be improved thanks to your TV’s built-in upscaling engine. This takes a regular broadcast and makes it sharper – in some cases to near-4K levels. This feature works best when you’re watching Full HD content – so expect BBC HD and Sky HD channels to look much better than normal.
8. You can sit closer to the screenViewing distance (or how far from the screen you sit) has always been a big deal in terms of picture quality. If you sit too close to a Full HD TV the picture begins to break up and you notice individual pixels.
The fact there are millions more pixels in a 4K TV means you can sit much closer to the screen without any impact on picture quality. This is because the pixels on a 4K TV are more tightly packed.
If you sit too far from a 4K TV you won’t notice the vast improvement in detail either.
9. HDR makes 4K even betterNew high-end 4K TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic boast another innovative picture technology – HDR. Also known as High Dynamic Range, HDR dramatically improves the contrast ratio and colour accuracy of your TV.
Expect greater definition between the brightest and darkest areas of the screen, and a hugely increased range of colours.
To enjoy this you need to combine your 4K HDR TV with some HDR video from the likes of Netflix or Amazon Instant Video. 4K Blu-ray discs also use HDR technology.
Check out our range of 4K ultra HD TVs
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