FHD or 4K for free to air TV?


Novice Member
I'm confused! I mostly watch the main free to view channels, BBC, ITV, etc. Do I need a 4K tv or will a FHD set be OK? My friend has a 4K and close-ups are quite good but things start to get a bit fuzzy as the distance increases. Football matches are hard to watch, really quite blurry, almost like coloured blobs moving around the screen. I'm not into Netflix or gaming so would a FHD be quite adequate or do I need to spend approaching a grand to get a decent picture?


Distinguished Member
I suppose it depends on the size of the screen you intend to buy and the general viewing distance. Are you proposing to stream anything, or just stick with Freeview? BBC do stream a few 4k programmes on iPlayer but you need a 50ish and upwards screen to benefit. Sub 50ish its difficult to see much improvement with a 4k display.
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Well-known Member
No, you don't need a 4K TV for Freeview but many people prefer larger TVs and larger TVs only come with 4K (or even 8K) screens these days, so 1080p isn't an option.

What size TV would you want ? TVs up to and including 32" tend to be either 720p or 1080p, TVs between 40-43" are mostly 4K* and pretty-much all TVs 50"+ will be 4K.

* there are a handful of 1080p options in the 40-43" size range but most are very low-end sets (from the likes of JVC or Toshiba) which are best avoided unless budget is really tight.

The motion handling capabilities of a TV will have a big effect on how sports like football look - there's every chance that watching football on Freeview HD on a 4K TV with great motion handling will look better than watching it on a 1080p TV with poor motion handling.

If you still watch a lot of the poorer bitrate/resolution Freeview channels in SD, then sticking with a 1080p TV would be wise because upgrading to a larger, 4K screen might well make them unwatchable.

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