Video technology has been moving super fast in the last years and you’re probably familiar with the phrase high definition (HD), Whats the difference between HD Vs 4k?
TVs these days support millions of more tiny little pixels that bring a sharper and high definition image resolution than ever before seen.
Now with TV’s going into from 4k, 5k and AMOLED display then this post may be touching some “old tech” that said if you ever wondered about the features and disadvantages of 4k and HD resolutions.
Moving image is getting smoother and richer in color which is now an affordable option for consumers with 4K TV. For many TV watchers, the difference between HDTV and 4K TV is the pixels. But there is more than meets the eye.
The HDTV can have either 720 or 1080 pixels, while 4K TV has four times the pixels of a Full HDTV. The higher the pixels, the more precise the image, and since this has been the primary marketing feature of 4K, most consumers think that is the only variation it has from HD. Here we compare and contrast the features of the TV models, including the display.
The Key Differences Between 1080p HD to 4K Displays
1. 4k vs HD Service Compatability
When it comes to content available for viewing the old saying ‘old is gold’ might be true. With the enhanced clarity, you may also expect to be spoilt for choices with a 4K TV, however, 4K content is currently limited to very few services that offer the full 4k viewing experience.
DirecTV, Dish Network and Comcast have come to the party, but its few and far between depending on the package you purchase, which begs the question, is 4k even worth the money?
You may think so, which in that case you must have a DVR box to be able to watch that content. Some TV providers have already rolled out 4K content for sporting activities, yet if you would like the full sporting streaming experience then I would recommend DAZN.
So while 4K live TV content remains limited, the increase in the on-demand streaming content is the next best thing for a full 4k experience. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others are already providing a pretty spectacular 4K content but require a lot of bandwidth, which means you don’t want to be streaming 4k content from your hotspot or satellite of your monthly data allowance will be no more.
The majority of service providers offer HD packages at no extra cost making HD content easily accessible both for live TV and streaming services. Therefore, HDTV is still more superior than 4K in terms of available content.
HD, Full HD then to 4K incrementally doubles the pixel count of the screen which provides a clear and crisp image.
- HD 921,600 Pixels
- Full HD 2,073,600 Pixels
- 4K 8,294,400 Pixels
In layman’s terms, try watching from 360p to HD 1080p on a video on youtube, the difference between the resolutions is noticeable like day and night, and it’s similar with HD to 4K.
3. High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR is a feature that increases the display’s contrast making the dark areas of an image darker while rendering white areas blinding white. Initially, this was a feature of products such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video only, but now 4K TVs are also included. HDR gives the images a touch of reality, which is lacking in the standard HD televisions.
There are numerous varieties of HDR, including HDR10+, Hybrid Log-Gamma, Dolby Vision, and many others. Each TV brand has its preference, but some types are only found in the premium models.
4. Cost and Size of the TV
Generally, 4K TV sets are thousands of dollars pricier than their HD counterparts and the cost can vary with the size of the display and usually doubles in price even at Full HDTV.
Some of the features that make 4K set worthwhile include smart integration with apps (smart TV) increased resolution, HDR image options, etc.
5. Can I watch HD content on 4K TV?
The simple answer is yes. However, something will be happening in the background without your knowledge, that is upscaling. Since HD content cannot be displayed on a 4K screen in its usual 1920 x 1080 resolution, most manufacturers have an in-built feature in their devices that can fill up the pixels of HD resolution to that of 4K. This is what is known as upscaling and is also possible with SD content.
Even though some models have a perfect upscaling system, others may be disappointing, and you will have to outsource it. Mid-to-high end A/V receiver and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player are some of the available options you can explore.
Should I consider buying a 4K TV?
When 4K resolution was first introduced very few TV models were supporting the technology. Now many TV manufacturers larger than 40 inches, are 4K. And despite the limited content available 4K TV it is going to be the way of the future going forward.
Better technology is becoming available daily especially with OLED screens that are turning the tables on technology once again with their richness in color and amazing image quality.
HD wat the thing, then it was Full HD, now its 4k and many are pushing the envelope for higher resolution screens like 5K and 8k screens that cost thousands of dollars now and will eventually go down in price as the technology progresses.
Our take is that it would be worth investing in 4k when it becomes more widespread use and cheaper for consumers to take advantage of the picture quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best low cost 4k TV Brands?
The best known brands for cheap 4k TVs are LG, Sony, Samsung and TCL which range from $189 to $300 which is a great deal compared to a few short years ago when the cost thousands of dollars to purchase.
How can I stream on a 4k TV?
Many 4K TVs have smart TV intigration which means they run similar to a computer or laptop, it runs its own OS system that enables you to browse the internet on your TV and can run a variety of apps like Netflix, Itunes, Disney+, AT&T Now, Sling TV, HULU, HBO Go to get the most out of your streaming. Some TVs even have voice activation where you talk into your remote control and your TV does everything you need it to.
Do 4K TVs have Burn in?
Burn in was common with older OLED displays, and its when the image on the screen can permanently burn into the screen causing inconsistencies in the image. As of this present day many problems with burn in have been phased out thanks to new and improved displays.