The television’s humble beginnings date back to 1928 when Philo T. Farnsworth had an idea so bold, many believed it to be impossible, states MIT Technology Review. His first working television delivered 20 pictures per second, tricking the viewer into thinking the stills were in motion. The ingenious invention was based on the concept of motion photography created by Eadweard Muybridge in 1886, almost 50 years earlier. We’ve come a long way since then with our large screen TVs and HD resolution. However, nothing really comes close to what many are calling revolutionary: 4K Ultra HD.
What Is It?
4K Ultra HD is the clearest television viewing option currently available. The reason for it’s amazing clarity: 8 million pixels. That’s approximately four times the amount of pixels of a typical HD image, says TechRadar. As you may already know, the more pixels a television can yield, the sharper the image. However, this only makes a difference if you’re sitting close enough.
Carlton Bale, a tech enthusiast, created a chart that illustrates how far one needs to be to appreciate an HD or UHD television to its maximum. According to the chart, individuals must sit anywhere between 0 feet (just kidding) to 10 feet, depending on their screen size, to experience the full benefit of 4K. In other words, the more your television screen takes up your visual field, the more immersed you’ll feel. If there was ever a time to break the rule about sitting too close to the TV, this is it.
The Future of 4K
Although current viewing options are limited, it won’t be long before 4K becomes the norm, much like when HD replaced 480p. Amazon predicts that as the number of 4K TVs increases, so will the production of 4K content, especially when it comes to broadcast and cable television, discs, media players and streaming content.
Additionally, 4K OLED might make an appearance soon. OLED, or organic light emitting diodes, is an expensive process that produces stunning color. Fortunately, according to TechRadar, there’s a good chance this tech will soon become mainstream as companies work toward finding ways to add it to 4K Ultra HD TVs without considerably raising the price tag.
And yet, the most promising prediction lies not in TVs but in computer monitors.Samsung has created a UHD computer monitor that has received the 4K special treatment, which improves the way we watch, play and read.
Who Should Buy It
The Age calls 4K Ultra High Definition “the next big thing in home entertainment.” And luckily with the third round of 4Ks hitting the market, it’s not difficult to find one that fits your price range, says PCMag. In fact, many 4K TVs have a lower price tag than in previous years. If the more life-like images and high color resolution are not a tempting enough reason to invest, know that the 4K is considered by the filmmaking community to be similar to the final look you get with 35mm film, states TrustedReviews. In other words, a 4K UHD television can turn your living room into your own personal movie theater.
Netflix users also should note that the streaming service recently released a 4K viewing option. They’ve vastly improved the overall resolution for a variety of TV shows and movies such as Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Moving Art nature documentaries.