4K TV Is Here: So What’s the Big Deal?

Dave Powers, special to Nvate

Nvate 4K TV, Sony, gaming 4,000 pixels

Sony’s 4K TV is the next big thing for tech geeks and hardcore gamers. With 4,000 pixels of resolution, the 4K television creates more realistic pictures and less pixelation up close. The price tag is a little steep, however; a 55-inch Sony set will set you back around $5,000. But if you can afford it, the advanced technology is worth the price. Sony and other manufacturers are counting on consumers finding enough value in this product to pay for early iterations of the technology.

Not Unexpectedly, They’re Pricey

Those looking for a more affordable 4K will be pleased to know that Seiki’s 4K TV is priced around $1,500 for a 50-inch. Watching your favorite shows and movies on a 4K TV takes viewing to a whole new level—you can see minute details like a bird sitting on the electric line or the dirt on a child’s shoes. But regardless if you go for a well-known brand or a bargain basement manufacturer, your 4K television experience won’t be complete without the right programming.

What About Content?

Much like the TV technology before it, the 4K won’t shine unless the content is created at a 4K resolution. If you bought a 3-D television, for example, that didn’t mean all of the programming was suddenly in 3-D. Standard 2-D movies looked the same as they would on any other set. Going back even farther, a high-definition set, at 1,080p or 1,080i, couldn’t turn reruns of “Happy Days” into a crisp HD picture any more than they could make original Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo look like Mario Party for the Wii.

A new media player from Sony plans to make the most of 4K technology, Forbes.com reported. The player comes pre-loaded with 10 films, with an unknown lineup unknown, all made at 4K resolution. The large screen promises to show off graphics like you have never seen before. With the right content, watching 4K might make a regular television feel as ancient as a 13-channel black and white set.

4K Gaming

Movies and TV programming are only part of the draw to 4K resolution. Sony’s new PS4 will be the first gaming console to be 4K compatible. It will also act as a media player for the Sony 4K library of films, much like the PS3 also served as a Blu-ray Disc player. Sony is looking to capture avid and casual gamers with the promise of dual functionality in your media center, Forbes reported.

Satellite and cable providers have been eager to provide programming to match the quality of televisions. They even got into 3-D programming, albeit on a limited scale. Expect the best cable TV providers to add 4K programming as soon as possible and to continue building on that platform.

Look or Leap?

Though 3-D sets never really saturated the American market, perhaps due to cost or the inconveniences of the glasses, 4K looks like more than just a fad. Throughout the evolution of the film and television industries, improved qualities of picture and sound have been continual achievements. 4K is simply the next benchmark in resolution quality, and the hardware will soon be in a store near you. Will you be an early adopter or wait for content to catch up?

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