What’s the difference between 4K and Ultra HD TVs?
For consumers, the two terms are pretty much interchangeable. It’s hard to actually tell the difference. However from a technical perspective, there are some minor differences. The real difference is between 4K / Ultra HD and HD TV.
Here’s the break down:
4K video production, is a digital cinema standard requiring 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution.
Video fits a 1.9:1 aspect ratio.
Standard HD TV looks more like this
1920 x 1080 pixel resolution
16:9, or 1.78:1, aspect ratio
This diagram from Wikipedia shows a nice shows us a comparison of the difference in screen resolutionl
So by looking at the resolutions, you can see sort of see why the call it 4K. Ultra HD 4K is four times the resolution of 1080p.
In 2013 the Consumer Electronics Association announced that Ultra HD would be the official name for Ultra HD / 4K (4096 x 2160 pixel resolution). Some TV makers, like Sony for example, are still branding as 4K and not Ultra HD.
When do you need to upgrade to Ultra HD 4K TV?
At this point its really not necessary for most people. A few broadcasters are just starting to produce Ultra HD content, but it’s not widely adopted yet. If you’re a movie buff, and love the big budget hollywood films, then Ultra HD 4K is epic. The Blue Ray DVD movies in the Ultra HD format look amazing compared to standard HD. Of course, it’s great for sports.
Other key facts about 4K Ultra HD
HDMI cables can handle 4K TV
Sony has a 4K media player with over 140 titles in 4K
A number of companies are working on 4K streaming
Sports broadcast has been the leader in bringing 4K to broadcast TV
8K is in the works and was used by BBC to to film part of the 2012 summer olympics