What's With All The Hype in 4K Ultra HD TV? A Closer Look at Tomorrow's Display, Page 2

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Getting the Most Out Of Your 4K Display


How to Watch Ultra HD

Obviously, to watch Ultra HD, you need to get the 4K Ultra HD compatible displays. This usually means a TV, but many also opt with 4K PC monitors, as they can give you the best of both worlds – ultra high-def screen for both work and entertainment. There are also 4K projectors in the market.

When buying a 4K TV, make sure you look for those with HEVC/H.26 support. It is always better to get the apps you need on board, rather than depending on media streamer or external set-top box. As of today, only Amazon and Netflix offer 4K-compatible apps, and it is very important to check whether the TV you get includes these 4K versions of apps before you get them.

Also, when adding 4K sources, you will need the HDMI 2 ports that supports HDCP 2.2 or later. For cheaper TVs, you may find just one port that supports this, with the other port supporting older version, which is HDMI 1.4.

Should you need three or more HDMI 2 ports, then you can opt for 4K-capable AV receiver. Of course, make sure the ports are HDCP 2.2 compliant.


Where to Get 4K Content

Now that you have the 4K display, all you need is a 4K content to watch. Lower scale resolution videos, such as the one we have in most movies and online videos are at Full HD, will be “upscaled”. It is similar to enlarging photos in editing apps – it doesn’t really add extra details, rather, it uses interpolation to somewhat ‘guess’ the colors of those newly made pixels. Upscaling 1080p (Full HD) resolution to Ultra HD may look sharper. But the truth is, you’re just looking at the same level of detail as Full HD would show. Also, some 4K TVs, such as Sony, are better than others in upscaling contents.

You have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars to get the UHD TV or monitor. Of course, you would want to get the most out of it. Though there are not a lot of contents out there, things are going good this year 2016.

(image from BT.com)

As a matter of fact, BT now broadcasts certain programs in Ultra HD resolution, especially on its Sports channels. However, you will need at least 44Mbit/s download speed before you can get the BT UHD box. Sky also announced their new Q box, which will enable you to watch sports, TV shows and movies in UHD this 2016. Hopefully this includes the new season of Game of Thrones.

(image from Sky.com)

For people who can’t get the higher internet speed, there’s the new Ultra HD Blu-ray standard coming for players such as Panasonic and Samsung. However, beware of Blue ray discs ‘optimised’ for 4K TV, as they are simply downloaded mastered from 4K material, but downscaled to Full HD so you can play them on Blu-ray player.

More and more broadcasting networks, are heading towards 4K. BBC for example, aims to broadcast 4K in 2016.

Right now however, the best UHD streaming services available can be found in Amazon and Netflix. But before you can get too excited, you should know that the Premium subscription for Netflix TK TV is at $13/month. Also, you need to have a HEVC / H.265 support. Plus, you need to have a broadband connection of around 25MB/s to have a dependable stream UHD content from Netflix.

Amazon on the other hand, doesn’t charge extra for their UHD. Of course, you need the 4K UHD TV with the Prime Instant Video app, or Amazon’s 4K Fire TV, which is around $115 USD. They also let you buy 4K movies at around $21.

Both Amazon and Netflix have their own original content in Ultra HD, with Alpha House and Transparent in Amazon, and Breaking Bad and House of Cards from Netflix. Both also have several upcoming shows that will be available in UHD.

YouTube also has 4K content, but they are very limited, and your TV should have the YouTube app to watch it.

Check out Dual Monitor Guide to see more 4K Ultra HD display and other computer and viewing solutions.

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