4K TV Buying Guide - Best Buy Canada

Sara Constantineau April 29, 2013

4K Ultra HD: The TV of the Future

A 4K TV, also known as an Ultra HD TV, takes high-definition to new heights with a resolution that is four times that of Full HD. So instead of 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels, a 4K TV boasts an Ultra High Definition resolution of 3840 x 2160. With over 8 million pixels packed into the display, 4K resolution means significantly better detail, clarity, and smoother lines for stunning, true-to-life visuals.

The 4K Difference

4K resolution delivers spectacular picture quality by fitting more pixels into your display, so images are incredibly detailed even when your nose is pressed against the screen. Because an Ultra HD television can maintain or increase the number of pixels per inch even with dramatically larger screens, 4K televisions take the “go big or go home" approach — Sony, Samsung and LG offer 4K TVs in screen sizes of 70 inches and up for a truly cinematic experience.

Ultra high definition TVs, used interchangeably with 4K or UHD in the consumer market, deliver a resolution of 3840 x 2160, a huge step up from Full HD quality at 1080 pixels. This means four times the detail you see on a Full HD screen, or more specifically, eight million pixels as opposed to two million. With so many more pixels, you see more nuance and detail. Still shots or videos you’ve seen before in Full HD quality will look astonishingly different on a 4K screen.

TV Resolution WOW Chart

Future-Proof your Home Theatre Setup

With Full HD media reaching near ubiquity, from Blu-ray movies to HD sports channels, 4K video and media still have some catching up to do. However, just like the jump from DVDs to Full HD Blu-ray discs, a jump to 4K media is inevitable, making a 4K television a cutting-edge choice that is truly ahead of the game. In fact, you don’t need UHD media to enjoy a better entertainment experience on your 4K TV because it will upscale your Full HD content to near-4K quality for superior visuals.

The Power of Upscaling to Striking 4K Quality

Do you need Ultra HD content to enjoy your 4K TV?

No. Your 4K TV will do the work of upscaling SD or HD content, that is, filling in the missing pixels.

How does it work?

4K technology will take a Full HD image and fill in the spaces between the pixels to effectively turn one pixel into four. It analyzes and fine-tunes the image source and fills in the blanks to restore crisp details and vibrant colours, resulting in a stunning image that far surpasses Full HD.

What’s more, UHD content is now available for movies, while some Blu-ray and online video streaming providers, like Netflix, M-GO and YouTube, have started offering Ultra HD content. If anything, a 4K TV ensures you’ll enjoy whatever media options come your way in the next few years.

4K Ultra HD vs. OLED TVs

OLED TVs and 4K Ultra-HD TVs both represent a giant leap forward in TV technology, but in fundamentally different ways. OLED televisions use a new display technology that doesn’t require a backlight, so they can deliver superior picture quality from a super-thin screen. On the other hand, 4K televisions use a sharper pixel resolution that is four times that of Full HD, and they come in extremely large screen sizes to take full advantage of this upgraded resolution.

Some 4K TVs use OLED display technology, offering the best of both worlds for an unprecedented viewing experience. Since they don’t need a backlight and are made of slim, flexible materials, 4K OLED TVs can be impressively thin and lightweight. Best Buy offers OLED TVs with 4K resolution and screen sizes as large as 77 inches.

Curved TVs: Redefining Sexy

As if flatter and thinner aren’t enough, television manufacturers have thrown a curve ball into the mix of display choices with curved TVs. These curved screens sport an eye-catching appearance that’s sure to stand out in any living room or entertainment space. And like 4K TVs, they also boast an immersive viewing experience with better viewing angles, deeper contrasts and more uniform brightness.

Curved TVs try to mimic the curvature of screens in cinemas so the picture “spreads out” from the front all the way to the sides. The curved edges appear to bring images closer, resulting in the impression of a wider field of view. By catering to your peripheral vision, curved panels project a 3D-like effect by placing images on slightly varying planes of depth. Depending on where you’re sitting, you may perceive higher contrast as the light focuses on one spot as opposed to appearing scattered around a wider area on a flat panel.

The 4K Ecosystem

Just to give you a taste of what’s up and coming in the 4K world, here are some products to whet your appetite for Ultra HD.

4K Cameras

4K video cameras don’t look that much different from their HD counterparts, at least on the surface. Once you start comparing footages, ultra HD stands to the fore. HERO4 Black by GoPro boasts two times faster video frame rates than a previous model, the HERO3+ Black Edition, and incredible high-resolution 4K30 images. What you get is stunning, professional-looking videos that make your world come to life on the screen.

4K Blu-ray Players

While it’s hard to argue against the expedience of streaming videos for home entertainment, there’s something to be said about using optical discs. Media players aren’t at the mercy of laggy internet connections and limited bandwidths, offering a reliable, stable environment you can depend on. With 4K Blu-ray players, you also get the best possible image money can buy. Details pop out more, even when in shadow.

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