4K UHD VS HDTV: Your New TV Set Soon Might Become Obsolete

People have been completely amazed by the increased picture quality in the transition to High Definition Television (HDTV) from the older standard National Television System Committee (NTSC) standards many grew up with. However, that new HDTV set that you just bought might just about to become obsolete. The new 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) televisions are here, taking picture quality to a whole different level.

4K UHD televisions, also known as 2160p TVs, are those whose horizontal display resolutions which have close to 4,000 pixels. Officially an Ultra UHD must have a resolution of at least 3840 x 2160 and an aspect ratio over 16:9. Some UHD sets have even greater resolution and are referred to as 8k UHD or 4320p TVs, but these are quite rare.

HDTV’s on the other hand typically have pixel resolutions that would occupy a quarter of the area of a 4k UHD TV. In reality there are several different HDTV standards. There is 720p which has a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 with just less than one megapixel of image resolution. Then there are 1080p HDTVs that have a better resolution of 1920 x 1080, with just over two megapixels of resolution. There are also 1080i HDTVs that use two separate fields to display the picture and can come in either 1440 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080 resolutions.

In contrast a 3840 x 2160 4K UHD has a resolution of 8.3 megapixels, about four times as much as the best HDTVs. This represents just under the same magnitude of resolution improvement in going from NTSC to HDTV which was a five fold increase in resolution. It really is hard to imagine the HDTV picture getting that much better, that is until one views a 4K UHD TV.

These 4K UHD will work best for very large screens where resolution matters more in terms of picture clarity. In fact, most theaters have already adopted 4K technology using DLP projectors. The rollout of 4K UHD into the home is happening slower do to the higher price of these TVs and the fact that there is not a lot of existing television programming to support them, yet. Most of the 4K UHD home entertainment units using DLP projection technology to create the picture.

For early adopters of new technologies, a 4K UHD TV could be on your Christmas wish list. While these are probably a little too expensive to be in many homes, especially given the poor economy; however, as prices come down and content is made available that takes advantage of the expanded resolutions, the HDTV will probably go the way of the NTSC TV.

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