4K TV: What Does It Mean?
A common question I hear has to do with the concept of “4K TV” — what is it? Simple. 4K refers to 4000, and that number is in reference to the resolution of your television set. Current, 4K is considered fairly high-end (although it’s not the highest.) Specifically, it refers to the horizontal resolution of roughly 4000 pixels that most newer TVs attain. Note that I said “roughly”: it can be as low as 3840 or as high as 4096.
Some typical questions I also hear include:
How does 4K resolution compare to what we get on a DVD movie? There’s no comparison. As crisp as DVD movies are, 4K resolution is substantially sharper. The degree that your home is larger than the dog igloo your dog sleeps in is the degree to which 4K resolution simply dwarfs DVD resolution. 4K is massively sharper.
When did 4K come about? It’s been around since 2003, but it has been catching on ever since. Movie theaters began using it in 2011. The first home theater projectors came out in 2012. Video games started supporting 4K in early 2016. As of this writing, both the television industry and YouTube have embraced 4K as their resolution of choice.
Are everyday consumers embracing 4K? By the year 2020, it is forecasted that half of all U.S. households will have 4K TVs.
Bottom line, when you shop for a new flat screen TV, make sure it has resolution compatibility with 4K, meaning that the horizontal resolution, or the first number any of the following figures is close to 4000 (ex. 4096 x 2560; 4096 x 2304; 3840 x 2400).