4K is slowly becoming a reality around the world. Gaming will be the first digital content to provide a 4K experience starting in 2017. But what do you lookout for when shopping around? What is there out there? We have a guide to buying a 4K TV for your needs.
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What Is A 4K TV?
A 4K TV is double HD. 4K means that the resolution of your HD TV is half of what a 4K TV is. 4K is also known as UHD, so do not mix things up and think they are two different things.
Your current TV’s resolution is 192×1080, which is roughly 2 million pixels on screen. 4K is 3840×2160, and that results in 8 million pixels on screen.
Why A 4K TV?
Although 4K is not available via DStv or any other satellite TV broadcasters in South Africa, 4K will soon become a staple when it comes to gaming and digital media. You will soon be able to watch movies on your 4K TV in 4K resolution, and gaming will also be 4K enabled.
YouTube already has a 4K output for certain videos, so if you are using the app on a 4K TV, you will be able to benefit from this feature. Netflix will also start with more 4K content.
4K TV Options
We know things can get a little technical when it comes to buying a TV. There are so many options, so many models and so many different version of the operating systems around.
Every 4K TV is a smart TV nowadays. It is rare that you find a 4K TV that does not have some sort of OS running it, so keep that in mind. Samsung has its signature TV OS, while LG’s 4K TVs run WebOS 2.0. These built-in operating systems, let you download apps and games to it, stream Netflix, watch YouTube and other things.
Then you get your 4K curved TV, which are more expensive. If you are on a budget, we suggest you do not look at curved TV models, as they are pretty pricey and the curved feature is more a want than a need. Sure curved TVs are set apart from the standard TVs and allow a more immerse viewing experience, but the picture quality does not change when comparing the two.
LG is the only brand that offers a 4K TV under R10 000 in South Africa. Currently the 49-inch UH617 model goes for roughly R8 999. This model has all the features you can expect from a 4K TV like HDR Pro support, 4K resolution, and runs WebOS 2.0.. Samsung comes in close second as its 4K TVs start at around R12 000.
You might be on a budget, but if you have a huge room to fill with a new TV, you might need to wait a little longer. For the best viewing pleasure on a 4K TV it is recommended that you have your TV a certain distance away from you. 42-60-inch models need to be around 1-3 meters away from your seating area. 60-72-inch models, need to be 3-5 meters away for the best viewing experience. It is no use going out to buy a 4K TV and you sit on the other side of the room.
You will also need to take into account what ports you will need for your devices. Always check a TV’s technical specification. Many newer TV models have cut down the HDMI ports by half, which means they ship with 2 HDMI ports rather than 4. This could be problematic if you are using a few devices that use an HDMI output, and purchase a TV with little ports.