The short answer: yes. The long answer? Read on to find out.
Every year TV manufacturers work to create the next buzz that will sell TVs. Reality is that TVs haven’t changed much since they went flat and HD, but that’s a problem for technology manufacturers who need a reason for you to replace your TV with a new one every couple of years.
So it started with “Smart” TV’s a couple years back. There is no defined standard for what a smart TV is and with so many options to make your TV smart with devices like Chromecast and Apple TV, it is really something that is not needed and often is slow and hard to use. But it helped to sell TVs as everyone had to have a “smart” TV.
Then it was 3d. Let’s just say it was a desperate year for TV technology and thankfully that came and went.
Then it was Curved TVs and in-fact this is still being pushed. We aren’t sure how this one will pan out but we see it being something a little longer lasting than 3D. It does have some added benefit but mostly is just different for the sake of being different and for some people that’s all it takes.
This year it’s 4K. And unlike the others, 4K is most definitely here to stay. So first, what is 4K and why is it needed? 4K refers to the resolution of the TV and like “HD” before it, promises to bring enhanced image clarity and sharpness to everything you watch on your TV. It is truly 4 times the clarity of 1080p. But, you may wonder why we need a clearer picture than 1080P HD.
To answer that question, we need to get a little technical, so hold on!
Every TV is comprised of thousands of little color dots called pixels. These pixels individually change color to create the image you see on your TV. The smaller the pixels, the clearer the image. Notice that last sentence and consider this. An 80″ 1080P TV has the same number of pixels as a 32″ 1080P TV. This is done simply by increasing the size of each pixel to fill the 80″ TV.
Therefore, as TVs have grown in size, traditional 1080P HD TVs have become less and less clear. 4K promises to fix this problem. But it’s important to understand that there is no problem to solve for TVs about 55″ and under. That’s because at these sizes, the pixels remain small enough even with traditional 1080P HD to produce a very clear image. In fact, at these smaller sizes it becomes difficult to tell the difference between HD and 4K.
Finally, it’s important to understand that 4K, like HD when it first came out, is ahead of its time and has limited content available. Most of the content currently is being delivered through the smart TV’s software and is therefore cumbersome to use and limited to only a few shows or movies. This should change in the next year as more set top boxes become available with 4K that you can plug into your TV, but count on this: it will take at least 1 more year before there is any useable 4K content to watch. In the meantime, all of the 4K TVs support 4K upscaling which does hold some value and presents a picture that’s between HD and 4K.
So the longer, short answer is this: if you are purchasing a TV that is over 55″, go ahead and splurge on a 4K set. But reality is, you’ll be waiting quite some time before you’ll actually enjoy some 4K content.