Gadgets & Gear

Once You See UHD 4K TV, You’re Hooked

Television imaging has achieved a new pinnacle with a new technology called UHD, for Ultra High Definition. Also known as 4K, it provides four times the picture resolution of 1080p Full HD – eight million pixels compared to two million pixels.

If you’ve ever seen a 4K TV – and they are now on display at most electronic stores – you will never be satisfied again with your regular HDTV.

uhdtv-logo4K provides jaw dropping picture clarity and detail, incredibly vibrant and rich color and such a phenomenal viewing experience that you’ll immediately want to bring it home. You can also watch it up close with no loss of image quality, an irritating issue with regular HD

But if you want a 4K TV you better have deep pockets. While nothing like the $15,000-$20,000 they cost just a could of years ago, a 55-inch UHF 4K TV now typically costs $3,000-$3,500.

The industry has finally settled on the UHD standard after some sets used a different format for 4K, causing some confusion reminiscent of the old VHS-Beta videotape confusion of the 1980’s.

But UHD 4k sets are now being mass produced and there will be massive market penetration over the next year, say the experts.

That will spur more programming. Right now, there’s not a lot of programming being produced in UHD. For one thing, it requires a special camera to record it and Hollywood movies and TV producers have only recently been producing content in it. And since UHD requires more bandwidth, broadcasters have yet to fully embrace it.

Netflix recently began streaming some of its programs in UHD. Comcast has a channel dedicated to it. DIRECTV has dedicated five channels to it. Even YouTube is offering a 4K channel.

So while native UHD 4K programming is still relatively scarce, it’s being rolled out fast.

But here’s why you may want o buy one of it’s time to replace your old TV: UHD televisions make even regular HD programming look much, much better. The 4K sets available now do what is called “upscaling,” by using computer database interpolation (how’s that for Geek-speak?) to produce spectacular results.

DVDs look better, too. especially Blu-Ray. And movies will be remastered to take advantage of 4K, too, as Sony already has with a pretty impressive collection of 4K branded Blu-Ray DVDs.

I wrote the other day how I needed to get a new TV. I was impressed that the HD set I paid $1,400 for nine years ago could now be bought for about a third the cost.

But then I saw UHD 4K TV. Oh oh.

I’m close. Very close. I have a little more shopping to do but I’m thinking I need one,

Besides, I really do need it so I can tell you all about it, right? Right?

Help me out her, folks. Thats the excuse I’m using with my wife. UHD 4k will help me do my tech reporting job better. Right? Right?

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.