Do you really need a 4K TV?

FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. It is a peculiar phenomenon that is caused by thinking that you have missed out on something exciting and interesting that others have managed to take advantage of. FOMO is a product of our modern lifestyle with a profusion of information and social media. Today, we will talk about the potential FOMO of missing out on buying a 4K TV and why you shouldn’t be having FOMO even if you missed the bus and have purchased or are considering purchasing a TV which does not have 4K Ultra HD resolutio

So you’re considering buying a new TV or maybe you have already bought one. By now, you must have heard about TVs that have 4K Ultra HD or 4K Resolution. 4K or Ultra HD is one of the latest buzzwords floating around when it comes to TV display technology. First it was Full HD and very soon it has been upgrated to 4K Ultra HD. If you haven’t heard already, another upgrade to this is already available and it is called 8K resolution. So in a situation like this where technology is changing everyday promising a bigger better deal, what if you choose to opt out of the bandwagon? What if you in fact choose to purchase a TV that does not have 4K Ultra HD resolution. If you stick to regular Full HD, will you be missing out? What about picture quality? Will it be back in the stone ages if you do not have 4K Ultra HD resolution?

Today, lets talk about 4K Ultra HD display and whether you should be afraid of missing out by not considering it for your next TV purchase.

What is 4K Ultra HD resolution?

4K Display Resolution
4K Display Resolution

Before we get into the specifics of what 4K Ultra HD is, lets first talk about TV resolution. TV resolution is the number of pixels that your TV is able to display. A pixel stands for picture element. You can visualize an individual pixel as a point of light on your TV screen. Your TV screen is composed of thousands (or millions) of these individual points of light. These pixels when viewed together give you the image of what your TV content is displaying. The total number of pixels that your TV can display is known as the resolution of your TV. In general, the more pixels your TV has, the better is the overall image quality of your TV.

Try to image that your TV has only about 100 pixels or 100 tiles each of which can be of a single color only. At such a low resolution, you will only be able to get a vague sense of what your TV is trying to show you. As the number of pixels increase, more details are visible in the picture and you are able to see more clearly what your TV is trying to show you.

An important thing to remember when discussing TV resolution is that the incoming picture must be of the same resolution as your TV resolution for your TV to display the image at its full capacity. If your TV has 100 pixels but the incoming video signal only has information about 50 pixels, then your TV will have to guess about the remaining pixels which it might not be able to do very well.

So what is a 4K resolution? 4K refers to the number of pixels in a horizontal line of the TV. A 4K TV has approximately 4000 horizontal pixels on it. Typically 4K TVs have about 2160 pixels vertically. Hence the total number of pixels on a 4K TV is close to 8.9 million. Now that is a lot of pixels. 4K displays are widely available today in various screen sizes. It is unlikely that you will see a 4K display resolution for a TV of screen size less than 50 inches however.

What are 8K resolution TVs?

Now that we know what a 4K display resolution, it is easy to extrapolate what an 8K display resolution might be. An 8K TV has approximately 8000 horizontal pixels. The number of vertical pixels is usually close to 4000. This is double the number of pixels in a 4K TV.

8K TVs are able to produce very detailed images with vivid colors. Today, very few cameras are capable of capturing 8K video footage. Due to this reason, 8K TVs are still mostly at a concept stage. It is estimated that it will take about 5 years at a minimum for this technology to go mainstream and be available to the public.

What role does resolution play in picture quality?

Theoretically speaking, the more pixels available on your TV, the better should be the overall image quality. But remember what we said earlier about the incoming image signal should also be the same resolution as your TV? This means that to get the best out of your 4K TV, you need to have the incoming video to also be in 4K resolution. Currently, you might not find any TV channels in India that provide their feed in 4K. However, if you have any streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar, you will have some 4K content on them.

The other thing to consider is the screen size of your TV. When you move close to your TV, after a point you will begin to see the individual pixels that make up the image on your screen. As you walk away, you will stop seeing the individual pixels and start seeing the full picture instead. This also means that you will see lesser detail on your TV as you move further away.

So in case you have a 4K TV, if you sit far away from it, the image quality that you will see will be very similar to that of a Full HD TV since at a far away distance the amount of detail that you will be able to see will be the same no matter the resolution. So to get the true benefit of the 4K resolution, you have to either sit close up to your TV or get a TV that is sufficiently large in terms of screen size.

Do I need to have 4K Resolution for my 40 inch TV?

As we discussed above, to get the true benefits of a 4K TV, you need to do of two things

  • Sit very close to your TV to see the enhanced 4K resolution
  • Have a large screen size so that you are able to see the benefit of the 4K resolution

With these two things in mind, you can draw a logical conclusion that having a 40 inch 4K resolution TV does not really make sense. This is because when you see a 40 inch 4K TV at normal viewing distance, you will not find it any different from a non 4K TV.

Above what screen size does 4K Ultra HD display make sense?

To get the full benefits of 4K resolution at a moderate viewing distance, it is advised to purchase atleast a 55 inch TV. At this screen size, you will be able to get the benefits of 4K resolution at a normal viewing distance. At 7-8 feet away, you will not be able to see the individual pixels which in a non 4K resolution, you might be able to see.

4K FOMO – Conclusion

There are two main reasons why you should not fret too much about buying a 4K resolution TV just yet

  • The 4K resolution is effective only when the input source is in 4K as well. Currently, there is not a lot of content available in 4K
  • You need a screen size of a minimum of 55 inches to be able to get the full benefits of a 4K resolution

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