4K – Next Generation of High Resolution
Resolution has been the main playground for improvement over the years and we have moved now from HD to 4K. It might sound a little overstatement, but prominent TV innovations would not have been possible if it wasn’t for high definition technology.
Let’s look at how resolution has evolved over the years. The first in this series, comes the HD or High Definition generally provided in budget TVs which provide the resolution of 1280×720. Also called 720p where p means progressive scan. Above it comes Full HD, usually seen in mid-range TVs which provides a resolution of 1920×1080. Also called 1080p and uses the aspect ratio of 16:9. And again above it comes, as many might have already guessed is 4K or UHD. Though it's correct but then there is a difference between 4K and UHD too, though they are often used interchangeably. UHD or Ultra High Definition which has the resolution of 3840×2160 which is precisely twice that of Full HD and thrice that of simply HD. On the other hand, the true 4K has the resolution of 4096×2160. So, rather being simply 4x of Full HD, 4K derives its name from measuring 4000+ pixels on its longest side. Though in a bid to better market their products, brands like Netflix and Google refer UHD as 4K.
If these terminologies have already confused you, there is one more to add to this misery! It's Ultra HD Premium which is another class of HDs whose main significance is that they are certified. This trusted certification is issued by UHD Alliance group which is composed of cross-body industries like film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers and content distributors. There are around 35 companies part of it which includes reputed names like Disney, Amazon, and Netflix. Presently only top brands, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic have their TVs which are Ultra HD Premium certified. It's a bit surprising to know that Sony is not part of this elite list, as they haven’t decided to go for this certification for their TVs yet. But as a cover-up Sony uses its proprietary Triluminos technology in the LED display to produce wider palette of color so viewers can enjoy more vivid and true-to-life colors.
Usually, 4K is available from TVs of 40 inch and above, but to truly get the visual impact of 4K, the TV has to be big enough. Ideally, a TV of size 49 inch or bigger is best suited for 4K. Also, the content available on 4K in India is currently limited to a few sports channels and National Geographic (source: Wikipedia). So unless you watch a lot of Ultra HD movies, you will not get a lot of 4K content in India. But thanks to up-scaling available in most 4K TV, your regular full HD content will get upscaled to 4K, but it may turn out a bit grainy in huge TVs.