On 12th February an Ultra HD Conference was hosted by SES (Global satellite services provider) in London with panels and industry experts tackling the big questions surrounding Ultra HD.

The term Ultra HD was the hottest buzzword of 2014 and some manufacturers started bringing UHD models into their range. A big part of the false start with UHD is that the content wasn’t available to truly appreciate what it can offer, as Andrew Neil (SES) stated at the conference, the revolution is currently underway despite there being little content available.

I’ve heard about 4K too, so what is the difference between 4K and Ultra HD?

Firstly there is a difference between 4K and Ultra HD however it’s not that significant if you are looking at buying a new TV.

In simple terms, and to help you when purchasing, Ultra HD delivers 4 times as much detail as Full HD 1080p.

In technical terms, 4K in the professional world is a digital cinema standard that uses a 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution. The first number is the horizontal line measurement and the other the vertical and they work because they fit a 1.9:1 aspect ratio – looking at the numbers, it makes sense to use the term 4K!

We watch televisions with a 16:9, or 1.78:1, aspect ratio (not as wide as the pros use) so the pixel resolution we get ends up being 3840 x 2160 – which is called Ultra HD. This is double both the horizontal and vertical measurements of Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) that most of us use today.

According to Digital Trends ‘In 2013, a Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) group decided that, to end confusion and make marketing easier, Ultra HD should be the official name for the new resolution standard. Unfortunately, people have been calling it 4K for long enough that making the transition to Ultra HD hasn’t been so smooth’

What does this mean for viewing?

Ultra HD delivers:

Greater Contrast and Detail

Higher Frame Rates

Higher dynamic range (contrast between the bright parts and the dark parts of the image, the higher it is, the more realistic it looks)

So there are many benefits to watching in Ultra HD however, as mentioned at the beginning, there is little content available right now.

So should I buy?

Depending on the sort of content you will be wanting to watch you may want to consider ‘future proofing’ in 2015. At CES (The International Consumer Electronics Show) in January Netflix stated that all of their original content this year will be available in Ultra HD and the Blu-Ray Disc Association expanded on its previous announcement that Ultra HD Blu-Ray discs will be available by Christmas 2015.

Also Sky are said to be launching an Ultra HD enabled set top box – so we know more content is definitely in the pipeline.

Something to also consider when purchasing is that Freeview HD does not use 1080p resolution; all broadcasters will only provide 720p.

So ultimately it’s up to you, depending on what content you wish to watch!

In Summer 2015 we are launching our very first Ultra HD models, watch this space for information!


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