Take a walk through any department store and you will no doubt see lines of 4K televisions out for sale. This latest technology is being pushed hard by retailers, but is this the right time to take the plunge and upgrade your TV to 4K? It’s a good question. We’ll take a look at it from a few different angles.
4K Technology — Is It a Real Upgrade?
A lot of people stare at their 1080p high-def televisions and wonder just how much of an upgrade 4K could be. Well, it is a major upgrade. 4K televisions have a whopping four times the pixels of a 1080p model. The more pixels, the more detail, so a 4K television is going to have a much higher resolution and contrast.
Is 4K Worth the Price?
Prices for 4K televisions are still considerably higher than 1080p models. The prices have dropped, and it’s quite likely that this holiday season, we will see the lowest 4K prices yet. The bottom line right now is probably longevity. A 1080p television may save you money right now, but if 4K goes on to become the standard, how long before you will find yourself considering upgrading again? These are questions to consider when you weigh the cost of 4K televisions against their 1080p little brothers. You should also consider the screen size. One of the major advantages of 4K televisions is that they preserve that crystal-clear resolution even at very large screen sizes. On smaller sets, the difference is much less noticeable.
Are 4K Products Available?
There are not that many sources of 4K content right now. 4K media players are coming, but it is not yet the norm. Netflix does offer some 4K streaming, but it requires a major amount of Internet bandwidth. The overwhelming majority of content coming to your television right now will be 1080p or less. However, every 4K model features an upscaler which converts 1080p video to 4K on the fly. While this is not going to look as good as native 4K resolution, it’s still a noticeable difference. 4K may not be readily available this second, but if you are planning for the future, you can bet that 4K will be on the rise next year and beyond.
It is a difficult decision on whether it is time to upgrade to 4K. If you are shopping for a television anyway, it makes a lot of sense to consider 4K options so your new television will be ready for the future. If you are still happy with your current model, the lack of availability or 4K products right now may mean that it’s okay to wait it out and see what happens. While 4K is a significant upgrade, and there is every reason to think that this will be the new resolution standard in the not-so-distant future, there are still plenty of reasons to stick with 1080p for now. Prices will continue to come down as the technology gets better, so the longer you wait, the more bang you will get for your buck.