Get ready for Ultra HD Resolution!.
The big buzzword at this year’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas was “Ultra HD” TVs. Ultra HD is the new designation for what was announced last year as “4K” or “Quad HD” technology. Basically, the new Ultra HD TV models that are coming to market this year are capable of producing up to 3,840 pixels by 2,160 pixels of resolution.
Compare that to the current Blu-Ray 1080P standard of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and you start getting a pretty good idea of how much more screen resolution you’re getting: basically 4 times the resolution. The difference between a new Ultra HD TV and your current 1080P TV is so striking that when compared side-by-side, the image displayed on the 1080P TV looks almost “blurred” compared to the Ultra HD model.
The exciting news is that these new TVs are finally coming to an AVU store near you. Sony, LG and Samsung have already started shipping these Ultra HD TVs and they are expected to arrive in stores sometime in March. Sharp and Toshiba models have also been announced and will be available in late Spring/early Summer.
If you are one of the early adopters of this new technology, you may be wondering “How do I get this shiny new TV to play movies at 3,840 X 2,160 (or 4K) resolution?” At this early stage, most people will be playing their existing 1080P Blu-ray movies in “upconvert” mode. It’s not true 4K but judging by what was on display at CES in Vegas it is noticeably better looking and sharper than watching it on a 1080P TV. Some experts also predict that it will be possible to convert 4K content at the highest bitrate available on the current Blu-ray standard and package it on Blu-ray discs.
Another alternative is to include pre-loaded movies with each Ultra HD TV. That’s the direction Sony has chosen by including a hard drive pre-loaded with ten Hollywood movies that have been remastered in 4K. Sony has also announced that they will provide a downloadable movie service later this year. LG has already demonstrated in Korea that 4K terrestrial broadcasting was now a reality. So if you are familiar with the way new technology evolves, there is no doubt that 4K content will be available shortly after these new TVs hit the market.