LED, LCD and plasma TV: What is ultra HD?
- What is ultra HD?
- What are the benefits of ultra HD?
- When can I get it?
Ultra high definition, or ultra HD for short, is one of the latest buzz terms in TV technology, but what does it mean and should you care?
What is ultra HD?
Ultra HD (UHD) TVs have a resolution of four times ‘normal’ high definition sets. A full HD TV will have a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, while an ultra high definition model will have a 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution.
You may have also heard it called 4K TV or quad HD, but it’s been re-branded by the industry as ultra HD.
LG and Sony both launched large-screen 84-inch Ultra HD TVs in December 2012. The TVs don’t come cheap though. LG’s 84LM960V will set you back around £22,500 at launch, while Sony’s XBR-84X900 is cheaper at $25,000 (around £15,500). The Sony model isn’t available in the UK yet, while the LG model has limited availability.
Why would I want ultra HD TV?
Most of us are fairly comfortable with the difference between standard and high definition pictures, with the latter making pictures look clearer and sharper. Ultra HD will go one step further, or should that be four steps?
The increase in resolution means that even on a large-screened TV you won’t see any pixellation, even when you’re sitting right next to the TV. Pictures should look incredibly sharp and detailed, and movement smooth. On the flipside, you’ll only really notice the difference on a very large TV, which is why those that have been shown thus far have measured upwards of and 80-inches in size.
In fact, ultra HD is more likely to find a home with home cinema enthusiasts using projectors because the larger the image you're projecting, the greater the benefits of ultra HD.
When can I get an ultra HD TV?
Most people will probably want to wait before buying one of these. They won’t be affordable, or desirable, for most of us for a few years yet. In addition, despite the fact that, if you have the money and the space, you can buy an ultra HD TV now, there is no ultra HD content to watch.
TVs are likely to come with a feature that can upscale the standard or high definition content you're watching, in the same way some 3D TVs can convert 2D footage to be shown in an extra dimension. This means you’re unlikely to be getting the full ultra high definition effect, though.
In truth, however, ultra HD is mostly hot air right now. You don't need it.