The number of 4K movies and shows you can watch in ultra-high definition is always increasing and if you're in the market for a new TV it should definitely be a 4K set.
You'll also see names like Ultra HD, UHD and 4K Ultra HD being bandied about - but they all refer to the same thing. This is a TV with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, more than 8m pixels in total, which is four times the number in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080).
Watching 4K you'll see everything on screen in crystal-clear clarity and sumptuous detail. There's a level of detail and depth that HD sets simply cannot achieve – at times, it almost feels 3D.
You'll generally find that 4K TVs are big-screen models of 40 inches or more. This is because to really appreciate the higher picture quality you need to watch it on a large TV, as it's more difficult to see on a small screen.
Our highest rated 4K TVs are outstanding, and you’ll be getting a great TV if you buy one. It's still uncommon on broadcast TV, but streaming services have thousands of hours of 4K content available.
Since most of TVs released by the big manufacturers are 4K, they tend to make up the bulk of the top rated sets our lab uncovers, while Full HD is typically only available only on their cheaper sets. Plus, 4K TV prices continue to drop, so if you’re looking for a new TV, we’d recommend buying one with a 4K display.
Our testing has found that 4K sets are better than at displaying HD content than Full HD sets. The graph shows that no matter the size of the TV, 4K sets have the edge in terms HD picture quality.
New technology is emerging that can compress the huge amount of data involved in 4K into forms that are easier to distribute not just on television, but also on Blu-ray discs and over the internet.