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“What is a 4K TV?”

Simply Science 10

An Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K television, often simply referred to as a 4K TV, works by displaying images with a much higher resolution and pixel density compared to traditional high-definition (HD) televisions.


The defining feature of a 4K TV is its higher resolution. "4K" refers to the number of horizontal pixels, which is approximately 4,000 pixels. The most common 4K resolution is 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, providing four times the number of pixels as a 1080p HD TV. The higher resolution means that 4K TVs can display a greater number of pixels per inch of screen space. This increased pixel density results in sharper, more detailed images, even on larger screens.

These televisions employ advanced image processing technologies to upscale lower-resolution content to fit the higher-resolution screen. This process involves interpolating additional pixels to enhance the image's clarity and detail. While it doesn't match native 4K content, it significantly improves the viewing experience.

Many 4K TVs also support HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology that enhances the contrast and brightness of the displayed images, allowing for more vibrant and lifelike colours. HDR content contains additional information about brightness and colour levels, providing a richer visual experience. HDR content also often utilizes a technique called tone mapping to adjust brightness and contrast to match the display’s capabilities. This ensures that the content looks its best, whether it's being viewed on a high-end HDR TV or a standard dynamic range (SDR) display.

There are also several HDR formats, including HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), and more. Each format has its own specifications for how HDR content is created, encoded, and displayed. Dolby Vision, for example, is known for its dynamic metadata, which allows for scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame adjustments in brightness and colour.

4K TVs use various panel technologies, including LED-LCD and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode). LED-LCD TVs use a backlight to illuminate pixels, while OLED TVs emit light on a per-pixel basis. OLED screens typically offer better contrast ratios and more vibrant colours. Viewers also benefit from higher refresh rates for smoother motion and better connectivity

Whether you're watching the latest 4K blockbuster, gaming or enjoying your favourite shows, a 4K television delivers a superior viewing experience.

Remember the old cathode-ray-tube tellys?


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