If you haven’t heard of “Ultra-HD,” do not worry. It is a really new TV technologies that very recently acquired that name. Until a couple of weeks ago, the standard was called “4K” high-definition. It’s been billed for a while as another step in the evolution of TV.
So what’s Ultra-HD?
An Ultra-HD TV has over 8 million pixels of resolution. That means at 3,840 pixels across and at 2,160 high. To meet the spec, TVs must also offer a 16:9 aspect ratio (for wide-screen movies) and have at least one digital cable capable of pumping full size content in real time. Compare Ultra-HD’s 2,160 vertical pixels to “regular” HD’s 720 pixels, or “complete” HD’s 1,080 pixels.
LG 84LM9600 – $19,999.99
Smarty-pants know-it-alls will tell you that the drawback to Ultra-HD TV is that there is no content. Yes, the newest TVs will show regular HD programming, and even non-HD programming. But the one reason to shell out the big dollars for an Ultra-HD TV is to watch Ultra-HD content.
Broadcast programming will not be on board in any consistent way for years. The initial network to get on board will almost surely be Japan’s NHK, which will not begin broadcasting in Ultra-HD until 2016 at the earliest. And if you do not live in Japan, this will not help you.
Satellite subscription services from the U.S. see the newest technology as an opportunity to win new clients, but it will take a while for them to gain access to Ultra-HD content, also — we’ll likely see Ultra-HD satellite content in three or four years.
The very first mainstream content media to leap on board will likely be Blue-Ray discs, specially made for the new benchmark. But even people likely will not arrive till 2014.
While Hollywood drags its feet, Silicon Valley is fantastic to go
Google’s YouTube, as an example, supports Ultra-HD-quality content. (To see these in your computer, you’ll need a very high-resolution display, and to change the resolution on the base of the video to “Original.”)
And, of course, it is possible to roll your own Ultra-HD content using relatively low cost video consumer and prosumer gadgets. For example a company named GoPro recently introduced a $400 sports camera (rugged, watertight) that takes Ultra-HD video.
GoPro HERO3 Black Edition – $399.99
There’s something deliciously ironic about the state of consumer electronic equipment, which is that giant Hollywood studios will not be able to broadly distribute state-of-the-art video content for years, whereas you can do it yourself in an afternoon for $400.
It’s also worth noting that TVs nowadays are used for much more than TV. People increasingly use their sets for high-definition video gaming, videoconferencing, house movie and film viewing and a whole lot more. And most of these uses can benefit in the Ultra-HD standard.
So do you really Want an Ultra-HD TV?
Well, of course “need” is a funny word to use when talking about high-quality TV sets. Ultra-HD TV is a ultra-luxury thing for people that care for home entertainment. The principal benefit is that it nudges your living area closer to being your own private digital megaplex. It enables you to see huge TVs from quite near range and still not see any pixelation or distortion.
That is why it’s no coincidence that Ultra-HD TV sets include amazing surround sound and other features that duplicate the movie theater experience.
LG Electronics sells an 84-inch display LED Ultra-HD TV called the LG UD 84LM9600 (first image). The TV supports LG’s Cinema 3D technologies (humorous glasses included), which enables viewers to personalize the degree of 3D effect.
LG additionally asserts proprietary electronic equipment which speeds up streaming content no matter what resolution you’re watching at.
You’re able to connect to the Internet over your house WiFi network, or use the TV’s many conventional link options. LG also provides a “cloud” storage alternative for maintaining your videos and photographs on the web for downloading to the TV when you would like to see them.
Sony XBR-84X900 – $24,999
Sony has unveiled a 84-inch Ultra-HD TV called the Sony XBR-84X900. Sony claims it can “scale” regular HD and Blu-ray content to greater resolution than you could see on a regular big-screen TV.
Additionally, it supports “passive 3D,” which is close in quality to film theater digital 3D, based on Sony. It has Virtual 5.1 Surround Sound powered with a 50w Glass and 10 speakers!
The TV set is highly connectable to any supply of incoming vide, together with 4 HDMI ports, two USB ports and WiFi.
OPPO BDP-103 – $499
OPPO sells a Blu-ray participant called the BDP-103, which does all kinds of tricks, particularly the upscaling of ordinary HD content to something coming Ultra-HD quality. Additionally, it somehow converts 2D video to 3D.
It can also play Blu-ray discs listed at 24 frames-per-second faithfully at the frame-rate, resulting in a film-like encounter, according to the company.
It plays Blu-ray discs, DVDs and other video content, and plays multi-channel high-resolution audio. It also behaves to be an Internet-streaming computer, allowing you to stream content from Netflix, Pandora, and other services, supporting all major Internet audio and video file criteria.