4K: The Future of HDTV

Technology continues to change almost at the speed of thought. Go back half a decade, and the HDTV was the height of the home theater experience. Then 3D HDTVs came out, and users around the world rushed out to bring one home. But now 4K HDTVs are right around the corner, and will again change the home viewing experience forever.

Also known as either Ultra HD or Super HD, the 4K refers to the horizontal resolution of the device. That means you’ll get nearly 4,000 pixels on the diagonal, and almost 2,000 pixels vertically. That adds up to a total of nearly eight million pixels. So sitting in front of a 4K set will give viewers the experience of watching the combined power of four HDTVs at the same time.

The industry hasn’t yet created a real standard for the 4K HDTV. You’ll find Quad HD (3840 x 2160) and 4K/2K (4096 x 2160), and additional options for projectors and cameras. The 4K HDTV was the brainchild of Hollywood, looking for a way to create more options for the current crop of digital visionaries. The recent “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” remake was screened in 4K, and it seems that more and more films will follow suit.

Once the 4K HDTV hits the living room, it will truly change the home screening experience. The problem will be content. There just isn’t much out there that will take full advantage of the resolution. Ideally, new programming will arise, but there is no timetable for that.

Size and price may also be an issue for many consumers. The 4K HDTVs that are now being shown off are all at least 84-inch displays, and are going to hit the market at costs over $20,000. And according to tech experts, the ideal screen size for the 4K set would be 25 feet. So until it becomes more prevalent, only the richest and most dedicated viewers will be able to enjoy this new technology.

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