The world of TVs has moved on a lot in the last few years. There are new technologies and certifications, all aimed at helping TV tech take the next leap forward. There has been talk of 4K for years, but it’s no longer just something for the tech-minded early adopters. This advancement has properly hit the mainstream. It is now an important new standard.

How important? Well, CES, the world’s biggest annual tech show, 4K TVs have dominated for the last few years. Netflix has been hard at work pushing 4K as well as Amazon and Apple. On the gaming side, there’s 4K love from the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro.

Here are some of the most common 4K-related questions, to save you a load of time and effort when buying a new TV.

Q: What exactly is 4K?

A: 4K, also known as Ultra HD, refers to a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels. That’s four times the 1,920 x 1,080 pixels found in your full HD TV. We’re looking at about 8.3 million pixels. Cramming so many pixels into a TV means a higher pixel density, and you should have a clearer, better defined picture. It’s not about sharpness, it’s about letting you see more detail and texture.

Q: What is the difference between 4K and Ultra HD?

A: 4K is by far more commonly used, but you’ll also find people calling it Ultra HD, or UHD. For the average consumer buying a TV, these are one and the same.

Q: Is 4K actually any good?

A: The extra resolution of 4K images adds better definition and clarity to the picture. The result is images that look incredibly life-like, more like looking through a window than watching TV. 4K is especially effective on very large screens – so ideally you’ll go for a 65-inch set or even bigger. That said, we’d argue that 4K resolution clearly improves picture quality at pretty much any screen size.

Don’t just take our word for it: 4K is considered by the film-making community as being able to reproduce the sort of resolution and ‘finish’ you get with 35mm film.

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