4k TV, sounds good doesn’t it. Even clearer pictures in greater detail than ever and in close-up we will be able to count the embarrassing hairs on the news reader’s face, where they have not plucked them all. In crowd scenes we will be able to make out the guy right at the back giving the camera the finger and recognise all those people at the footy match who have signed in sick that day. Wonderful. But why so soon? Not only that but, where do you get 4k signals? You can buy a 4k player and some Blu-ray disks claim to be 4k, also you can stream 4k from the Internet if you have fibre but, we have not all changed from DVD to Blu-ray, or afford fibre and they cannot broadcast 4k signals, no room, all the available channels are in use with normal SD and HD TV… Uh Oh!
So, not so much a maybe as a when they shut down all those old SD channels and force us to buy another new and fully compatible 4k TV, fibre Internet, 4k player and upgrade all our movie media once again. So the question now is, how long it will be before the original digital SD service is switched off and we all have to go HD/4k? And it will be a another case of ‘Buy or don’t get TV sucker!’ for a second time. This seems all the more likely, because now, they are pushing 4k TV so damn hard. So what is 4k anyway?
Note; most of what follows is about the UK TV services. There are a number of differences in other national standards. In many countries the majority of viewers use cable unlike the UK wherer the majority use broadcast signals.
If you look at the full HD picture, it is one thousand and eighty lines down the screen. You could count them if you have a magnifying glass. HD televisions have a wide screen, making the width of the picture wider than the height. This means that on a picture that has 1080 lines down, there is room for approximately two thousand image picture elements (pixels or dots if you prefer) across the screen and so 1080 HD could be called 2k. Now I bet you have guessed it! 4k is not four times the definition of full HD, it is only twice as good and has around two thousand vertical lines and four thousand pixels across, hence the deliberately misleading 4k. What a disappointment, I bet you won’t be rushing out to get a new 4k TV after all.