As good as HDTVs look, the latest Ultra High Definition TVs are at the center of a high-resolution revolution. These Ultra HD TVs have four times the picture resolution of regular "full HD" 1080p TVs, and can display much more detail. Ultra HD TVs are often referred to as "4K" TVs, because they have a horizontal resolution of around 4000 pixels.
You've probably seen a movie in 4K without even realizing it — today's best movie theaters use 4K digital projectors to display Hollywood’s latest hits with incredible detail and depth. Now, imagine how lifelike watching at home would be with that many pixels on a 55", 65", or 84" screen instead of a 30-foot theater screen. That's the reality of 4K Ultra High Definition TV.Shop all 4K Ultra HD TVs
4K Ultra HD TVs are still pretty new, and the amount of true 4K content available is limited, but starting to grow. The same thing happened with the introduction of DVD, HDTV, and Blu-ray – the hardware arrived first, followed by the content. Samsung and Sony have developed 4K media players – basically, hard drives that allow you to easily download, store, and play 4K movies.
Sony's FMP-X10 media player works with their 2014 and 2015 Ultra HD TVs as well as with 4K models from other TV makers. The FMP-X10 allows you to download movies and shows from Sony's Video Unlimited 4K online store.
Samsung's UHD Video Pack is a compact hard drive that comes pre-loaded with several full-length movies and nature documentaries, all in spectacular full 4K resolution. Once you plug it into the USB input on your 2014/2015 Samsung Ultra HD TV, the player appears as another video source on the TV screen, and you can navigate and make selections using the TV remote. This is the way to make the most of your Samsung 4K TV.
"I love my Ultra HD TV, but what can I watch in 4K?"
We hear that question a lot. Ultra HD media players, like those described above, work great for movies, but once you’ve viewed the pre-loaded titles it can take several hours to download each new movie.
In 2014, Netflix launched "Ultra HD 4K" streaming with its House of Cards series and a few nature documentaries. Their 4K content now includes another original series, Marco Polo, along with TV series Breaking Bad and The Blacklist, plus a handful of movies. To watch 4K on Netflix you need a 2014 or 2015 4K Ultra HD TV. You also need to be subscribed to Netflix’s highest-priced streaming plan (currently $12.99/month), and you’ll need a reasonably fast Internet connection — Netflix recommends at least 20Mbps for optimum 4K picture quality.
Amazon Prime Instant Video is another great 4K streaming option. It is available to Amazon Prime subscribers at no additional charge (as of 4/15). Available content includes Amazon original series Alpha House, plus other series including Orphan Black and Transparent. So far, Amazon’s 4K streaming service is only available on 2014/2015 Samsung and Sony 4K TVs.
All Ultra HD TVs include built-in 4K upscaling, which means that the TV upconverts the video from your Blu-ray player, satellite or cable TV box, or game console, to make these video sources match the higher screen resolution of a 4K TV.
Samsung offers both flat-screen 4K TV models and curved-screen models. All deliver the same flawless 8-million-pixel picture as other 4K TVs. What sets many of Samsung’s 2015 4K models apart from other brands is their versatility and future-readiness. Samsung’s JS9000 and JS9500 series TVs come with a One Connect Box connection hub. This separate unit includes the HDMI and other connections for your A/V sources, as well as housing the TV's "brain" – its main processor, graphics processor, and memory. The One Connect Box is designed to be replaceable in order to support support future Ultra HD standards and features as they become available. Samsung’s JU7100 and JU7500 series TVs include a simpler One Connect Mini hub that features the connections, but doesn’t include the “brains,” so these TVs aren’t as future-ready as models with the larger One Connect Box. The other big advantage of Samsung’s connection hub approach is that it requires only a single cable connecting the hub to the TV, for a clean, uncluttered setup.Shop Samsung 4K Ultra HD TVs
Sony has more 4K experience than any other TV maker, and their 2015 4K XBRs are the best TVs they've ever built. Sony's 4K expertise isn't limited to TVs – it extends from "lens to living room." They build professional 4K cameras and cinema projectors, and Sony Pictures has a bigger catalog of 4K films than any other studio. This end-to-end approach helps ensure a truly theater-like experience at home.Shop Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs
LG’s 4K lineup includes a broad mix of screen sizes, picture technologies, and features. Several models feature their IPS panel technology, which provides wider viewing angles than typical LCD designs. LG's suite of built-in web apps includes Netflix®, allowing subscribers to stream stunning 4K content like the Netflix original series House of Cards and Marco Polo.Shop LG 4K Ultra HD TVs
With their latest AQUOS 4K TVs, Sharp's goal is for you to experience movies the way the director imagined them. By passing hundreds of rigorous tests to earn THX® 4K certification, these TVs proved their ability to deliver accurate images and pristine video performance in every frame. Sharp's Revelation™ Upscaler displays all your HD content at near-4K Ultra HD resolution, giving movies, TV shows, sports and video games a sharper, more vivid look.Shop Sharp 4K Ultra HD TVs
Whether it's a TV, a tablet, or a smartphone, the more pixels a screen has, the more seamless and detailed the picture will look. The ideal is a screen where the "pixel structure" is invisible. You already find that on high-end tablets and phones like those with Apple's "Retina" display. The new 4K Ultra High Definition models take television a giant step in that direction — you have to stand right next to an Ultra HD TV to notice any pixels at all. Because the picture is so clear and sharp, you can sit closer to a 4K TV even if the screen is larger than your old TV. And that adds even more to the sense of immersion.