What is 4K? Next-generation resolution explained

The 84-inch LG 84LM9600 is the largest LCD released on the market so far, and one of the first with 4K resolution.

(Credit: LG)

As if LED and 3D TV weren’t confusing enough, in the last few months we have seen a new HDTV technology called 4K, or its official name, Ultra HD. It’s being heralded as the next high-def, and judging by the show floor at CES 2013, manufacturers are lining up to bring you a new array of products.

But just as was the case with 3D, it’s the hardware chicken before the software egg: there’s no consumer 4K content available. Still, if you listen to the industry, it’ll tell you it’s the last resolution you’ll ever need. So what is 4K anyway, and what makes it different from high definition?

Digital resolutions: A primer

The latest in a line of broadcast and media resolutions, 4K/UHD is due to replace 1080i/p (1,920×1,080 pixels) as the highest-resolution signal available for movies and, perhaps, television.

Though there are several different standards, “4K” in general refers to a resolution of roughly 4,000 pixels wide and about 2,000 pix… [Read more]

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