Is it really worth saving for a (more expensive) 4k TV?
Do you really need to save up for that $2,500 4k TV or can you just buy an old 1080p TV on sale at the store for $300?
Conventional wisdom says that you need to save up for the 4k TV. But is this actually true? We all know that 4k TVs are four times as expensive, but does this mean they really have to be better? Let's find out in today's article!
How much more money do I have to spend to buy a TV with twice the resolution?
Not much, actually.
I did some research here and found that it only costs an extra $10 - $20 for every extra pixel of resolution. The cheapest "4k" TV (<$1000) has 3840x2160 pixel resolution. This means it has 819 pixels per dollar compared to 1080p at 1920x1080 pixels which has 101 pixels per dollar. That's a difference of 7% .
The most expensive "4k" TV (>$4000) has 7680x4320 pixels which is three times the resolution of 1080p. This means you have to spend $428 per extra pixel, or an insane 228% increase in price for only 3 times the resolution. Even with these prices, though, 4k TVs are still cheaper than they were last year , so technology is definitely improving at a quick pace!
A 4k TV is a tv with the display resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. This means it has about twice as many pixels total compared to a Full HD ( 1920 x 1080 ) television.
The advantage of this is that you can sit closer to your TV without seeing individual pixels - or very few, anyway. Since 4k TVs are relatively new to the market, they're still quite expensive relative to their Full HD counterparts though.
So when do 4k TVs make sense?
Let's say you have decided that your next purchase will be a new large TV, but don't want to go for 4K just yet because you have limited funds available. Then there are two reasons why buying instead for a high-end Full HD TV would be a good decision:
1) Availability of content. There's not much 4k content available out there other than on video streaming sites, and that usually doesn't look very spectacular - just like 720p or 1080i videos looked pretty ordinary when compared to the clarity of Blu-Ray 1080p content shown on an HDTV.
2) Current state of 4K broadcasts are also less than ideal. The best way to watch 4k is over the air via an antenna, not cable or satellite. Antenna reception isn't always reliable though, especially in urban areas where you may need some kind of amplifier for your tuner to pick up weak signals clearly (which by itself adds quite a bit of extra cost). These days the only major 4K broadcast is the World Cup, but you'll need a satellite dish and service to watch it.
Most of your viewing will probably come from Full HD sources like blu-ray movies and 1080p video streams (e.g., Netflix). Even your laptop can still output videos at that resolution through an HDMI cable (most laptops sold in the last couple years should be able to handle this). So if you're buying a new TV anyway, don't let 4k influence you too much; go for the best value product instead. Check us out at mytechshop.com.au for more information on HD TVs for your next purchase!