The Samsung 75-inch QLED 4K Smart TV supports 4K and HDR with HDR EliteMax imaging technology. (Photo: Courtesy of Walmart)
You probably are not alone. According to the Consumer Technology Association, an industry trade group, nearly three out of ten US households (31 percent) are expected by the end of the year to have a 4K TV or a 4K ultra-high definition TV. That’s an increase of 16 percent last year. According to CTA, 4K UHD TVs will be in an estimated 41 percent of US households next year.
4K TVs are also a hit outside the US. The worldwide sale of 4K TVs in 2018 is expected to reach 100 million and the number of 4K home TVs will increase to 230 million, according to research firm Digital Tech Consulting.
Consumers have 4K UHD TVs, first introduced in the US in 2012, partly because prices have fallen. The average 4K TV today costs less than $ 900, compared to more than $ 4,000 five years ago says DTC.
Lower prices are just a selling point. Larger screens with sharper images and richer colors are also beneficial. 4K UHD TVs have four times as many pixels as HDTVs. These extra pixels make larger displays look better without compromising image quality.
Most 4K TVs can also process High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, which is produced so that newer televisions can display more intense brightness and darkness, as well as more details in shadows. An additional image upgrade, usually associated with HDR, is a wider color palette that produces more accurate and rich colors.
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For a 4K TV with HDR, you pay a little more if you get it Going out that you spend a lot of time with your TV, it’s worth the extra effort. (You can still get a 55-inch 4K HDR TV for less than $ 500.)
Well, what do you need to know? Fortunately, there are several ways to get 4K videos on your 4K TV.
• Blu-ray Disc Player . The major electronics manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have all 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc players on the market, the special 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and regular Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs play. The prices of the players start at about 100 US dollars.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players, such as Samsung’s, can play 4K Blu-ray discs, normal high-definition Blu-ray discs, DVDs and CDs. (Photo: Benjamin Pritzkuleit, Benjamin Pritzkuleit)
Many experts consider 4K Blu-rays as the best medium for presenting your 4K TV due to the quality of the disc-based medium. Several hundred 4K UHD discs can be ordered at Amazon and BestBuy.com. The latest versions include “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and “Venom”. Prices start at around $ 20 and most come with a standard Blu-ray Disc and digital download code.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc version of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ starts at around $ 20 and comes with a 4K disc, HD disc and digital download of the movie [Photo: Paramount Home Video]
• Pay TV Provider There are not yet regular 4K broadcasts of large networks, but among the major providers Comcast made the The 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup matches will be available in 4K in 2018 as the events have been held and can still be viewed on demand X1 customers can also stream Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video in 4K from their cable box.
Die Satellite services DirecTV and Dish Network – both have also delivered the Winter Olympics and the World Cup action in 4K – offer Pay-Per – view movies in 4K and each has at least one dedicated channel for other 4K content, including live sports two, one for ongoing 4K programs and one for live sports, including regular NBA games and the English Premier League. HD DVR from Dish’s Hopper 3 also has built-in Netflix 4K streaming.
• Streaming Services. Netflix and Amazon are among the leading providers of 4K content. Netflix is making “House of Cards” and several other programs available in 4K in 2014. Now, Netflix has more than 100 original series and 100 original films and 4K specials, DTC says. You need a Netflix Premium subscription that costs $ 13.99 per month. Netflix also recommends broadband download speeds of 25 megabits per second for streaming 4K video.
Netflix 4K Ultra HD Channel (Photo: Netflix)
Amazon Prime Video has 70 original series and movies in 4K and a library of nearly 150,000 licensed movies and TV Series, says DTC. Some of these are included in the Amazon Library for TV shows and movies as part of the annual Amazon Prime membership worth $ 119, plus free shipping of purchases and other benefits. Others can be rented or bought.
If you have a Smart TV, you can preload apps like Netflix and Amazon – and YouTube with lots of 4K content. Your display may also have built-in Wi-Fi if you can stream 4K.
The SK8000PUA (65-inch) SK8000PUA Series 4 HD HDR Smart Super UHD TV (currently available at $ 899.99) is installed with Amazon, Netflix, Vudu and YouTube and has integrated Wi-Fi.] [Photo: Courtesy of BestBuy.]
In both ways, you can use a network streaming player, such as a Roku or Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or Plug in NVIDIA Shield that supports 4K video to get apps with 4K video. Video game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also support 4K streaming apps.
4K Blu-ray discs with HDR, such as Mad Max: Fury Road, to shame off traditional DVDs and even regular Blu-rays , (Photo: Reviewed.com)
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Several other lesser-known video apps can offer additional 4K options. Owned by Walmart, the Vudu streaming service offers many 4K movies to borrow and thousands of HD movies that you can watch for free with ads. Fandango Now and UltraFlix are also pre-installed on many new TVs or available as an app. Fandango Now has an extensive library of 4K movies you can buy or rent, while UltraFlix rents many 4K movies, concerts and documentary films.
The broadband subscription service fuboTV ($ 44.99) also broadcasts 4K sporting events, including College Football and the English Premier League – the service offered World Series and Major League baseball games earlier this year.
With Apple TV, you can watch 4K movies borrowed or purchased from Apple iTunes. Apple will soon have more than 400,000 4K movies available, DTC says. 4K movies cost the same as rent or buy as HD version; A loan of the new release “The Meg” costs $ 2.99.
Google Play lets you rent or buy a whole range of 4K movies. “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” currently costs $ 4.99, while an HD version costs $ 4.99.
There’s a lot more 4K streaming content than a year ago, said Tom Campbell, chief technologist at retailer Video & Audio Center, which sold the first 4K TV in the US in 2012. “It looks phenomenal and there will be more,” he said.
Expect 4K to offer more live events, says DTC analyst and founder Myra Moore. “In 2018 we saw the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and the MLB playoff games,” she said. “We’ll see more in 2019, as streaming services can not deliver on the promise of high-quality live programming – especially sports.”
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Follow the reporter Mike Snider of USA TODAY on Twitter: @MikeSnider .
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