Did you enjoy your Christmas break and given the uncertain weather how about all the reruns on the TV for your entertainment?
With a new up to the minute TV you would at least have had great viewing from a purely visual aspect of the programmes offered, but if not what should we be looking for in our next TV to get the best picture?
Much of the innovations to TVs these days come from Asia as well as the USA, and it is in the latter that early adoption of new technology is usually seen first. Take our common flat screen TV, not that old, yet in the States it won’t be long before you can’t even buy a new set without ultra HD resolution, which we here in NZ pay quite a hefty price for.
Overseas they are a bit ahead of us, for example in France they have already dropped what is called ‘full HD’, but for many other euro countries it is still possible to buy full-HD sets.
In New Zealand we have a choice of all these different technologies and if truth be known when you are looking for a second TV set for another room you may not need the very best picture quality.
Basically ‘Ultra-HD’ or UHD means that the picture has 4 times the pixels of a full-HD screen and when we switched from analogue to digital TV the transmission was of a much better quality leading to full-HD with sharper and more realistic colour rendition, alas at a higher cost.
UHD also called 4K by some manufacturers has the greater impact when you have a very large screen, the smaller the screen the harder it is to seen the quality improvement, which is why nowadays most TVs are sold with large screens almost too large for smaller rooms. From about 55” screen size most TVs are UHD and the smaller sizes are gradually going for UHD as well.
This may be partly why video cameras and smartphones can record in UHD quality which in turn leads to a preference for the better quality TV on which to show the results.
The above abbreviations or terms can be a bit of a nightmare to understand when looking for a new TV so here is a hopefully understandable explanation:
Full-HD: The resolution of the screen is measured in pixels. In a full-HD quality screen there are 1980 x 1080 pixels.
Ultra-HD [UHD]: On the newer flat screen we get 3840 x 2160 pixels, and it is also known as ‘4K’.
HDR: This stands for High dynamic range, a technology that increases contrast, i.e. black is blacker and white is whiter to improve details which otherwise would disappear. Some find it brilliant others that there is too much colour.
LCD: This has to do with the technology of how the picture gets to be displayed on the screen and LCD stands for Liquid-crystal display. Most Screens – including your PC screen – are LCD screens. LCD screens may be found with both full-HD and Ultra-HD resolutions.
QLED: Samsung has just brought out a new Screen called Quantum Light Emitting Diode technology, also called Quantum-dot in competition to OLED screens that LG has been marketing. The Samsung TV with this technology is similar to LCD but the picture is created by ultra tiny crystals and in quality much like the OLED screen from LG.
OLED: Organic Light Emitting Diode gives sharper and more true colour pictures than an LCD screen. You’ll find it in both full-HD and Ultra-HD resolutions and now also may be found on newer smartphone screens.
Here in NZ the major TV vendors offer mostly Ultra-HD and 4K and there are also full-HD sets on offer, at least one with OLED technology. Like all new technology these sets are quite expensive but as TV programme makers start producing quality pictures – notwithstanding content – you may be tempted to take advantage of the new technology.
For now there always the choice of a good book.