To enjoy 4K movies at home you need a:
- 4K TV (Ultra HD TV)
- 4K Blu-ray player (Ultra HD Blu-ray player)
- 4K Blu-ray movies (Ultra HD Blu-ray movies)
The foundation of 4K Ultra HD is higher resolution – 4 times the picture elements (pixels) of Full HD. The term "4K" describes a picture that's roughly 4000 pixels across: 3840 x 2160 versus conventional HD's 1920 x 1080. 4K is already well established in the Hollywood production community, where 4K cameras are now commonplace. It’s also successful in the home, accounting for a growing number of screens 55" diagonal and up.
4K is best appreciated when viewers sit up close to the screen, becoming more involved in the action yet still not seeing visible pixels or "jaggies" on image diagonals.
Motion pictures don't actually move; they're created by a rapid sequence of still pictures (frames). Lower frame rates, such as 24 frames per second (fps) can sometimes cause motion blur and coarse motion artifacts or "judder". While live HD broadcasts support up to 60 fps, 4K Ultra HD gives content producers the option to use frame rates as high as 120 fps. You get amazingly sharp images and fluid motion that is particularly well suited to fast-action sports and video games.
Another creative option is a wider range or "gamut" of available colours. HD can only reproduce about 36% of the colours visible to the eye. This means there are many hues in everyday life that are beyond the reach of HD televisions, especially among the reds, yellows, and greens. Fortunately, 4K Ultra HD makes it possible to show nearly 76% of all the visible colours. This enables directors and cinematographers to create even more amazing pictures – and enables consumers to enjoy those pictures to the fullest at home.
While resolution is the foundation of 4K Ultra HD, the system also offers an enticing range of other creative options that productions can utilise. For example, a new technology called High Dynamic Range (HDR) creates picture vibrancy never before seen on a television screen. HDR makes it possible to reproduce a far greater range of real-world contrast from deepest blacks to brightest highlights. Conventional consumer Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) televisions vary between 100 to 400 "nits" of maximum brightness, while HDR can measure up to ten times that amount! HDR also reveals hidden detail and shades of colour in the highlight areas, plus more detail in the shadows. It’s simply breathtaking.
Another significant creative option is smoother colour transitions or "gradations". Conventional HD means 8-bit encoding: about 250 levels per colour. This can leave visible stair steps or "banding" in what should be gradual colour changes across broad areas like the sky. More bits mean finer gradations. That’s why digital production is increasingly performed at 10,12 or even 16-bit encoding. 4K Ultra HD enables consumers to enjoy 10-bitcolour or better, corresponding to 1000 levels per colour or more! So viewers will see exceptionally smooth hues, especially important for content that includes wide colour gamut and high dynamic range.
MORE IMMERSIVE SOUND
Conventional surround sound encoding arranges audio into a fixed number of channels which are played back in a circle of loudspeakers. While this can effectively position sound along the left/centre/right and front/back dimensions, something critical has been missing: height. The latest object-based audio systems also place sound overhead, a decided advantage when the story calls for passing aircraft; ambient wind and rain or even bullets zinging by. You’ll enjoy a far more immersive, more involving, three-dimensional sound experience.