Recently there has been a big increase in the release of discs in the newer UHD 4K format which gives you more detail than with 1080p Blu Ray, but the upgrade isn’t as staggering as the one between SD (DVD) and HD (Standard Blu Ray).
TV Screens these days are getting bigger and cheaper, 50″ plus screens are common as are movie projectors which can give a much larger image and cinematic experience at home. But is it worth upgrading to 4K?
A few things need to be taken into consideration when thinking about an upgrade.
- You need a new 4K Player
- You need a TV that can accept the 4K Signal (most newer models do)
- Movies on the new format are more expensive than the Blu Ray equivalent
- A limited supply of 4K content at the moment
Now I review movies currently on Blu Ray format and as such am happy with the image quality most of the time, even on my projector, so do I need to upgrade and review the limited releases on the new format?
What about the cost involved in buying new equipment? Do I want to start buying my favourite films yet again in UHD 4K? At the moment my answer is definitely no. Unless some kind company wants to donate the hardware so I can review the products then it will have to be Blu ray only at the moment for me.
Another factor is, does the general public really care?
From experience, I think not. Many people i have spoken to cannot appreciate or don’t care about HD or Blu ray anyway and are happy just to stick with DVD or streaming services such as Netflix. More publicity needs to be done to educate the normal viewing public to the huge benefits a good HD display can have, how many times have you been to a friend or relatives house and the TV screen is set up incorrectly or they are watching a SD TV show and not knowing a HD version is available?
Sure the movie enthusiast is always going to be the first to test and purchase new hardware but as this is said to be probably the last physical format, then who knows.
What about 4K streaming services?
Netflix, Amazon and Apple are just some of the services offering 4K streaming and these can look fantastic but remember a lot of people still cannot get fast broadband speeds, especially outside of big cities so 4K streaming would be virtually impossible without problems.
The good news is that prices are dropping on all 4K equipment and if your in the market for an upgrade then you should go for the latest model with 4K capability, remember a 4K TV has four times as many pixels as a 1080p TV but you need the software to get the best out of it.
My advice is to wait and see what happens, especially with the available 4K content which is very limited at the moment. As TV screens get bigger and cheaper 4K seems the logical option but without software support could remain a niche market for a very long time.