4K Streaming is the new cool kids’ toy in on-demand viewing.
In short, it’s stupendously high, high definition.
The 4K designation refers to the 4000 horizontal pixels which make up its resolution value. The exact pixel ratio for 4K or UHD is 4096 x 2160 pixels with an aspect ratio of 1.90:1.
If that all sounds like a bunch of technical jargon, don’t worry. Here is what you really need to know:
4K means amazing picture quality with extra fine detail, which can be viewed even when you’re seated closer to the screen (without fear of pixelation).
What’s the difference between UHD and True 4K?
The difference between UHD (or Ultra High Definition) TV and 4K is a couple of pixels. About 256, to be exact. While most people consider UHD and 4K to be the same thing, there is actually a difference. True 4K shows images in a 4096 x 2160 pixel resolution, while the viewing standard for UHD is 3840 x 2160.
It’s for this reason that most brands prefer to steer clear of any claim to 4K and label themselves UHD instead. The difference is minor, though, and if your TV is geared for UHD you should be able to reap most of the benefits of 4K.
Here are the three big reasons we like 4K Streaming:
Because it has four times the number of pixels usually found in HD video, 4K tech can reproduce even the most intricate detail in high contrast. This means fine detail such as hair or feathers appears almost touchable in their life-like rendering.
In short, the high resolution allows the viewer to be seated much closer to the screen and still enjoy a clear picture. The optimal recommended viewing distance for a 4K TV is twice as close as for a standard definition TV without seeing pixelation.
We often find we need to scale down to a lower resolution before we stream or view content. A video which has been scaled down from a 4K original recording quality to 2K gives noticeably more detailed and high-quality video than recordings originally created in 2K.
Where can I find 4K content?
You’ll need a Fibre line of at least 20Mbps and up to get the best results from your 4K streaming.
You will also need a compatible TV or device to get the real deal. While (as mentioned above) UHD can be scaled down and still give a clearer resolution on your SD TV than regular content, if you’re in the market for UHD you will probably want to get the full experience by purchasing a screen that can handle the heat.
That’s right! One of our favourite streaming sites is already producing and delivering content in 4K. You will need a premium Netflix subscription to view it.
Amazon Instant Video
Another streaming service who are offering UHD content is Amazon Prime – some of their original series and shows are available in UHD.
There are a number of YouTube content creators who are producing in UHD, and the platform is more than able to handle it. The thing to check here is that the device and the app which you’re using to access YouTube are compliant with 4K.
Google Play Store
The ever-popular Google Play Store is a good place to find movies and shows in 4K – you can even use 4K in your search and the search giant will quickly find you everything that’s available to you. Yes, you will need to pay to download your movie, per movie, but you have the choice of “buying” or “renting” the title and it will still cost you substantially less than a trip to the movies.
If you’re an apple user you probably already know that you can find 4K content on iTunes. The list of titles available in 4K is steadily growing – although we’re not sure it has quite the same selection as Netflix or Google Play Movies.
Your Internet Connection for 4K Streaming
Regardless of what platform you choose to stream or download your 4K content, we do recommend a Fibre connection of at least 20Mbps to prevent glitchy viewing or buffering.