Looking to buy a new TV, it’s easy to get caught up in the different high-definition resolutions. Beginning with 720p, they only go up from there with 1080p, 1440p, UHD, 2K, 4K, and even 8K. Encountering all this bewildering terminology, you might not know what the best TV deal is for your space. Keep in mind, it’s not always the highest quality TV.
Let’s start with what’s at the top of the line, which is 8K and 4K. Currently, there are no consumer TVs available with 8K resolution. Although you may have heard about 8K resolution, a lot of publicity has been generated at industry tech shows. Experts predict, at the earliest, 8K TVs are not expected to arrive until 2023. Therefore, the best thing going right now are 4K TVs.
4K is equal to 4360p – essentially 4 times as detailed as 1080p resolution. By 2020, consumer trends show that roughly half of consumer TVs in North America will be 4K. 4K resolution uses 4096×2160 pixels, although different variations exist. Unlike other resolutions, ‘4K’ highlights that your flat-screen’s resolution is over 4K and doesn’t dictate by how much. One standard of 4K which is popular is UHD or ‘ultra high-definition’.
The next step down from 4K is 1080p TVs, which provide a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels and are oftentimes referenced as FHD or ‘full high-definition’. The ‘p’ in 1080p stands for ‘progressive scan’ which indicates frames drawn in sequence on screen. Comparatively, non-p TVs use interlaced video wherein odd and even lines are drawn alternately –common in analog signals and TVs.
Then, there is 720p which is roughly half the detail of 1080p. There are few flat-screens sold with 720p just because of how popular 1080p has proven to be. 1080p is the normal quality you’ll find across Netflix, YouTube, and your high-definition satellite channels.
Although normally we may recommend going for a 4K or 1080p TV, if you’re searching for something small or mid-sized, you’ll be overpaying on a 1080p flat-screen and especially on a 4K model. For mid-sized rooms, we recommend going with a 720p TV as this will help cut down on costs. You’re also likely to not even notice the difference in quality, because of the size of the screen. Applied to larger screens, yes, evidently, there is a difference and so you may want to select at least 1080p in that example.
So do you really need the highest quality TV with the most amount of detail – no, absolutely not. Though we may be living in a 4K era, not all households need a 4K TV. Again, most wouldn’t even notice the difference between 4K and something with a little less definition.