Just when you thought you had the sharpest picture possible on your high-definition television manufacturers are promoting ultra high-definition, also called ultra HD, UHD or 4K.
Consumer Reports has tested several 50 to 60-inch UHD sets from big names like Samsung, Sony and Panasonic and the television expert says ultra high-definition TVs has a lot to offer. They deliver four times the number of pixels as regular high-definition sets, so they're capable of razor sharp detail, especially if you stand up close.
But here's the rub, from farther away, say, the distance you might be sitting in your living room, the difference between ultra high-def and high-def can be difficult to detect.
Another issue: what to watch. Right now there is not a lot of 4K content to watch, so that means you will be watching a lot of regular HD content on your ultra HD TV.
How does that look? Actually, quite good testers say, because the ultra high-def sets can "upconvert" regular HD programs to the higher resolution, making details look smoother. How well a TV performs the upconversion process is one of the things that differentiates sets.
So, should you buy an ultra high-definition TV? Consumer Reports says that if your TV breaks, you might want to consider an ultra HD TV. But for most people, a regular high performing, 1080p high-definition TV is still a great option. Those ultra high-definition sets Consumer Reports tested cost between $2,000 and $8,000. A great 60-inch 1080p high-definition TV costs far less. These three are Consumer Reports Best Buys:
- Sharp Aquos LC-60EQ10U for about $1,300
- Samsung UN60H6350 for about $1,400
- LG 60PB6600 is a plasma TV for about $850
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.