If you’ve been shopping for a TV lately you may have found it a bewildering experience. There are 3D TVs, Smart TVs, ones with high refresh rates and ones with better contrast ratios. The main difference? It all comes to different resolutions.
Resolution refers to the number of pixels or dots of colour across the screen. So the more there are, the more detailed the image. The original high definition TVs had a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which produced an image that was much sharper than the old standard definition TVs. This standard was quickly improved to the next generation of HDTV that had 1920 x 1080 pixels, which was the same as Blu-Ray discs.
Now there’s a new standard called 4K also known as ultra-high definition or Ultra HD. The name 4K is derived from the nearly 4000 pixel horizontal resolution. More precisely the resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, double the dimensions of HDTV with four times the number of pixels. This increase in resolution means that small objects are much sharper than before so that it’s possible to sit closer to the TV, have very large screens and see every little wrinkle and imperfection on people’s faces.
Manufacturers are rapidly shifting to this new standard, and with the competition prices are dropping. Now, content producers are racing to develop 4K-friendly programming. Both Amazon and Netflix are producing original content in 4K. Netflix began with House of Cards and has since added many titles including Chelsea Handler ‘Docu-Comedy’ Specials. Amazon has Transparent, Alpha House and Orphan Black. Other streaming services including YouTube have some 4K content but little is available on broadcast TV. Things are beginning to change though. Rogers has announced that it will broadcast 20 NHL games in 4K in this year alone!
The Rogers customer will need a special box called Nextbox 4K to receive the signal and will need to upgrade their cable service. This is because 4K demands much more bandwidth than HDTV. Each frame has 8 megapixels and up to 120 frames per second. Even with compression this adds up to about 25 Mbps per stream. Data caps with traditional broadband service will also be an issue as movies and sports games will exceed 100 GB in size.
The best option for delivering 4K content is fibre to the premise or FTTP. This is because fibre has much greater bandwidth capacity than broadband cable or DSL. Also, with Axia’s dedicated service there is no sharing of bandwidth and no data caps so you can download as much 4K video as you like without additional charges.
Interested in Axia Fibre Internet? Express your interest and we'll bring fibre Internet to your community. Visit www.axia.com/Alberta