If I Have a 4K Television, Am I Watching 4K Content?

The audiovisual technology industry is pretty crowded with choices these days. Making a selection within that huge array of acronym-laden choices can be confusing or overwhelming for any consumer who isn’t a full-fledged tech enthusiast. While the overarching goal in the industry is to give everyone the opportunity to experience state-of-the-art technology from the comfort of their own homes, the downside is that with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to separate what’s just savvy marketing on average products from the most premium products. That’s why we’re taking the time to address one of the most common misunderstandings we see when it comes to televisions and home media setups: 4K content.

First off, it’s important to make one key concept clear:  owning a 4K television doesn’t guarantee that you’re watching 4K content. That’s because when it comes to 4K, there are two pieces to the puzzle: the screen, and the source. Let’s take a closer look at what each of those pieces consist of and how you can ensure that you’re enjoying the highest quality content from the comfort of your own home.

Let’s start with the screen. While many people understand that a 4K screen is necessary to display 4K content, they still might not realize that a 4K screen isn’t enough to bring you the best visuals possible. To enjoy the most premium visual experience possible outside of a movie theater, a 4K screen that also features high dynamic range (HDR) is needed. 4K refers to the number of pixels on the screen, while HDR refers to the quality of those pixels. The highest quality image capable of being displayed in a home environment is attainable only when 4K and HDR technologies are working in concert.

If you keep an eye out for the Ultra HD Premium TM or Mobile HDR Premium TM logos, then finding a premium UHD screen becomes a much easier piece of the equation.  A product that has earned one of these logos means that it meets or exceeds the stringent performance standards necessary for the UHD experience. Naturally, those requirements include 4K and HDR capability.

The second piece necessary to experience 4K content is the source. Even if you have a 4K screen, the media you are watching will not truly be in 4K unless the content source is 4K as well. While that used to be a more significant hurdle, there is so much 4K content readily available today that it really isn’t an issue anymore if you know what to look for. For example, Amazon, Google Play, Netflix, and iTunes all offer 4K content. YouTube even offers 4K content when you purchase their premium services.

If you understand that you need to look for 4K content in addition to having a 4K-capable display, then you will finally be experiencing your media the way the content creator intended for it to be. If you need a display—or any other hardware components for your home theater—, keep an eye out for the Ultra HD Premium TM and Mobile HDR Premium TM logos. These logos indicate that products have met or exceeded the performance standards which have been set by the leaders in the industry and ensure that consumers are getting the most premium audiovisual experience for their investment.