What is 4K TV and are There Better TVs in 2020?

The year 2019 was full of big releases in screen technology on smartphones and otherwise. With rollable screens, waterfall screens and so on, the technology behind screens has matured enough beyond traditional LED panels and includes lots of varieties today like micro-LEDs, OLED, AMOLED and so on. They have gone beyond just the resolution and pixel density on your TV or smartphone screen, or any monitor for that matter.

The Higher the Resolution, the Better the Clarity

The rise of the terminology ‘K’ in 4K or 8K tells a quantitative score that can be read as 4000 or 8000. In the early days of big and bulky TV sets we used CRTs back in the 1990s and early 2000s used VGA to mention a resolution of 640×480. This was slowly bumped up to 1280×1024. It meant that the display with a physical grid contained 1280 rows and 1024 columns. The number of pixels would be roughly 1.3 million. Then, there were other things like aspect ratio e.g. 4:3.

It can be safely said that as the resolution grew, the picture was crisper; there were more details, better color accuracy and so on. Thus, for an average buyer, this resolution stuck as a standard to compare TVs or any screens for that matter.

  • CRTs were the pioneers of TV sets starting with just over 300,000 pixels.
  • They were square-shaped with almost the same number of pixels on each side.
  • As numbers grew higher, we started using 2K and 4K to refer to the number of pixels.
  • Higher was the resolution, better was the TV became a ubiquitous concept.

Today, there are tons of websites like https://vs.reviews/category/tv/ and video blogs where you can read reviews about TVs, hands-on experiences and compare the pros and cons before you even head out to the nearby store, or purchase it online. Back, then you had to decide based on a few things like the resolution and how big the TV was.

What is 4K TV?

Today, 4K is a rising technology. It grew in 2019 and is still growing in 2020 at a steady pace. It found its use into laptop screens as well last year and people are becoming more aware of the change. To be specific, if your screen resolution is of 3840×2160 or similar which translates to roughly 8 million (8,000,000) pixels in all, you can call it a 4K TV (also known as Ultra HD or UHD).

To make a comparison with the above CRTs, and later standards, we have HD, FHD, 2K, and then 4K at the moment. This is an increasing order of resolution or number of pixels. Do note that we assume the size of the screen remains the same. This means as we increase the number of pixels in the same size, the picture becomes more crystal-clear and sharp.

Thus, compared to Full HD which goes for 1920×1080, 4K has four times the number of pixels. So, if you had purchased a TV of 44” (read as 44 inches), the 4K would have more pixels than a Full HD of the same size. The reason there are more pixels in one direction than the other results in a rectangular shape of our TVs these days compared to a relatively square-ish TV back when we had CRTs. We shall later do a side by side comparison of Vizio D Series 4K vs. Vizio V Series as an example to elaborate further.

To understand the size and other aspects of a 4K TV, we have to understand a few more terminologies. A TV is graded better or worse using several parameters some of which are the following.

  • Color gamut coverage e.g. sRGB or Adobe
  • Color calibration
  • Contrast ratio
  • Refresh rate
  • Maximum brightness level
  • Viewing angles
  • Aspect ratio

And, there are many more. With some of the best TVs out there right now in 2020 and from 2019, 4K TVs have improved not just in resolution but also in the above categories. When we test all these together, we can declare the best value-for-money TV you should consider. And, then you can understand that there are better TVs than 4K TVs because the resolution isn’t just everything. For example, the previous version of 4K TVs that were made and sold in 2015, 2014 did not support the streaming of 4K videos. In 2020, however, All 4K TVs are fully compatible with the 4K version.

The Best 4K TVs in the Market

Here you have to understand that the price-point is not the sole deciding factor. A name-brand with the lower overall quality of 4K display can be more expensive than a relatively not so famous brand. There are products from Sony, LG, Sharp, Samsung, Panasonic and many more with 4K TVs that you can buy right now. They come with all hyped acronyms like HDR10+, Dolby, Vision HDR and what not.

If you love watching Netflix and Amazon, you should get a 4K TV because they have been pushing several streaming options for these devices. From Apple, you have Apple TV 4K. Below are some of the best 4K TVs in the market right now.

  • For the best high-end 4K TV for a value for money, deal goes for LG OLED B9P series.
  • For the best budget value for money, proposition go for TCL 6 series.
  • For the best alternative to OLED, which is expensive, go for Vizio P Series or Quantum X series.
  • For the best overall 4K TV, TCL 4 series is fine. It starts around $230 for 43” and $500 for 65” making it the most affordable in the market.

Vizio D vs Vizio V Series 4K TVs

Announced back in 2018 was the Vizio D series and they released a new model lineup called the V series in 2019. Vizio is a household name when it comes to making and selling budget 4K TVs without much compromise with quality or any of the bundles of parameters and numbers mentioned above. Both of these are 4K HDR-enabled from the factory with the newest one being almost half the price of the older one. Thus, one would right away go with the new model. It is only natural that the latest model has new internals, codecs, and software and as prices of electronics decrease with time, you can get it for nearly half the price. But what are the actual performances?

  • Amazon lists the 2018 Vizio D series 4K TV at $400 while the Vizio 2019 V series starts at $220 only.
  • Design-wise they are pretty much identical from the borders to the thickness.
  • Picture quality remains slightly better in params like gamma, white balance, color dE, black uniformity, and color gamut.
  • Response time is less in ‘D’ series and none of them are flicker-free with a 60Hz refresh rate in both of them.
  • Input connectivity and codec compatibility, the sound quality makes V series slightly better.

Thus, to conclude the Vizio V series 4K TV is a much better bargain if you can live with a 4ms higher response time. If the money you’re spending is a major concern, the extra $200 is not worth spending on the 2018 model.

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