Samsung 75-inch QLED 4K Smart TV, recommended price of $ 4.999.99, supports 4K and HDR with its HDR EliteMax imaging technology. (Photo: Courtesy of Walmart)
You're probably not alone. Over the course of the fast approaching end of the year, more than three out of 10 US homes (31 percent) are expected to have a 4K TV or 4K Ultra High Definition TV, according to the Consumer Technology Association, an industry trading group. It is up from 16 per cent last year. Next year, 4K UHD TVs will be in an estimated 41 percent of US homes, CTA estimates.
4K TV is also a hit outside the US. Worldwide sales of 4K TVs in 2018 are expected to hit 100 million, increasing to 230 million in 4K homes in homes, according to research firm Digital Tech Consulting.
Consumers have taken to 4K UHD-TV, first introduced in the US in 2012, partly because prices have fallen. The average 4K TV now costs less than $ 900, down from more than $ 4,000 five years ago, DTC says.
Lower prices are just one selling point. Larger displays with sharper images and richer colors are also benefits. 4K UHD TVs have four times as many pixels as HDTV. These extra pixels make larger screens better without breaking down the images.
Most 4K TVs can also handle High Dynamic Range (HDR) content, produced so that newer TVs can display more intense brights and darkness, as well as more detail in shadows. An additional image upgrade that usually comes with HDR is a wider color palette that provides more precise and rich colors.
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You will pay a little more for a 4K TV with HDR, but if You expect to spend a lot of time with your TV, slightly higher expenses will be worth it. (You can still get a 55-inch 4K TV with HDR for less than $ 500.)
Now, what are you going to see? Fortunately, there are several ways to get 4K video on your 4K TV.
• Blu-ray Disc Players . The great electronics makers like LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have brought to the market 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc players playing special 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs, as well as regular Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and CDs. Player money starts at about $ 100.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc players, like this one from Samsung, will play 4K Blu-ray Discs, regular Blu-ray Discs, DVDs and CDs. [Foto: Benjamin Pritzkuleit, Benjamin Pritzkuleit]
Many experts regard 4K Blu-ray as the best medium for displaying your 4K TV because of the quality of the disk-based media. Hundreds of 4K UHD discs are available to order at Amazon and BestBuy.com, with the latest releases, including "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" and "Venom." Prices start at $ 20, and most also come with a standard Blu-ray disc and digital download code.
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Version of Mission: Impossible – Fallout & # 39; Starts at about $ 20 and comes with a 4K disc, HD disc and digital movie download. (Photo: Paramount Home Video)
• Pay TV providers . There are no fixed 4K broadcasts from large networks yet. But among major providers, Comcast made Winter Olympics events and World Cup matches available in 4K in 2018 when the events played out and they can still be viewed on request. X1 customers can also stream Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video in 4K, even from their cabinet.
Satellite Services DirecTV and Dish Network – both of which also delivered the Winter Olympics and World Cup action in 4K, offer pay-per-view movies in 4K and each have at least one dedicated channel for other 4K content, including live sports. DirecTV has two, one for ongoing 4K programming and another for live sports, including regular NBA games and English Premier League football. Dish's Hopper 3 HD DVR also has built-in Netflix 4K streaming.
• Streaming services. Netflix and Amazon have been among the leaders in 4K content, with Netflix making "House of Cards" and some other programs available in 4K in 2014. Now Netflix has more than 100 original series and 100 original movies and special offers in 4K , DTC says. You will need a Netflix Premium subscription that costs $ 13.99 per month. Netflix also recommends broadband transmission rates of 25 megabits per second for streaming 4K video.
Netflix 4K Ultra HD Channel (Photo: Netflix)
Amazon Prime Video features 70 original 4K series and movies and a library of nearly 150,000 licensed movies and TVs series, says DTC. Some of these are included in the Amazon Library of TV shows and movies as part of the $ 119 annual Amazon Prime membership, as well as free shipping of purchases and other benefits. Others can be rented or purchased.
If you have a smart TV, programs like Netflix and Amazon and YouTube, which have a lot of 4K content – can be pre-installed. Your display can also have built-in WiFi if it is ready to stream 4K.
LG 65-inch SK8000PUA Series 4K HDR Smart Super UHD TV (now priced at $ 899.99) comes with Amazon, Netflix, Vudu and YouTube already installed and has built-in WiFi. [Foto: Courtesy of BestBuy]
Anyway, you can connect a power supply such as a Roco or Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast or NVIDIA Shield that supports 4K video as a way to Get apps with 4K videos. Video game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also support 4K streaming apps.
4K Blu-ray Discs with HDR, like Mad Max: Fury Road, seen traditional DVDs and even standard Blu-ray discs shame. (Photo: Reviewed.com)
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Several other lesser-known video books can offer additional 4K options. The streaming service Vudu, owned by Walmart, has many 4K movies for rent, as well as thousands of HD movies for free to watch with ads as well. Fandango Now and UltraFlix are also pre-installed on many new TVs or available as app. Fandango now has an extensive library of 4K movies to buy or rent, while UltraFlix has many 4K movies, concerts and documentaries for rent.
Live broadband subscription service fuboTV (starting at $ 44.99) also broadcast live 4K sports events, including college football and English Premier League football service, provided World Cup matches and Major League Baseball games earlier this year.
With Apple TV, you can watch 4K movies rented or purchased from Apple iTunes; Apple will soon have more than 400,000 4K movies available, the DTC says. 4K movies cost the same to rent or buy as a high-def version; A rental of recently released "The Meg" costs $ 2.99.
Google Play has a full slate of 4K movies to rent or buy. "Mission: Impossible – Fallout" currently costs $ 7.99 to watch 4K, while an HD version is $ 4.99.
There is much more 4K streaming content than a year ago, said Tom Campbell, chief engineer of the LA dealer Video & Audio Center, who sold the first 4K TV in the US in 2012. "It looks like phenomenon, and There is more to come, "he said.
Expect to see more live events offered in 4K, says DTC's founder and chief analyst Myra Moore. "In 2018 we saw Winter Olympics, World Cup and MLB playoff games," she said. "We see more of this in 2019, as streaming services cannot deliver on the promise of high quality quality of life programming – especially sports."
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider ].
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