SmartHouse - - 4K // THE DIFFERENCE - Writ­ten by STEVE MAY

Wel­come to the res­o­lu­tion rev­o­lu­tion.

TV pic­ture qual­ity has evolved. Of­fer­ing greater de­tail, more vi­brant colours and punchier con­trast, 4K UHD her­alds a leap even more sig­nif­i­cant than the jump we made from fuzzy old stan­dard def­i­ni­tion to HD. So, what ex­actly is 4K, and why will Fox­tel’s new iQ4 set top box trans­form the way you watch TV?

To help un­der­stand just how sig­nif­i­cant this evo­lu­tion is, let’s crunch some num­bers: 4K de­liv­ers 20 times the res­o­lu­tion of stan­dard def TV, and four times the pic­ture res­o­lu­tion of HD. That trans­lates to a res­o­lu­tion of 3,840 X 2,160 pix­els, com­pared to 1920 x 1080 pix­els for reg­u­lar hi-def. With more de­tail on screen in 4K movies, sports and Docos, this new TV stan­dard lit­er­ally draws you into the im­age, re­veal­ing more the closer you view.

Sub­jec­tively, Ul­tra HD res­o­lu­tion gives skin tones and tex­tures life­like clar­ity, and land­scapes gain an al­most three­d­i­men­sional depth (they’re not lit­er­ally 3D, so you won’t need silly glasses).

The dif­fer­ence 4K makes to sports cov­er­age is jaw-drop­ping. The fine de­tail brought to foot­ball is rev­e­la­tory, with play­ers kit more clearly de­fined, the ball al­ways cleanly de­picted. 4K also makes the drama and ex­er­tion on a player’s face painfully clear. You won’t just see the dif­fer­ence, you’ll feel it emo­tion­ally too. Mo­tor rac­ing is an­other ben­e­fi­ciary of 4K. The ex­tra de­tail makes the cars look bet­ter than ever be­fore. If you’re a petrol head, watch­ing the Bathurst 1000 in 4K is the next best thing to be­ing there (ac­tu­ally, it might even be bet­ter).

An in­creas­ing num­ber of pro­grams are now be­ing shot na­tively in 4K, and all that blis­ter­ing de­tail is de­liv­ered by the Fox­tel iQ4 box to your TV.

4K is of­ten re­ferred to as UHD (Ul­tra High Def­i­ni­tion), which is ac­tu­ally an um­brella term to de­scribe a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent tech­ni­cal stan­dards.

Of course, not all 4K is cre­ated equal. Stream­ing 4K ser­vices use the in­ter­net, mak­ing them sub­ject to heavy com­pres­sion. Pic­ture qual­ity can be more re­flec­tive of your broad­band speed than the shows them­selves. The good news is that Fox­tel de­liv­ers 4K UHD via satel­lite, so you’re al­ways guar­an­teed the best pos­si­ble 4K pic­ture qual­ity.

Viva la rev­o­lu­tion!


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