We’ve been through the 3D boom, the 1080p domination, and now we’re into the age of 4K resolution – also known as UHD (ultra-high-definition). However, you can’t simply turn on the TV and watch content in 4K; it typically comes with an additional charge, and you need to meet the right hardware requirements. Throughout this article, we’ll introduce you to the world of 4K and tell you how to stream.
What Is 4K Resolution?
When it comes to resolution, the more pixels there are on a screen, the clearer the picture will be. With 4K, there is 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is significantly more than 1080p (1920 x 1080). When you view movies on a 50-inch+ TV, there’s no need for it to stretch to fit. Further, the overall picture will have more definition and the colors will pop. If you regularly stream in 4K and revert to standard definition (SD) or 1080p, you will start to notice the difference.
To get started with 4K streaming, you’re going to need a compatible device including:
- Games consoles
- Streaming devices
If you look into each category above, you will only find a small number of devices capable of true UHD. These days, new TVs in the 43 – 80 inch range from providers including Sony, Samsung, TOSHIBA, Vizo, and LG will be 4K-enabled. Whether you’re streaming through your smart TV or external device, a capable TV is essential.
You can pair your console with your TV to stream in 4K, but there are only several capable consoles including PS4 Pro, PS5, Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One Pro, and Google Stadia. Although not all of these can play games in 4K, they can stream video content.
There are countless streaming devices out there including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV/Stick/Cube Roku Streaming Stick, and Chromecast Ultra. Essentially, you need the latest generation of each device for 4K streaming. If you don’t have a 4K TV, you can pair these with a Windows laptop, like those at lenovo.com. However, you will need an HDMI video capture device before plugging in your input cable.
After setting up your 4K TV and pairing it with a high-speed internet connection, it’s time to start streaming. The majority of streaming platforms offer 4K resolution, but it’s often only for certain titles or at a premium price. For example, Netflix has a 4K option that starts at $17.99, which is around $10 more than their standard package. On the other hand, Disney+ provides 4K movies and series on their standard $6.99/month cost. We suggest choosing your favorite platform and investing in just one 4K streaming option.
Streaming 4K is the current highest resolution available, but it involves upgrading your TV and external devices and signing up for costly services. Unless you’re looking for a cinema-grade viewing experience in your living room, 4K streaming can be left until it drops down in price and becomes the standard.