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Hands-on with 4K TVs
Hands-on with the new 4K TVs at IFA 2012

07 Sep 2012 | Rasmus Larsen |

TVs with 4K resolution were everywhere at this year’s IFA show. We probably should not expect to see 4K resolution in next year’s mainstream living room TVs but 4K is coming. In this article we take a look at the many 4K TVs from IFA and tell you how we experienced picture quality.

Hands-on with 4K TVs

Samsung, LG, Toshiba, Sharp and Sony all exhibited 4K TVs and we even saw some 4K TVs at less prominent Asian TV manufacturers’ IFA booths. This means that 4K panel production has begun and that the panel manufacturers have started selling panel to other TVs manufacturers without LCD manufacturing.

Sony’s 84-inch 4K-tv
Sony’s 84-inch 4K TV in action

Sony, LG and Toshiba all unveiled an 84" TV with a 4K panel, and picture quality was also consistent on all three models. Content was shot in 4K resolution and the combination of a true 4K panel and real 4K content revealed a stunning level of picture detailing. Particularly close-ups looked amazing and the experience far exceeds what Full HD TVs deliver today on large-size TVs.

In some sequences detailing was so close to reality that images almost had a 3-dimensional effect, despite only showing 2D images.

LG’s 84-inch 4K-tv
LG exhibited their 4K TV in January and again at IFA 2012

4K and TV size goes hand in hand and when consumers move to 60”, 70” and even larger TVs, 4K resolution starts to make a lot of sense. Samsung exhibited a 70-inch 4K TV and even on a TV of this size, the improvement over Full HD was easy to spot.

Samsung’s 4K-tv
Samsung exhibited this 70-inch 4K TV

4K content

But there is not much fun in having a 4K TV without any 4K content. So were should this 4K content come from? It was a question that we asked repeatedly at IFA.

Toshiba’s 84-tommer 4K-tv
Toshiba has a 84-inch 4K TV, too

Actually, some old analog movies can be re-mastered as 4K versions but movies recorded when switching from analog to digital equipment are typically recorded in Full HD. Recent digital movie productions such as The Hobbit and Avatar have moved to higher-resolution cameras and 4K movies are coming to cinemas but we also have to acknowledge that we need more real 4K content to stage the introduction of 4K TVs.

When it comes to gaming we have started hearing some chatter about 4K gaming being part of the “PlayStation 3” and “Xbox 720” releases. We have not real evidence to support this but we should soon start hearing more about the products. Let us, hypothetically, assume that PlayStation 4 launches next year with 4K. That would be enough time to incorporate 4K resolution into cheaper TVs and give 4K resolution the same push that PlayStation 3 gave to Full HD and Blu-ray.

Sharp and Panasonics have also exhibited TVs with 8K resolution – 16 times higher than Full HD.

Are you ready to go all-in on 4K TVs within a few years and therefore also buy a larger TV? Can 4K resolution make you buy a new TV?

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